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Open mike 28/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 28th, 2019 - 84 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

84 comments on “Open mike 28/04/2019 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Is there a Democratic Party specialist out there who can tell me how the second vote brings the Superdelegates back in with at least as much power as lat times' Presidential nominee selection?

    This discussion on MSNBC on how Biden really goes head to head with Sanders in the Democratic primaries is instructive:

    • Jenny - How to get there? 1.1

      He doesn’t talk up progressive policies like some candidates….

      I think Biden's negative attack line is ill founded. This sort of attack line will not convince anyone, for one simple reason, it buys into Trump's underdog status, that he is being unfairly victimised by the establishment. And bolsters Trump's claims that he is a victim of a conspiracy by the jealous liberals. The same with calls from the Democratic Party establishment for impeaching the President.

      Biden’s negative attack politics avoids the issues that really matter to voters. And plays into Trump’s brand of personality politics.

      Rather than concentrate on Trump's negative traits and build his campaign around it, Biden needs to be putting up some positive progressive policy.

      In contrast to Biden who avoids raising progressive issues, to the surprise of the Fox presenters Bernie Sanders wins over a picked Fox audience by talking about single payer health care.


      • Ad 1.1.1

        Biden's video is an odd one for a Democrat primary pitch, which needs about how your policies pitch to Democrat segments, not speaking over their heads to Trump-waverers.

        But that doesn't get to my particular question of how this is going to play out any different to Clinton V Sanders in the nomination shit fight.

        • Jenny - How to get there?

          "……..how this is going to play out any different to Clinton V Sanders in the nomination shit fight."

          That's a good question. As Sanders says @17:14 minutes in the above video

          ….look, if we spent all of our time attacking Trump, you know what, the democrats are gonna lose, alright?

          The remarkable thing is that Sanders said this before Biden had launched his campaign, and immediately did what Sanders said the Democrats shouldn't.

          Sanders didn't know Biden was going to do this, and is probably aghast that he has. Sanders was replying to question put to him, to which he replied ‘we’ [the Democrats], shouldn't do this.

          If Biden is picked over Sanders in the Democratic Primary it will be an exact repeat of what happened before.

          With a good chance of the same awful consequence.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      A snowball has a better chance in Hell than Biden has of winning the nomination. To say he's toxic is to insult toxins.

      • cleangreen 1.2.1

        Biden is another trough money hunter and he will be corrupted again by big money as all others have been.

        Biden was close to big Corporations as Hillary was.

        • Morrissey

          He's repulsive and unelectable.

          Ms. Hill said that Judge Thomas had repeatedly asked her to go out with him in a social capacity and would not take no for an answer. She said he would talk about sex in vivid detail, describing pornography he had seen involving women with large breasts, women having sex with animals, group sex and rape scenes.

          Judge Thomas would also talk about his own “sexual prowess” in workplace conversations, Ms. Hill said. And he once mentioned a pornographic film whose star was called “Long Dong Silver,” which turned into an infamous name in American political lore.

          “It would have been more comfortable to remain silent,” she said. “But when I was asked by a representative of this committee to report my experience, I felt that I had to tell the truth. I could not keep silent.”

          After Ms. Hill’s opening statement, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.*, the Delaware Democrat who was then chairman of the committee, began questioning her on the specific locations of her harassment allegations. She mentioned the “incident of the Coke can,” which — as she had described a half-hour earlier — involved Judge Thomas asking her who had put pubic hair on his can of cola.

          Mr. Biden asked, “Can you describe it, once again, for me please?”

          After a sigh, Ms. Hill did. ….



        • Jenny - How to get there?

          Possibly even closer….

          Hours After Entering 2020 Race, Biden to Attend Big-Money Fundraiser Hosted by Comcast, Blue Cross Execs

          Two of the large corporate donars that Biden courted at this fundraiser were internet company Comcast who are opposed to Net Neutrality, and large private insurance company Blue Cross, whose business model will suffer if Bernie's Medicare For All gets through.

  2. Morrissey 2

    So Where is the Swedish Warrant?

    by CRAIG MURRAY, Apr. 27, 2019

    If the Swedish allegations against Julian Assange were genuine and not simply a ruse to arrest him for extradition to the United States, where is the arrest warrant now from Sweden and what are the charges?

