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Open mike 28/11/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 28th, 2013 - 163 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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Step right up to the mike …

163 comments on “Open mike 28/11/2013”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    Berlusconi gets the boot from the Italian senate for corrupt practices: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/27/silvio-berlusconi-ousted-italian-parliament-tax-fraud-conviction

    Meanwhile, Banksusconi barely gets a mention in the NZ Herald despite spending yesterday in court for the same moral failings. Funny old world, eh?

    • CnrJoe 1.1

      And the exausted wheeze – I mean Geoff Robinson is leaving morning resport – World coming to?

      • Ron 1.1.1

        Yes and it gives RNZ a good chance to insert a more right wing person into Morning Report.
        Just a thought how do people think Geoff would fit into taking over Chris Laidlaws Sunday morning slot. It would be quite a different slot and with better hours the Morning Report.
        And would only occupy a couple of days a week.

        • greywarbler

          Geoff can retire with distinction. But he is too old and right wing to take over from Chris. There seem to be few names brought forward that aren’t already well known. There must be some thoughtful, smart middle aged men who have a wide viewpoint.

          And Berlusconi is 77. Why would old men be given so many years in power. It is a job for middle aged not pensioners who can’t give up the baubles. They get into a rut that deepens. Look at Netanyahu.

    • Foreign Waka 1.2

      Rest assured, Europeans have condemned this men. If he goes back into Parliament all hell brakes loose. There are serious problems to be solved and this is no playground for “misunderstood” millionaires trying for a playground.

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    Berlusconi gets the boot from the Italian senate for corrupt practices: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/27/silvio-berlusconi-ousted-italian-parliament-tax-fraud-conviction

    Meanwhile, Banksusconi barely gets a mention in the NZ Herald despite spending yesterday in court for the same moral failings. Funny old world, eh?

  3. North 3

    Curiouser and curiouser what ?


    This’ll be the “on-Broadway” show of 2014. Thank goodness for the excellence of Paul Davison QC. And KDC’s freed-up bucks ensuring it reaches the stage.

  4. bloody hell..!..al gore has gone vegan..

    ..and george monbiot has issued (another) vegan-retraction/apology…


    “..Al Gore has gone vegan – a diet I was once sceptical about.

    Now I believe it is meat-eating that is more environmentally damaging..”

    ..phillip ure..

    • weka 4.1

      ALL industrial food production is damaging to the environment. Full stop.

      Non-industrial food production, well it depends on the population, geography, climate etc whether it’s better to grow meat or plants or both, but there are basically no historical accounts of fully vegan cultures, ever, so what does that tell us?

      The expectations of the eaters is a huge part of it as well.

      Veganism is a great choice for individuals, but it’s not going to work for populations. I think this is even more true going into a peak resource/AGW world.

  5. Saarbo 5

    This article from todays NZ Herald explains clearly why NZ ends up selling its major assets so cheaply.


    “Interest rates in NZ are higher than those of most other developed countries around the world and NZ’s cost of equity is certainly not lower than overseas companies so this implies the weighted average cost of capital calculated in an overseas investors DCF model is likely to be lower therefore the DCF valuation of Synlait Farms, Fletcher Forests and NZ Farming Systems is likely to be much higher for a buyer overseas than a local buyer.

    If in China the government is prepared to lend the company making the takeover at a low or zero interest rate then their WACC and thus NPV will be much higher so independent experts and independent directors will inevitably say sell. The NZ Takeover Panel, Federated Farmers, politicians etc, need to be urgently aware of these issues.”

    Kiwi’s will never be able to compete against overseas buyers…we need to implement a regulatory solution before all of our assets (Dairy Farms) are purchased by overseas buyers. This is scary.

    • vto 5.1

      Yep, there is no benefit to two things;

      1. Foreign landlords.
      2. High capital values.

      In fact though, it is worse than that as each of those are not just of no benefit, they are actually a detriment.

      Happy to be proved wrong but aint been yet on this ……

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        You’re not wrong. Foreign ownership brings nothing to NZ except higher prices forcing NZers out of the market for home and business.

        • aerobubble

          Worse. Cant even buy a tin of edible bake beans thanks to the rigged market here. Cheap foods are essential for many but supermarkets are taking unsold tins and reheating them and them dumping them onto the cheaper supermarkets shelves. So the owners get a share boost when they turn unsellable stock into seemingly good food, and you stiff (me) gets to throw out a tin of bake beans. I’ve had rusted kernal corn tin, I’ve had rusted tomato tins, its getting bad when you can’t have a backup food supply in the pantry. And its the cheap foods! No wonder S.Auckland go out for takeout, when they get burnt by supermarkets since its a real risk when you have to write off a meal because bad tin of tomatoes got dumped in with the mince.

          And in part its the car cult, that makes it more time consuming to get to the one supermarket, in and out of a large car park and so you’re not about to go to the competitor to check pricing.
          We live in a wasteful consumer nightmare.

    • Flee 5.2

      Much easier and less costly for China to buy the world than to invade it.

      • aerobubble 5.2.1

        Much easier to hire a lawyer and get your former partners employees to rag on them. Revenge in the rich mans world.

        Imagine that, nobody surely would believe someone if they said they stole a quarter of a million because the person they were working for was doing drugs and wouldn’t mind. When did self admitted thieves becomes so convincing? Oh, wait, when a rich prick uses their immense media clout to smear their exit.

        Its like the roastbusters, why do people believe if they admit wrong their words are now unassailable. Why does Key get away with his open for business, we can sell the farm, its good for NZ? Well because the media here spin the great leaders every waking statement as our last great hope to stave off depression and malaise. Yet the fact is we’ve only have growth because returning kiwis escaping world depression, earthquakes, and foreigners buy low tax rental gain out of the NZ economy.

        If I claimed world calamities, natural disasters and selling out cheap (shit in the waterways of NZ and farms selling product overseas and avoiding tax here), as down to me there would be a lynch mob wanting to stop me. Key gets bloody sainted for his handling of the economy.

        Its just lies and spin, no wonder people are leaving TV its all lies and spin.

        • greywarbler

          People leaving NZ. It has got so bad that though it’s chancy in Australia, people make a considered decision that, for them, this country has nothing and cares nothing for them as citizens. So they are making a rational decision as to the best of two unsatisfactory options, and choose to go to Australia even with the punitive, discriminatory conditions they have imposed on a slight excuse.

          The right wingers in NZ Labour, followed by most of National, are taking (have taken) the country back to the state of Britain when our old relatives left to make a better life! Now is there anywhere in the English-speaking world where it’s the main language, that has a standard of politics that matches the expectations that modern, advanced, educated peoples expect?

          • aerobubble

            The Australian policy toward NZ was introduced by Howard who dumbly ignored good government procedure and decided to (in the vain of Thatcher) to demand fiscal neutrality.

            So Howard wanted free trade, common rules, in goods and services, but not in employment.
            And Clark could do nothing, because how Australia impliments its laws is its business, and hell it was a damningly stupid policy, as it harms free movement of employees in what essentially is a free market between NZ and OZ.

