Open mike 29/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 29th, 2012 - 75 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

75 comments on “Open mike 29/03/2012”

  1. So who is Simon Lusk?

    He came to attention last year because he seemed to be a go to person for potential national Party MPs wanting to sow up candidacy campaigns.  He was also thought to have had a major involvement in National’s hostile takeover of the ACT party.

    This time he is said to be the go between person whereby the private email sent by Michelle Boag to Judith Collins found its way to the Herald on Sunday.

    He is something of a retiring person and does not seem to enjoy public disclosure.

    He has a public website, or at least did have one.  Remarkably yesterday this website became password protected.

    But thanks to the miracle that is Google cache the world can still enjoy the site that is simonlusk.com.

    Interestingly the cached version says that “[t]his site has been established as Simon wishes to remove any chance that his anonymity becomes the focus of a campaign.”

    It looks like his desire to remove this chance has now dimmed.

    • Carol 1.1

      So, if it was the ACC case worker who leaked the letter to the Herald, would Lusk be likely to have been involved in that?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6655745/ACC-worker-re-viewed-leaked-Smith-letter

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Thanks Carol

        Looks like a strategic leak from a certain Minister’s office to try and transfer the blame!

        The primary issue IMHO is who leaked the Boag email.  My reading of the original Herald article is that it was based solely on the email and the Smith/Pullar correspondence were subsequently leaked.  They may have occurred at the same time but the Boag email was the one that caused the immediate damage.

        The other burning question is did the Minister’s office also access the file containing the letter and if so on what date? 

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Reading it further the initial Fisher article in the Herald was published on March 18 and no doubt written before.  The letter Pullar is referring to is important but not, I think, the document that caused the controversy to form.

          • Pete George 1.1.1.1.1

            @Hilary_Barry
            “Justice Minister Judith Collins says she’s taking defamation proceedings against two Labour MP’s and a news organisation. ”

            No word of any lawyer being a target there.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Not sure what you are trying to say there Pete, but how does a defamation suit fit into your scheme.

              A good thing, or a bad thing?

              Or is it contextual?

              If contextual, what do you think about this particular case.

              Be as detailed as you like.

            • mickysavage 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Feel free Petey to point out any comment of mine where I have said something that should not be part of the robust discussion that should occur about this country’s politics.
               
              Go on, I dare you.

            • Frida 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Typical reaction of a NACT bully. When the pressure comes on, squeal to the Police or run and consult a lawyer.
              Nothing to worry about here as far as I can see Mickey (I’m a lawyer too). Defamation wouldn’t stick – too many defences available here 🙂

              Crusher is just trying to shut down debate because she is quaking in her boots as her time is up and her leadership aspirations thwarted

        • Carol 1.1.1.2

          Thanks, Micky. Successful spin though if it blurs the distinction between the 2 emails.

    • I presume you’ve read this MS?

      You note the total lack of evidence put up by Trevor. It is his normal just invent a story, which for somebizarre reasons the media think has some credibility.

      The exchange in the House yesterday was pretty clear cut:

      Hon Trevor Mallard: Did she or any of her staff discuss the contents of the Boag email with Simon Lusk?

      Hon JUDITH COLLINS: No.

      Hon Trevor Mallard: Did she or any of her staff discuss the systemic privacy issues that Boag and Pullar raised with her with Simon Lusk?

      Hon JUDITH COLLINS: No.

      Trevor has a fascination with Simon, but the fascination doesn’t extend to accuracy. He stated on numerous occasions last year that Simon Lusk worked for Steven Joyce and on his orders orchestrated the ACT coup.

      It is hard to describe how off the planet this is. All I can say is if you do not believe me, just go up to any National MP and ask them “Does Simon Lusk work for Steven Joyce” and around five minutes later you’ll get a response once they have picked themselves up from the floor, and stopped laughing.

      Trevor Mallard is to accuracy what Charlie Sheen is to celibacy.

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/03/trevors_lusk_fixation.html

      Do you have a Lusk lust too?

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        No Petey I used to read Kiwiblog occasionally but I worked out I have better things to do with my time.

