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Open Mike 28/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 28th, 2017 - 90 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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90 comments on “Open Mike 28/03/2017 ”

  1. outofbed 1

    Operation Burnham ?
    more like Operation “burn them”

    If we (NZ) were not in Afghanistan there is a strong possibility that one particular 3 year old girl would still be alive.

    I don’t want my taxes used to kill children.

  2. ianmac 2

    Is it possible that in spite of all the high tech, the Burnham operation attacked the wrong village? If so, then the “terrorists” killed were in fact the civilians.

    • Xanthe 2.1

      Yes it looks possible that they went to the wrong village , raided it , killed people, and then set about obfusticating this fact. and now they are in too deep to stop

      • Roflcopter 2.1.1

        The reports of fully geo-located video footage of the event would not support that.

        • lprent

          I’d suggest that they put it in front of a inquiry. I do a lot of GPS work, it isn’t as nearly cut and dried as you seem to think because it depends heavily on the underlying mapping.

          BTW: Welcome back after an even more welcome absence. You appear to have retained the same old naive and trusting dumb fool characteristics that I remember of old. A supine bootlicker of the words of authority.

          • Roflcopter

            I’d love an inquiry…. in fact, we should go whole-hog on this. The longer it goes on, the more shows how inept Hager is.

            As far as GPS work… military-grade GPS equipment is never out by 2km’s…. just sayin’

            BTW: Haven’t been absent. You appear to have retained the same old naive and trusting dumb fool characteristics that I remember of old. A supine bootlicker of the words of a discredited “journalist”.

            • mpledger

              But where a map says a village is could be out by 2km.

              • I was doing some image work on this at the request of someone on twitter- here are the two claims of where Operation Burnham happened, and the nearby populated areas that Toby Manhire identified:

                Both NZDF and the map from Hit & Run agree as to where Hit & Run claim the operation occured.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Presumably the liars at NZDF didn’t think that anyone would compare the two accounts.

                  The NZDF needs an enema.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The longer it goes on, the more shows how inept Hager is.

              It appears that John Stephenson is responsible for most, if not all, of the investigative work on the ground.

              It’s quite inept of you not to realise this: your infantile hatred of Hager has you blind and flailing.

          • crashcart

            As someone who works on miitary geo location systems I assure you something would have to go very wrong for it to put the team 2Km out of position.
            It is possible they were in the wrong place but if they were the footage will show where their location was and will either support or refute the accusations.

        • Depends if it’s footage of the same op, and if it’s been edited. We’ve seen before that video footage released by military organisations is often edited before it’s used as “proof” they did nothing wrong.

          I’m still not convinced as to why members of the SAS would come forward with such a story if they weren’t whistleblowers- do we actually have any proposed motive for Hager and Stepenson’s sources to lie?

          These are both very respected journalists, one of who recently won a case where the NZDF tried to sue him for defamation, and the other who is New Zealand’s only internationally accredited investigative journalist.

          We should have an independent investigation reporting to all parliamentary parties that de-classifies the relevant material and brings as much as possible out into the open. If that investigation finds war crimes were committed, then criminal charges should be brought.

          • crashcart

            Please feel free to back up that accusation with some evidence of edited footage from the NZDF that was done deliberately to miss lead the public.

            Yes both journalists are respected (by many of us in the NZDF) however so are many of the people you are choosing to assume are lying.

            • Anne

              Yes both journalists are respected (by many of us in the NZDF) however so are many of the people you are choosing to assume are lying.

              Have a read of this crashcart. With respect to Major General Keating, it was not so much that he lied but he certainly obscured the truth about what “village” was involved in the SAS raid:


            • Matthew Whitehead

              I’m not specifically talking about the NZDF tampering with evidence, I don’t have a prior example of that to hand, although I suppose it’s possible one exists, I’ve never heard of it. I am talking about militaries around the world involved in similar behaviour to cover their asses when wrongdoing has been discovered. I would like to hope the NZDF can be held to the higher standard than foreign militaries, but to simply believe so without independent verification now that an accusation is in the public sphere without gathering any independent evidence to confirm seems the very height of naivety.

              I do not assume the NZDF is lying. I assume it is possible that they are lying, just like I also assume it is possible that Hager and Stephenson may be made mistakes while still following good journalistic practice. One of those two things is the case, and that is why we should have an independent inquiry that doesn’t rely on us either taking the journalists’ accounts as truth or the NZDF’s evidence at face value.

