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Open mike 28/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 28th, 2012 - 91 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

91 comments on “Open mike 28/03/2012 ”

  1. Tigger 1

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6648578/PM-tells-leaders-to-take-nuclear-threat-seriously

    Another article where the focus is how important Key is. He’s mentioned by Obama and the press quiver like schoolgirls getting to see their latest boy popstar.

    • logie97 1.1

      “Obama personally invited Key to the first nuclear security summit in Washington in 2010, because of New Zealand’s staunch anti-nuclear position…

      ANDREA VANCE IN SEOUL – Is she one of these Journalism graduates on her first assignment? Is she aware that National have just got into bed with an ACT party whose leader wants the policy gone by lunchtime, and that the core of the cabinet believe that our “proud-position-on-nuclear-issues” has been hindering trade talks with Obama’s and earlier administrations?
      .

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Might be my imagination but I felt that Andrea was slightly tongue in cheek. A slightly satirical breathlessness perhaps.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        Brash isn’t ACT’s leader any more, I believe Banks is, and I don’t think he wants the nuclear free policy “gone by lunchtime”, or at least, not publicly. Really it’s actually a non-issue: even if we did repeal that policy, the US isn’t going to send warships here anyway. There’s really nothing to gain by repealing it.

    • muzza 1.2

      “It is a compliment as Obama mentioned only one other leader in the address – Italy’s Mario Monti. ”

      LOL – What a shocker, Key being mentioned along with another Goldman Sachs Gang member. Surprised that Papademous, and Draghi do not rate a mention too…

      Felt a bit dirty after reading that article!

      • Vicky32 1.2.1

        “It is a compliment as Obama mentioned only one other leader in the address – Italy’s Mario Monti. ”

        LOL – What a shocker, Key being mentioned along with another Goldman Sachs Gang member.

        Oh yes, seconded!
         

  2. james 111 2

    Good to see for TVNZ just goes to show what can do if you keep a focus on costs ,and management.

    http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/tvnz-1h-profit-more-triples-

    • tc 2.1

      Triples from a low basis when it should never have dropped in the first place.
      Ellis plundered millions on failed digital strategies, Tivo and a cultutre of overpaid out of control personalities like Henry/Vietch etc including himself.
      How much content that can be resold/rerun do TVNZ produce James ? That’s the real measure as that’s repeat revenue for a once off production cost.
      Any monkey can slash costs and get a profit with their advertsising revenue…where’s the sustainable model that Ellis got nearly $1m p.a. for eh.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        goes to show that james III has no idea about “costs” or “management” or in fact, what a well run organisation looks like. James only knows about a few financial figures, and even then sweet fuck all.

  3. Descendant Of Smith 3

    Noticed this appalling comment in Minister Bennett press release re: benefit reforms:

    “We have women consigned to a life of welfare because over thirty years ago society said women couldn’t support themselves without a man.”

    Apart from being historically incorrect what an abysmal statement.

    Violence, abuse, rape, poverty, concern for children – nope none of these things were factors.

    Your choices should be man or work. That’s it.

    Paying you a benefit was a punishment because you can’t get by, by yourself.

    WTF were you doing leaving your husband. The one who beat and raped you. The one who took all the money and you had to feed the kids on family benefit. The one who you had to go out and work because he sat at home drunk.

    And when he walked out on you and left you with the kids, traded you in for a younger model, had only married you to cover up the fact that he was gay cause society didn’t like gay people either, that left cause he couldn’t handle that his sperm had produced a disabled kid (you must have slept with someone else), that just didn’t come home one day, that left you in the bush with your kids (Barry Crump) you should have just got on with it and worked. You lazy, indolent person.

    And apparently we society sent you there. Consciously. We consigned you – deliberately.

    Made you the non-person you are today. We apologise for doing this to you – I can’t believe we thought it was a good thing.

    We are much wiser now and we know that paying a benefit was just another form of abuse. We’re sorry for perpetuating this abuse on you. I know we thought we were helping you but we weren’t.

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/welfare-reform-1

    • Janice 3.1

      And also if you managed to get pregnant by yourself (i.e. unmarried) your would have to abandon your child to indifferent and overworked adoption services, due to no ability to afford to raise it unsupported. Prospective adopters were able to “choose” from about five to six assorted babies of either sex and even specify what colouring.