        And no I have never met Mr Lusk but it is fascinating how often his name pops up.  And National does appear to be in utter turmoil right now and the Boag email may mean the end of someone’s Prime Ministerial ambitions if not their Cabinet Career.

        Your trying to suggest that investigating this issue is dirty politics but if the allegations are correct and a Minister has breached the rights of privacy of two people for political advantage then I suggest you should be more upset about this.

        Time will tell …

        • Pete George 1.2.1.1

          MS, do you have any evidence at all that Lusk is involved? Or are you just joining the throwing of any old mud to see if something might stick?

          If he’s not involved do you care that he’s been dragged into this? Would that just be collateral damage as a part of the game?

          This sort of tactic may bite you on the bum sometime. I presume you have a reputation and business interests you’d prefer weren’t used as someone else’s fodder for the fight, just another political pawn and too bad about any damage.

          I don’t know Lusk and haven’t had any connection with him at all. I’m just wondering what lengths political operators will go to to pursue their power, and how little they care about who they might trample on along the weay.

          • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1.1.1

            Pete, asking questions and making accusations is how you find things out. Do you think a govt is just going to tell everyone what’s going on all by themselves?

            Are you aware of what type of politics lusk specialises in?
            \
            http://www.amazon.com/Going-Dirty-The-Negative-Campaigning/dp/0742545008

            He wrote a book on it. He sells his sevices.

            Would he be one of the heavies you think should get the heave-ho?

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m sure PG is very well versed in Lusk’s style of politics. The distraction, deflection and reframing of the dirty little tale on a new target for instance, which he is trying to do here to Mallard.

            • Pete George 1.2.1.1.1.2

              asking questions and making accusations is how you find things out.

              Questions and accusations based on facts – ok.

              But if accusations are fishing without any facts, just on the hope of getting a hit, then that’s very poor politics. Don’t you think?

              • Colonial Viper

                How do you find out facts without first fishing Petey? Maybe National will be kind enough to summarise all of them in a press release for us to save everyone the trouble?

                At least you are playing the part of a good little sycophant competently.

                • How do you find out facts without first fishing Petey?

                  Better government and party transparency.

                  And that would be helped by ditching the wild trample on many to try and hit a few approach.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Should we just wait quietly for this better transparency?

                    And what exactly do you mean? It’s pretty vague.

                    Tie it to this case.

                    Who should be doing what?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Hmmm, one example of transparency that occurs to me is that Peter Dunne could have explicitly explained to the electorate he was in favour of asset sales before the election. Is that the sort of thing you mean, Pete?

      • mikesh 1.2.2

        Perhaps Ms Collins should have used a placard with the letters NO printed on it, like Winston did once.

  2. No doubt the frenzy will continue today. I suggested yesterday that it’s not nice to see attack politics in full fury, and got some expected criticism.

    Do we just shrug our shoulders and say it’s just the way it is? I’m in agreement to an extent with Redlogix:

    I actually agree with your basic sentiment PG. This kind of politics doesn’t appeal anymore to me than it does you.

    It is one of the least appealing things about our politics to the wider public. Many don’t see wins and losses, just a bunch of tossers.
    I don’t agree that it’s just brought about because of National’s faults. It’s due to a longstanding culture of crap politics from across the House. All MPs and parties should play a part in cleaning up their acts. And political blogs could lead the way too, if they chose to ditch the bitter war and find a better way.

    Holding to account, or heaves of destruction?

    • ropata 2.1

      A good scandal is very healthy for politics. Like sunlight it’s a disinfectant against the festering slime of political spin and deception. It should make insiders think twice about abusing their power. It is the most honest form of politics there is. Far better then sweeping things under the carpet and pretending that everything is OK.

      • aerobubble 2.1.1

        Scandal are likely when the National backbenchers know how close they came to losing, and know that annoying everyone in society somehow leads to electoral oblivion. This is all about positioning, and yes cleaning house, for the new leader to stand up and show themselves. i.e. going into the next election with a dagger in Keys back, and lollies for the new leadership team members. Ask Goff, he knows all about the theory, and similar practices.