    Only the more minor allegation has passed the statute of limitations deadline. The major allegation, equivalent to rape, is still well within limits. Sweden has had seven years to complete the investigation and prepare the case. It is over two years since they interviewed Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy. They have had years and years to collect all the evidence and prepare the charges.

    So where, Swedish prosecutors, are your charges? Where is your arrest warrant?

    Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden. He was merely “wanted for questioning”, a fact the MSM repeatedly failed to make clear. It is now undeniably plain that there was never the slightest intention of charging him with anything in Sweden. All those Blairite MPs who seek to dodge the glaring issue of freedom of the media to publish whistleblower material revealing government crimes, by hiding behind trumped-up sexual allegations, are left looking pretty stupid.

    What is the point of demanding Assange be extradited to Sweden when there is no extradition request from Sweden? What is the point in demanding he face justice in Sweden when there are no charges? Where are the charges from Sweden?

    The answer to that is silence.

    Sweden was always a fit-up designed to get Assange to the USA. And now they don’t need it, so Sweden has quietly gone away. All the false left who were taken in by the security services playing upon a feminist mantra should take a very hard look at themselves. ….

    Read more….


    • Welcome to another Morrissey rape culture special.

      Sweden was always a fit-up designed to get Assange to the USA.

      We have to assume you endorse that offensive claim, given that you troubled yourself to post it here. You now need to support it, in two ways:

      1. Demonstrate that the two women complainants made false complaints and were participants in a criminal conspiracy (hence this being another Morrissey "rape culture" special).

      2. Come up with a plausible explanation for why the US government couldn't request Assange's extradition from the UK seven years ago and instead needed him extradited to Sweden first, but now can simply request extradition from the UK (This one's not rape culture, just the usual Morrissey nutbar conspiracy theory).

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        The amount of stuff written about Assange may soon match the size of the Wikileaks release.

      • Morrissey 2.1.2

        Smearing is no argument. That won't deter the likes of you, of course.

        • Psycho Milt

          In other words, no you can't support your claim.

          • Morrissey

            You're the one who has to support your sleazy allegations.

            • Psycho Milt

              I was the one who posted comment 2? Best go back for another look, it's got your name on it. Comment 2 makes a bold claim with nothing to support it, hence the 2.x comments underneath it asking for the poster of that claim to support it with evidence. If you need to have this stuff explained to you, maybe you should just leave your computer switched off.

              • Morrissey

                No, it was posted yesterday by Craig Murray, one of the most credible and respected independent commentators in Britain.

                • Leaving aside for a moment the comical notion that Craig Murray is one of the most respected commentators in Britain (not least because you're making an implied argument from authority and we've been over that ground so many times before), Craig Murray didn't post that assertion here, you did.

                  Unless you were just dropping some random spam on the thread because you don't have voluntary control over your actions, you posted that claim here as an endorsement of it. That means it's effectively your claim on this thread. If you can't support it, just say so.

                  • Morrissey

                    "Comical". Craig Murray is “comical”. Coming from a Russiagate truther, that really is comical.

                    • You're free to hold whatever opinions of me you like. At issue is whether you can offer anything to support the claim you posted in comment 2. I note that the answer is still "No."

                • mauī

                  Morrissey, 100% absolutely correct. Thank you.

      • Brigid 2.1.3

        "You now need to…

        1. Demonstrate that etc

        2. Come up with a plausible explanation etc"

        And if Morrisey doesn't, will he get lines?

        What a bossy bitches you are Psycho.

        • greywarshark

          Perhaps you should leave it to PM and Morrissey to argue about and hold your own thoughts in abeyance Brigid.

        • Psycho Milt

          Any of us is free to demand that people making bold and unlikely assertions provide some supporting evidence for them. There's no penalty for failure to comply, beyond the embarrassment of having been exposed as a bullshitter – assuming one feels embarrassment at such exposure, that is. I think Morrissey's impervious to it.

          • mauī

            "that people making bold and unlikely assertions… "

            That is only you at this point. Anyone with some nous long ago worked out this was about journalism, not rape culture. Hence why any decent independent journo has dismissed your talking point.

            • Psycho Milt

              In that case, any decent independent journo would be able to substantiate the claim "Sweden was always a fit-up designed to get Assange to the USA." Where is the support for this assertion?