    • Bored 3.2

      Selective amnesia from Paula the Rotund about the “benefit” she has had from her Benefit.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Not amnesia – she’s just never accepted the truth. Ot, to put it another way, she only accepts her fantasies as truth (which is true of all RWNJs).

    • Uturn 3.3

      +1

      That is the problem with NZ, and when I mean “NZ”, I mean that often implied powerful mass of imbalanced animalistic reactions that do no good, that makes no improvement; is inexplicably unable to recognise itself when faced with its own reflection; the source of which is “somewhere out there”; and of which no one wants to take the credit.

      As a commenter posted yesterday, NZ doesn’t have any collective moral or social philosophy, and they’re right. Often a set of beliefs is called a philosophy, but that isn’t a true definition – it’s just another one of the failings of a self-referencing, post-modern, pop-culture, age. To have a philosophy you’d need to actively seek out the truth about life. You’d have to have seen and acknowledged the stuff that proved you were wrong, not just once, but as many times as it took. What we hold dear, it seems, and what is promoted by politicians and businessmen at large, is a collection of beliefs, values and manifesto that place the ego of the person holding the beliefs at the centre of the universe and distorts and limits the interpretation of what they see in relation to their own beliefs. Or as yesterday’s quote named it “the economy”.

      I think we get this way by being taught that our identity as people is only on what we want to be – what we “act as”, imitate or aspire to being. When you believe you can be anything you want, you are saying that your mind, the part that thinks thoughts is all there is to you and that this “you” is your god, you are your own creator, that there are no immutable laws to life, that you can hold back nature with your own short-lived human will. Everywhere people try to hold back nature; they get boob-jobs to stop sagging, face lifts and laser treatments to stop wrinkles and actively scorn anything old; anything to maintain the grossest illusion of youth, that man is invincible. Few people know how to age and die.

      The problem in parliament is the thinking that what is good for us is good for another, that we are all the same, in every way – or can be made to be. We believe time is linear, that context does not matter, that “the future” and “the past” are concrete places and forget they were really just moments like right now – innumerable present moments, most of them apparently full of nothing. We believe that experience or some variation on experience can predict the future; that “success” – the manifestation of our ego desires – is an emotion and a measure of truth; even after reality continually proves us wrong with its insolent co-incidental “chance” and “accidents”.

      The people in parliament got where they are by believing they could influence ancient human natures, with money. Understanding isn’t on the check list for entry. Their attitude is adolescent. Voting is now a game of one ego addressing another. The sooner our parliamentary system comes to its inevitable end the better. While we can’t be rid of the chaos of unchecked childish minds, perhaps soon they won’t be elevated to positions of power over others.

  4. logie97 4

    Just heard the interview with the Finnish comedian commenting on Brownlee’s performance. One thing that stood out was that his English was near perfect – not a bad education system then is it Gerry? Now how is your Finnish, or Maori, or French, or German, Latin … nah, you even struggle with your mother tongue don’t you given the “misunderstandings” over this issue?

  5. (can’t delete so editing out duplicate post)

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.1

      Technically yes but contextually we all know this is the first stage of legislation to doing this – unless you are confident that changes will be made via the select committee process to remove this.

      You will note that the Minister press releases make reference to the other future changes as well e.g. widows benefit.

      Perhaps you might like to let her know her press release was incorrect as well.

      (response to your now removed duplicate post)

      • felix 5.1.1

        ‘You can’t complain about things that haven’t happened yet’ is a trusty old favourite of the right.

        To be followed at a later date with a ‘You can’t complain about things that have already happened’.

        • Pete George 5.1.1.1

          Complaining about what will never happen is a bit stupid too don’t you think?
          (that’s not a “favourite of the right” or the left, it’s a favourite of the stupid and the sky will fallers.)

          • mikesh 5.1.1.1.1

            A householder who insures his house isn’t really complaining about the fire that is going to happen. He is just taking precautions. Though I have to admit I don’t know what this argument is all about.

            • felix 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it’s a pretty good analogy.

              And the reason for insuring is that we’ve seen for ourselves what fires can do.