            But the media were silent, nice neo-liberals must not be threatened by bad press at their communism/national socialism.

            Enter Key, who is just as naive about looking fiscally stupid when legislating. The Casino license wasn’t the first and wont be the last neo-liberal ideological policy that harms free trade.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      The NZ Takeover Panel, Federated Farmers, politicians etc, need to be urgently aware of these issues.

      They should already be aware of those issues. If they’re not then they either aren’t doing their job or are selling NZ out on purpose.

      We need to ban foreign ownership now.

      • Saarbo 5.3.1

        I think it highlights the calibre of directors on boards in New Zealand. They contract an outfit like Grant Samuels to do the analysis, and Brent Sheather has shown that the analysis is a crock of bull shit (maybe they put new graduates onto work like this). Then BoD rely on this lightweight analysis to support enormous decisions….NZ BoD are still a pack of the old boys club. I understand that Labour have a policy to put a halt to sales of farm land to foreigners…maybe someone can confirm?

        • Draco T Bastard

          I understand that Labour have a policy to put a halt to sales of farm land to foreigners…maybe someone can confirm?

          Can’t recall if it was Goff or Shearer who said that Labour would limit sales of land greater than 5ha. Which I considered a little stupid as it would do nothing for the house prices which were also being driven up by foreign buyers.

  6. how much longer will the political-deniers be able to deny..?


    “..Our planet has experienced five major extinctions over the past billion or so years –

    – do we really want to launch an irreversible 6th?..”

    ..and yep..!..it’s our cows/diet.. again..

    ..the future is really in all our hands..

    ..a future dependant on our choices..now..

    ..for how much longer will we pretend it is nothing to do with us..?

    ..that there is nothing we as individuals can do..?

    ..’cos that ‘helplessness’ is complete and utter bullshit..


    ..and as for drooling-denialists like that fucken clown colon craig..

    ..they can just fuck right off..

    ..phillip ure..

  7. Saarbo 7


    • Belladonna 7.1

      I just dont get why people are willing to risk their health, the environment and be complicit in the terrible cruelty involved with eating meat and dairy. A vegan diet can be delicious so what is the problem?

      • weka 7.1.1

        Most people get sick on a vegan diet.

        Eating meat or dairy per se doesn’t damage health (plenty of healthy people and cultures that eat meat). It’s the kind of meat and how it’s eaten that affects health.

        • Naturesong

          I know a couple of vegans, and they don’t get sick.

          They have however spent a great deal of time researching and educating themselves on food and dietery requirements. Both take small amounts of suppliments, trace elements, selenium etc.

          A fair amount of time each week is also spent on sourcing top quality fresh foods.

          Being a vegan is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and involves significant effort and time to ensure you remain healthy.

          • weka

            “I know a couple of vegans, and they don’t get sick.”

            Yes, I do too. I also know some vegans who have significant health problems. But that is all beside the point. I didn’t say some people can’t do well on a vegan diet, I said most people can’t. The fact that some people do well doesn’t mean everyone can, and the illogic of trying to argue that is astounding.

            There have been no vegan cultures historically. IMO that’s because it doesn’t work at the societal level. Humans can’t sustain themselves and reproduce on a vegan diet. If they could, we would have veganism turning up in the biodiversity of evolution.

            I think the main reason there are so many vegans around now is because it’s easier to be vegan in an oil economy. Try doing it pre-industrial and it gets much harder. There are some people who will have the kind of metabolism to handle only plant nutrients, but I just don’t see any evidence that large numbers of humans are adapted to this.

        • phillip ure

          serious lying there..eh weka..?

          ..i have been vegan for 15 yrs..

          ..i know people who have been vegan for over 30 yrs..

          ..one thing all these vegans share..

          ..is a kind of glowing good health..

          ..it was bad enough enduring yr lies that raising meat doesn’t have a heavier environmental-footprint than raising vegetables on that same land..

          ..(worthy of one of the annual whopper-awards..that one..)

          ..now you are reaching for the really big one..

          ..claiming that going vegan will make ‘most people’ sick..

          ..which means we can all just laff @ yr silliness..eh..?

          ..do you earn yr daily bread from the animal exploitation industry..?

          ..what else explains this campaign of lies from you..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • weka

            “..i have been vegan for 15 yrs..

            ..i know people who have been vegan for over 30 yrs..

            ..one thing all these vegans share..

            ..is a kind of glowing good health..”

            That’s great phillip. And I can find plenty of people who can make the same claims for eating meat/dairy. I’m sure you know some yourself.

            But I didn’t say no-one can do well on a vegan diet, I said most people can’t. That is two different things. See my reply to Ns above.

        • Belladonna

          The majority of people eat a high meat/dairy diet hence the high rates of heart disease, cancer etc.
          You eat vegan to get well!

          • weka

            Heart disease, and probably the high rates of cancer are much more likely to be related to a high and refined carbohydrate diet than a meat one. But like I said, it’s not the meat per se, it’s the kind of meat and how it is eaten. Lots of cultures have meat in their diets and don’t have high rates of heart disease. I bet that grain and antibiotic fed beef in the US is a contributor to poor health stats there. But that’s a very different kind of meat than what humans have been eating historically and in evolutionary terms.

            Some people’s health improves on a vegan diet for sure. Others can do it for a period of time and then return to eating meat/dairy etc for health reasons. Others never to well on it. If you are unaware of the people that have stopped being vegan for health reasons I suggest this is because you are evangelical and those people don’t talk to you, or you don’t listen to them.

        • Belladonna

          The majority of people eat a high meat/dairy diet hence the high rates of heart disease, cancer etc.
          You eat vegan to get well!

  8. Not a PS Staffer 8

    Roy Morgan Poll Reality Check!

    We are only now back at the point where we lost in 2008!

    Of every 20 people 9 are still supporting National, 7 Labour, 2 the Greens, 1 NZFirst and 1 between the Maori and small parties.

    In conventional terms, David Cunliffe has to get two more people to move from another camp into the Labour camp: however engaging with the enrolled non voters is where the icing on the cake is to be found.

    We must get the re-organisation of new (mainly Auckland) LECs sorted before Christmas and get on quickly with engaging the ENVs and the swing voters.

  9. ScottGN 9

    I know there’s lots of water to flow under the bridge yet before the Christchurch Town Hall restoration is realized but Warren and Mahoney’s plans look awesome. Good on the Christchurch Councillors for doing the right thing in choosing restoration for one of NZ’s most important post-war buildings in spite of Gerry Brownlee.

    • yeah..that’s a good use of $127 million..eh..?

      ..a homage to post-war dick-stroking/building the biggest/best town-hall competitions..

      ..(why not go the whole hog..?..throw a few more mill down that piss-hole..and build a big phallic-symbol next to/towering over..this new/flash town hall..?.)

      ..for once i agree with brownlee..

      ..christchurch was offered a much better multi-use building for that same money..

      ..a real asset..

      ..and these idiots wedded/welded to colonial-pastiches of/from the past..

      ..they won..

      ..$127 million for a photo-set for when the mayor gets all flashed out in that drag that they wear..