    • francesca 2.2


      This is a long one but its a serious essay and the most comprehensive I've read so far


      • Morrissey 2.2.1

        Thanks very much, Francesca.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.2.2

        Thanks francesca; insightful links within links within links.

        "Take my loathing of Assange, for example. I feel like I can’t even write a column condemning his arrest and extradition without gratuitously mocking or insulting the man. When I try to, I feel this sudden fear of being denounced as a “Trump-loving Putin-Nazi,” and a “Kremlin-sponsored rape apologist,” and unfriended by all my Facebook friends. Worse, I get this sickening feeling that unless I qualify my unqualified support for freedom of press, and transparency, and so on, with some sort of vicious, vindictive remark about the state of Assange’s body odor, and how he’s probably got cooties, or has pooped his pants, or some other childish and sadistic taunt, I can kiss any chance I might have had of getting published in a respectable publication goodbye."

        C. J. Hopkins (15 April, 2019) [“If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.“]


      • RedLogix 2.2.3

        Thank you francesca for that link. An admirable piece, well written, meticulously argued and above all … correct in it's conclusions.

        Of course, the real point here, which the advocates of this line are pretending to miss and energetically trying to disappear from everyone’s line of sight, is that Sweden is no more interested in prosecuting Assange for his alleged sexual offense than the UK is for his bail jumping. The sex allegation from Sweden, like the bail jumping allegation in the UK, is just a doorway to his extradition to the United States.

        • Psycho Milt

          The sex allegation from Sweden … is just a doorway to his extradition to the United States.

          I keep seeing this asserted as an article of faith, with no supporting evidence for the assertion. Is there anything, other than that some people fervently believe it?

          • RedLogix

            with no supporting evidence for the assertion.

            The indictment is, however, a snare and a delusion. It is surprisingly spare and seems to have been written with a particular purpose in mind — to extradite Assange from England. Once he is here, he will be hit, no doubt, with multiple charges.

            Under the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty, one cannot be extradited from the United Kingdom if the extradition is for “political purposes.” This explains why the indictment does not contain any charges alleging that Assange conspired with the Russians to impact the 2016 presidential election. It may also explain why the indictment focuses on hacking government computers rather than on leaking stolen government information, in as much as leaking could be characterized as being done for political purposes.

            When Assange arrives in the United States through extradition, as many expect he will, the government will then be able to indict him for his participation in that election. It is not out of the question that the government will come up with additional charges against Assange.


            U.S. Justice Department officials would not confirm that the U.S. agreed to take any sentence off the table. But they pointedly noted that the charge the U.S unsealed against Assange does not represent a capital offense and carries a maximum of five years in prison.

            The Justice Department has 60 days from the time of the request for extradition to add any charges and would not comment on future charges.


            We cannot know what the US Justice Dept plans to do, but we can know for certain what they have not ruled out.

            Besides a 'verbal' commitment from the Trump govt would have to be worth less than the paper it was not written on.

            • Psycho Milt

              The indictment is, however, a snare and a delusion. It is surprisingly spare and seems to have been written with a particular purpose in mind — to extradite Assange from England. Once he is here, he will be hit, no doubt, with multiple charges.

              Again, this is opinion. All of these opinions assert that the Swedish request to extradite Assange was made on behalf of the USA, with no basis other than that the author firmly believes it.

              • RedLogix

                The USG is not going to signal in advance any charges that carry the death penalty or imply 'political reasons'. Otherwise extradition to the USA will likely fail legally in the UK and quite possibly Sweden as well. Demanding the production of impossible evidence is a logical fallacy akin to demanding one perfect piece of evidence to support climate change.

                What I can rely on is the preponderance of evidence, the reasonable balance of probabilities given what they've already done to Manning (and would do to Snowden if they could) … and the indisputable fact that the Justice Dept has unsealed one charge already. An act that only makes sense if they intend to extradite when the opportunity avails itself.

                • Sure, a reasonable person wouldn't put any duplicity past the US government. However, the claim that the Swedish complaints were a conspiracy on behalf of the US government is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence. And any evidence presented has a severe uphill struggle ahead of it, against the fact that the US could just have requested Assange's extradition from the UK back then, just like it has now.

            • Andre

              The Justice Department has 60 days from the time of the request for extradition to add any charges and would not comment on future charges.