  3. Johan 3

    Prison guard’s personal files given to gang leaders. Gangs the Killer Beez and Black Power have the opportunity to intimidate proceedings in an upcoming trial. What does this gross violation say about our Dep’t of Corrections and what action will they take to secure the safety of witnesses?


    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I don’t think that physical files being given to gang members constitutes an error.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Interesting framing in that story: their personal files were found in prisoners’ cells.

      Where else were they supposed to keep them?

      It says nothing whatsoever about the Dept. of Corrections, because the mistake was made by the Police.

      • grumpystilskin 3.2.1

        Also, the files were given to the prisoners lawyer under disclosure according to RNZ.
        He/she must have noticed the info contained, why did they give the files to their clients knowing it contained sensitive information?

  4. The Chairman 4

    Will the Green’s and Labour’s new conservative fiscal position cost them support?

    Sure, they may win-over a number of swing voters, but at what price?

    The Right are largely delighted, the Left are largely disappointed while a number are bewildered.

    The next political poll which takes this announcement into account will be interesting.

    As they are the two main parties of the so-called Left, will their Left supporters swallow this dead rat simply because they feel they have nowhere else to turn? Or will Winston be the winner of the fallout?

    Personally, I often wonder why more from the left haven’t drifted towards the Democrats (for social credit).


    • Bearded Git 4.1

      So a sensible economic policy is a negative for the Labour/Green bloc? Sounds like a panic reaction to a solid and well thought out Labour/Green bloc announcement to me.

      There are many ways of re-focusing government spending on different priorities while maintaining balanced or surplus books, as the last 9-year Labour government showed.

      • Siobhan 4.1.1

        sensible economic policy…in other words a continuation of austerity…an economic policy working so well for the working people all around the Western/developed world….yup….

        • Bearded Git

          Well for instance the Lab/Gr bloc may take a couple of billion out of the Roads of National Significance bloated budget and put that into state housing construction.

          There are many options. You have to win the election first.

          • The Chairman

            This has no impact on whether or not a Lab/Gr bloc decide to refocus expenditure.

            What it does do is it limits their overall expenditure options.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Not quite, as there’s nothing in the fiscal rules preventing them raising extra revenue, it just states that they’ll try to run net surpluses over an economic cycle. (ie. their surpluses should add up to more than their deficits) The Greens want more revenue, Labour would prefer not to raise income tax or implement new taxes at the moment. It would seem likely that their coalition deal might allow for some revenue generation to make more room for everyone’s spending priorities.

        • Well, if you believe their rhetoric on the economy, (and I have no reason not to just yet) they have ruled out austerity politics as part of their fiscal rulebook. You and they might not agree on where the line actually sits for what constitutes austerity, but you can bank on the Greens never voting for a budget with any significant austerity measures, even if you distrust Labour.

          • The Chairman

            The thing is, Matthew, now that they’ve made the public commitment (and if we are to take them on good faith) they will try to uphold that commitment. Thus, greater effort will go into constraining policy and its related expenditure to ensure it meets their commitment, hence placing limits on their expenditure and their ability to do more sooner.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              The Greens would never have made this commitment in the first place if it implied austerity, which is why sufficient spending on services is written into the rules. Yes, the Greens will try to follow them in a way that leads to an acceptable budget. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to compromise their core values to do so, they’re pretty touchy about that sort of thing.

              • The Chairman

                With expenditure being somewhat capped, surpluses being sought and funding being syphoned off to meet self set debt repayments, it is unlikely sufficient spending on services will be achieved.

                The cap being set is lower than past expenditure and clearly needs were not being met back then.

                When Labour last left office, core crown expenditure was at 35.5% of GDP. Yet, 175,000 kids were deemed to be living in poverty after nine years of strong economic growth. Things have become far more worse now, hence significant expenditure is required.

                “Yes, the Greens will try to follow them in a way that leads to an acceptable budget. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to compromise their core values to do so “

                Which explains why oversight of the new self imposed rules will be given to a new independent costing unit. Therefore, they may not totally compromise their core values but the independent costing unit will ensure they have less to spend on them.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Of course we don’t know how this works out in practice yet, but I have a high degree of confidence how this works in theory (why its being advocated as a good idea). The central premise is that government spending is crowding out non government spending. A more drastic notion also considred here is called Ricardian equivalence, meaning that non government spending is presently being held back for fear of having to pay future taxes. Both these ideas correspond to another concept of fiscal multipliers being less than one (so every doller of government spending causes less than a doller of national income to result). This is the big idea the IMF used and later concluded was wrong when forecasting and suggesting reforms to the Greeks.

