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Open mike 28/01/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 28th, 2020 - 118 comments
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Step up to the mike …

118 comments on “Open mike 28/01/2020”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    "Facebook and Cambridge Analytica suddenly had hundreds of data points to know how to precisely push those angry white non voters into rage fuelled voting machines. This manipulation of white male anger become the driving force that saw Trump win, Brexit win and Scott Morrison win.  This is the playbook National are drawing from."  https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/01/27/has-labour-misinterpreted-their-own-polling-why-national-will-never-sign-up-to-facebook-transparency/

    White guys.  Nats' secret weapon.  Alienated by the woke, championed by the bomber, definitely a space to watch this year!  😎

    • Wayne 1.1

      Your reference is to yet another Martyn Bradbury rant. Basically saying all National voters are racist, fascist, misogynists. Not really a way to persuade people to change their votes.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Well, there is that.  But what I intended was to point at the empty space.  I've been watching the woke thing alienate sensible white centrist males for many years now – from the perspective of someone who long ago supported the very same causes that produced the woke lunatic fringe.

        You'd think that people would realise that alienating such a huge political constituency is extremely stupid.  But they don't.  Case in point:  the Green Party, which I remain an ambivalent member of.

        Mobilising white males as a political force seems the obvious thing to do, whichever party one supports.  Default ignoring has been going on too long.  I suspect they'll be the dark horse in the election race this year.

        • solkta

          Right, so people who belong to minorities should go get fucked because male pale stale . That not progressive.

          • Dennis Frank

            Why jump to that conclusion??  I'd rather have a tolerant, inclusive society thanks.  I've been part of the progressive political movement working for that since I was a teenager in the 1960s.  The rainbow coalition was conceptualised as a political frame in the 1970s on that basis.  The various minorities of political significance were viewed as analogous to the colours in the rainbow.

            I get that minority resentment of perceived white male pakeha hegemony was understandable back then, but I doubt that embedding it as a grievance to be carried for anyone's entire life is good for their mental health.

            • solkta

              You can't have it both ways. Standing up for minority rights makes the bigots angry. When you say I've been watching the woke thing alienate sensible white centrist males for many years now you sound like one of them.

              • Dennis Frank

                That's just your interpretation.  Are you trying to suggest bigots are sensible white centrist males ?  I wouldn't do that if I were you – nobody is likely to agree.  Sensible folk don't do bigotry.  And they do support minority rights!

                • solkta

                  No, you are the one who suggested that bigots are sensible. Truly Sensible people would not be bothered by minority rights

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Bullshit.  You know you can't reproduce anything I wrote to prove that!  I agree sensible people aren't bothered by minority rights – in fact I even wrote that they support them in my previous comment!!

                    • RedLogix

                      What you are up against here is the rule that only white males can be racist, sexist bigots. 

                      There was an interesting incident recently (can't be arsed linking to it) where a visiting black cricket player was racially abused by a fan, and the game authorities rightly followed it up. Turned out the fan was an Indian and his defense was that 'only white people can be racist'. 

                      When a person of colour is poor it's called 'oppression' and this is treated with righteous outrage. When a white male is poor it gets sneered at as 'economic anxiety'. 

                      It's all a frank bigotry really.

                    • solkta

                      You said I've been watching the woke thing alienate sensible white centrist males. Why would such people be alienated by minority rights?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I don't believe they are.  I believe they have been alienated by the toxic culture generated by the woke.  Male non-rapists are offended by claims that `all men are rapists', for instance.

                    • solkta


                      You are making shit up. I have never said that only white males can be racist, sexist bigots or anything that would suggest that.

        • Sabine

           woke thing alienate sensible white centrist 

          you are either a sensible white centrists and then 'woke' thing (humans i guess? maybe women? maybe not white centrists? maybe not white straight white centrists?) don't alienate you because as a 'sensible' white centrists you would know that the 'woke' thing is literally just people demanding and insisting in the same rights, place, space and pay sensible white centrists get. 

          the biggest threat to democracy is white male voting against the rights of all others cause they believe that they are owed more then any other group of people. 

          Also, please define ' sensible centrists white male' is that like you and Simon Bridges? Or is that like Bill English who thinks double dipping is fine when you are a minister of parliament but is criminal when a single women with children were to do that? Or is John Key a sensible white male? Or the shooter of the Christchurch Moschee? Or maybe Donald Trump is a sensible white male?  Are you a sensible white male with economic anxiety?


          • Dennis Frank

            I've never met any white male pakeha who believe "they are owed more then any other group of people."  Anyone who thinks Trump is sensible is probably American.  No I don't have "economic anxiety".