              According to the doctrine of specialty protection, once he's extradited he can only be tried on the charges in the extradition paperwork. Or if the US really really wants to add more charges, the rules say they have to get approved by the same UK courts that approved the extradition.


              If Assange ends up going to Sweden before winding up in the US, then he's got the extra protection that both the UK and Sweden have to agree to what he gets charged with.


              Of course, wannabe Dictator Donny might just slap on the extra charges after they get their hands on him and say to the UK and/or Sweden "waddaya gonna do abouddit?".

              There's that irony that the Tinyfingers Tyrant that Assange was so keen and active in helping elect is much more likely to just blow off international norms and obligations than Hillary would have been. Let alone that Obama and Holder decided way back in 2013 that trying to prosecute Assange would have a real and seriously chilling effect on real journalism, so the national interest was best served by not prosecuting. The so-called "New York Times" problem. Hillary would most likely have respected and gone along with that prior assessment.

              • RedLogix

                A legal process that will be dragged out for years. The USG doesn't need to get to a conviction as long as they have Assange in prison somewhere.

                The entire game has been a cynical abuse of legal process from the outset. What makes you think anything will change once they have their hands on him? Read this story from another whistle-blower and let us know what you think his chances are:

                The government will invoke something in Julian’s case called CIPA – the Classified Information Protection Act. That means that the court must do everything possible to “protect” classified information from being revealed, even to the jury. The first thing that’s done in a CIPA trial is that the courtroom is sealed. The only people allowed inside are the defendant and the defendant’s attorneys, the prosecutors, the bailiff, the clerk, and the judge. The jury also would be there in the event of a jury trial, but it gets a little more complicated in that case. The bailiff will lock the courtroom doors and put tape around them, and he’ll cover the windows with plastic or canvas, all so that nobody outside can hear anything.


                This is another round of that cowardly game where liberal pundits pretend to believe in the professed objectives of the government so they can claim to be abetting its actions in innocent good faith, and when it all turns to shit they can say: “We didn’t know that was gonna happen!”


                • Andre

                  The entire game has been a cynical abuse of legal process from the outset.

                  Yeah, it might look that way if you don't attach any significance to the allegations Assange scarpered from Sweden the same day his lawyers learned he was about to be arrested, nor to the way he scarpered to the Ecuadorean Embassy when he learned he lost his fight not to be extradited to Sweden.

                  Note that while all this was going on in 2010 through 2012, the doctrine of specialty protection would made him safer from the US if he had been extradited back to Sweden from the UK. Because then both the UK and Sweden would have to OK him getting sent to the US, rather than just the UK. According to some pieces I've seen, extraditing him to Sweden from the UK would also give him recourse to an EU court to fight a further extradition to the US, which he wouldn't have in a direct UK to US extradition.

                  • RedLogix

                    If Assange had fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy to escape Swedish justice, then logically he would have left that Embassy when the Swedish investigation was dropped and no charges laid. But of course that was never the reason why he sought asylum; it was always about escaping American injustice.

                    And please stop pretending the Americans will be satisfied with a minor 'hacking' charge that carries a five year (out in three) sentence. That just insults everyone's intelligence.

                    • Andre

                      And please stop pretending the Americans will be satisfied with a minor 'hacking' charge that carries a five year (out in three) sentence. That just insults everyone's intelligence.

                      Please link to where I have made any claim that might be interpreted like that.

                      Misrepresenting someone else's position like that does you no credit.

                    • RedLogix

                      Precisely where you say this:

                      Or if the US really really wants to add more charges, the rules say they have to get approved by the same UK courts that approved the extradition.

                    • Andre

                      That's a statement of what the rules require. It's not expressing an opinion that the Drumpf administration will be satisfied with just the one charge that has so far been unsealed.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you don't want to be misrepresented, be clear on what you mean. Can I take it that you now accept the USG will likely lay more charges once they have their hands on him, regardless of any 'specialty protection'?

                      Lets be real here, the USG doesn't give a shit about how long this process takes; as long as they have Assange in a prison somewhere, they have the outcome they want.

                    • Andre

                      I have no doubt the likes of Barr and the loofah-faced shitgibbon would like to nail Assange on a huge array of charges. On any useful facts, and completely fabricated too if they think they can get away with it. For the express purpose of getting convictions to set precedents expanding dictatorial presidential powers. Assange sitting in a UK or Swedish prison is useless for that.