                  Of course in every day parlance the notion that government net income cuts will probably result in a non government net spending boom, would be called wishfull thinking. Never the less that is probably the conventional wisdom behind this idea. Who knows Labour 5 got lucky on this before.

        • weka

          “sensible economic policy…in other words a continuation of austerity…an economic policy working so well for the working people all around the Western/developed world….yup….”

          Where’s the austerity? Seriously, I’d be interested to know where you see it in the document. I’d also be interested in say 3 comparable policies from overseas. Not austerity policies, but ones that match what L/G announced.

      • The Chairman 4.1.2

        Some would argue such a constraining fiscal position (preventing government from doing what’s required, thus prolonging the turnaround) is far from sensible when so much more needs correcting.

        Some would also argue the last 9-year Labour government refocusing of expenditure did little to prevent the dire situation a number face today.

        Therefore, it’s not a panic reaction, more a difference of opinions.

        The question is, will it be a vote winner?

        • Ad

          It won’t be a vote winner or vote loser. Not designed to be.

          It’s designed solely for the media commentariat so they feel comfortable.

          • The Chairman

            It may have been designed solely for the media, but the position (like most political positioning) is impacting on voters decisions. I personally know of several that have been deterred by this self constraining stance.

            • Ad

              Deterred meaning “will change who they vote for”?

              To whom?

              • BM

                Probably become a non-vote.

                It does raise a lot of questions, though this new fiscally conservative stance Lab green has taken, they’ve promised a lot so what’s going to get cut.?

                I do think they’ve unfortunately fallen into the same trap again, where they’re going to spending all their time explaining how this is going to be achieved which will result in undoubtedly poor financial figures which will then be ripped apart by the media and once again Labour will look like incompetent pillocks that they are, handing the election to National.

                National plant Grant Robertson brings home the gold for the blue team yet again, he’s such an asset that man and doesn’t get the kudos he deserves.

              • The Chairman

                NZF was mentioned a number of times.

          • weka

            “It’s designed solely for the media commentariat so they feel comfortable.”

            That’s what I reckon too. Now there is a baseline for the rest of the election campaign, so each time someone starts on about the scarey, fiscally irresponsible lefties (esp the Greens) they have a sound reference document. It presents not just Labour as competent but the potential L/G coalition. NZ is ready for change, but they’re only going to change to something pretty stable.

            • The Chairman

              “NZ is ready for change, but they’re only going to change to something pretty stable”

              And the other side of the coin is some see this as Labour (and now the Greens) falling short again and being little more than National lite.

              Therefore, Labour and the Greens better hope this attracts more support than what it might potentially end up costing them as a number of supporters are unhappy.

              • weka

                “And the other side of the coin is some see this as Labour (and now the Greens) falling short again and being little more than National lite.”

                Yeah, really old argument that one though, and it’s bollocks. On pretty much every conceivable measure, including this budget policy, it’s pretty easy to demonstrate important difference.

                This one policy doesn’t suddenly make all the Greens’ policies or kaupapa RW. That’s daft.

                Besides, if people want a govt left of National where are they going to go if they don’t vote L/G?

                • The Chairman

                  It may be an old argument (Labour has been falling short for years) but it’s not total bollocks.

                  This announcement has got a number of peoples hackles raised for this very reason.

                  The important differences as you put is merely what others consider the lite side of National Lite.

                  This positioning impacts expenditure, hence is tied to all policy and plays into the neo-liberal dogma. Therefore, while it doesn’t necessarily make the Greens totally right wing it has moved them further to the right.  

                  “Besides, if people want a govt left of National where are they going to go if they don’t vote L/G?”

                  Some will turn to NZF, others will drift towards TOP. Hone and co may pick up a few and so too will some of the other stragglers, but the real concern is how many more will become disenfranchised, further reducing the left voter block?

                  • weka

                    Those aren’t people that want a left wing govt though.

                    This positioning impacts expenditure, hence is tied to all policy and plays into the neo-liberal dogma. Therefore, while it doesn’t necessarily make the Greens totally right wing it has moved them further to the right.