              Petey just wants to pretend we don’t know an arsonist when we see one.

          • felix 5.1.1.1.2

            Nah, the stupid insist that things outside of their control “will never happen”.

            The solipsistic insist that things that won’t happen to them “will never happen” to anyone else.

            And the deceitful pretend that nothing has ever happened before .

            • Pete George 5.1.1.1.2.1

              But the discussion wasn’t about your semantics. It was about deliberately or ignorantly misrepresenting what “we all know” about what is actually in the bill.

              No one is forced to work. And no one is forced to remain on a benefit either.

              • felix

                Nah, it wasn’t about what we all know is in the bill.

                DoS was talking about what we all know is coming next.

                Whatever you think of the “we all know” bit, (and I see why you do) you’ve still misrepresented him/her quite badly there Petey.

              • Vicky32

                And no one is forced to remain on a benefit either.

                They are if they can’t find a job! (And if they don’t want to starve).

  6. A lack of basic facts don’t help promoting a view.

    ‘Shameful’ welfare bill passes first reading
    By Auckland Action Against Poverty

    It is a sad day for New Zealand with the passage of a shameful welfare bill which will force sole parents with babies as young as one year out to work.

    The Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill passed its first reading today with the support of National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party.

    The MPs supporting this legislation should hang their heads in shame says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sue Bradford.

    There is nothing in the bill that will force anyone out to work. Bradford is either ignorant of basic facts or is deliberately misrepresenting the stated aims of the act.

    • felix 6.1

      You mean because they always have the option of forfeiting their benefit? Is that where you’re going?

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        No, are you acting ignorant, or do you not know anything about the act?

        There are requirements in the act to look for work, not to be in work, because obviously if there aren’t enough jobs then not everyone can take on jobs.

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          According to that comment, the issue is with the distinction between “working” and “looking for work”, is that correct? Or is there another way to interpret your comment?

          Assuming the above, if Sue had said “force sole parents with babies as young as one year out to look for work” you’d be ok with that.

          Right?

        • rosy 6.1.1.2

          So Pete, are you saying that the intent of the legislation is only to look for work? That if a job is available and offered the ‘job-seeker’ can turn it down and remain of the DPB? It’ll be good if you can clear that up. Ta.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.2.1

            That happens now so I don’t see that it will change. It’s not even necessary to turn down a job, it’s quite easy to apply for a job and ensure that you aren’t offered one. Happens now.

            Some do turn down jobs that are offered but there are systems already to try to stop this, some additional benefits can be lost if jobs are turned down.

            This trying to get a balance between carrots and sticks is nothing new, different governments have been trying to find a reasonable but effective approach for a long time.

            • felix 6.1.1.2.1.1

              “Some do turn down jobs that are offered but there are systems already to try to stop this, some additional benefits can be lost if jobs are turned down.”

              So just what I said, above, which you got all sensitive about.

            • rosy 6.1.1.2.1.2

              So women on the DPB are currently required to take up a job if one is offered? Without losing benefit if they turn it down?

              Paula Bennett says

              the bill would mean they would have to be available for work when their children were at a younger age – five for part time work and 14 for full time work.

              Note – not ‘look for work’ as you said, but be ‘available for work’. Is she wrong? and you don’t think this is different from current conditions of the DPB?

              And you also think being able to manipulate a CV to avoid being chosen for a job you’ve applied for is good legislation?

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.3

          Also, Pete, I’d point out that in a tough labour market, looking for a job can itself be very time consuming and can easily amount to the equivalent of a part-time job.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1

            Time consuming and very expensive. Printing, posting, travelling, new clothes and haircuts, mobile phone costs, etc.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.3.2

            Yes, fair comment. And it can be very demoralising. Difficult when jobs are scarce.

            But if you want to be self sufficient and do better for your family you have to find ways of doing that and it can cost – in the past I’ve shifted town/city with a family to get work, the initial cost is significant in the hope that the longer term benefits make it worth it.

            There’s more unemployment now, but also more assistance to help people through difficult times.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3.2.1

              Nobody is self-sufficient. That’s why we live in a community.

            • Vicky32 6.1.1.3.2.2

              but also more assistance to help people through difficult times.