    • I agree Petey.  For instance calling Greens racist and communist supporters when there is no evidence whatsoever is really unappealing politics.  And denigrating the Finnish people is pretty crass.

      Oh wait, was that you who did that

      What is that word starting with “h”? 

      • Pete George 2.2.1

        You might have a point if you didn’t distort and rephrase what I said so much. But what you are doing is ignorant or dishonest. That’s not very appealing, is it.

        And you must have forgotten already, I denigrated Brownlee’s Finnish crassness.

        What is that word starting with “h”?

        Honesty? Something you seem to struggle with.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Oh is that a whore in the whore house protesting her obvious virginity, Mr George.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.3

      Pete, how are the ‘political heavies’ to be ‘given the heave ho’?

      How, exactly, are you asking that they be held to account and given the ‘heave ho’ so that you can claim democracy back?

      Does that not require that some political actors point out that their behaviour is unacceptable, and that they should be held to account for it?

    • Colonial Viper 2.4

      Is PG still trying to position himself as being the most fair minded and civil of them all?

      Dude we’ve already seen you with your pants down around your ankles, why keep trying to pretend that we haven’t?

    • Frida 2.5

      Pete, as someone pointed out to you yesterday, if the Toxic Right didn’t engage in such nasty tactics (sending in an ex-Nat Party President to meet with Senior ACC managers on behalf of a claimant – come ON! as if the ordinary NZer can do this!) then the Opposition wouldn’t need to engage in such politics would it?

      What do you suggest, that the Opposition just sit back and take this kind of insidious, fishy behaviour and let it go in the interests of “playing nice”? How is that good for NZ and ordinary NZers?

      Get real, man. You live in a fantasy world.

      • Bored 2.5.1

        Beatifully put Frida. I suggested to Vicky a day ago that she not complain we were hard on PiG, the issue is that his political theories and their practical application hurts real people. Give him some pain back I reckon.

  3. DH 3

    The beancounters have been maintaining their perfect record…

    Treasury ‘asleep at the wheel’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10795088

    Incompetent prats.

  4. Tc 4

    I see that TVNZ have pulled up Hosking over his conflict of interest in Skycity with Hosking declaring he didn’t bother as he only works part time.
    Ellis may be gone but the arrogance culture is well entrenched and they trod a well beaten path by using another talkback rantmeister as their current affairs host.

    Also the well trod path of UF troll Petey is busy defending his paymasters.

  5. Sorry guys, Have to link whore today. This is huge!

    It’s not so much that John Key is a bad liar, he just doesn’t give a fuck about being found out.

    He once said that the instruments now causing the destruction of the entire financial world were developed after he left banking. Today I can reveal this to be untrue.

    In fact I caught John Key in another whopper! And no I will never suicide myself. LoL

    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/coming-later-today-john-key-more-lies-bankers-trust-and-credit-default-swaps-or-did-john-key-help-birth-the-instrument-of-financial-mass-destruction/
     

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I’m pretty sure that Blythe Masters, a young star at JPM, was most fully responsible for the creation and initial use of credit default swaps.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/sep/20/wallstreet.banking

      • muzza 5.1.1

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/249633/Who-is-John-Key

        “Forms of credit default swaps had been in existence from at least the early 1990s,[48] with early trades carried out by Bankers Trust in 1991”

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          http://wallstreetandtech.com/top-innovators/2011/Blythe-Masters

          According to the plan, a third party would assume the risk of the debt going bad and in exchange would receive regular payments from the bank — similar to insurance premiums. JP Morgan would then be able to remove the risk from its books and free up its capital reserves. The concept had circulated around the Street for a couple of years, but JP Morgan was the first bank to heavily bet on these new instruments.

          I don’t disagree that Bankers Trust may have used early versions of CDS, but their evolution into the highly leveraged, widely speculated on forms which led to the collapse of the MBS market in 07/08, was driven by Blythe Masters and her team at JPM.

          Frankly, Key is simply not smart enough nor mathematical enough to have played a big role in the development of innovative new derivatives. That’s what they hire physics quants from Caltech for.