                    It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the Greens. Of course in 2017 they’re going to use tools that work within the neoliberal framework. They won’t get to be part of govt if they don’t. But the Greens don’t operate within the traditional L/R spectrum that you are portraying. Lynn calls them orthogonal to that. This is why people get confused, and then think ah, if they’re not left they must be right. It’s just not true.

                    If people have been concerned about National Lite they could have voted Green a decade or more ago when they were more ‘left’. Had the Greens been on 15% ten years ago, they’re be on 25% this year and able to do the things that people are wanting from them. But lots of lefties wouldn’t vote for them, so they’ve adapted. But that doesn’t mean they are neoliberal. Go read their Charter and other kaupapa docs, because this and all their policy can only be understood within that.

                    It’s the same stuff about Shaw being neoliberal because he wears a suit. People used to say this about Norman too btw until it became obvious that he wasn’t. Shaw has green cred, that’s why he’s co-leader.

                    It’s true that some people will be thinking the Greens sold out. More of a problem than that inaccurate perception is that too many lefties are pushing that now as a meme. I’m still yet to see a decent explanation other than this generalised assertion that x must mean y. No-one has said why yet, and few here have engaged with Matthew Whitehead’s interpretation of the policy. That tells me a lot.

                    • Antoine

                      > But the Greens don’t operate within the traditional L/R spectrum that you are portraying.

                      My 2c: I see that you could have a Green Party that was neither left nor right, but having had a look at the policies and people of this Green Party of NZ, this ain’t it.


                    • weka

                      how so?

                    • The Chairman

                      It’s not that if they’re not left they must be right, It’s how right are they’re prepared to go and how right will their left supporters put up with?

                      This latest positioning isn’t minor. But will it tip the balance and cost them support? Time will tell.

                      It’s the most left wing feathers I’ve seen the Greens ruffle in a while.

                      Labour supporters are more used to being let down.

                      I engaged with Matthew Whitehead above.

                    • Antoine


                      Before I launch into an explanation, can I set out that I think a left wing party has these qualities:
                      – seeks to increase taxes and increase social spending
                      – supports underprivileged groups (e.g. women, Maori, beneficiaries)
                      – seeks to give rights to tenants (cf landlords), workers (cf employers), and beneficiaries (cf workers)
                      – lacks confidence in market solutions.

                      Not much point me going on if you don’t think those are left wing qualities.


                    • weka

                      They’re not going right, that’s the point (which you missed).

                      “I engaged with Matthew Whitehead above.”

                      Briefly. I’m talking about over the past week.

                    • Antoine

                      Oh, I see. I mistakenly thought you were saying the NZ Green Party was not a left wing party (which of course they are). My bad

                    • The Chairman

                      While you may not perceive this as a move to the right, a number do.

                      Whether that increases or costs them support is yet to be seen.

                      However, one wonders if they envisaged the disappointment and uproar the announcement attracted?

          • Incognito

            Assuming that you’re right and that this is just the beginning of an orchestrated PR strategy to make the “media commentariat” feel comfortable – relaxed and comfortable; that rings a bell from the not so distant past – I fail to see two things: 1) what is the intended role of said “media commentariat”; 2) why not talk directly to, or more importantly, with the people rather than relying on a willing MSM to do the heavy lifting?

            For a long time there has been a strong feeling or perception rather that NZ MSM have an anti-Left bias to frame it loosely. So, is this a step-wise strategy to win them over in order to then next win over the voters?

            So far, some of the people that have cheered the BRR are distinctly on the right side of the political spectrum and some of the people that have been less than impressed and unconvinced are on the left. Surely, this must make you question whether this strategy might result in blowback.

            • Ad

              The MSM is the winning and losing of any election.
              We’ve still got a while to go in this country before that’s different.

              Remember why the National “rowing the boat” attack ad was so effective last time.

              The only negative blowback will be from a tiny group of moist hard-lefties who have nowhere to go other than the Greens. If they go any further left than that, their votes won’t register in Parliament anyway.

              • Incognito

                O.k. I fully admit naïvely giving MSM less credit and the ‘average’ voter more credit in determining the outcome of elections.

                IIRC the “rowing boat” was an ad by National for (in) MSM, not something fabricated by MSM. But I guess you refer to the context or the background against which this ad was projected.


              • The Chairman

                “Remember why the National “rowing the boat” attack ad was so effective last time.”