            All those wacky notions of yours seem to come from over-generalisations and misperceptions.  Politics works better if you deal with real people, not hallucinations.

            • joe90

              I've never met any white male pakeha who believe "they are owed more then any other group of people."

              That's because male Pākehā know that they're entitled to more then any other group of people.


              • Dennis Frank

                Inherited privilege derived from social context?  Yeah, that's a thing.  I agree it is likely to operate in the sub-concious, and perhaps sometimes become evident as tacit sub-text.

                A flimsy basis upon which the popular sport of calling someone racist who isn't seems to be based.  You wouldn't get far citing hypotheticals from the subconscious in a court of law – but that doesn't stop some leftists from trying it on, eh?  🙄

            • McFlock

              I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who said that "all men are rapists", either.

              Even the ones who argued that true consent is impossible in a patriarchal capitalist society had a more nuanced approach than you portray.

              remove the hallucinations from your own eye and all that.

              But basically, if you "mobilise" the anti-woke, what political movement do you really think you'll get? A revolutionary mobilisation built around the people who already have the socioeconomic dominance in society?

              I recall one woman talking about how things had improved a little bit from the days when marxists would meet up, talk revolution and equality, and it was always the women who were expected to make the post-meeting cuppa. You seem to be wanting to put those guys back in charge, the ones who left in a sulk because they were asked to do the dishes after one meeting, or to not call someone a "fag" during the discussion.

              • Dennis Frank

                Nor me.  I cite the phrase due to media reports of its usage.  Evidence that it has achieved currency, and is thus indicative of a mind-set.  So no hallucination on my part with that!

                Re mobilising, I wasn't advocating such activism.  Just acknowledgement and inclusion is all the situation requires.  People need to feel they are part of things, so democracy ought to accept their group identity as such.

                Re your last paragraph, do you recall back in the day of women's lib & the Black Panthers, one of the latter was asked by the media "What is the position of women in the revolution?" and he answered "prone".  Got the headline!

                Eldridge Cleaver, I think, but long time ago & I increasingly distrust my memory on details.  Anyway, no crazy oscillation from one extreme to another, just parity…

                • McFlock

                  lol "media reports of its usage". Hosking and Trotter…

                  The woke already acknowledge tha anti-woke. Including the anti-woke is more difficult, because by doing so would be an act of exclusion of the folks the anti-woke like to exclude. Because calling out ~ist or ~phobic language sadly excludes ~ist or ~phobic people.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    I don't get what you're trying to say.  Why bring binary framing into it when I already specified the holistic frame??  Pakeha guys aren't big on presenting as a tribe, are they?  Yet Trump won by treating them as one.

                    Learn the lesson.  It's been around for three whole years already.  Identity politics motivates people.  The Nats could win that group by default unless the three parties in govt engage them.  Not rocket science.

                    • McFlock

                      It's pretty obvious, surely – if you're trying to be inclusive to people who routinely treat people different to them like shit (whether intentionally or obliviously) or who can't deal with shit-treaters being called out on that behaviour, then you're excluding people different to them who don't want to be treated like shit.

                      In other words, "sensible white centrist males" who are alienated by the "woke thing" can only be included by not being "woke". Which sooner or later excludes everyone other than sensible white centrist males who are alienated by the woke thing.


                    • Dennis Frank

                      But the group I'm talking about don't go around treating people like shit.  They tend to be typical kiwi males:  relaxed, friendly, considerate etc.  Most of them are apolitical.  Either vote govts out if they get the feeling that it's time for a change, or vote for a leader who they can identify with.  So subtle factors can shift them easily.  That's the danger of the Nats capturing them by default that concerns me.

                    • McFlock

                      Even if they don't treat people like shit, they are "alienated" by woke people pointing out shit treatment.

                      The only way to not alienate them is to therefore say and do nothing about shit treatment.

                    • solkta

                      I don't think your typical kiwi male is considerate. Most flatly refuse to even try to pronounce Maori words correctly, to give an obvious example. 

        • Climaction

          Im a centrist, I don’t feel alienated.

          but I’m also an adult and I ignore the things that supposedly will alienate me. 

          On the plus side I can read what ever I like without being triggered or suspecting a vast right wing (nzh) or left wing (guardian) mind control experiment

          • Dennis Frank

            You seem sensible.  Given that, I'd be interested to read your take on election year, both here & in the USA, in regard to how identity politics will play out for white males in general, and centrists in particular.

            Like, for instance, is any particular white male politician here providing a suitable role model, and how are they doing that?

            • McFlock

              Grant Robertson ain't too bad.