      ..phillip ure..

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      It’s a hideously ugly building and the performing arts community in Christchurch don’t want it kept because it doesn’t suit their needs. They’d rather have new purpose-built venues with the money instead.

      • ScottGN 9.2.1

        Not everyone thinks it’s ‘hideously ugly’ Lanth. In fact quite a lot of people think it’s Sir Miles Warren’s finest building and arguably the most important public building built in the post-war period in NZ.

    • vto 9.3

      Good result,

      We need some of the fabric of our previous city to stitch the new one to. Waaay too much of the city has been knocked down, leaving the place barren and bereft of any reference to our previous place. Imo this referencing is essential for our city but it has been forgotten in all the hubbub and charge to the bright and shiny.

      The building has nationally significant architectural kudos and is a fantastic example of the pre-earthquake Christchurch / Warren & Mahoney style.

      Bring it on.

      • phillip ure 9.3.2

        “..We need some of the fabric of our previous city to stitch the new one to..”

        um..!..yr ‘fabric’ was a colonial-pastiche..a facade..

        ..yr ‘fabric’ was scraps of british wannabe/forelock-tugging-cloth..(shopfronts..?.)

        ..the town hall a screen for the elites to rule from behind..to give them some kind of (ultimately) false-gravitas..

        …(and a physical manifestation of that class-system/snobbery that made/makes christchurch so hideous..?..(‘what school did you go to..?’..)

        ..yr ‘fabric’ is a tired/ old/ borrowed cloth..

        ..time to seize the chance to get a new one..

        ..phillip ure..

        • vto

          Your assessment is inaccurate. Not all that fabric was colonial by any means – that indicates your lack of intimate knowledge of the city. And anyway, so what re some colonial fabric… is one of the most significant aspects of NZ history. I am part colonial background and proud of what my people achieved.

          Your comments about british / what school did you go to / class system is common with Christhurch and it has cred, but the town hall fits into that not one iota.

          And finally I think the idea behind linking the past and the future via a stitch in fabric has flown way over your head (“get a new one”).

          You have let your personal prejudices about Chch blinker yourself…. silly … eh

          • phillip ure

            not really..vto..it is the $127 million..

            ..and what could be done with that..

            ..and as for /prejudices’ about christchurch..?

            ..how about facts..?

            ..there is that hideous class system you admit to..

            ..the degree/levels of outright racism against anyone who isn’t white is at old south america standards..(as in truly vile..)

            ..christchurch has the most junkies in new zealand..

            ..it sits in a hollow..so has high levels of pollution/dirty air….

            ..it is arse-bitingly cold..

            ..i dunno why you all didn’t just grab the insurance monies..

            ..and move somewhere better..



            ..phillip ure..

  10. dv 10

    Here is an interesting graph about debt, showing the stunning increase of the debt by the Nats


  11. ak 11

    Top marks David. Now keep the foot down.

    Joint LAGR pledge of zillions to save the SI Kokako.

    Visit Mike McIvor.

  12. I suspect, and hope, we will see more of this type of protest action. Blocking roads is a visible way of showing dissent and it does disturb their exploitative activities, at least for a while.


    • weka 12.1

      Very good.

      “Mr Halliday said they were legally entitled to block the stretch of highway as it was on Maori customary land.”

      Anyone know what that’s about?

      • karol 12.1.1

        Explained more on RNZ site:

        The demonstration south of Towai and just north of the railway crossing at Waiotu began at 10am. A Radio New Zealand reporter at the scene said up to 50 protesters lined the highway, forcing steams of traffic including logging trucks to take a 28km detour on narrow winding back roads. The road reopened about 12.25pm.

        Police said they were powerless to remove protesters because the highway at that point traverses land that was never surveyed or sold to the Crown, which makes it Maori customary land.

        • weka

          Very generous to only close the road for 2.5 hours then, all things considered.

          • Colonial Viper

            iwi really know how to do this shit.

            You make a point, you flex your muscles, then you back off graciously under your own power. You get all the upside of the media coverage, looking in full control, and being generous to boot.

        • Murray Olsen

          There’s a similar piece of road on the way to Whananaki North, where a certain route was surveyed, but when the road was built, the contractors decided there was an easier route to take. Although those are the only two instances I know about, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were common all over Northland.

  13. Lanthanide 13

    Geoff Robinson is retiring from Morning Report on National Radio, after 37 years. Last day will be 1st April 2014.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Older, more powerful, much wealthier partner admits domestic assault on roofer husband

    I wonder how many times this has happened to him before he decided to call the police.


    • marty mars 14.1

      Interesting point. It relates to this article too I believe even though it is man on man.

      Why should we care about how grown men address bullying? We should care because just as Jonathan Martin is being told to “man up,” so are young boys all over the country when they are bullied. Boys are told that when they cannot physically confront a bully they are inadequate and unworthy. They are taught to remain silent in the face of insurmountable violence because speaking out is a sign of weakness, or worse, femininity. Too many boys are left with nowhere to turn when bullying makes trauma a daily experience. In this sort of environment can we really be surprised that boys are committing suicide, developing depression, and lashing out violently at incredibly high rates?


      How many times do we here this phase ‘man up’ ? It seems very common indeed, in fact someone said it to me just last week!

      • marty mars 14.1.1

        ‘hear’ of course

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Boys are told that when they cannot physically confront a bully they are inadequate and unworthy.

        A good question: Just how much damage is being done to the boys, and thus society, when they don’t get the support that they need?

        • Naturesong

          As a guy at school you fight back, and you lose
          And the next day you fight back, and you lose again.
          And you keep fighting back whenever you are bullied no matter how much damage you sustain.
          Even if you never win. Every day.

          And other people will start to intervene, because they know when it starts, you will keep getting up no matter how much punishment you take. Because people start to feel sick when they a small boy get beaten ot a pulp every day by a larger boy.

          But even if no one intervenes the bullies eventually give up because you are simply too much work and it’s no fun anymore.

          And when they eventually give up you’ve won. But you have to be prepared to take a lot of punishment.

          That only works for physical bullying though. The way girls bullied other girls at school using all of the social tools available to them to isolate, vilify and harrass them, that stuff would go on for months.

          At least as a guy you could do something, even when you lost and got the shit kicked out of you, you were still in control.

          • Draco T Bastard

            We’re actually trying to stop the bullying and the violence – not encourage it.

          • marty mars

            Naturesong – and what if you don’t fight back but go to the teachers, parents or police – what do you think of those boys? What adjective would you use to describe them?

            This attitude of fighting back is detrimental and absurd imo.

            • Naturesong

              I think the boys are trying to figure out how to prevent the abuse from continuing, and are doing whatever they must to make it stop.
              The only boys I would pass judgement on in this instance are the ones doing the bullying.

              If going to parents, school teachers, police makes it stop, that would be the best outcome.
              But, having been down that road myself as a child, it didn’t work for me. It just made it worse.

              As a child, if you bring in authority from the outside of your peer group to solve an issue within your peer group, you lose the respect of your peer group, making you a target for bullying.