                      From that point of view, time is of the essence for them. They will be well aware that Obama and his admin decided in 2013 that they weren't going to try to prosecute Assange. (edit: Assange should have been aware of that in 2013 too https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/julian-assange-unlikely-to-face-us-charges-over-publishing-classified-documents/2013/11/25/dd27decc-55f1-11e3-8304-caf30787c0a9_story.html?utm_term=.7ac6ab87cd23 sorry about the messy link added in). And that the next Dem prez may be inclined to take the same view. So their opportunity to get the convictions and set the precedents might be just the next 21 months.

                      But the point of getting convictions to set precedents is one aspect where specialty protection might play a role. Because if specialty protection provisions are violated, those are solid grounds for appealing a conviction. Because correct judicial processes were not followed. By the time an appeal rolls through, there may be a new prez and AG not inclined to fight the appeal and uphold the conviction. And if a conviction is overturned on appeal, then it's not a precedent.

                    • RedLogix

                      So their opportunity to get the convictions and set the precedents might be just the next 21 months.

                      There's a big assumption right there; it assumes a sympathetic Democrat will be elected. If you were Assange I doubt very much you'd bet you life on that.

                      And even less likely that you'd bet on a fair hearing in a secret trial held in an East Virginia 'espionage court' that has never acquitted a defendant in all of it's history.

                      The only reason why we're talking about Assange all these years later has nothing to do with Sweden or the UK … it's absolutely been all about the USG's desire to make an example of Assange, to punish him for exposing their own illegal behaviour.

                      We abrogate our personal right to violent defense and retribution to the nation state. We have a legal system, police, courts and prisons to defend us within the state, and a military system to act outside of it. These systems are legally created and empowered to commit violence on our collective behalf. In an ideal world there would be no criminals, no aggressor states and we could disband them, but for the time being we are stuck with this morally ambiguous compromise. We may personally abhor violence as much as we like, but collectively we cannot abandon it. We justify this by placing rules and conventions on these systems; we require they act within the law, lest we become no better than the criminals, terrorists and invaders we pursue.

                      Yet the crucial irony is that Assange is being punished by the USG for exposing it's own illegal behaviour. You are pirouetting on a very thin patch of legal ice indeed, if you imagine the same govt will give one tiny shit what you or I think when they do finally get their hands on him.

                • Andre

                  That Polemicist piece is certainly a polemic. But I don't find it very credible when it misrepresents things like how the Swedish system works by trying to make a big deal out of the fact Assange hadn't been charged.

  3. The Chairman 3

    While elections aren't generally based upon one policy, CGT was a big policy that Labour spent many years building up support for.

    Its potential to produce a strong revenue stream is not easily overlooked Nor is its potential to enable the Government to do more good.

    Therefore, to throw it all away without a bat of an eyelid, how much damage to the party do you think Jacinda has caused?

    Will their be a drop in support for Labour in the next poll?

    This nationwide Horizon Research Poll – taken between February 28 and March 15 – found 44 per cent of New Zealand adults supported introducing a capital gains tax and 35 per cent opposed it.

    A further 16 per cent are neutral on the new tax, while 6 per cent did not know.

    Polling by political leaning showed 60% of Labour voters supported it.


  4. cleangreen 4


    Thanks for the Swedish stuff as we were suspicious of them, and now it is laid bare they were complicit.

    Ignore Psyhco-Milt he is off his rocker today.

    • Morrissey 4.1

      Thanks, cleangreen. I don't think he's off his rocker; it's hard to admit for anyone to admit one has been completely wrong. He has to come to terms with it.

      Poor fellow backed Hillary and her mad Russiagate conspiracy too.

    • Ignore Psyhco-Milt he is off his rocker today.

      I've refrained from publicly drawing a fairly obvious conclusion from some the stuff you post here – could the same courtesy perhaps be extended?

  5. Observer Tokoroa 5

    No one has the Right to Rubbish and impoverish the Workers of Aotearoa

    Everyone has the Right to demand National hands back the Decent Livings of the People.

    Although the kindly Chairman has been mobbing on about the Labour Party not proceeding with a Capital Gains Tax presently, he fails to state that the Labour Party has not declared they will abandon seeking to even up The Have Nots – caused by the Greedy Mobsters.

