Open Mike 28/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 28th, 2017 - 45 comments
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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 …

45 comments on “Open Mike 28/02/2017”

  1. There seems to be an obsession with New Zealand journo-activists to paint Ardern lipstick on a Labour pig, but media here haven’t had a Trump type reality check yet.

    A fascinating read about billionaire funded data analysis being used for mass manipulation in the US (and also used to help Farage with Brexit):

    Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

    With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network

    A long read but there’s a lot of recognisable things in there. Could this happen in New Zealand?

    • Gabby 1.1

      They want her in for the clickbait, plus they could probe her private life. Andy’s too boring.

  2. will trump lose support from this shit?

    “President Donald Trump slammed the American military Monday, complaining the U.S. doesn’t “fight to win.”

    “Win. We have to win. We have to start winning wars again,” Trump said. “I have to say, when I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say that we never lost a war. ‘We never lost a war.’ You remember.”

    “And now we never win a war,” Trump added. “We never win. And we don’t fight to win.””

    interesting when considered against the potential false flag ops used to start wars – and sometimes they aren’t false flags

    “On this day in 1933, a young Dutch bricklayer and council communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, in protest at the Nazi government, set fire to the German parliament building, the Reichstag. He had been disillusioned by the lack of resistance to the fascists, and hoped his exemplary act would spark the German working class to rebel. Unfortunately this would not be the case, and the Nazis used it as an excuse to repress communists and consolidate their power. Even today many people erroneously believe the Reichstag fire to be a “false flag” attack, as opposed to what it was: a heroic but tragically unsuccessful individual act of resistance to fascism. “

  3. “Prime Minister Bill English has downplayed a surge in demand for emergency housing grants, saying the government support is “ flushing out ” Kiwis in need of help.”

  4. Penny Bright 4


    27 February 2017

    Press Release: ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’ Penny Bright

    “Moving forward Auckland Transport – where’s the transparency with SUB-CONTRACTED contract$?”

    “I am pleased to see that Auckland Transport (AT) are going to release details of ‘all its contracts publicly'”, says anti-corruption campaigner Penny Bright.

    “However, the reason why I made a formal complaint to the Serious Fraud Office ((SFO), on 22 February 2017, was because Chair of Auckland Transport’s Board, Dr Lester Levy, had stated in a letter to me, dated 21 February 2017 that Auckland Transport were NOT going to release the details of Auckland Transport ‘sub-contracted’ contracts.

    “Dear Ms Bright

    Release of contract information

    Thank you again for your presentation to the Board of Auckland transport on
    16 February 2017,
    I am following on from that and your email correspondence of 17 February.

    As you noted in your presentation, Auckland Transport already publicly releases details of awarded contracts with a value of over $50,000. That information includes the contract number, a brief description of the contract, the supplier, the value of the contract, when it was created and the appointment method.

    Moving forward, subject to any confidentiality obligations, Auckland Transport intends to extend this practice of public notification to all awarded contracts (that is irrespective of dollar value).

    Auckland Transport also intends to notify all potential parties that we contract within the future that the information provided in the paragraph above will be publicly notified.

    This practice will not include sub-contracts because, as I am sure you will appreciate, Auckland Transport does not normally hold information relating to contracts to which it is not a party.

    (My bolding)

    Dr Lester Levy
    Auckland Transport”


    “Given that, as I understand it, basically ALL of Auckland Transport’s ‘operational works’ are
    sub-contracted, in my considered opinion, it is essential that the same transparency should be available for public scrutiny, with ALL sub-contracted contracts – once awarded.”

    “Having spent days carefully studying the ‘Reasons for the Verdict of Fitzgerald J’ in the unprecedented bribery and corruption case involving former senior Auckland Transport Manager Murray Noone,

    in my view, there are potentially two layers of corruption involved, when public services are contracted out to private sector consultants and contractors:

    PUBLIC to PRIVATE corruption – where a corrupt ‘public official’ helps award a big contract to a big private contractor.

    PRIVATE to PRIVATE corruption – where a corrupt private contractor awards ‘sub-contracts’.”

    “It is my understanding that decent, ethical companies involved in sub-contracting, do not have a problem with transparency equally applying to their contracts.”

    “I look forward to Auckland Transport confirming at the earliest opportunity, that the releasing details of ‘all its contracts publicly’ – is going to equally apply to all those ‘sub-contracted/.”