              Don’t you remember what the social norms were like when you were a kid?

              If you are not able to walk away or talk your way out of it, I absolutely advocate defending yourself as vigorously as you are able. If someone whats to bully you, make it cost them.

              Not because of any judgement of whether you are more of a “man” if you use your fist.
              Generally speaking if you are using your fists, it means you already lost the first part of the battle by not being able to walk away or talk yourself out of the situation.

              Maybe you didn’t get bullied at school, I did.
              I remember living in fear for months, and the only thing that stopped it was when I realised that I really didnt have anything to lose, I was already getting the snot beaten out of me on a regular basis.

              So yes, fight back with every ounce of your being!
              And when you see someone else being bullied, make those bullies stop as well.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Don’t you remember what the social norms were like when you were a kid?

                What social norms? Might is right? What about the autistic children who don’t pick up on the “social norms” at all, ever?

                IMO, one of the reasons that we have continuing rape culture and violence is because children aren’t taught how to socialise – they’re left to work it themselves. Unsurprisingly, they don’t do to well.

                • karol

                  It is concerning. There was this article in the Independent (UK) a day or 2 ago, about how children as young as 12 are being sexually abused and raped by other children, including gangs, of a similar age:

                  Children as young as 12 are carrying out sexual violence against each other, according to “profoundly distressing” evidence highlighted in an official report.

                  The victims of these crimes are as young as 11, a damning report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England has found.

                  The scale and nature of sexual attacks – including rape – indicates a “deep malaise” within society that needs to be addressed.
                  Rape is considered “inevitable” and “normal”, especially by gang members, and such cases of sexual violence were found not just in deprived, inner city neighbourhoods, the report says, but in every area of England.
                  Research conducted by Bedfordshire University into sexual violence in gangs revealed two thirds of the young people questioned (65 per cent) knew of young women who had been pressurised or forced into sexual activity, while half could provide examples of youngsters offering sex in return for status or protection.

                  Two fifths (41 per cent) said they knew of individual cases of rape, while over a third (34 per cent) gave researchers examples of gang rape.

                  Nearly two fifths (39 per cent) of the young people who responded to the survey said they knew of cases of youngsters exchanging sex for drugs, alcohol or to pay off a debt, while almost a third (31 per cent) gave examples of girls being used as bait to attract and “set up” male members from rival gangs.

          • karol

            Good to see that sort of questioning of those particular codes of masculinity.

            The way girls bullied other girls at school using all of the social tools available to them to isolate, vilify and harrass them, that stuff would go on for months.

            And for rape and sexual violence, which is most usually against those with less social or physical power, (especially women/children) there’s usually a mix of physical and psychological abuse/torture (see for instance Titford).

  15. Tracey 15


    I am pleased to see him go but will hoots replace him


  16. Tracey 16

    “Len Brown’s office last night confirmed that the Auckland Mayor has not complied with the council code of conduct rules over a trip to Hong Kong.Responding to an urgent request under official information laws by the Herald, Mr Brown’s chief of staff, Phil Wilson, owned up after chief executive Doug McKay allowed the issue to simmer for two days.Mr Wilson said he understood Mr Brown did not file an annual return of interests by July 31 under the code of conduct because it was under review at the time.”As a consequence, elected members – and myself on Len’s behalf – did not file returns understanding they would be requested to do so at a later date,” Mr Wilson said.”

    • northshoreguynz 16.1

      Apart from Penny, who cares?

      • phillip ure 16.1.1

        quite a few people ‘care’..

        ..this one has such an odor about it..

        ..and it is not the whiff of/from poontang..

        ..this is more serious than lens’ mid-life crisis..

        ..who did brown meet with..?

        ..and for why..?

        ..and why all the secrecy..?

        ..what is he hiding..?

        ..phillip ure..

  17. Tigger 17


    GCSB staff wouldn’t be interviewed by police.

    I suggest the public start using this defence. Won’t talk to you, sorry.

  18. Morrissey 18

    Bill Ralston: “You have to trust Anadarko, really”
    As you read this, remember that Ralston calls himself a “journalist”

    The Huddle, NewstalkZB, Tuesday 26 November 2013, 5:40 p.m.
    Larry “Lackwit” Williams, Jock Anderson, Bill Ralston

    “Newstalk ZB is for ignorant louts, the intellectually challenged and the modern day version of the 1930s brown shirts.”—Anne, The Standard, 9 August 2013

    LARRY “LACKWIT” WILLIAMS: Issue number one: the Greenpeace protest against Anadarko off the Raglan coast.
    JOCK ANDERSON: Yes, it’s nothing but a publicity stunt, and they went there in their boat probably powered by a diesel engine in the calm seas.
    WILLIAMS: Yep.
    BILL RALSTON: Exactly! Greenpeace is now trying to create this sense of urgency, but it’s not going to work! They should have tried to take legal action earlier! Perhaps the courts will restore some sanity and sensibility to the question. Look, we’ve had deep-sea drilling for years! And if Anadarko say they have the best systems in the world, you have to trust them, really. [1] This is nothing more than grandstanding by Greenpeace!
    WILLIAMS: They’re flush with cash!
    BILL RALSTON: Ha ha ha! They’re as rich as some of the oil companies! Ha ha ha ha ha!
    WILLIAMS: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    JOCK ANDERSON: Greenpeace twists the arms of the friendly media.
    WILLIAMS: Yep.
    JOCK ANDERSON: Anadarko has been consistent throughout, but Greenpeace are just in it for the publicity!
    BILL RALSTON: They do phased campaigns, so they will have to step it up from now on. Next they will try to board the vessel.
    JOCK ANDERSON: [drily] They’ll chain someone to the drilling rig underwater perhaps.

    ……[Long, awkward pause]……

    BILL RALSTON: Ahhh, ha ha ha ha ha!
    WILLIAMS: Back after the break.


    WILLIAMS: Issue number two: David Cunliffe might buy the assets back!
    BILL RALSTON: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! He might, he might not!
    WILLIAMS: Yep.
    BILL RALSTON: It’s the classic stance of politicians: a foot in both camps. And it will DOOM him in the end! He is a coward. Give the government credit: they do tell you what they will do. But with Labour, there’s this duplicity. I just think it’s duplicitous.
    WILLIAMS: Duplicitous.
    JOCK ANDERSON: This thing’s going to cost nine million dollars, and it’s a strangely worded referendum. Bill’s one hundred per cent right on this. This guy should be picking his campaigns very carefully. He’s trying to be all things to all men.
    BILL RALSTON: He needs to take a strong stand!
    WILLIAMS: Bill, I think Key’s got him cornered on this!

    WILLIAMS: Jock, issue number three: MM Bubbles. It’s charging extra to wax up fat people! [2]
    BILL RALSTON: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    JOCK ANDERSON: Bubbles is the gross character in Little Britain!
    WILLIAMS: That Bubbles, and that series, that was a classic!
    BILL RALSTON: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    WILLIAMS: Bill Ralston and Jock Anderson on the Huddle. It’s ten to six.

    [1] The "best systems in the world" in action….