    Far from it. The National Politicians over a series of decades, have stolen equity from large numbers of New Zealanders. Mostly by paying very low wages, and by slugging workers with excessive regressive GST and also latterly – by Excruciating Rental Fees. And By Selling off State Houses.

    On top of which, The Nationals are said not to have paid adequate owed Taxes.

    I do not know by which methodology that is determined. But I do know that if Poor People fiidle with their payments to Winz they go quickly to Prison.

    Whereas National wealthy nonpayers – go without so much as a naughty nod. Certainly not Jail. The cover – ups. The jaunty accountants; – Oh yes. The Bell does not Toll for the Chairman's lot.

    Now the Chairman knows this. And he is piddling around as if he has found his teeth and inspiration in some sort of magic dirty bucket.

    It will take a long time to get Equity back into New Zealand. The Distortions and The Theft that has gone on – as promoted by National – will have to be dragged out as from polluted Rivers and Lakes. It will take Years.

    Above all, it will take Integrity on the part of the Wealthy.

    • The Chairman 5.1

      He fails to state that the Labour Party has not declared they will abandon seeking to even up The Have Nots…

      The question is, will they sufficiently live up to that?

      To date, Jacinda did say the accompanying tax cuts (related to the CGT now dropped) are also being dumped. That was one way Labour were going to even the field.

      They've told teachers as they did nurses there is no more money.

      It was reported again the other day there's no more money for child poverty reduction via the families package.

      And there is no talk of other beneficiaries getting any extra than what's already been stated.

      They could build more state homes, further increase the minimum wage to the living wage and vastly increase all benefits to make a major impact, yet they don't.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.1

        Agreed, Labour is wedded to maintaining the neoliberal status quo, with ongoing poverty for many the result. Unfortunately I don't think this behaviour is being forced on Labour by coalition politics – deep down they still completely believe neoliberal ideology.

  6. The Chairman 6

    Genter told Newshub Nation host Emma Jolliff on Saturday the party has to be pragmatic.

    She later went on to say the Green Party is committed to working with the Government for the rest of the current term, and the best way to ensure it can push harder in the next is to get more MPs in Parliament.


    The question is, is being pragmatic working for them in regards to them securing more votes? Polls indicate otherwise.

    Or is it the so called woke side turning potential supporters off?

    Whatever it is, is it time for the Greens to have a rethink?

    Additionally, there seems to be an emphasis on appropriate prices around pollution, minus any talk on offsetting the inflationary burden on the poor. Is this a result of being too pragmatic? A bluer shade of green?

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      The question is, is being pragmatic working for them in regards to them securing more votes? Polls indicate otherwise. Or is it the so called woke side turning potential supporters off?

      Yes, to the second question. Yes to the first, but I agree it isn't showing in polls, so I suspect that each effect cancels the other. That is to say, centrists like them pragmatic and hate them woke.

      is it time for the Greens to have a rethink?

      No. They are stuck in the electoral cycle. That time will come after the next election. It will factor in the extent to which any blue-green alternative gets support. If so, the woke will shrivel on the vine – when anyone with half a brain realises that their survival requires authenticity (thus centrism). If not, woke identity politics will persist as an affliction. Too many activists within think the stance is real democracy!

      there seems to be an emphasis on appropriate prices around pollution, minus any talk on offsetting the inflationary burden on the poor. Is this a result of being too pragmatic? A bluer shade of green?

      No and no. Either poor messaging, poor reporting, or both. Greens ought to signal intelligent design of tax policy includes reducing income tax to the extent that govt income gets boosted by pollution taxes, ftt, land tax etc. They may have done so, but not being part of the coalition, could be the media haven't reported it (deeming it irrelevant). I've noticed in past years a tendency of our media to ignore press releases from the Greens.

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        They may be"stuck" in an electoral cycle but waiting to rethink things will be leaving it late to drum up more support – especially if it is due to them having no current backbone.

        Genter had an opportunity in the interview to highlight how (within the confines of coalition) they are going to tackle the inflationary burden on the poor, she didn't.

        They lack a fighting spirit in my view and it’s not enticing support. Many wanted the Greens to help take Labour left, seems by their lack of fight, they've gone the other way. And this, IMO is turning voters off. Along with rediscovering the word cunt etc…

        Bring back Russel Norman.