              Lolwut! 😀 No, there’s not.

    • but contextually we all know this is the first stage of legislation to doing this

      “we all know”? I’m sure you can’t substantiate that, so not point in asking.

      Who are you speaking on behalf of? The misinformed or the misinformers?

      • mickysavage 6.2.1

        So Petey

        Solo mums will be forced to look for work but not take a job if one is offered?

        You really need to get out more.

        • Descendant Of Smith 6.2.1.1

          Currently solo mums do not have to take a job that is offered and can even leave their job consciously and deliberately to go on DPB.

          Are you saying this won’t change Pete?

          • Pete George 6.2.1.1.1

            I think it should change.

            It’s known that self supporting families generally have better outcomes for their children than families on benefits, so parents wanting the best for their kids (and themselves) should be striving to be as self supporting as possible. Shouldn’t they?

            • felix 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Hang on Pete.

              This is the very thing that you’ve been insisting wouldn’t be changing.

              Is it or not?

              • I didn’t insist nothing would change. A new act is obviously going to change things.

                All the Government parties think it should change. Labour thinks it should change (albeit different degrees and methods). It has always been tweaked and changed, and it always will keep being changed. We live in a changing world.

                It’s about degree of change. The act proposes a bit more encouragement/coercion (pick which word suits your side of the argument). It’s another tweak of the existing system. It isn’t a complete switch to a new draconian regime as some seem to be suggesting.

                • felix

                  “I didn’t insist nothing would change.”

                  I didn’t say you did.

                  But you said the new bill wouldn’t change this specific aspect.

                  Will it or not?

                  • You’re getting very vague.

                    I don’t know what the new bill will do, it’s only been voted to first reading. But I haven’t seen anything yet that will force mothers to work. Have you?

                    Do you think mothers should have a free choice as to whether they work or get the DPB? If so to what age of children?

                    • felix

                      No, I’m being quite specific.

                      Your morning troll started with accusing Sue of being ignorant of the bill or lying about the bill.

                      Specifically you were upset that she said people will be forced into work/forced to look for work/forced to accept work depending which of your comments you pick.

                      You have insisted that she was wrong about this and that nothing in the new bill will change anything with regard to being forced to do these things.

                      It has since been shown by rosy, DoS, and others that your opinion is based on a misunderstanding of the current act and how it is implemented.

                      And now you’re trying to change the subject to ‘never mind all that, what should happen?’ because you can’t admit that you were wrong to accuse Sue of not knowing her stuff.

                      Turns out you don’t know what you’re talking about as usual, and Sue does, as usual.

                    • Lanthanide

                      And as usual Pete will think he’s done nothing wrong and you’re just nit-picking for no purpose.

                      But really this is modus operandi for Pete: say something imprecise, then defend-to-the-death that that wasn’t what he meant, despite it being what he said, and then when conclusively being shown he is wrong, he simply runs away from the thread and doesn’t post again.

            • Bored 6.2.1.1.1.2

              So PiG, where are the jobs for these self supporting types? What has your buddy the cretinous Dunne (seller of state assets) done to create any work by way of voting with the inNACTion party?

            • rosy 6.2.1.1.1.3

              hmmm – Nia Glassie’s mother was striving to be as self supporting as possible.

              When she secured a job as a supervisor in a kiwifruit packing house working long hours and six-day weeks Curtis cared for Nia.

              Maybe Paula should be passing legislation to ensure childcare is freely available for working parents…. there’s a thought. /sarc

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.2.2

        I’m happy for we just to mean you and me. Just us two. The royal we. I feel so close to you now.

        I’d have to say that as I talking colloquially I didn’t need to worry about pedantry.

        Of course it could mean those that have read the ministers and this governments press releases and other comments that there are two stages to this legislation and only the first is going through parliament now. The second will be introduced later in the year.

        This includes a fair chunk of the population and of the readership of these forums.

        I’m sure you do actually know that.

        To simplify:

        Technically you are correct there is nothing in the current bill about this – anything about this will be in the next bill to be introduced later in the year.

        The legislation is being introduced in two stages.

        We know this to be a fact.

        Of course you then apply similar language to that you are so disingenuously critical of by saying:

        “It’s known that” without any qualifier – known by who Pete?