    [2] http://www.refinery29.com/2013/11/57967/waxing-fat-tax-mm-bubbles

    • Saarbo 18.1

      Doesn’t Bill Ralston’s partner do the media training for The National Party?

      Bill Ralston is very light weight, always surprised how much commentating work he gets.

    • Tigger 18.2

      As always, Morrissey, these quotes just make me want to punch the pundits in the face. We have to trust a fucking oil company? These people are psychotic.

      • Anne 18.2.1

        No Tigger, they’re just ignorant louts, intellectually challenged and modern day versions of the 1930s brown shirts. 🙂

      • Morrissey 18.2.2

        They are not psychotic, just intellectually lazy, and obedient repeaters of government talking-points. NewstalkZB, like Radio Live, is pretty much a National Party megaphone.

    • North 18.3

      Sounds like Key’s got him (Ralston) on the payroll. Who’d have thunk it ? Billy Boy aye ?

  19. amirite 19

    Paddy Gower in his farticle on TV3 claims that the Greens’ leadership challenge is way crazier than Colon Cray’s belief in chemtrails. I guess that mindset is sort of expected when you’ve been a Right Wing’s colon-dweller for too long.

  20. Sanctuary 20

    The day I agree with David Farrar is an exceptionally sad one, but I have to say I was horrified to hear Deborah Russell, Massey university lecturer, regular feminist blogger, and wannabe Labour party candidate, on Jim Moras show yesterday basically advocating censorship of debating topics in relation to the mild storm in a teacup being generated by the New Zealand British Parliamentary Debating Championships which were hosted by Victoria University last weekend when they debated that “This House, as a parent, would tell their daughter to drink responsibly to avoid sexual assault”.

    Universities are meant to be bastions of free speech. End of story. No ifs. No buts. The idea that anything an ivory tower feminist deems a thought crime must not be discussed is simply intolerable in a free society.

    Deborah Russell is everything that is wrong with modern feminism – middle class, middle aged, academic, completely out of touch and now wanting to dictate what people are allowed to discuss in public.

    Labour needs her as a candidate like it needs a hole in the head.

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      Yeah, what we need is ageist, sexist, anti-academic gits like yourself to tell us who to put up as candidates. That’ll really help.

      And as to the debate, whoever thought that topic was appropriate should be prevented from ever making such an awful decision again. That’s the actual ivory tower academic thought crime, right there.

      • vto 20.1.1

        Sanctuary has a point imo. You watch Labour sink back to its usual position in the eyes of many people if it gets back into power next year. The sinking will be due to the those same factors which drove people mad when Helen had the wheel – being told what to do and think by certain types. Betcha. I see no evidence that this particular feature of the left has changed. At all.

        Running alongside this monumental risk with Labour is the fact that the Nats will dump neoliberalism and morph their economic policies to line up with the general populace mood change for less neolib shit.

        But its your party, you do as you wish…

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.2

        1.) That’s a great example of ensuring Labour loses a voter. Not that I’m overly concerned as I think it’d be great if Labour lost a lot more.

        2.) Nothing wrong with the topic of the debate

        • Te Reo Putake

          Fair enough, DtB, the topic only reduced some participants to tears; but who cares, they were only women, eh. Probably their time of the month or something equally trivial.

          From the news report:

          “The spectator said many of the female participants in the tournament were adamant they did not wish to engage in the debate, but were pressured into “hardening up” and arguing the motion.

          “What resulted were many of the male debaters literally laughing at their female peers as they tried to defend their own rights to consume alcohol and have consensual sex, and there was also much joking about the circumstances in which sexual assault occurs,” she said.

          Participants were reduced to tears both during and after the debate, she said.

          “One woman began crying during the debate which she participated in, and others were crying after the debate, for reasons ranging from personal experiences with rape, to the sheer shock of feeling they had to defend those rapists.” “

          • Sanctuary

            “…The spectator said…”

            One person point of view, uncorroberated by anyone else there, is enough to trigger the censorship police? Good grief, what sort of country do you want? One where sort of commissar can stand up at a debate and invoke their powers under the suppression of disagreeable thoughts act and shut the debate down?

            • Zorr

              Actually, I expect that our august institutions are capable of saying to themselves, in their decision making process, “Hey, this might just be a little bit of an inappropriate topic and maybe we should use our supposed incredible intelligence to sidestep the issue by choosing another topic”

              How dare we demand that they think their bs through – if someone does something jerky then they deserve to be called on it. This *is* free speech. They said/did something stupid. People responded. Ball is now back in their court.

              Love how things like this reveal the thin facade that “civilized” citizens hide behind when it comes to progressive issues – the lessons haven’t been internalized, it’s all just an act and when these situations come along they no longer have any lines to follow and the mask slips

            • Rogue Trooper

              “Laid it right on the line
              When a guy with a chip on his shoulder said,
              ‘Toss off buddy she’s mine’ ,

              Shot Down in Flames

        • Tigger

          There was an inherent misogyny in the topic, it was a wolf whistle to male debaters to attack the female debates on nothing but their gender. Guidelines should rule out any topic that enables debaters to attack the others at this level. But as a institution it’s my experience debating is ruled by heterosexual, older white males – of course any attempt to keep them in line is labelled ‘censorship’. Persecution politics, stop playing it, we know what you’re doing and we’re damn sick of it.

          • Zorr

            +1 to both TRP and Tigger

            Not much else to add other than to be ashamed at all those otherwise relatively enlightened people who can’t see the inappropriateness of such a topic for debate. As QOT pointed out in her post, there are plenty of ways to be edgy and challenging without doing this bull

            • Sanctuary

              Look, just to be clear – I agree it was an inappropriate topic. But I’ll be damned if I think they should be PREVENTED from debating it by some sort of thought police directed by the likes of Deborah Russell.

              • Zorr

                I really can’t be bothered engaging too much on this anymore because it is obvious that you are one of those people who will always feel that free speech gives you the right to be a jackass whenever you so wish. And the truth is, it does. That same free speech also extends to those that would criticize your words and/or actions.

                For those that wish to make noise about this, the objective is clear – to encourage future debate topics to be more thought through than this one was and make it clear that if it happens again they can expect a similar backlash.

                I would also like to point out here that the main reason I even bothered replying was to point out the idiocy in even using the term “thought police” here for those people who dare to have a voice and speak out about their displeasure with the situation. Is not your proposal that these people shouldn’t speak out against this an equivalent “thought police” reaction as you so used it? It is a very overused term and yet you still get it wrong.

                I guess I should just be happy you didn’t compare her opinion to the Stasi

                • karol

                  As Marama Davidson said, it’s not about (suppression of) “free speech”, it’s about the “privilege of speech/speaking”. And I think that includes the privilege of being the ones who can chose a debating topic in a forum of reasonable status.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And I think that includes the privilege of being the ones who can chose a debating topic in a forum of reasonable status.

                    Privilege? You don’t think that the panel who conferred on whether or not the topic was appropriate earned the right to do so?