          • muzza 5.1.1.1.1

            “Frankly, Key is simply not smart enough nor mathematical enough to have played a big role in the development of innovative new derivatives. That’s what they hire physics quants from Caltech for.” – Agreed!

            The point is that many people still underestimate Key, and what he does or does not know!

            He knows!

          • travellerev 5.1.1.1.2

            CV,

            The issue is not when CDS were used but how they came to be in existence and what they were intended for all along and why John Key tells us that the destructive products were developed after he left banking when they clearly were not. What that tells us is that John Key wants to distance himself from banking and what he did in his banking past.

            Bankers Trust bank in itself is a fraudulent set up in the first place.
             

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.3

            Frankly, Key is simply not smart enough nor mathematical enough to have played a big role in the development of innovative new derivatives.

            Key’s a “Yes man” middle manager. His owners tell him what they want him to do and he does it. He doesn’t need to think about what he’s doing, merely organising getting it done.

            • travellerev 5.1.1.1.3.1

              John Key is not a middle manager. He was head of Merrill Lynch’s department for Bonds and Derivatives Europe and Foreign Exchange Globally in the most important period in banking since they caused the Great depression but he does know on which side his bread is buttered and wants to play with the big boys.

              Here is part 1 of my series on John Key, Credit default swaps and more lies.

              • Draco T Bastard

                He was head of Merrill Lynch’s department for Bonds and Derivatives Europe and Foreign Exchange Globally…

                Yep, and that makes him a middle manager as there will be people above him although I was thinking more along the lines of the mindset – he does what he’s told using the people he’s in charge of.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I disagree with Key’s classification as a “middle manager”, if only for the fact it downplays too much his position and repute in the organisation.

                  In the mafia set up Key was clearly more than a ‘soldier’. He’d also done his time as a ‘lieutenant’. Looks to me like he was definitely a ‘capo’ (captain). A relatively senior one at that. Does that mean he was in the topmost echelon? Probably not quite. He was a divisional head, but not on the chief executive team back at Head Office (but surely riding a fast track there, and no doubt was on a first name basis with all of them).

                  So although technically correct, labelling Key a “middle manager” doesn’t describe the nuances of how far up the ladder he really was.

                  BTW he probably took up the job as NZ PM with the explicit backing and pre-approval of the senior team at Merill Lynch.

  6. BLiP 6

    Finally relented and gave in to my crossword addiction and bought a New Zealand Fox News Herald yesterday for the first time in months . . . things must be tight over there: how long has the business section been folded into Section B ?

  7. aerobubble 7

    Taupo is super volcano. So no worries there, if we release pressure by fracking sub-strata rock and open fissures for high pressure water and gas to depressurize in surrounding containment strata. A small earthquake effect caused by an explosion or two would not block lava and start a lava bottleneck. No. We’re not like the moratorium on the America plains where the most dangerous hazard is a cowboy company pumping nasty chemicals into ancient aquifers, we have volcanos, have earthquakes and a legislator that knows all when it knows nothing.

    • Bored 7.1

      There is a wonderful scene in Frackingland (a doco) in which the fracking company declare their practices to be safe. The anti fracking party fronts up at the hearing with water from a fracked well and challenges the fracking advocate to drink it..of course he wont.

      That in a nutshell is the problem: industry can mobilise talking heads and never be forced to taste the bitter fruit of their deeds. We must make them do so.

      • aerobubble 7.1.1

        Farmers are going to find, maybe in a few years, maybe over decades time, hydrocarbons finding their way into water sources. I mean oil and gas were ‘trapped’ by the strata above them, when we break them and do not pump all the resource out, that remaining resource will rise to the water table. So what fracking does, is accelerate the pollution of the world, from the plastic ocean to the deepest well, our hippy boomer generation has destroyed the world for future generations.

  8. Campbell Larsen 8

    The (Dis)honourable Peter Dunne aka ‘the hair’ betrays students …yet another illustration of the fact that UF doesn’t give a f**k about the people or future of New Zealand.

    Stealth claims fly during student loan debate

    Labour MPs claimed that a previously unnoticed clause was effectively and retrospectively scrapping interest free loans.

