Open mike 29/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 29th, 2013 - 239 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

239 comments on “Open mike 29/08/2013 ”

  1. tracey 1

    Given satelite and other military technology and that the us must be constantly monitoring syria is it not possible to track where the rockets came from that emitted sarin?

    they know when the attack was and surely if they were to strike any country they would be able to pinpoint where strikes against tgem came from?

    • Paul 1.1

      It’s really simple; without independent evidence, there should be no military action taken by anyone.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        I understand and agree Paul (to a point) BUT am struggling with why the kind of evidence I referred to above is not presented by, say, Russia or the USA?

        • Colonial Viper

          because they do not have it? Also – members of the UN remember the bullshit case put to them by Colin Powell pre-Iraq war, the one where he presented ‘undeniable’ proof that Saddam had WMD.

          Turned out to be a crock.

          In the UK, Cameron is facing strong Tory backbench opposition to war. Usual story, there’s no money to support Council housing, but there are tens of millions to bomb a country 3,500 km away.

          • Tracey

            I just find it hard to believe they don’t have it. It wouldn’t be incontrovertible proof but it would be something

            • Colonial Viper

              meanwhile, Egyptian security forces kill between 500-1000 unarmed protestors, violence is ongoing, and the US response is…”we might suspend our US$1.3B in military aid to Egypt…maybe”

              Interesting contrast, eh.


              I just find it hard to believe they don’t have it.

              It’s worth examining why you “find it hard to believe.” You might find some interesting assumptions that you hold. For starters, do you believe that authority figures are generally trustworthy and would almost very rarely, if ever, lie about matters of national importance?

              IMO the basic facts of the matter is – if it’s to do with war, whether class war or actual military war, lying is the standard operating procedure.

              • Tracey

                I find it hard to believe they don’t have the information. I absolutely consider it is possible it is not in their interest to release it, which is why I was asking if anyone knew if the information is actually available to them.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I find it hard to believe they don’t have the information.

                  I’ll ask you directly now: why do you find it hard to believe.

                  Are you saying that you believe they have information one way or the other – proof that the Syrian govt did launch the gas attack, or proof that it was another party who launched the attack?

                  IMO the Russians, French and US (and others) would probably have had military personnel near the area at the time. But even then the “fog of war” can be hard to penetrate.

    • tc 1.2

      I wonder what the real reason is for intervention, Assad has been killling the innocent and using his military power as dictators do for over a year or more now isn’t it and chemical weapons have been suspected for a long time now so what was the real tipping point.

      • Ennui 1.2.1

        You are onto it TC, Trotter says much the same..

        The telling point is that all sorts of people in Syria have been killing one another for a few years already with lethal weapons probably supplied by every country in the West…. so why is chemical weaponry any excuse for escalation / intervention?

        Russia will object, the idiots in France and Britain will suddenly find that the US frackers cant supply gas to replace that which flows from Russian pipelines to keep Europe going. Imperial stupidity all round, however the bottom line as always is oil. It is our addiction to oil that is what is ultimately killing Syrians, and propping up repressive regimes throughout the Arab world.

        • Populuxe1

          Because chemical weapons are an indiscriminant mass killer banned by nearly every civilised country in the world? And the phrase “It is our addiction to oil that is what is ultimately killing Syrians” is so stupid and reductive I have no idea where to begin. There are quite a few oil states around the gulf that quite happily manage to prosper on the west’s addiction without mass slaughter of their citizens.

          • Colonial Viper

            You’re OK with foreign powers pouring fighters, weapons and funding into Syria? External powers started and are continuing this conflict. That’s how all this started a year or two ago.

            There are quite a few oil states around the gulf that quite happily manage to prosper on the west’s addiction without mass slaughter of their citizens.

            Most petrostates are combinations of dictatorships and police states.

      • leftriteleft 1.2.2

        “I wonder what the real reason is for intervention”??

        USA has no interest in Syria, but they want Iran.

        Iran has refused to join the US Petrodollar.

        Plus the planned pipe line from Iraq – Iran – Syria.

        It’s all about oil!

        • thatguynz

          I think you may also find that Syria is one of the few remaining countries without an IMF/BIS aligned Central Bank – just like Libya before it. Did no-one think it odd that the Libyan “rebels” created a new central bank well before they had “liberated” the country and assassinated Gaddafi?

          Make of it what you will…

          • phillip ure

            another layer of the bullshit-onion is that the un investigators are only there to prove if an attack occured..

            ..not to find out who did it..

            ..and there are claims the chemical-weapons were delivered from two rockets that came from a rebel-controlled area..

            ..the russian ambassador claims to have ‘incontrovertible proof’ of this..

            ..(so..if true..this is a war-crime by the west..)

            ..and guess where the pro-war ‘intelligence’ is coming from..?

            ..yep..!..from the same people who brought you both the iraq and libyan invasions..

            ..the israeli spooks..mossad..

            ..and via the cia..

            ..that’s all

            ..(meanwhile stuff and herald/tvnz/tv3 continue their unthinking drum-circle for war..

            ..all yapping away in unison..repeating the prepared script..

            ..hard to put the contempt for the shit job most of them do into words really..)