            • Climaction

              i wrote a response earlier but seems to have been lost

              Grant robertson, Chris Bishop, James Shaw. if they have to be white and male.

              Grant robertson, Chris Bishop, James Shaw, Jacinda Adern, Paula Bennet and Kris Faafoi if the requirement is centrist without letting their "characteristics" define them. which is the best form of being involved in politics.

              Jacinda has brought us understanding, Robertson financial acumen, James shaw has combined robertson with an understanding of how economics needs to relate to the physical environment, Bishop for getting past "im hutt and labour" and "I'm whiten and national", bennett for removing the stigma of being from the west and showing us what work ethic means. these people, taking the best from each, typify what New Zealand is and can achieve. Centrism is great, once you stop pigeon holing what party mp's represent and accolading the work they do

              edit: Faafoi, for proving that the 4th estate is capable of work and rational thought as well as pragmatism.

      • Sabine 1.1.2

        Its a bit like voting for Trump, 

        his voters might not personally believe they are a racist, a mysogynist, or even a facist as did many white males with economic anxiety in the US. . But with their vote they elevated a racist (well several of them actually), a whole bunch of mysogysnists (religious fundamentals and their idea of aborting satanic babies with prayer) and facists (authoritarian is my preferred term ) Mitch Mc Connell – staking the court with very young, very right wing religious fundamentalists, while holding up the seating of a Justive cause 'election year' . 

        And it will be the same here. If the only way the No Mates Party can win is by promising men – white men – that they will enact laws that will benefit them at the cost of all 'others' women, not white people, not heteronormal people, children, sick and disabled people, then frankly the shoe fits, and you should wear them proudly. 

        After all you will be the last to feel the consequences, you being a white male. 🙂 


      • Anne 1.1.3

        Yes, Bradbury is a bit of a rant artist, but in among the chaff there is often a piece of wheat. This excerpt for example:

        What Jacinda SHOULD have said is, ‘We appreciate in a democracy people have diverse thoughts and differences of opinion, so this election let us be mindful that we may disagree with each other but we do so in a bond of tolerance and kindness, let us not fall down the dark corridors of spite and rancour and come together to build a better NZ on universal values that benefit all of us and not just some of us.”

        Bradbury rhetoric for sure and needs to be more succinct, but they are the sentiments Ardern should emphasize. Half of the population won't even know what she means when she talks about "relentless positivity". 

        Imo, Ardern and her ministers are duty bound to counter irresponsible scare-mongering of which your party Wayne is indulging in at rapidly increasing levels.  We've seen a case of it in recent days where National's health spokesman, Woodhouse bleated about the government not taking the steps needed to control the coronavirus outbreak, when all the steps had already been set in motion.

        That was blatant scare-mongering for political purposes.   

        • Sabine

          Well said Anne. 

          thanks for that.

        • RedLogix

          Same from me. Bradbury has a smart mind and his heart is in the right place, but boy could he do with a hard working editor sometimes. cheeky

          But yes, that paragraph you quote is a gem. It captures what I hope more and more people across the spectrum are realising … that progressives and conservatives need each other in order to be successful. The analogy with a rugby team is reasonably apt, the progressive backs all over the paddock, flashy and fast, the conservative forwards grinding away doing the hard slow yards in set pieces. Each getting it’s phase of play, each contributing to the outcome.

          • Anne

            I have a confession to make. I do secretly enjoy Bradbury's diatribes. 😎

            • RedLogix

              lol … yeah never said they weren't fun. 

            • OnceWasTim


              #metoo.  Plus he's due for a mid-life crisis if he's not already indulging in one. But I note, he promises to be a little kinder in one of his posts. Let's hope he doesn't go too namby pamby  

    • Ad 1.2

      If only the left could figure how to engage fear and hate like the right has.


      • Sabine 1.2.1

        Oh they are too afraid to even just name the beast by its name. 

        But they are seriously good at appeasing and serving everything up luke warm for fear of 'offending'. 

      • RedLogix 1.2.2

        Go back to the research I was quoting yesterday and indeed it’s plain the functional role of right wing people is to be cautious and defensive. In a dangerous world these are legitimate responses, but they're also easily exploited to invoke fear and hatred. 

        What counters this? Messages that reassure and sooth them, keep the narrative familiar and safe. When a new idea is introduced, link it strongly to something that's already known to work. Convey the sense that their social conservatism is a good, reliable platform for our society, drop all intellectual arrogance and above all don't moralise to them.

        Maybe Wayne is exactly correct and we should listen.

    • Sanctuary 1.3

      Bradbury projects like crazy in those pieces.