  9. KATY 9

    It would seem that the breaks are being applied to the governments asset sales program. courtesy of the Waitangi Tribunal.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6655601/Water-ownership-hearing-threatens-asset-sales

    Looks as if the flood gates are opening even further, and it’s not not a good time to be on board the national boat with a captain that’s on holiday a first mate, who upsets the foreigners along with a crew that can’t divert or plug leaks.

  10. Te Reo Putake 10

    An excellent decision in Australia regarding urine sampling for drug use. In summary, it has been decided that urine tests are not precise enough to determine exactly when dope has been smoked, so can’t be relied on to prove a worker is under the influence while at work.
     
    ”A person may be found to have breached the policy even though their actions were taken in their own time and in no way affect their capacity to do their job safely,” he said. Because of this, where oral fluid testing was available, he said, the use of urine testing by the applicant would be ”unjust and unreasonable”.

     
     
     

  11. dans 11

    I thought I was reasonably IT literate, but was surprised today to hear that Ms Pullar was able to check her email of months previously to see who had opened her file, and at what time. Can someone explain.

    • deuto 11.1

      Hi dans

      There is some discussion on this in the comments on the Unaswered questions post. Sorry, I can’t seem to link to the particular ones but you might like to look at that post and its comments.

  12. Since we are in the season to call for inquiries, I would like to suggest that an inquiry be held in the impartiality of Herr Doktor Lockwood Smith.
    In spite of the evidence that Collins spoke about the ACC emails on Radio Live this morning, Lockwood ruled that Collins could hide behind her refusal to answer questions on the grounds that it was subject to Privacy Commissioner investigation and was therefore not in the public interest.
    The inquiry was announced yesterday (NZHerald, Fairfax,) and Lockwood has the effrontery to say it was not “outrageous” the Collins was wanted to hide behind the investigation.
     
    Does that make Radio Live a higher forum than the House of Parliament for the minister to address her accountability. That in itself is outrageous!

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    China steals details of widely used encryption standard, accused of massive theft from US companies and govt organisations

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=24328

    China successfully used the information to hack into Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), a top U.S. defense contractor. It is thought that China’s remarkable progress in stealth fighter technology has been fueled by stolen U.S. Department of Defense Secrets..

    Whether the Chinese government is perpetrating these attacks first hand, sponsoring third parties to conduct them, or merely condoning corporate interests to conduct them is almost as hazy as the sketchy financial ties the Chinese government holds to many of its private sector business (to be fair such allegations have increasingly been raised about the U.S. gov’t).

  14. Te Reo Putake 14

    POAL have stuffed up, big time. The Employment Court has given its reasons for the granting of the injunctions earlier this week and they are scathing of the Port’s strategy. The court finds that there is a ‘seriously arguable case’ that POAL has undermined the bargaining since the beginning. 
     
    MUNZ are pretty restrained in their press release, but Gibson, Pearson and their overpaid advisors will be spewing about now:
     
     
     
     
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand welcomes the Employment Courts written reasons, released today, for Tuesday’s granting of an injunction stopping the Ports of Auckland contracting out.
     
     
     
    The Court found there is a ‘seriously arguable case’ that the Ports of Auckland has breached the Employment Relations Act and Undermined the Collective Bargaining. It also found it likely other aspects of the Act have been breached.
     
     
     
    It was on this basis that the court issued the injunction.
     
     
     
    “This decision reiterates the fact that the Port Board is not able to manage the port in the manner required by law,” said Maritime Union President Garry Parsloe.
     
     
     
    “The crime here is the workers at the port have suffered five weeks without pay because their legal right to bargain was undermined. The businesses and people of Auckland have suffered severe losses and the Council has lost money through both lost revenue and the huge costs the port company has incurred attempting to implement these ill thought out plans.”
     
     
     
    “It is time for this to stop now. We are ready to negotiate a collective agreement. We want to return to work and we want this attack on our workforce to stop.”
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      No no. It’s safe to assume that POAL has the bestest lawyers ever spawned, and that they have a bulklet proof case that has followed the letter of the law. This activist judge just doesn’t realise that MUNZ has overplayed its hand and totally lost the PR battle.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Anyone got a link to that story where Key was explaining the extent of his own relationship with Pullar?