                    • Zorr

                      uh… CV… you have managed to focus on a singular meaning of “privilege” and completely missed the actual point made by karol

          • Sanctuary

            But the issue is not the misogyny of the topic, nor the questionable taste of the person who set the topic, nor whether or the topic somehow enforces some sort of patriarchal dominance, for those are simply a matter of your opinion. The issue is a university academic, who has presumptions to nice place on the Labour list, is advocating censorship of views that she happens to disagree with.

            So my question to you, and the very offended Te Reo Putake (although to be fair, being offended is a default setting for certain lefty liberal types) is do you, or do you not, support the censorship of debating topics that offend feminists? It is a simple question.

            • weka


              Starts at 15:45

              I think you overstate the case Sanctuary. Deborah expressed her opinion that she thinks it wasn’t an ok topic, she said it was “an unwise topic”. She doesn’t say that the University should be prevented from setting the topic. In other words, she isn’t advocating censorship. That you have confused the two things says more about your reactions I’m afraid.

              Plus what Zorr said. Misusing concepts of free speech is also unwise.

              I am curious though, do you really think any and all topics should be allowed in such a setting (an international competition)? How about debating the merits of having sex with children?

              • weka

                Oh and really you should read this (h/t QoT)


                Fourth, take care that your philosophizing is not unintentionally contributing to the problem that you’re discussing. There is a long history of rationalizing away sexual assault, and Amanda Marcotte notes in her post:

                Colleges in this country are suffering from a rape problem that is all too real and not some kind of cutesy thought experiment. Rapists and their enablers are known to seize on claims like the one Landsburg is kicking around here, that it doesn’t count if you didn’t have to beat the victim to subdue her. In fact, one of the witnesses who saw the Steubenville rape but didn’t try to stop it used exactly that excuse: “It wasn’t violent. I didn’t know exactly what rape was. I thought it was forcing yourself on someone.” Having a popular professor casually endorse this rationalization through wanky and ultimately irrelevant thought “experiments” isn’t just offensive, but could be dangerous as well.

              • Colonial Viper

                I am curious though, do you really think any and all topics should be allowed in such a setting (an international competition)? How about debating the merits of having sex with children?

                There are very good reasons why academic or parliamentary debate should be given the widest latitudes and freedom from limitations possible.

                How about debating the merits of having sex with children?

                How about debating the merits of homicide, animal cruelty or arson?

                • weka

                  “How about debating the merits of having sex with children?

                  How about debating the merits of homicide, animal cruelty or arson?”

                  They’re not really the same though. I can think of instances where homicide, animal cruelty and arson are all justified. Can you think of an instance where sex with a child is?

                  Here’s another one:

                  “This House, as a parent, would tell their son how to not get caught if they decide to rape someone”

                  Is that useful to debate? Why?

              • Zorr

                Interesting that you should bring up that particular debate topic weka because today I am struggling with the recent revelation (to myself) that the front-man of a band I enjoyed some few years back (http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/9451940/Lostprophets-singers-victims-in-the-hundreds) recently plead guilty to some of the most heinous acts I have heard described. It is difficult because I went to a BDO specifically to see them and bought their albums so I feel that my support of their band, despite being just one among many, fed in to the cult of celebrity that enabled the acts.

                When we talk rape culture and the multifarious facets that it possesses in our society, we have to confront these evils and debate how to respond to them. The fact in this situation, the topic setter thought it pertinent to return to the Dark Ages mentality of framing the discussion in terms of victim blaming is abhorrent to me. They may as well have made the debate over “In our house, do we keep our women in the kitchen to prevent them from being overly promiscuous?”

                *rage* *rant* *seethe*

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  When we talk rape culture and the multifarious facets that it possesses in our society, we have to confront these evils and debate how to respond to them.

                  But apparently some people only want the debate framed on their terms only.

                  • Zorr

                    Congratulations on being late to the party and jumping right in to the hole left by Sanctuary

                    We have been discussing why the framing has been important and that no-one has said the debating panel *had* to choose a different topic but that the choice was “unwise” and now they are suffering some backlash for it. I’m not going to get all indignant over it, all over again but you could actually try go read the entire debate before jumping in with a knee jerk to a single line

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Unwise? Or simply distasteful? Or distasteful and controversial? Debating championships shouldn’t use distasteful or contraversial topics?

                      But if it was a distasteful or contraversial topic framed in the reverse sense, eg in this house we don’t need to teach girls to not be intoxicated, you’d be fine with it?

                    • Zorr

                      uh CV… you continue to miss the point

                      The example provided in the comments of QOTs post is the reverse (“In this house, we don’t teach boys to rape”), not the example you provide which is just the neg of the debate topic.

                      And yes, I would still have an issue with it.

                      I feel like we are being asked to expect *less* of our august institutions and because they are in positions of authority, they shouldn’t have to think their shit through?

                      As also pointed out by another commenter on QOTs post, the topic fits the mold of “This house as [$AUTHORITY_FIGURE] would tell [$INDIVIDUAL] to [perform $ACTION] to avoid [$MORAL_AND/OR_PHYSICAL_PERIL]”. This is an absurd structure of topic, in a professional sense, without even touching on the morality of the issue.

                      They failed hard on so many levels.

                    • weka

                      “Unwise? Or simply distasteful? Or distasteful and controversial? Debating championships shouldn’t use distasteful or contraversial topics?

                      But if it was a distasteful or contraversial topic framed in the reverse sense, eg in this house we don’t need to teach girls to not be intoxicated, you’d be fine with it?”

                      You think this is about alcohol consumption?

                      You think rape is ‘distasteful’?

                      I suspect you have missed the major part of the objections to the topic. It’s not about distaste, it’s not about controversy (ffs, you think us commenting here have a problem with controversy? Really? Maybe consider how controversial it is talking about rape culture in a culture that is in denial of it). It’s about rape culture and the things that perpetuate it. It’s also about how the powers in the patriarchy get to set the agenda. The issue of women (and probably some men) being triggered in that debate, that alone is worth not having chosen that topic. But the only response I have seen to that issue is that it’s based on one anonymous person’s report therefore it might not be true. No-one has addressed the substance of the issue, and instead the best that can be done is to try and marginalise the experiences. Why is that? Think about that carefully, because it tells alot about this whole situation.

                      “But apparently some people only want the debate framed on their terms only.”

                      Or perhaps we want equitable access to setting the agenda. Why should people who know shit about rape culture get to set the agenda?

            • felix

              Hi Sanctuary.

              Why are you advocating for the censorship of Deborah Russel’s free speech?

      • Sanctuary 20.1.3

        You sound like a wonderful fellow.

    • weka 20.2

      Deborah is awesome. I didn’t hear the piece, but read QoT’s take on it yesterday.


      • karol 20.2.1

        I read that last night. Very good post about the academic style of debating that puts strategies for winning an argument (just for the sake of winning) above matters of principle.

        Too much of parliamentary/mainstream left politics has moved away from matters of principle for my liking: prioritising winning and strategies for winning, over matters of policy, principle and conviction.