        • Dennis Frank

          To be brutally honest, we lack evidence that the poor are sufficiently motivated to be an effective force in politics. Recall the so-called `missing million' voters. Labour proclaimed a drive to recruit them but I noticed a lack of evidence of success at the following election. Can't blame the Green parliamentarians for learning from the Labour experience.

        • cleangreen

          Yes Chairman, we agree.

          Russel Norman was a far more 'effective leader' of the Green's as he always was actively defending the environment..

          This lot seem to be wishy washy and are more a 'social activist party' now rather than defender of the Environment.

          Cannot remember when the Greens talked up ''NZ wide rail restoration' this year at all.

          This weekend many died on roads.

          But if rail passenger around the provinces was restored those lives would not have been lost.

          • The Chairman

            This weekend many died on roads.

            Yes. And to be fair to the Greens, they are pushing for safer roads.

            • alwyn

              If they were really pressing for safer roads why don't they put the roading money into providing them?

              Do you really think that spending $100 million dollars on a combined cycling/walking track from Ngauranga to Petone in Wellington is a sensible expenditure when the money could have gone toward something useful like the Melling interchange which has just been put back for at least a decade?

              The walking track might be used by 10 people/month. The cyclists might be a few more in Summer but I'll bet there won't be more than a dozen of them on a day like today.That woman's ideas on what should be done in transport are totally nuts.

              Have a look at this. It sounds so impressive until the kicker in the last line saying, in effect. We are going to put this into the “come back in 10 years and then consider doing it file”.

  7. joe90 7

    An historian tweets about Thomas Paine's, dude must have been a crypto-Marxist, views on taxation.


    • alwyn 7.1

      "(for him that amount was £23,000)".

      I suppose we may assume that Paine was worth a little bit less than that when he died. That amount would convert to about £1,800,000 today or about $3.5 million. I suppose that would mean cutting an average Auckland house in two and giving half to the poor.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.2

      Thanks Joe90. Paine had the right idea!

      The current 'low tax' ideology, is just that – mere ideology, promoted by and for the interest of the rich, at the expense of everyone else.

  8. NZJester 8

    WTF did this get posted late missing a April 1st release?

    Mourning the loss of Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges' friendship

    The prime minister and the leader of the opposition are supposed to be enemies, but Madeleine Chapman just wants Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges to be friends again.


    • The Chairman 8.1

      Another distraction from Jacinda dumping the CGT?

      Politics, as real as professional wrestling?

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    "Trump has said he will withdraw his country from the international Arms Trade Treaty. The agreement, signed by Barack Obama in 2013, aims to regulate the sale of weapons between countries." Aims, but fails to succeed. Sham regulation!

    "In a statement released after Mr Trump's speech, the White House said the treaty "fails to truly address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers" because other top arms exporters – including Russia and China – have not signed up to it." https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48076262

    BBC, a year ago: Which country dominates the global arms trade? "the total international trade in arms now worth about $100bn (£74bn) per year, Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), tells the BBC."

    "In its latest figures, the defence industry think tank says that major weapons sales in the five years to 2017 were 10% higher than in 2008-12. US now accounts for 34% of all global arms sales, up from 30% five years ago, and are now at their highest level since the late 1990s… The US's arms exports are 58% higher than those of Russia, the world's second-largest exporter. And while US arms exports grew by 25% in 2013-17 compared with 2008-12, Russia's exports fell by 7.1% over the same period."

    China "is now the world's fifth largest seller of arms. This puts it behind the US, Russia, France, and Germany, but ahead of the UK. China's arms exports rose by 38% between 2008-12 and 2013-17, and the country now has the world's second-largest defence budget after the US – $150bn compared to the latter's $602bn in 2017."

    "In 2014 the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) came into force, with the aim of regulating the international trade in conventional weapons. It requires states to monitor arms exports, and ensure that their weapons sale don't break existing arms embargoes, or end up being used for human-rights abuses, including terrorism. Yet so far its impact has been limited, say critics. "We are disappointed by the way a number of states have decided to implement it, says Amnesty's Oliver Feeley-Sprague."

    "We think the UK, US and France among others, by continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the coalition operation in Yemen, are clearly violating the ATT's provisions."

    "The ATT may have had a bigger impact on curbing the flow of weapons to non-state actors, says Sipri's Pieter Wezeman – but so far it has not had any visible impact on the overall trade in arms."