        It’s not known by me, in fact I know many individuals for whom respite from looking for work when a relationship breaks up, the payment of DPB to help them get back on their feet without any pressure to conform to some other (white middle class male?) persons expectations of what and how they should do has been an absolute godsend.

        And how come self supporting doesn’t include paying my taxes so that when something goes wrong I can get a benefit without being made to justify my existence, the reason for my breakup or my choices – and by extension paying my taxes so if my children are in that situation nor do they.

        The morality arguments all break down when you start to look at individual cases and individual circumstances. But for the grace of god go I.

        You lack of compassion for individuals by hiding behind applying the ( real and supposed) excesses of a minority to a majority is breathtaking for someone who purports to want to do things in a better, more caring and thinking way.

    • framu 6.3

      pete, your showing that while the act does say what it does, you have no idea of how this works in practice.

      how this is applied is where the force and coercion comes in.

  7. Bored 7

    Just glanced at yesterdays Lying Liar caught lying again….unclean unclean…really foul. Why the F*** did anybody engage with the Mental Health Act duet?

    • McFlock 7.1

      I was wondering  about that post and debate for some of today. On the one hand it was hilarious watching two small-minded and bitter fools disgracing themselves, but it got a bit much. It reminds me of the original serious of The Office. It was a brilliant portrayal of a dysfunctional environment, but I usually found it impossible to watch it until the end – the last five minutes in particular were just too painful, and not in a shocked laughter way. Same with this thread – they laid on so much idiocy, bile and ignorance that I just couldn’t get into it. 
          
      Normally I quite like that sort of thing, but too much vicious stupid, it hurted. 

  8. Bunji 8

    Brownlee: I Know Nuz-ZINK!

    I know Nuz-ZINK! about this ‘Judith Collins’ or her sitting next to me with a knife in my ribs.
    I know Nuz-ZINK! about this so-called ‘tea-pot tape.’
    I know Nuz-ZINK! about Finland either…

  9. ianmac 9

    That’s funny?
    Late last night I spotted Audrey Young’s piece 8pm 27 March, on the “National refuses to answer questions about the Key Questions” in Parliament. This morning the item had disappeared but an Audrey search found it. (Getting better at this Search business.)
    Wonder why it seemed to have been buried?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10794958

  10. Jackal 10

    Dangerous chemical recalled but not in NZ

    Of course methyl iodide based products are still being sold here in New Zealand. Politicians and ERMA will do their best to ignore the fact that it’s been removed from U.S. shelves, not because it wasn’t making a profit, but because it’s a highly dangerous carcinogen that was initially misclassified…

    • Dv 11.1

      One thing struck me
      Graham said his only income was

      His parlimentary pension of 26k
      That seems rather low for a minister, can any one shed light on how much he should be getting.

      AND
      as he was born in 42, he would be entitled to nat super as well

      26k income does not stack up?

      • muzza 11.1.1

        No holdings, no rental income, no trusts, no interest bearing accounts etc etc…

        26K sounds a little low in its own right!

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          $26K after tax, in hand? Suggests an income of around $32K p.a. Still light for a Ministerial pension + NZ super.

      • McFlock 11.1.2

        are you suggesting he might have made an untrue statement?

      • Kevin Welsh 11.1.3

        And he has moved into a ‘modest’ Remuera Townhouse… is that RWNJ-Former Minister-Snout in the Trough with a tasty Super and Perks modest, or Joe Public modest?

        On $26k p.a…

        In Remuera…

        I smell a porkie.

        • McFlock 11.1.3.1

          OH! So it might just be a “me so poor, me porsche is owned by a family trust”.

    • vto 12.1

      it’s called progress apparently.

      although there seems to be absolutely no indication as to how it is such.

      does anyone know?

      • muzza 12.1.1

        Use of the word progress, has allowed the sheep to be lulled into many false senses of security, which have and will contribute to current and future economic and social disasters, and mostly likely worse!

        Progress is what ever the sheep want to believe it is, as long as it maintains an illusion , of which they are not aware exists!

    • Puddleglum 12.2

      “disclose the number of stores …”

      I feel like the grammar police, but I just had to. 