                Indeed, it portrayed the opposition all rowing in different directions. However, I don’t see why Labour and the Greens believe that rowing in the Right direction will win over their Left wing supporters.

                Their rationale seems to be as you suggested. They believe their left wing support is minimal, has nowhere else to turn, thus will largely swallow this dead rat.

                • weka

                  Most left wing voters won’t even register this policy at that level you are talking about, and those that do won’t care as much as you think. Sue Bradford said there were Greenies concerned, which I’m sure is true, but if they’re talking to her, they’re politicised and understand well enough where the value in their vote lies.

                  If you want a better stick to beat them with, try the argument that they should have put the word ‘people’ in the document, or just started with human-focussed policy.

                  • weka

                    the other thing that pisses me off with the memery is that it’s being presented as if Labour or the Greens won’t do anything else this campaign. This will be the big sign around their neck that people will pretend is their defining moment. In reality I think most voters will be looking at things that are more relevant to them (other policies) and taking note of how the MSM are responding (hence Ad’s point).

                    • The Chairman

                      “And tbh, this is an ongoing refrain from you, Labour especially can do no right… “

                      And yet, it was only the other week I was commending Labour on their stance regarding defence expenditure which you yourself responded too. Therefore, so much for your assertion and what you can see.

                  • The Chairman

                    The response from the left has largely been disappointment. Even the Council of Trade Unions has also come out against the announcement. How that will feed down to the foot-soldiers and those not in the beltway is yet to be seen.

                    The Greens and Labour created this so-called stick and a number of us lefties feel it’s them beating us with it, hence the disappointment that’s been widely expressed.

                    • weka

                      I just see a whole lot of rhetoric and not a lot of detail on what the actual problem is. And tbh, this is an ongoing refrain from you, Labour especially can do no right, so I’m going to take it with a grain of salt.

    • Rightly or Wrongly 4.2

      I don’t know why it is seen as a right wing policy.

      Logic says that you cut your cloth to match your budget.

      You get $100 in tax in – spend no more or slightly less than $100 and your budget is good.

      Spend more than you earn and over time you end up in the poo financially.

      (Think the USA, Japan, Greece etc.)

      Not rocket science – what you spend your $100 on (quality of spending) now that is where you can have disagreements but anyone advocating spending deficits year after year need to go back to school – it never ends well.

      • Nic the NZer 4.2.1

        In what way are the USA or Japan in the poo financially? We know why Greece has problems, they have a Central bank they don’t control and its sometimes working against them, but what are the problems for the others you mentioned.

      • ropata 4.2.2

        I hear this kind of clueless argument all the time, why the f*ck does everyone seem to think that fiat money is a fixed resource or that governments are bound by the same rules as a household or small business??

        Get a clue mate: http://www.positivemoney.org.nz/

      • The Chairman 4.2.3

        Government can spend more than it earns and come out on top if the expenditure results in producing larger returns going forward.

        • Nic the NZer

          Stiglitz also said “the likelihood of a default is so small, particularly in the US because all we do is print money to pay it back.”

          Just in case that doesn’t work out either.

    • Sabine 5.1

      so when one is in Mt. Eden are they not in Auckland?

      That seems to be the gist of it?

      • Karen 5.1.1

        Basically, yeah. I have spent time in Afghanistan, including this province (but not this particular valley). The villages tend to spill out along the valleys so I can see how there can be confusion.

        • Sabine

          That makes sense. Suburbs in towns. Still its the same place and it still looks like a cover up.

          • Karen

            Not really like a suburb – think rural areas where the houses are scattered but there are also a few clumped together.

            I think the NXDF are deliberately muddying the waters and trying to create doubt. They have been careful not to claim Stephenson is lying – we all remember how that worked out for them last time.

    • Good response – why the authorities spin the bullshit from English down I’ll never understand – it always goes wrong and ends in a world of pain

    • ianmac 5.3

      Great Karen. Thanks for link to Jon’s response.Our basic wondering if the Defence Force attacked the wrong village is sort of right. Both The Defence Force and H&S have agreement on most of the events up to who was shot and by whom.
      If the 2 parties can agree on the villages attacked then the justice question is all on again and H&S reputation is OK.

  5. Poission 6

    Quarter of a million hectares sold into overseas ownership illegally since 2011,validated retrospectively by OIO.


    The smell of corruption in the air?

    • ropata 6.1

      Corruption? Of course, when there is this amount of money at stake. But don’t worry, any corruption will be retrospectively legalised.