      Social media has a minor impact on most peoples lives. The idea that the right can mobilise a novel angry army of white men simply by rarking them up on social media over culture war issues is nonsense in the NZ context.

      First of all, we've always had high voting turnouts, whiich goes a long way to moderating the impact of highly mobilised voting groups. And the USA and UK both have significantly skewed electoral systems that amplified their rightward shunt outcomes. Remember, MMP is based on a system expressly designed to limit the impact of extremist politics. 

      Secondly, NZ has a relatively high minimum wage , reasonably high employment rates, no legacy rust belts and was not badly hit by the GFC. Our wage growth over the last twenty years has not stagnated or gone backward as in the the USA and UK. The "angry white guy" constituency overseas has been swelled by economic decline and here it simply doesn't have those numbers.  

      Third, NZ does not have a fascist billionaire media. Our MSM are often little more than a bunch of ignorant right wing clowns, but they do not push an ideologically fascist agenda like the Murdoch papers or Fox News do.

      Fourth, Maori operate as a significant centre of non-state power and as a handbrake on racism. The NZ identity is built significantly on the national myth of racial inclusiveness – to a large extent racism is not seen as patriotic nativism but rather as disloyal chauvinism. 

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        That's a very good comprehensive critique, and I tend to agree with each point you've made.  I suspect the groundswell here will indeed be significantly less than in the USA for the reasons you have given. 

        Nonetheless, white kiwi males are only being specifically catered to by National, and that's a reflection on the political competence of the other parties.  As one of those pakeha guys, I'm unlikely to be impressed by National's efforts (usually banal) but I'm equally unimpressed by the covert discrimination evident in the way they are being given the majority by default.

        • Sacha

          white kiwi males are only being specifically catered to by National, and that's a reflection on the political competence of the other parties.

          Why should parties spell out all their policies that apply to white men? Sounds a lot like 'identity politics'..

          • Dennis Frank

            So that they don't default to National, is the short answer.  But actually, I was not intending to imply any such spelling exercise.  Subtle framing ought to suffice.  Enough to make the guys feel they are not being deliberately excluded. 

            You know, when you think about it, there's no reason in principle that they ought to be ignored as a group.  A genuinely inclusive political frame would recognise that fact.  It's been obvious to me for many years that the Greens' voter base has been artificially suppressed by identity politics – equity framing would redress that short-sightedness.

            • Sacha

              This sounds awfully like some men loudly demanding an official men's day every time the women's one rolls around. The retort is usually that every other day is one already.

              Old white men are far from victims. Pull the other one.

              • Dennis Frank

                I wasn't talking about old white men, so you ought to avoid allowing your prejudices to put words in my mouth.  Re-read what I wrote to establish that!  Nor was I intending to imply males are victims.  That would be a fatuous over-generalisation, right?

                Just making the point that politics is a numbers game, and not catering for one of the biggest political groups is dumb politics…

                • Sacha

                  not catering for one of the biggest political groups

                  Not convinced that resentful white men are a big group. And what would a party have to offer to be 'catering' for them?

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Fair enough.  I was just trying to sound a warning re Nats getting leverage.  Not just the resentful ones – you know the contagion effect?  If pakeha guys were to soak up the idea that the Nats are their default tribe, they would tend to share that view with others.  Seems to have already happened stateside & Trump capitalised.  I'm averse to the effect happening here.

              • McFlock

                19 November, apparently. Has a wikipedia page and everything.

                The reality that International Mens Day exists does not seem to shut them up, though.

                Sums it all up, in my opinion – inadequate little boys screaming at how worse off they are than the people whose mistreatment they profit from, even though it's painfully obvious that they have at least the same privileges as everyone else.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    In the post-truth era "a Center For Public Affairs Research poll released in November showed 47 percent of Americans believe it's hard to know whether the information they are getting is true."  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/119012943/alison-mau-an-election-year-to-make-george-orwell-spin-in-his-grave

    "National's campaign manager Paula Bennett denied her party's online "memes" are misleading (despite two rulings from the Advertising Standards Authority that say different) by using the phrase, "an interpretation about how figures are used." One woman's falsehoods being another woman's "interpretation", I guess."

    Well, yeah, that's the case much of the time. It's not as if people cite proof when asserting facts.  Nobody believes credibility is that important!!

    • Ad 2.1

      Stop worrying about online campaigns.

      Ardern has 700,000 Facebook followers and about 400,000 Twitter followers.

      It's more than Bridges by several multiples.

      It's going to be fine.

    • Sabine 2.2

      Paula Bennetts lies being a sensible white centrists man  "interpretation", You guess right. 

      see there i fixed you typo.