    From memory he was saying she was around Nat party circles, that he’d met her, and that she’d mentioned her problems with acc.

    Hope he wasn’t being less than transparent.

    http://www.facebook.com/closeup

    • Not our dear leader! He who makes the sun to shine and the rain to come in it’s season.
      If he was then it wasn’t his fault…
      – “I was not at the meeting”
      – “I’ve had no reports on that”
      – “This matter is before….the police, the courts, the commissioner”
      – “I have no recollection of…..knowing Ms. Pullar, opposing the Springbok Tour, speculating on my own country’s currency or selling crap financial products…Oh, I was not in Berlin in ’45”

    • ianmac 15.2

      That had a brief mention on TV 3 News. The link might have been several years ago. However you would think that Mr Key might have declared an interest if indeed there was more than casual conversations.

  16. bad12 16

    Indeed,the Auckland Wharfies have recieved due vindication from the Employment Court,unfortunately we could place a large sum of our scarce coinage upon the Auckland ports management paying scant regard to the decision from the Employment Court and carrying right on planning to contract out the employment of the unionized Wharfies of Auckland and expect to win the bet,

    This dispute on a political level is a perfect picture of the huge disconnect between the average working head and the political leadership,both locally and nationally,

    We will ask the question that has already been asked of Labour leader David Shearer as this attempt to circumvent the rights of workers to collectively bargain with their employers reached such an ugly empasse,

    The real question tho, and a more pertinent one in light of the Employment Courts decision,has to ask of Auckland Mayor Len Brown,(a supposed lefty0,is He so powerless as to have been forced to sit idly by as the workers in the city He presides over have been done over by a company owned by that city,or did He just chose to park up on the couch and let it happen,

    Within that Ports of Auckland industrial dispute lies the disconnect,the widening chasm,between the shop floor left,the cloth cap so to speak and the Beamer riding hierarchy of the Lefts Leadership,such Leaders should look to themselves and fix it fast or move on,(and we aint talking here about having the posteriors carted about in the Beamers,a rides a ride)…

  17. Brokenback 17

    Makes a mockery out of “If you can’t do the time , don’t do the crime”

    “Sir” Doug Graham gets 300 hours community work, $100k fine in Lombard sentencing.Bill Jefferies , ex Minister of Justice received the same fine & 400 hours of community work[he showed no remorse!].
    Lawrie Bryant & Michael Reeves , co-defendants received similar sentences.

    Lombard Finance went into receivership in April 2008, owing approximately $127 million to about 4,400 investors.

    Lets do the sums : $127,000,000 less $400,000 = $126,600,000

    divided by 1400 hours [combined sentence] = $90,428/hour

    Can’t see this discouraging the next round of Corporate thieves.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1203/S01057/doug-graham-gets-300-hrs-community-work-100k-lombard-fine.htm

  18. Brokenback 18

    Solid Energy:
    One of the proposed SOE’s up for “sale’.
    The SOE has rights to huge deposits of Lignite/Brown Coal in Southland which they have been planning to exploit and covert to Diesel .
    Interesting article below brings into focus the real cost to you & me of the ‘sale’ & this plan to make synfuel. Under National’s ETS [ one of the first things they passed under urgency in 2009] the “Carbon Tax” due on such a venture would be subsidised to the tune of $275 Million /year by the government/taxpayers!!!!!!!!
    An unfortunate coincidence??
    Not likely , wake up folks we are being systematically and cynically rorted by smiling John and his thieving cohorts.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1012/S00279/solid-energys-lignite-should-remain-in-the-ground-pce.htm

  19. Jackal 19

    Phil Heatley – Asshole of the Week

    Clearly there’s a lot more riding on the inquiry than just the way National hands out permits like lollies and how the oil and gas industry goes about fracking New Zealand. There’s the question of safety and whether fracking should be occurring at all?

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    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    16 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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