        • ropata

          unfortunately if you don’t win an election your policies will just be smoke in the wind

          • Tat Loo (CV)

            And the political Left (or Right) don’t get to define and issue what is principled or what is not, for everyone else, without going through the hard work of justifying the points and persuading people eg. Via things like debates.

            • weka

              Can I take that to mean that you think that teaching women how not to get drunk in order to prevent rape, is a valid approach rape prevention? Because I can’t see any other way to interpret what you just said.

              • Colonial Viper

                Women can do anything that they want to. And these days, that includes harming themselves more and more with more and more alcohol in increasing numbers and increasing frequency. Women are getting almost as good as men in that regard now. I guess if you have the freedom, you might as well use it. Maybe you might even approve of a debate competition topic on the subject.

                • McFlock

                  self-harm from alcohol has nothing to do with harm from others.
                  The first might be your choice, the second is someone else’s avoidable decision.

    • Rogue Trooper 20.3

      Nope Sanctuary, that is a shocking point to debate.
      as Tigger identifies; wash your mouth out with soap 😉

    • thechangeling 20.4

      The conflict I can also see is that feminism is incompatible with neo liberal ideology as is free speech, both of which are social democratic practices that promote debate and exchange of ideas so better collective outcomes can hopefully be reached for the betterment of us all.

      • Colonial Viper 20.4.1

        Women can do anything that men can do. Is that a feminist message? And as we have seen, women can be neoliberal CEOs or neoliberal politicians, exactly like men can be, and sometimes even out-do men at being right wing.

        • thechangeling

          I think this is actually quite a complex set of interrelated ideas. I know that neo-liberalism seeks to breakdown (atomise) collectively operating systems in society so that wealth can be extracted and power can be concentrated into the hands of those already within the wealthy elite classes, and takes into account neither gender, culture, race, age, social strata, etc while this process unfolds, deepens and embeds itself into the economic, political and social systems of national and international territories.

  21. Seti 22

    So the average household has more disposable income now?

    Weekly household spending has risen more than 9 per cent in the past three years to $1111, as Kiwis cough up more for food, transport, housing and power.

    But it’s not all bad news with Statistics NZ figures out today showing that average household income grew even faster over the same time, up 11.5 per cent to an annual income of $85,588.


    • Zorr 22.1

      The important word there is the “average” income

      What is the median income?

      • Seti 22.1.1

        Since National’s won office in 2008 inflation/CPI has increased by 10.8%, yet the median household income has increased by 15.6%, from $59,345 to $68,626.

        • Zorr

          How the hell do you get your figures?

          I went straight to the horses mouth (NZ.Stat) and dragged the same figures out that Flee has:

          Median household income in 2008 – $65364
          Median household income in 2013 – $70616

          Total %age increase in that period is 8.035%

          Thank you, thank you
          I’ll be here all evening

          • Rogue Trooper

            make sure you rehydrate.

          • ghostrider888

            gotta’ keep ya’ flammable fluids up.

          • Seti

            Do I need to break out the sock puppets?

            Go here – Stats NZ Household Economic Survey.

            Click on the table and you’ll see the median income for year end June 2008 for Total Regular and Recurring Income is $59,345, as I quoted. You’ll also see for the YE 2013 is $68,626. Total increase = 15.6%.

            Dunno what you’re looking at.

            • Foreign Waka

              OK, I do not know anybody who earns that kind of money. Is this the average income of a government employee? One would be earning $ 1320 per week. Sorry man, it just shows how far away some of the people are from the daily reality for most. The average spend on food however has gone up by about 13% if I look at the weekly spend of our household. Comparing apples against apples I may add. EVERYBODY who is not a high flyer out there is hurting. Petrol, also bus fares, rent – all the basics have gone up. Talk to people who work in the Warehouse, Petrol Stations or general offices and the true picture will soon emerge. And no, there are no puppets needed for the average battler out there. It could backfire offering such.

            • Zorr

              In all honesty, I am very confused right now because their own report building tool disagrees with that published household economic survey. If you go use their tool you will see what I mean just by going to:


              And then “Income by Region” selecting “All Regions” and that gives the figures I used

              Who to believe? Stats NZ or Stats NZ?

              EDIT: Apologies – I am looking at the median income (which I though was the figure we were looking at) and the Household Economic Survey focuses on the mean income.

              I guess this goes to prove that in NZ, the rich got much richer and the poor got much poorer.

        • Adele

          Kiaora Seti

          The Ministry of Social Development has published Household Incomes in NZ: trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982-2012 which essentially says the complete opposite to your assertions. To quote:

          ..From just before the impact of the GFC to the beginning of recovery (from HES 2009 to HES 2012, that is, approximately from calendar 2008 to 2011), the net change in median household income in real terms was close to zero (+0.5% over three years)…

      • Flee 22.1.2


        2013 Household Income (all sources)
        Weekly Average income = $1,601 * 52 = $83,252 pa
        Weekly Median income = $ 1,358 * 52 = $70,616 pa

        2013 Wage and Salary Income
        Weekly Average income = $1,223 * 52 = $63,596 pa
        Weekly Median income = $ 1,036 * 52 = $53,872 pa

        A higher average (mean) than median means that there are a few households earning some big bucks dragging the average up. 50% households get less than $70K. If you do not earn the average $83K you are in company with over half the households in NZ.

        The second set of numbers better reflect households without income earning assets who have to rely on just wages or salaries.

        More people need to be informed of inequality in NZ. The news media is rubbish when it come to reporting numbers and worse at analysis. NZ Stats web site is rubbish but numbers can be got and processed a bit better than what I’ve done for a quick post.

        The discrepancy between these and reported numbers depends on what SS you look at but the points are the same.

      • bad12 22.1.3

        i would say the real figures should be published of the number of the population who earn less than the average prefferably in $10,000 brackets, such a chart should show a ten year time frame and the number of wage earners either moving up or down the wage scale,

        Medium and median incomes are a simple ruse to hide the true picture of poverty…

    • bad12 22.2

      Yes and those ‘averages’ tell an incredibly false story where a third of the population exist relying upon far far less than the ‘average wage’ and has between 1 and 200 dollars a week of disposable income mostly spent upon food at the supermarket…

  22. captain hook 23

    I see in the Dompost this a.m. that National is getting to ready to privatise the Universities.
    Is that so they can give jobs to their mates or let their mates examine the universities for any nice little earners they can sell off to themselves.
    It cant be about governance because the universities seem to be doing an ok job at the moment.

  23. captain hook 24

    I see in the Dompost this a.m. that National is getting to ready to privatise the Universities.
    Is that so they can give jobs to their mates or let their mates examine the universities for any nice little earners they can sell off to themselves.
    It cant be about governance because the universities seem to be doing an ok job at the moment.

    • risildowgtn 24.1

      Have you got a link for that Cpt. Hook please?

    • millsy 24.2

      I looked everywhere on the DomPost but couldnt find anywhere.

      Wouldnt suprise me though — Shipley’s government tried to pull off a stunt like that in 98/99, but time ran out, and Bradford was run out.

    • karol 24.3

      Is it this article?