      Another callous betrayal of democracy by our supposed “government”, I wish they would rename themselves the “foreign money” party because they certainly don’t have the “national” interest at heart.

      the chinese premier probably had a word to Blinglish about it and advised him to let it slide. FFS

  6. Andre 7

    How many times during the campaign did the Chump say something like “I alone can fix it”? Seems like the plan is to put Jared onto it. No matter what it is.


    You could almost feel sorry for the guy. He might be feeling a bit like this guy…

  7. adam 8

    Bring all the troops home.

    No more wars, we have no business in.

  8. The Amnesty International New Zealand petition regarding the S.A.S. and the Afghanistan raids can be found here.


  9. Carolyn_nth 10

    I’m well into reading this academic article on NZ’s Internet Party. It’s pretty dense.

    It addresses some of the contradictions in the Internet Party, between apparent online democracy with a leftish lean, and Dotcom’s neoliberal libertarianism. It concludes that Kim Dotcom is an alt-right populist, like Trump, and uses trolling of his enemy (John Key), as a form of resistance.

    The article is a lot about the “affect” of the internet: ie the impact of online activities on the body and emotions, potentially unleashing creativity. And it has a lot about “jouissance” – pleasure, fun, playfulness – including the fun to be had from trolling the enemy.

    The abstract:

    The New Zealand Internet Party tested key notions of affective media politics. Embracing techno-solutionism and the hacker politics of disruption, Kim Dotcom’s party attempted to mobilise the youth vote through an irreverent politics of lulz. While an electoral failure, the party’s political discourse offers insights into affective media ontology. The social character of affective media creates the political conditions for an antagonistic political discourse. In this case affective identification in the master signifier “The Internet” creates a community of enjoyment, threatened by the enemy of state surveillance as an agent of rapacious jouissance. The Internet Party’s politics of lulz was cast as a left-wing techno-fix to democracy, but this rhetoric belied a politics of cyberlibertarianism. Dotcom’s political intervention attempted to conflate his private interests as a battle that elevates him to the status of cyberlibertarian super-hero in the mould of Edward Snowden or Julian Assange.

    There’s a lot of theory in the first part of the article. the stuff on the Internet Party really starts at p343.

    • weka 10.1

      That looks really interesting, both the KDC analysis and the affect bit.

      “The social character of affective media creates the political conditions for an antagonistic political discourse.”

      Now why does that sound familiar? 😉

      • Carolyn_nth 10.1.1

        It is interesting – but why oh why is it so theoretically dense!? This means some important ideas are not accessible to the general public.

        Just finished reading it. One thing the article argues is that the whole Loomio app that promised direct democracy, was a mask for right wing cyber-libertarianism. ie it mimicked the Occupy movement’s approach but using technology rather than face-to-face debates.

        Ultimately, the author, Jutel, claims that the whole Loomio thing operated more as a focus group, informing the IP organisers of what the membership was thinking. However, it was not committed to doing anything radical as a result of this consultation.

        it is critical of the MOT (Moment of Truth) as actually using right wing tactics for an allegedly left wing agenda. It was about painting John Key and the GCSB as ultimate evil, rather than providing a critical debate. I tend not to agree on the latter re Glenn Greenwald and Snowden. The author is somewhat dismissive of the concerns about the GCSB’s involvement in mass surveillance.

        However, I do agree that the MOT ended with Dotcom using it to promote his new encrypted Mega system. It was using the event for a capitalist profit-motive PR statement.

        There’s a lot in the article. Also new to me was the idea of online trolling being a specific form of online behaviour that is seen by some as resisting entrenched power: ie a form of fun that playfully denigrates a selected enemy, and superficially makes the troller feel they are doing something significant.

        The underlying message though, is to beware of claims for a technological solution to the decaying of democratic process. These tend to follow the logic of capitalist-created technologies.

  10. joe90 11

    Trump voters winning bigly.

    Companies that commit wage theft and put their workers in harm’s way just received a favor from the Trump administration.

    President Donald Trump signed a bill Monday repealing a regulation that had encouraged federal contractors to follow labor laws. Under the Obama-era rule, companies with an egregious record of violating wage and safety laws would lose their government contracts if they didn’t come into compliance.

    The idea behind the rule was to make sure unscrupulous employers didn’t receive taxpayer dollars. But Republicans in Congress thought the rule was too punitive and unfair to businesses. They used an arcane tool known as the Congressional Review Act in an effort to kill the regulation, which was called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule.