            ..phillip ure..

          • Colonial Viper

            Gaddafi had massive gold reserves in the Libyan central bank. All gone now.

          • Tracey

            weren’t banks the first buildings to be secured upon entering Bagdad? You know ahead of places like the museum which held relics of human beings thousands of years old?

    • Sable 1.3

      Its all a sop for the Brits and US to re-establish an “Empire” in the Middle East. This is hardly a new phenomenon just more brutality in the name of greed and avarice….

      • Populuxe1 1.3.1

        Hardly. Why do you think most countries disestablished their empires in the first place? Because they’re more expensive to keep up than their worth.

        • Colonial Viper

          Only once the resources needed to keep those areas outweighs the resources those areas can supply to the centre of empire.

          • Populuxe1

            No one has yet plausibly given me a reason what resource in Afghanistan outweighed the resources required by that little misadventure

            • idlegus


            • Bill

              Here you go.

              Fourth largest reserves of gas are in Turkmenistan. The TAPI pipeline would bring that gas west, cutting out Russia and Iran while thwarting China’s ambitions to secure gas from that quarter. And the route (as per suggested by the acronym) is from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan and on into India.

              If the Taliban had been able to control the north west of the country (which they most assuredly did not) back when they were Afghanistan’s government, then there would have been no post 9/11 scapegoating and subsequent invasion.

              • Populuxe1

                …and is a project of the Asia Development Bank. The one US company involved, Unocal, pulled out 8 December 1998 after the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were bombed under the direction of Osama bin Laden, at which time the Taliban declared support for al-Qaida, violating the Taliban’s January 1998 agreement with CentGas. There hasn’t been any American involvement with TAPI since then, though they support the idea because it will create a “secure” (if you can call it that) fuel route that doesn’t go through Russia – but not enough to go to war for. After all, war was only going to destabilise the region even more, especially as the pipeline would have to go through Taliban controlled regions. Nor has the US suddenly invaded Pakistan – which you think they would if the theory was true because Pakistan is massively unstable and the pipeline would have to pass through Lahore. I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

    • Sinnick 1.4

      The nothing to say this gas was delivered by rocket – it can be done with a far less sophisticated mobile launcher like a large mortar (if it really was Assad’s military) or even from canisters thrown off the back of a moving SUV, if the rebels did it.

      Today’s Live Blog on Syria in the Guardian carried a video claiming to be of the mobile launcher doing the deed with what certainly looked like Syrian military personel manning it, but even that must be regarded as dubious evidence.

      Given that Obama had declared a chemical attack to be his “red line’ regarding intervention in the affair on the side of the rebels and the fact that this particular attack makes no military or strategic sense from Assad’s point of view but would be a major coup for the rebels if it brings the US in on their side (putting the US on the same side as al-queda!) I know where my money would lie.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.4.1

        “this particular attack makes no military or strategic sense from Assad’s point of view ”

        Sure it could make sense. Chem weapons are used to terriffy people. There has been plenty of talk about use on a smaller scale leading up to this one. So it could have been an error of not diluting the mix enough, or it could have been a miscalculation about the response from the international community.

        And the end of the day though, it doesn’t really matter. There will be no proof either way that will convince die hards.

        • Populuxe1

          Exactly. Just as Saddam used it against the Kurds. Looking at what Assad’s father got up to, nothing would surprise me.

        • phillip ure

          pascals’ bookie…can i draw a local scenario to show you the ‘logic’-argument around who did this..

’s just pretend..that the nz govt called in un restore our clean/green reputation..(it having been internationally-maligned..imagine that..!..)

 inspection crucial to nz’s’ good name internationally..and all the economic implications that flow from that..

          ..and then the day after those inspectors arrived..the nz govt arranged massive dumps of cowshit into our rivers/waterways/lakes…

          ..that is the logic-leap you have to take to accept the (mossad-sourced) assad-did-it!-arguments..

          ..’cos the assad regime had invited the inspectors look at the sites of previous chemical warfare an attempt to clear their name..

          (and keeping in mind..that obamas’ repeated red-line-not-to-cross has been chemical warfare attacks..)

          ..and with all these circumstances/imperatives in play..

          ..we are asked to believe that the day after the un inspectors arrived..

          ..the assad govt dumped their cowshit on their people..?


 buy that..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • Populuxe1

            It is entirely within the realm of possibility Assad did exactly that with the intention of blaming the rebel factions. It’s been done before.

          • Pascal's bookie

            The analogy doesn’t work. Assad is fighting a war.

            • phillip ure

              obviously you ‘buy’ that..

     there isn’t really much more to say..

              (um..!..are you 2 ‘p’s rightwingers..?..just seeking some context here..(‘cos i just had a kiwiblog/iraq-war flashback..where logic is just stared down/denied..and ideology is all..)

              phillip ure..

              • Pascal's bookie

                No phil.

                Your analogy is just really bad. Assad is fighting a war. The guy runs a police state. There are different types of rationality in play.

                Like I said, this gas attack may have been a mistake. Mistakes happen in wars, all the time. It may have been intentional, but a miscalculation of responses, that happens all the time in wars too.