    • Macro 9.1

      Meanwhile in the US:

      Bob Menendez, top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said: “This is yet another myopic decision that jeopardizes US security based on false premises and fearmongering. While Americans from all walks of life have come to painfully understand the threat posed by not doing enough to prevent weapons from ending up in the wrong hands, it is disturbing to see this administration turn back the clock on the little progress we have made to prevent illicit arms transfers.”

      The Senate has so far failed to approve the treaty because of Republicans’ “paralyzing fear of backlash from the NRA”, Menendez added. “This is another reminder that if we’re going to get anywhere to break the inaction on the kind of commonsense steps to stop gun violence and keep people safe, we must stop letting the NRA set the agenda in Washington.”

      Rachel Stohl, the managing director of the Stimson Center thinktank in Washington, and a consultant to the arms trade treaty process, said: “Today the president once again walked away from America’s leadership role in the world and undermined international efforts to reduce human suffering caused by irresponsible and illegal arms transfers.

      “Un-signing the treaty will undermine international peace and security, increase irresponsible and illegal sales of conventional weapons, and harm the American economy.”


      • Dennis Frank 9.1.1

        Yes, Trump is exhibiting a lack of moral leadership from a global perspective. I doubt he sees the situation from that perspective – likely just doing realpolitik to represent his electoral base. I assume the sham regulation was a UN thing despite Obama leading it, so the failure to get China & Russia to support it seems evidence of the usual incompetence. They gave Trump no basis to take it seriously. Then the UK & France violated the agreement, to prove the point.

        • Macro

          I'm so pleased you are happy for US weapons to be legally sold to terrorists. It must be very reassuring for you.

          • Dennis Frank

            I'm just as happy about that as you. I was alerting everyone to the fact that TDS is distracting them from the cause of the problem. Solving the problem requires international agreements that nations adhere to. Not the current sham.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    The Chairman who writes on here has no idea of Poverty.

    He is another Wealthy enemy of the population of New Zealand.

    He is so happy to keep on crushing the people who do the work in NZ. A servant of The Bloated Wealthy.

    • In Vino 10.1

      Inclined to agree, OT. I have always seen the so-called chairman as a concern troll, who instead of giving up, doubles down on pretending to be an ally. But I still don't think he is: he is here to spread discouragement.

    • cleangreen 10.2

      Agreed 100% Observer Tokoroa.

  11. BM 11

    This blog seems to be very geriatric these days.

    Probably a good thing there’s a place for old people to rant and rave and not drive their other halves insane.

    Well done the standard, you deserve some sort of community award.

    • alwyn 11.1

      Well, if it comes down to a choice between rabbiting on here or going out to the shed most of us old chaps find it is warmer inside at the keyboard than out in a drafty shed in the backyard.

      But yes, geriatric seems a pretty fair description for the the people who comment here.Is anyone under 50?

    • alwyn 12.1

      I'm afraid Trudeau is last years flame.

      The latest heartthrob is President Macron.

  12. greywarshark 13

    Portugal is having mass tourism problems as we are.


    ,,,According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Portugal welcomed 6.8 million foreign tourists in 2010. By 2016, this figure had risen to 18.2 million, an increase of 168 per cent. Overall, only Japan experienced a more significant increase in visitors this decade….

    As a reward for this success, the locals are paying a very high price for tourism. It is simple, the inhabitants of Porto and Lisbon can no longer stand it, strangled by the increase in the price of living. Boosted by very cheap flights and thousands of short-term Airbnb-type accommodation, mass tourism has driven housing prices up by 20%.

    Salaries, on the other hand, do not keep pace with this increase. As a result, thousands of residents have to leave their homes because they cannot afford the rents. Let us take a striking example: in Lisbon, there are now nine tourists for every resident of the city. In Porto, there are eight tourists per inhabitant; in Albufeira, in the Algarve, there are 39 tourists per inhabitant. In comparison, the same ratio is about four to one in London and five to one in Barcelona. To house all these people, we need apartments, which do not benefit the locals. From 7,500 Airbnb in Lisbon in 2015, they rose to 12,700 in 2018, an increase of almost 70% in three short years.

    However the latest is that with Brexit anxieties shifting the British Pound, tourists have shifted destination from Portugal to other locations with currencies that haven't moved much against the Pound. If we can control our freedom campers and try for higher priced tourists we might not get trashed along with our countryside.

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