    By approving the legislation sent to him by the Senate, Trump has ensured not only that the regulation will die, but also that no similar regulation can be put forth by the Labor Department again. Trump signed the legislation at a White House ceremony in front of the press.


  11. Tui 12

    my close friend carol just sent me this link. haven’t had time to check it yet but apparently it’s the camera footage of the raid and proves hager right!!!

    ~ tui

  12. Nic the NZer 13

    Discussion of Basic Income Guarantees. A subtle reading points out why the L/G fiscal conservatism anouncements are a disaster for any BIG policy advocates. Also explains why TOPs policy position is barely different from benefit rates.


    • weka 13.1

      Not really. By the time L/G get to talking about a UBI seriously (2nd term) they’ll be in a position to talk about making economic changes generally. Best vote in the people most likely to support that. The Greens have all their policies costed btw.

      TOP’s current policy is a big increase for *some beneficiaries. The Big Kahuna is basically a massive benefit cut unless you can supplement your income somehow. I have no idea how they reconcile those two things and TOP don’t appear to want to clarify.

      • Nic the NZer 13.1.1

        Its pretty clear what is behind the TOP proposals. For various reasons they are ‘fiscally neutral’ as they state. Unless L/G start using different accounting when they start ‘seriously’ looking at a UBI they will draw similar conclusions (or abandon their conservative economic position). But even hypothetical discussions here drew similar conclusions to TOPs position about a UBI.

        I already watched the Labour party anounce a good policy to provide a job guarantee to youths…and the back peddeling which followed shortly after when it was suggested more youths than estimated might want such a job. They didn’t have anything to say about that since from what I saw. Thats the issue with this fiscal conservatism it severely limits what you can propose, and if taken seriously what your government can do.

        If its real the government is (as National would have it) beholden to the wealthy who do pay the bulk of the taxes.

        Nobody expects L/G to go all George Osborne on the economy, but on that it was a short lived delusion of his and after causing the second dip in the UK recession he clearly gave up actually practicing what he continued to preach.

        • weka

          “But even hypothetical discussions here drew similar conclusions to TOPs position about a UBI.”

          Some did, some didn’t. I can’t see any point in a UBI that throws vulnerable people under a bus just to attain an abstraction like fiscal neutrality. At that point it just looks like a rearrangement of taxation to cope with high unemployment. It’s not welfare (in the positive sense of making sure everyone is ok).

          “I already watched the Labour party anounce a good policy to provide a job guarantee to youths…and the back peddeling which followed shortly after when it was suggested more youths than estimated might want such a job. They didn’t have anything to say about that since from what I saw. Thats the issue with this fiscal conservatism it severely limits what you can propose, and if taken seriously what your government can do.”

          Fair enough (I didn’t follow that at the time). Thing is, you seem to think the budget policy is set in stone forever, that the Greens are the same as Labour, and that nothing will ever change. That might be true (except for the bit about the Greens). Or they get stuck into the first term with enough left wing support and then they can do some actual policy changes to build on. I get that you and others think that the budget policy is fundamental to everything else, I just don’t see why.

          “Nobody expects L/G to go all George Osborne on the economy,”

          You sure about that? You might not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some do.

          • Nic the NZer

            “You sure about that? You might not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some do.”

            Have not seen it. Thats not the meaning of austrity, which just means literally living within your means, and in this context I would take to mean abiding by these fiscal promises.

            “Thing is, you seem to think the budget policy is set in stone forever”

            Of course the degree to which the rule is abided by matters but these are the problems with it.
            1) Its being formulated somewhat independent of the elected politicians. When politicians get their budgets wrong we can stop electing them. When appointed individuals get them wrong (such as reserve bank officials) we don’t have the same kind of comeback. This dynamic has effected inflation and unemployment rates (part of reserve bank responsibility) for quite some time.
            2) Say surpluses over the cycle is achieved. Then we know that the sum of the three sectors balances, the govt, the external, and the domestic private sector, is zero. This means the domestic private sector must increase its borrowing to fund both the government surplus plus the current account deficit. That means probably a continued student debt expansion and housing bubble expansion in line with Labour 5.
            3) any kind of policy debates will be held up to how well they stack up regarding this. This will continue to undermine what can be proposed and achieved. It also perpetuates the unhealthy state of public debate on these kinds of topics.

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