    Penny Bright


    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.
    Auckland Transport opens the books

    Monday, 27 February 2017, 12:40 pm
    Press Release: Auckland Transport
    Auckland Transport media release

    27 February 2017

    Auckland Transport opens the books

    Auckland Transport will be releasing details of all its contracts publicly. Since it was established in 2010, AT routinely published on its website, the details of all contracts valued over $50,000.

    That threshold has now been dropped to zero.

    AT Chairman, Dr Lester Levy, says that as a publicly funded body, the organisation wants to be as transparent and accountable as possible.

    “There is a small extra administrative burden in releasing this sort of information, but we feel that it’s worth it to allow more open scrutiny of our activities,” he says.

    “This demonstrates a clear commitment to being open and accountable to the public at large.”

    Dr Levy says the nature of some of AT’s activities, such as property negotiations, means that sometimes information is commercially sensitive and involves third party businesses or individuals.

    “In those cases, and to protect the interests of ratepayers and taxpayers, they are dealt with confidentially but when the reason for that confidentiality no longer exists, the material is routinely released (and published on AT’s website).”

    See details of recent contracts below.


  5. NotMe 5

    Latest Roy Morgan is out:


    I wonder if we will see a dedicated TS thread on this like the last (favorable to the left) CM poll.

    [lprent: Ah another dickhead troll. Quotes without clearly showing that it is a quote, and does it without a link so I deleted the unattributed quote (it is in the link I provided).

    If there is a dedicated post depends on an author thinking that it is of interest. We generally don’t waste that many posts to polls. Usually every few months.

    But we don’t take kindly to people trying to tell us what we should write about. In fact it is in the policy as a self-martyrdom offense. So what to do… Oh I know 😈

    Banned for 6 weeks – which is roughly when I figure an authors is likely to put up a post on a poll. You should have enough patience for that right? ]

  6. Rightly or Wrongly 6

    I think relying on Roy Morgan for anything other than outhouse loo paper is a recipe for a cyclical loop of dashed hope.

    Almost like being a Warrior’s supporter.

    The one thing we don’t see in any poll is any sign of Labour breaking out of their 25-30% bracket, or the Greens 10-13% slot.

    The Polls have been consistent in relation to these two factors for several years. There was some hope on the left that traction could be gained when Key decided to leave but even that has proved to have had a negligible effect.

    I suspect that these two factors are behind the current vapid rumblings in the media pushing for Ardern to replace King as deputy of Labour to try and get some upward traction in Labour’s poll results.

    This carries risk of a backlash especially if (as it appears) Annette King has decided that she isn’t going to get the DCM note simply because members of the fickle msm have decided that she is too old for the job.

    The question I have is, who benefits? I don’t see Ardern as being behind this smear campaign – it is too obvious and too crudely done to be her; someone else is pushing it and I would like to know who.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Waste time on a conspiracy theory in an election year? Knock yourself out. I think you’ll find most New Zealanders care more about housing and swimming, though.

    • Jenny Kirk 6.2

      Tracy Watkins is a Nat fan, Rightly or Wrongly, and this is a Nat attack on Little and King. King is good at pushing Nat buttons – especially in the House – and they don’t like it. They want her out of the way. Which indicates to me that she’s being very successful at getting under their collective skin, and Little needs to keep her in that position (deputy leader) for the duration of the campaign.

      • bwaghorn 6.2.1

        Unless Ardern is completely useless , they should put her in as dp ,it really is only a smile and wave role from what i can see, Give King what she wants to keep her happy

      • Anne 6.2.2

        Precisely Jenny Kirk. Anyone who has spent time watching QT in the House knows how brilliantly Annette King performs. You can see by the looks on their faces that her ‘victims’ are scared of her. Occasionally they get in a smart response but its not a common occurrence. Add to that her unmatched political knowledge and experience, its no wonder the Nat’s media fan club are doing their darndest to create a popular surge to replace her with Ardern. The TS commenters who are falling for it need to step back and reassess the situation. It’s all the Nat toadies in the media -or on the fringe of it – who are pushing this meme.

        Jacinda’s a future leader or deputy leader, but her time is a little way off yet.

        • Jenny Kirk

          +100% , Anne

          • Anne

            Btw, Matthew Hooton was full on about Ardern becoming deputy leader yesterday on the Mon. morn. RNZ political spot. And when Hooton is full on rooting for some one in Labour… you know something is not right!

            • Jenny Kirk

              Yep – you’ve said it, Anne. The nasty Nats are pushing Jacinda hard (must be a bit embarrassing for her) – in the hope of destabilising Labour. Its a very blatant trick.