      Universities should not be managed like factories

      Government plans to change the way our universities are run could damage them, writes Peter Curson [Pof of population and security at Sydney Uni]

      THERE is talk in New Zealand of changing the governance structure of universities and quite possibly excluding academic staff and students from a place on such councils.
      The driving force behind this seems to be a belief that universities are not responsive and adaptive enough to modern business practices and an overall desire to see universities behave and be governed more like multinational businesses.
      But in the long run do we want to see the governance of our universities become remote from the people they represent and who strive to make the place attractive, competitive and successful, as well as producing important breakthroughs in science, social sciences and the arts? I think not.
      In the final analysis universities are special cases with traditions that extend back centuries. Their system of governance, for all its shortcomings, has always placed emphasis on accountability, transparency, equity and participation. All are values that we should treasure and not expect our universities to be run like factories.

      pA 15: Opinion section.

  24. Fair Observer 25


    [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

  25. Draco T Bastard 26

    Having a great deal of difficulty with the site today. Whenever I make a comment I get directed to


    And it’s also really slow.

  26. Draco T Bastard 27

    Through random wanderings of the interwebs I found this which I considered worth sharing:

    Now the extra-judicial harassment of journalists has begun. And a bunch of folks are saying “How could this happen?”

    You’ve been letting it happen and grow for 50 years. Congratulations on noticing. Now do something about it, because you’re next.

  27. shorts 28

    jesus wept… Shane Jones may as well cross the floor and sit with his mates


    • Ake ake ake 28.1

      You mean there is a chance he will get off his arse and actually do something constructive for himself and the Labour Party?
      The Labour MPs need to kick him off the Labour benches.

    • Murray Olsen 28.2

      Sealord Jones probably costs them a lot of votes. If they want to show that there’s any tinge of red in there, they really do need to boot the useless kupapa.

  28. Pascal's bookie 29

    ruhroh for Amy Adams, making the PM look bad by fucking shit up:

    New Zealand First, the Maori Party and United Future are all vowing to oppose any legislation which would overrule the Commerce Commission on broadband pricing


  29. Tiger Mountain 30

    Grrr! Chris Trotter on RNZ “Afternoons” today raised again the matter of Willie and JT’s freedom of speech. They still have their freedom of speech just not paid on air at the moment.

    Ironic or is there a more apt word to describe Chris raising this on the very programme that dispatched Bomber Bradbury.

  30. ScottGN 31

    CBC is reporting that Snowden files reveal that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Government in Canada allowed the U.S. to use the NSA to spy in Canada (based in their Ottawa Embassy) during the 2010 G8 and G20 meetings.

  31. Morrissey 32

    They’re not crude misogynists, they’re “working-class guys”;
    Just look who’s sticking up for Willie and J.T.

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Thursday 28 November 2013
    Jim Mora, Ellen Read, Chris Trotter

    If you were bored enough, unfortunate enough or foolhardy enough to be listening to Jim Mora’s light chat show this afternoon, you will have heard Chris Trotter embark on yet another of his windy, wandery exercises in verbal casuistry. Today’s low-grade lecture wasn’t quite as depraved as his pompous oratory on behalf of the Zimmerman jury [1]; however, it was still an odious and pestilential defense of the indefensible, and it clearly upset his fellow guest Ellen Read and even managed to perplex the normally unflappable host Jim Mora.

    According to Trotter, Willie and J.T. are misunderstood because they are a couple of working class guys who lack the sophistication and middle class smarts to sound intelligent, and are in reality really nice guys who do a lot of good for young women—-when they are not snarling at rape victims and badgering them on their crummy radio show. [2] Trotter-watchers are all too familiar with his cogitations on this subject; for many years, he has condescendingly and inaccurately pontificated about the need for Labour politicians to understand a sub-species of lowlife he pretentiously labels “Waitakere Man”—a sub-species which is (according to the likes of Trotter) too thick to understand concepts like human rights.

    As Trotter vapoured on, and on, and on, Ellen Read became very agitated, protesting several times. Jim Mora also demurred several times, but Trotter bored on for a good three minutes, which seemed much longer.

    Appalled, I fired off the following email….

    “Middle class reaction”?
    Dear Jim,
    All of the working class women I know were absolutely disgusted by Willie and JT’s crude bullying of that young girl on their radio show.

    Please tell that to Chris Trotter, that self-appointed spokesmen for the working class.

    Yours in astonishment at glib “liberal” pundits,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    This time, Jim didn’t read my letter out. One listener’s text did get through, however; just before the end of the show, Jim Mora read this: “Tell Chris Trotter all speech has consequences.”

    “That’s exactly what I wanted to say,” said Ellen Read. What a pity she didn’t confront Trotter more assertively as he was actually unloading this latest pile of crap.

    [1] http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19072013/#comment-664870
    [2] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11151911

  32. One Anonymous Knucklehead 33

    Ex-marine does a Titford?

  33. karol 34

    Very good contributions from Cunliffe on Citizen A.

    Hitting the right/left notes – clear and articulate as usual.

    • karol 35.1

      Thanks. Some growing old gracefully – others got an “Oh, dear” response from me. Especially the botoxed/face lifted ones – looking at you Marc Almond.

      Frankie Goes to Hollywood now looks like a businessman.

    • Rogue Trooper 35.2

      The Things That Dreams are Made Of . 😀

      Terri Nunn, yummy!

  34. weka 36

    Lynn, are you around? Any idea why I keep going into moderation? It’s been going on for the past week or so. Anything I can do at my end?

    • lprent 36.1

      Akismet does our main spam filtering. All comments go through it. It was a bad day for them, and us…


      There was an API outage on November 28th. Switch failures led to cascading problems that took approximately 50 minutes to stabilize.

      At 04:19 UTC on the 28th November, a switch began failing. Traffic was routed to an alternate data center. Unfortunately a software bug meant that those servers were attempting to write to a master server in the first data center, and so those servers stalled. As a result from 04:20 UTC to 04:38 UTC the API was not responding.

      Between 04:38 UTC and 05:01 UTC we deployed a series of fixes. Availability was between 95% and 50% during that time. The switch came back online at 05:11 UTC and availability returned to 100%.

      At 07:20 UTC another switch failed, which caused a very brief outage and availability dropped to 60% during that time. This time however, traffic switched over to an alternate data center and by 07:32 UTC, the API returned to 100% availability.

      WordPress users will have seen messages indicating that spam comments were temporarily held in the moderation queue during the outage. The Akismet plugin will re-try those now that the API is back up.

      We’ve fixed several software problems already as a result of the failure. We’ve also identified some systems and software improvements that will prevent the same condition from happening in future, and we’re working to get those in place as soon as possible.

      Note my italics… The times quoted are 13 hours behind ours.

      Been cleaning comments out of the moderation queue all day. But they’ve been having problems off and on for days now. I boosted the site on to a higher priority at akismet. Also boosted the web servers as they’re having to deal with a much large volume of comments than usual.

      I’ll see what it is like in the morning. But I also need to improve the captcha again..

      • weka 36.1.1

        Ok, thanks. I’ve been going into moderation for a week or so, but will keep an eye out over the next day or two.

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