      Cause that sorry excuse for a human being is not trying to appeal to us, she is trying to appeal to the nice sensible males that are being alienated by the 'woke thing'. 

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Yeah I know she's doing that.  Like I pointed out, politics isn't about truth.  If it were, politicians would alway provide proof that their claims are true.  That almost never happens.  So leftists moaning about her spin are wasting their time.

        • Sabine

          Then you should have said it correctly. Frankly leave us 'women' out of this bullshit. 

          She ain't appealing to us, she is lying to you. Centrists white male who are afraid of the woke thing. That is the new 'economically anxious white working class' of NZ rigth? 

          She is not lying to us. She is lying to you. 

          • Dennis Frank

            I did say it correctly:  I did not refer to women in my original comment.  I'm not sure why you are so confused.  I have no problem with you believing she is a liar – that's your choice.  I'm just pointing out why others see her as advocating an interpretation.  In politics, competing interpretations carry more weight than facts.

          • Nic the NZer

            I'm pretty convinced Denis has never assumed you would support Benett's politics because she is a woman. However you clearly assume he supports Bridges politics because he is a man (assume Pakeha).

            This is a huge aspect of the woke alienation narrative. Its also a logically incoherent understanding of politics.

            • Sabine

              all this assumption. 

              As a women i pointed out to Dennis ( who may or may not be a male, be white, be progressive or not who cares) that as a women i don't see her advocating an interpretation but an outright lie. And that frankly most women in NZ see her doing just that. Lying, on behalf of the National Party to the detriment of women and children everywhere in this country. Most women have not forgotten 'there is no housing crisis' 'zip it sweety' 'dole bludgers' etc Paula Bennet. I and a few women i know see her for what she is. A person utterly devoid of ethics and morals who will at any cost enrich herself and keep her tax payer funded wages for her thousand dollar shoes. And the same counts for the National Party. 

              This interpretation of 'my freedom fighter' is your terrorists thing was a nice try but did not work – and frankly was offensive considering that women do not vote in majority for Paula Bennet and the No Mates Party.

              And if i am to alienate a white economically anxious centrists male, then the guy ain't centrist and I am not his issue. I am by far not a radical. I have never advocated for rights to be removed from men, i have never advocated to have the reproductive freedoms of men to be regulated by law, i have never advocated to make a medical procedure that only is needed by men into a criminal act requiring the certification of three doctors to obtain one, i have never earned 1 dollar to the 70+ cents of a men, i have never overlooked a male for promotion, i have never called a bloke a nice piece of ass publicly on radio, i have never pulled the hair of a waiter to bring him to the point of crying, I have never outed the name of some beneficiaries, i have never proposed to force birth control on men recieving a benefit, i have never cut a benefit because a man don't want to declare the name of the mother of his child and so on and so on and to boot and i know how to make some really nice sandwiches.  And these are all things that are advocated for and fought for by men who would consider themselves 'centrists'. 

              So no i am not the reason for your 'centrists white male' to be alienated by the left – and consider as well that i don't see my self as someone on 'the left'. I see myself as someone who is left behind by all the established parties and that i generally don't vote myself but for the lesser evil. 

              But your concern is noted, and i will try really hard to not be the reason for a centrist white male to vote for the National Party and Paula Bennet. lol. . 

              • Nic the NZer

                I think your making a really obvious mistake in assuming that the nations pale stale males reflexively support the national party politics and form their primary voter base.

                The resulting generalisations make a mockery of any discussions put about both politics and actual existing discrimination. A lot of people just find it very off putting being told what they supposedly believe politically due to (or being due to) their skin color, age or gender.

  3. mauī 3

    The political phenom that is sleepy Biden. Such a kind, humble, relatable and inspiring man. Biden 2020!

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    "The CFR's Top Conflicts to Watch in 2020 report was issued even as China provocatively sent its navy-controlled coast guard and militia-operated fishing fleets deep into Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.  Jakarta responded with combat aircraft and warships. Beijing eventually backed down, withdrawing its fleet to the edge of Indonesian waters."

    Bear pokes possum to see what happens.  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12303563

    "The CFR's Preventive Priorities Survey found foreign policy experts believe more flashpoints are "likely to require a US military response for 2020 than in …. the last eleven years."  And while it is increasingly engaging in great power competition with China, its continuing ability to reassure its Asian allies is being questioned."

    "The United States cannot reverse China's militarisation of the South China Sea. Beijing has succeeded in shifting the balance of power in this waterway in its favour," Dr Rapp-Hooper writes.  "Washington can, however, return to a coalition-based strategy that aims to keep the South China Sea open and to reduce the likelihood that the long-simmering disputes spiral into full-blown conflict."