  11. muzza 13

    After the summit, Mr Key said New Zealand had given about $6 million towards disposal of nuclear material in other countries since 2006.

    Wow thats great, because its not like we contibute to the problem, but we should contribute to the clean up of it….righto!

  12. aerobubble 14

    One scam in London was a auction, the marks would be brought into a room and the auction would not start until they’d shut the doors and created a buzz for buying, the marks would spend more and not notice the quality was shite. A classic switch and bait, switch even the rules of the auction from open to closed, and then change the value the mark was expecting.

    The teapot switch and bait, invited journalists into a open press room, then switched the rules, that it was illegal to take voice recordings while taking video, that somehow the organizer of the event had a right to suddenly declare a meeting private.

    Sorry but my understanding of what is legal (from a non-lawyer) is the reasonableness standard of a jury trial. Would a jury feel it was fair that the rules suddenly changed, the expectation of a full open press conference. That ministers are also aware of the buy beware notion, that if their mouths are moving and they consent to a video camera being on, then inevitably they consent to a lip reading them.

    We cannot have a free democracy when the government press organize thinks they can decide how journalists use material they legally obtain. Ambrose had the consent to take video, photos, and voice not because there were two men talking privately in a coffee shop, but because two men invited him there, and did not have a right to switch the rules from FULLY open to PARTIALLY open without informed consent of Ambrose.

  13. just saying 16

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=744#more-744

    Puddleglum’s latest on the Smith/Pullar saga; “The banality of corruption” is well worth reading. I’ll leave a teaser:

    Writing a reference for his friend Bronwyn Pullar was the crucial ‘error of judgment’ committed by Dr Smith. At least that’s what almost all commentators appear to agree upon despite John Key claiming that it was the second unearthed letter (actually written and signed earlier than the ‘first’ (reference) letter) that tripped the switch of Smith’s resignation.

    But discussion of Dr Smith’s ‘errors of judgment’ and whether or not they amounted to ‘corruption’ or ‘cronyism’ seems to me to have missed a point so obvious, so banal – and so likely – that I think that omission says something significant about just how ‘corrupt’ our everyday responses have become…

    • Uturn 16.1

      Worth every minute it took to read; the recipe for corruption is an insightful moment; reads like a person about flick over the first in a long line of cultural dominoes.

      • Puddleglum 16.1.1

        Thanks for the comments just saying and Uturn.

        When I wrote it I was thinking of my Dad.

        Years ago, after the Second World War, my family was living in a prefabricated house (‘prefab’) in the north of England (lined with sheets of asbestos as it happens – my sister still remembers rubbing her finger up and down her bedroom wall as all the dust came off it). They were meant to be used for just a few years but they were still there in the mid-60s. Compared to brick houses, they weren’t well-made or as warm in winter.

        Dad got politically active, giving speeches off the back of a lorry, hassling the (Tory) council. One by one, he (and those supporting him) fought for individual families and got them rehoused on various grounds.

        But there was one fight he wouldn’t fight.

        Mum got onto him about the fact that, here he was, getting everyone else into better houses and we were still living in ours. 

        He gave her a quick run through of Corruption 101: He couldn’t do it for us, otherwise his opponents would say that, all the time, it was just about him trying to help himself and there was no matter of principle involved. More importantly, that could then derail what he was trying to do for others. We would have to be last in the queue.

        It would have been easy for him to justify it to himself. After all, we were a family, like all the rest; he had three children (I was pre-school age). He could have used what little political power and influence he had to get us a new home. (And the councillors would have probably seen it as a cheap way of getting him off their backs.) Where’s the harm?

        He saw, I think, that the judgment about who should get rehoused next wasn’t his to make. The Council should have held to its promise (and plan) to replace the housing. It was a political issue, not an issue simply for him and his family. That wasn’t the point.

        Corruption is pretty easy to see, really. It’s like when we say that a file on a computer is ‘corrupt’. All it means is that it can’t do what it’s meant to do. Same goes for political corruption – it means our political and bureaucratic processes can’t do what they’re meant to do. Dad would have corrupted his activism – and the political process it set in train – if he’d put his energies into getting us rehoused.