        • Mrs Brillo

          That’s how I see it, too.
          When I saw Tracy Watwat pushing to get rid of Annette King today, it was obviously more of her “What would be best for the Nats” trolling. And they have got the Hooton broadcasting on the same theme? Has the strategy has been sent from Crosby Textor?
          King has the savvy, and the following. She’ll know when it’s time to go.
          And it’s not now.
          Jacinta’s day will come. Good things take time, as they say in cheesemaking circles!

    • Pucky? MushintheMiddle?

    • The Chairman 7.1

      No doubt the right will have a number of well off individuals and pressure groups preparing to strike.

      Are the left prepared to counter this?

      • Cinny 7.1.1

        I’ve got my own cunning plan 😀 It’s seriously good, will share once executed, thanks youtube

        It’s not aimed at any political party, am not a member of any, it’s about an individual who is and has seriously let our nation down.

        It’s not an attack plan, it’s a sharing information plan, delivery needs to be optimal for social engineering purposes.

    • Cinny 7.2

      How loaded is that law, an attack group would not have a limit on spending for such, but the political party they are attack does. That’s bullshit.

      “Although private individuals and groups now are free to use TV and radio to attack parties or candidates, those parties and candidates still are limited to responding using the taxpayer-funded allocation given to them in the weeks before each election.”

      Excuse my naivety but for example would that mean that perhaps after an ad condemning a political party there would be a little disclosure message saying… ‘blah’ political party disputes these accusations… or words to that effect.

      Or does it mean that they have to make their own ad to have right of reply?

  7. Peroxide Blonde 9

    For those interested in the train wreck called Brexit.

    Major warns May of fickle allies who want EU ‘total divorce’
    Former prime minister says Britain made ‘historic mistake’ with vote to leave

    John Major, the former Conservative prime minister, has urged Theresa May to face down Tory Eurosceptics during the Brexit negotiations, warning that they are fickle friends who want a damaging “total divorce” from the EU. Sir John, who angrily labelled his own Eurosceptic cabinet critics of the 1990s “bastards”, urged Mrs May to have the courage to pursue a course of Brexit that maintained Britain’s close trading and diplomatic ties with Europe. “At some time she will have to face down those who favour total disengagement and who have never accepted our role within Europe,” he said in a speech at Chatham House on Monday evening. “For some, a total divorce has been a decades-long ambition. I believe they are utterly wrong. “And although today they may be allies of the prime minister, the risk is that tomorrow they may not.” In his first public comments since last June’s Brexit vote, Sir John said that Britain had made a “historic mistake” in voting to leave the EU and that the public had been led to expect a future outside the bloc that was “unreal and over-optimistic”. His speech made thinly veiled criticisms of the tone of Mrs May’s government on Brexit. “Obstacles are brushed aside as of no consequence, whilst opportunities are inflated beyond any reasonable expectation of delivery.” Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of the new generation of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, claimed that Sir John’s own European policy was a disaster and he was being “classically condescending” in claiming voters had made a mistake in voting for Brexit.
    Sir John’s comments follow a speech by Tony Blair, the former Labour prime minister, who this month urged pro-Remain voters to “rise up” to challenge the kind of clean break with the EU being pursued by Mrs May.
    Both former prime ministers are frustrated that the Commons and Lords are expected to pass legislation allowing Mrs May to start the Brexit process without significant restraints on her negotiating position.
    Sir John claimed that pro-Europeans were being bullied into silence. “It’s not arrogant or brazen or elitist or remotely delusional to express concern about our future after Brexit,” he said. “Shouting down their legitimate comment is against all our traditions of tolerance. It does nothing to inform and everything to demean — and it is time it was stopped.”
    Brexit would weaken Britain’s standing in the world and the vote to leave had done the EU “great harm”, strengthening populist movements elsewhere in Europe, he added. Sir John also warned ministers and backbench MPs to moderate their language as Mrs May prepares to activate Article 50 next month.
    “Behind the diplomatic civilities the atmosphere is already sour,” he said. “A little more charm and a lot less cheap rhetoric would do much to protect the UK’s interests.”
    A Number 10 official said: “The government is determined to make a success of our departure from the European Union and to move beyond the language of ‘Leave and Remain’ to unite our country.”
    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserve

  8. rod 10

    Great cartoon in the herald today.

  9. joe90 11

    Nothing to see here, move along…

    .@HouseGOP just voted to conceal Trump’s #TaxReturns & conflicts of interest from the American people. This is despicable.— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) February 28, 2017

  10. adam 12

    Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye Talk Climate Change.

    Very cool.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Clever art work there joe90. They seem to be excited about something or body.

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