    "This would require high-level support and engagement in regional forums, such as ASEAN, as well as strengthening ties to those aggrieved by Beijing ambitions."

    Right, so Trump's withdrawal into US traditional isolationism will be tested in his election year.  His Secretary of State will be even more tested – competence in multipolar diplomacy will be required!

  5. adam 5

    Our friends in the USA are saying anyone reporting on their corruption has no entitlement to freedom of speech, nor press freedom. 


    The whole Assange case is a totalitarians wet dream. 


    • Kevin 5.1

      Not entitled to First Amendment rights, but can be charged under the Espionage Act…

    • mpledger 5.2

      That will make be interesting – if non-American news staff aren't protected under the first amendment then American newspapers won't be able to publish their work as the newspapers insurance rates for legal proceedings will go through the roof.  It will be interesting to see if publishers and media outlets join the case to protect their interests.

      • adam 5.2.1

        They haven't so far, so I'm not expecting a change from them. Your right though, they should. But I'm guessing they all too far gone to make a stand now. 

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    I'm puzzled that Trump is able to prevent the Senate from getting at the facts.  Impeachment is clearly a joke if their system allows the decision to be made on the basis of suppressed evidence.  The principle of transparent governance ought to apply.

    "According to reports, Bolton opposed the withholding of security aid to Ukraine, and tried unsuccessfully to convince the president to release the military aid during an Oval Office meeting.  "This is in America's interest," the former national security adviser told the president, according to the New York Times, as he argued the aid should be provided to Ukraine.  The aid was eventually released – a day after Bolton acrimoniously left the White House."  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51230984

    "The pressure has grown following the report of a potentially explosive claim Bolton is said to make in a new book.  The New York Times cited a leaked Bolton manuscript as saying that Trump told him he wanted to freeze aid to Ukraine until Kyiv helped with investigations against the Democrats, including former Vice-President Joe Biden."

    "Bolton, a Republican, is an unlikely hero for Democrats. Still, they believe he will act as a star witness, one who will provide irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing by Trump and help bolster the case for his removal from office."

    "Yale-educated Bolton, 71, was national security adviser from 2018-19.  He was "personally involved" in the president's dealings with the Ukrainian officials, according to Bolton's lawyer.  The former national security adviser was "at the nerve centre for all important decisions", says Matthew Spence, a former deputy assistant secretary of defence."

    "Democrats believe the former national security adviser could provide the smoking gun.  "Bolton was present during the crime," says Evelyn Farkas, who served as top Russia official during the Obama administration and is now running as a Democrat for a congressional seat in New York.  "And he knew that it was a crime at the time.""

    "Bolton has said publicly he would testify if he gets a legal summons…  Senators will vote on the matter of witnesses in the coming days."

  7. joe90 7

    She dared to sully the name of the sainted.


    this award-winning journalist is magnifying a hate storm against a sexual assault survivor whose reaction to the death of Kobe Bryant did not meet his standards

    All of us have been around the Internet long enough to know what happens when women get targeted like this. There’s no excuse for it.

    I saw it yesterday but didn’t want to tweet until I had sat on it for a day or so.


  8. weka 8

    Can someone please explain how putting so much money into roading stimulates the economy?  (we don't actually know what the roading spend will be on yet though). As opposed to say poverty relief via direct transfers to people who will spend it immediately?



    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Ask these guys:  "Treasury believes the benefits of this will be seen in increased GDP growth, which is expected to lift by 1.4 per cent (or $3.9 billion) over the next four years thanks to the package."

      I gather that dept employs economists to calculate the sums & devise a rationale plausible enough to satisfy ministers & bedazzle Labour/National voters.  Grant obviously is very satisfied, and I suspect Shane & Winston are too.  The Greens will be mulling it over.  Marama:  "Can I call it another dead rat??  Please?"

      • weka 8.1.1

        I saw that. I was wondering about roading specifically.

        • Dennis Frank

          Okay, I'd ask Michael Reddell (https://croakingcassandra.com/) which I've done once or twice in the past.  Either email your question or suggest he write a column on it.  Scan down today's column on his site until you come to the cartoon – you'll see he's that most unusual of creatures, an economist with a sense of humour!

        • Sacha

          The only reasons they might be keen on roading are political:

          1) Neutralises Nat promises to stupidly spend more on last century's priorities. Like the self-imposed fiscal handcuffs this term.

          2) Roading agencies have built up a handy pipeline of low-value road projects under the last govt which will not take years more to plan and consent before they can start being built and people notice the dirt piling up. Public transit projects have no such pipeline. Both take too long to provide any short term stimulus, but financiers love them so there's that.