        I think corruption is not so much about individuals becoming corrupted. It’s really about our society (or culture) becoming corrupted. We all have an interest in stopping that from happening. 

        The problem is, when we all look at life individualistically – as I think we increasingly do, today – each one of us then has an (self-)interest in just being a little bit corrupt, just this once … others will understand. After all, they do it too, don’t they? And we’re all human, so let’s not be so hard on small ‘errors of judgment’, yadda, yadda, yadda.

        It’s like the tragedy of the commons. We less and less have a sense of the importance – the ‘sacrosanct’ nature – of the collective processes we’ve supposedly set up to regulate how we do things, together.

        Slippery-slope arguments aren’t always valid, but I think corruption has to be a paradigmatic exemplar of when it is. Once it starts not only do we, individually, start to ‘normalise’ it, but also others start to feel the pressure to join in – or miss out. It gains its own momentum.

        Ultimately, everything that happens in the public realm becomes a sham – nothing actually happens how it’s supposedly meant to happen. 

        • RedLogix 16.1.1.1

          That explains one hell of a lot. Thanks.

          • Descendant Of Smith 16.1.1.1.1

            Couldn’t agree more.

            In one of my past lives I was involved in training delivery.

            It was always interesting to see who would cheat on team exercises. At one level the exercises are often no more than puffery but at another what became clear over years of doing this was that the people who would cheat the exercise were almost without exception the same staff who would cheat the important things at work.

            The ones who openly said it’s not OK and maintained a high level of integrity were invariably the ones who did so at work.

            While on the surface they were team building exercises they actually became quite valuable in managing risk.

            The thing was that for most of those people it was a learned, ingrained habit to cheat – they couldn’t help themselves as they were so accustomed to doing this.

            For them it definitely wasn’t a slippery slope – it was how they behaved. Where it was a slippery slope however was in the influence they could have ( and on some occasions did have) on other staff.

        • vto 16.1.1.2

          Yes, well described mr puddleglum. As rl says, ti explains one hell of a lot, such as why there seems to be far less of the public service element to, well, public service, today. Evidenced by comparisons of public to private enterprise over salaries for just one example.

          Is there a way to resurrect things do you think? Or must the current norms run their course? Or perhaps it is probably a combination of the two – small changes here and there to push and guide the “good” way. For crude example, prohibit ex-Ministers from entering conflicted private enterprise roles, such as Simon Power going to his new role at Westpac.

  14. Jackal 17

    Today, 3 News reported that the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright will be undertaking an official investigation into Fracking.

    • muzza 17.1

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6652401/Probe-into-fracking-announced

      I read this one earlier, and was initially pleased. Will have to see what comes out the other side, and see if it contradicts the findings abroad already carried out!

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      Most likely it’ll turn out like the Government’s report on peak oil did. Don’t hold your breath.

    • freedom 17.3

      or do they simply want to produce a report saying their are some potential health issues that need legislative attention and whammo they end up introducing laws like this one??

      an amendment to Title 52 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, requires that companies provide to a state-maintained registry the names of chemicals and gases used in fracking. Physicians and others who work with citizen health issues may request specific information, but the company doesn’t have to provide that information if it claims it is a trade secret or proprietary information, nor does it have to reveal how the chemicals and gases used in fracking interact with natural compounds. If a company does release information about what is used, health care professionals are bound by a non-disclosure agreement that not only forbids them from warning the community of water and air pollution that may be caused by fracking, but which also forbids them from telling their own patients what the physician believes may have led to their health problems. A strict interpretation of the law would also forbid general practitioners and family practice physicians who sign the non-disclosure agreement and learn the contents of the “trade secrets” from notifying a specialist about the chemicals or compounds, thus delaying medical treatment.

      http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/walter-brasch/42038/fracking-pennsylvania-gags-physicians

      http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/US/HTM/2012/0/0013..HTM

  15. Morrissey 19

    Under the Iron Heel

    This is footage of Israeli soldiers raiding a home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on the night of March 20th, 2012. This video captures a raid on the home of imprisoned Palestinian nonviolent leader Bassem Tamimi. His wife, children, and likely his mother, can be seen in the video reacting in horror to the ransacking of their home, albeit it rather common across the West Bank and in Nabi Saleh itself.

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