          It would be a crying waste of an opportunity to spend up large on the wrong priorities for such spurious reasons. Our future economy and society needs other sorts of infrastructure before roads. Climate change demands other infrastructure.

          • weka

            I feel like I must be missing something. Because on the face of it it seems horribly wrong to spend half the amount on roading instead of climate and people.

            • weka

              Maybe roading includes lots of cycleways? /fainthope

            • Sacha

              Hopefully the journos have just been interviewing their own typewriters or passing on hopeful whispers from the Nats..

              Water is another obvious long-term infrastructure spend, though it probably depends too much on Winston letting the Greens get a win.

              Wouldn’t you love to see the looks on some of the regressive farming cheerleaders at a govt calling their bluff on cleaning up urban waterways rather than rural irrigation like the last lot funded instead.

            • Nic the NZer

              Spending priorities are just an indication of govt preferences. There is nothing more tangible to it.

              There is a theory that by paying less in benefits you are incentivising work. This follows from another theory (assumed true) that unemployment is ultimately due to the unemployeds preference for leisure and could find jobs if they wanted/tried harder. This was the main intellectual basis for the early 90s benefit cuts. This is ultimately the argument Treasury might put against welfare spending but its at least an unpopular idea so they would probably have it behind closed doors.

              • weka

                I don't know, seems pretty in line with Labour's ideological position.

                So they could stimulate the economy by spending on people and climate instead, but they're choosing roads because that's where their values lie?

                • Sacha

                  Or that's where Winston's values lie.

                  • weka

                    yeah, always that. I want a L/G govt this year just so we can see the distinction between what was NZF and what was Lab in the first term.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Yes, its values.

                  In reality its probably the case that there is sufficient slack in the economy to absorb both. E.g there is a point when all the unemployed could find work if they wanted it, but i dont believe the economy is near it at present. The main stream economic theory assumes that the economy automatically adjusts to reach that state, which is a problematic assumption.

                • Sacha

                  Started another thread on today's Open Mike

    • McFlock 8.2

      It probably doesn't have much difference to GDP between the two.

      There's a large proportion of the cash going to make real things in the economy, rather than just boost the speculative pile. What the roading would have is a boost in productivity from people who use the road which would be additional to the money directly injected into the economy. Assuming a positive return on investment for the road.

      Not sure what the parallel of that productivity boost would be for direct transfers to beneficiaries.

      • weka 8.2.1

        Productivity from people who use roads. Is that truck drivers? People getting to work?

        • McFlock

          yeah, everyone, but particularly transport drivers incl passengers. If it knocks 5 minutes off their commute, that's five more minutes they have in the day. If an airport shuttle driver does 8 trips a day, a five minute trip saving might stretch that to 9 trips. Five minutes less of a commute for an office worker means five more minutes to buy from stores or spebd at work.

          That's how I understand the theory, anyway.

    • gsays 8.3

      "Can someone please explain how putting so much money into roading stimulates the economy?"

      I would suggest it's something to do with externalities, that disgusting business accounting habit that privatise profit and socialise cost.

      E.g. the roads here in rural Manawatu can be fairly shoddy around milk shed gates as the 50 tonne tankers tear up the road accelerating and braking.

      Like the water that is used, the roads belong to the commons but are an essential part of a last century's business model.

      • Nic the NZer 8.3.1

        The stimulation part is very easy to understand. Net of tax collection each doller of govt spending adds a doller to nominal GDP.

        This is because GDP is simply a measure of an economies income.

        There is no difference between types of net spending here however.

        • weka

          If it's easy to understand can you please explain in lay person terms?

          • Nic the NZer

            This is the basis for why its true. Its basically just to do with how GDP (eg an economies income) is measured.


            When you consider that then its pretty clear to understand that tax withdraws income from somebody and when the govt pays somebody their income increases. Note, nobody is actually in the govt sector here even if they work in the public sector its still their income.

            So when the govt spends more GDP goes up, and when they tax/collect more it goes down.


            • weka

              ok, but that doesn't explain roads specifically right? It suggests that govt spending on anything will create growth.

              • Nic the NZer

                Yes, and your conclusion is not incorrect.

                Bear in mind however that we are somewhat interested in inflation adjusted GDP which doesn't work in so simple a way. 

                If you want to be more objective then you need to look at the capacity to absorb more spending by sector. Looking at greening the economy the govt may need to reduce spending in some sectors allowing it to increase its own (on more sustainable basis).

                I would be surprised it this was really considered by the treasury analysis in detail. Their headline model of the economy only has one sector for starters.

                • weka

                  "Looking at greening the economy the govt may need to reduce spending in some sectors allowing it to increase its own (on more sustainable basis)."

                  What would be some examples of that?

                  What's Treasury's headline model with only one sector?

                  • Nic the NZer

                    For example fuel taxes probably have some impact on fuel consumption. But most impactful would be allowing less of a particular activity by regulation. Maybe then replacing it. Here they could for example restrict long hall transport by weight on the road network while increasing rail freight capacity.

                    The headline treasury model is a DSGE model of the economy. Its called Matai. Basically such models use equilibrium analysis which assumes you can model the economy as if only one good is produced and consumed.

  9. Ad 9

    September 19!

    It's on.

  10. Eco maori 11

    Kia Ora Newshub. 

    Taking freight off our roads on to rail is the way of the future lowering our carbon footprint in the process. 

    That's awesome Fonterra changing one of its milk dryers from coal to wood pallets made from sawdust that would normally be dumped = to taking 33000 cars off our roads. 

    We need to legislate to minimise the waste we produce That's the logical way to sort that mess out. 

    Ka kite Ano 

  11. Eco maori 12

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News. 

    Investments in our public hospitals is great as most Tangata Whenua can not afford to go to private hospitals when the healths system is going to take to long to treat them our whanau are passing quite young. 

    I agree broadcasting is very important and the merger of Radio NZ and TVNZ should have Maori including in the changes to make sure our broadcasting organisations are not put at a disadvantage by the changes. 

    Alcohol is  bad for our health in many ways. 

    Its great that plastics is being banned in  fresh produce.

    Ka kite Ano 

  12. Eco maori 13

    Kia Ora The Am Show. 

    Praiseing our children is a good way to lift their wairua in schools. 

    There would not have been enough putea for the governments to spend this much on infrastructure if they gave  tax cuts. 

     People have to realise that our good fortunes are directly linked to our weather and environment we must do all we can to minimise our impact on the weather Ben. 

    Ka pai to Coke for reducing the sugar in their drinks but it would be nice if they could pay a bounty for their plastic waste to be recycled. 

     Tova they had sewage leaking in the walls of A hospital. 

    Know your stuff does good work. 

    Ka kite Ano 




  13. Eco maori 14

    You think you're neat muppet don’t push it 

  14. Eco maori 15

    Kia Ora Newshub. 

    Shady politics. 

    Its good to see the system finally adapting and accepting the positive effects medical marijuana has on some people. 

    Ka kite Ano. 


  15. Eco maori 16

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News. 

    I still say that company's should be paying to dispose of their own plastic waste clean up their own mess. 


    Everyone should minimise there Wai use all year not just in a dry year. Leave some off our Wai taonga for our Wai wildlife.

    Whare tuhua looks like a good way to keep some Rangatahi who made mistakes away from the harder people that can teach them bad habits. 

    Great mahi BBM helping Pacific and Maori tangata lose weight and live a longer life in the process to guide there whanau for decades longer through this system. 

    Ka kite Ano 

  16. Eco maori 17

    Kia Ora The Breakfast Show.


    The Internet is the technology that changed the world the communication device of the 21st century. 

    I think it's better take time to plan the infrastructure boost spend than rush it in that process reap less positive effects for the spend.

    The message I'm getting is drama sell news I have heard of stories just like these that never made it to the national NEWS.???????.

    Jordan tipical privileged rednecks opinion.

    Ka kite Ano 

  17. Eco maori 18

    Kia Ora Newshub. 


    I think that house owners should be legally bound to rent empty houses out that would help the housing shortage I use to maintain some empty whare. 


    Ka kite Ano 




  18. Eco maori 19

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News. 

    China is doing all it can to control the virus. 

    The people who are using the virus as a attack weapon are fools 

    Ka pai to Ngāti Porou Iwi for stepping with a plan to care for our tamariki in state care.

    Our government investing in hospitals and health care is awesome.

    The more books on Tangata Whenua Culture the better.

    Its good to see Maui studios making great stories and computer graphics. 

    Ka kite Ano 

  19. Eco maori 20

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Drones herding sheep the Ion age is here and now I seen some muppets from Tauranga use drones to take a fishing line out 350 metres from shore and drop it. 

    That's a mean feat rowing from Chile to Antarctic. 

    Ka kite Ano. 


    • Eco maori 20.1

      Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News. 

      Good to see heaps of interest it Waka and having Wahine on Waka tau 

      Yes there was quite a lot of tension when shonky was at Waitangi Ka pai.

      That's is cool the celebration in Tamiki Makaru. Cool to see tourists showing interest in Tangata whenua Culture. 

      Ka kite Ano 


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