                Neither of those explanations are less logical than ‘black flag’.

                • The guy doesn’t run anything. He is a figure head. He is the head of state the same way Obama is. The US representatives and senate doesn’t run anything either. The oligarchy does. The elite runs the state. Maybe a different elite than the one before them but a respectable amount of people and not just one guy, like perhaps Saddam Hussein.

                  Syria was a state run by a ruling elite before the Assad family took over and never a democracy.

                  What gets me is that nobody seems perturbed by ruling Muslim state family who is much more ruthless and suppressive such as the royal family of Bahrein and Saudi Arabia the kind of families Assad and his ilk replaced making the road free for women to be able to study, free healthcare and schooling AND because political organization was not allowed by religious lines a much more integrated social life with all religions and social strata living peacefully and dare I say it much more equally together than here.

                  You should perhaps listen to people like Syrian girl, who as an intelligent and well informed member of the former ruling elite has every reason to hate Assad but who clearly states that Assad is a Syrian matter and that the attack being prepared on Syria has nothing to do with saving children from gas attacks but everything with Gas and oil.

          • Pascal's bookie

            And here’s a report from the front lines a few months ago, with quite vivid detail about how the war is being fought.


    • Populuxe1 1.5

      Because there wouldn’t have been explosions as such, and satellites might not have been able to pick up a small missile or even a drum thrown off a truck. There might not have been a satellite in the right place at the time, and it takes a while to back track through footage.

    • Murray Olsen 1.6

      All sorts of things can go wrong with satellite surveillance. Unless you have a geostationary orbit above where you’re surveilling, you’re dependent on satellites passing over. There can be periods without coverage. The satellite available may suffer a glitch, or it may not have the most appropriate sensors. There may be cloud or smoke over the area. They may have picked it up but not know who was in control of the area at the given time. They may be lying. It all gets very complicated, and what the analysts in charge of the surveillance report to POTUS, via some chain of command, may only bear a passing resemblance to what they detected. What becomes public may be even more removed.

  2. Rodel 2

    When asked what he’d like to be remembered for, the then PM Norman Kirk replied , “integrity”. Dunno what the opposite of integrity is, but the current PM’s comments to earthquake victims , “It’s been fun……” illustrates just that.

    • Tracey 2.1

      “Misinformation is especially likely to stick when it conforms to our pre-existing political, religious, or social point of view, according to the researchers. Because of this, ideology and personal worldviews can be especially difficult obstacles to overcome.”

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Madison avenue and the Right Wing corporate advisors have realised this for a century now. The Left are still incapable of using the results, however, preferring to rationalise with the electorate using “policy”, “evidence” and “data”.

    • geoff 2.2

      Showing contempt for ordinary people will earn John Key brownie points in his post-PM job interviews back in the corporate world.
      Don’t take it personally, he’s just padding out his CV.

    • David H 2.3

      ““integrity”. Dunno what the opposite of integrity is,”

      Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that integrity regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

      There you go, with the help of.

  3. Boadicea 3

    “Cunliffe offers Labour’s core vote a voice. Not the voice of a party whose purpose it is to pacify or cajole the Powers That Be, but a voice that is willing to accuse and condemn them. A voice to hold the “nasty little nests of self-perpetuating elites” accountable for what they have made of New Zealand, and what they have done to her people.

    It is the only voice that can rouse the Labour vote from its disillusionment and despair. The Happy Warrior’s call to begin again the task of building Jerusalem in New Zealand’s green and pleasant land.

    Strong stuff, before my first coffee, from the typewriter of Chris Trotter.

  4. Boadicea 4

    “Cunliffe offers Labour’s core vote a voice. Not the voice of a party whose purpose it is to pacify or cajole the Powers That Be, but a voice that is willing to accuse and condemn them. A voice to hold the “nasty little nests of self-perpetuating elites” accountable for what they have made of New Zealand, and what they have done to her people.

    It is the only voice that can rouse the Labour vote from its disillusionment and despair. The Happy Warrior’s call to begin again the task of building Jerusalem in New Zealand’s green and pleasant land.”

    Strong stuff, before my first coffee, from the typewriter of Chris Trotter.

    • karol 4.1

      Yes. Interesting on the different positioning of Cunliffe vs Robertson.

      However, it’s also Trotter repeating the same theme from a previous post by him – for a united Labour caucus with Cunliffe as leader and Robertson as deputy. In spit of that, Trotter’s post points to Robertson’s backroom skills, and doesn’t present a case for him being deputy.

      • Ennui 4.1.1

        At least Trotter is consistent, he backs his man (Cunliffe) and as always recognises the strengths of his opponent (Robertson). He really does not make a case for Robertson as deputy, what he recognises is the strength that Robertson possesses and makes a case for Labour to make use of his skills. The real issue at stake is that only one of these candidates threatens the status quo and the current orthodoxy.

        • QoT

          At least Trotter is consistent,

          You haven’t read a lot of Trotter, I take it. I give him six months after the leadership selection to make a post declaring it was all a huge mistake and Labour are now doomed unless they do XYZ. Then three months and one good speech for him to u-turn again and lecture us all on how it wasn’t really a mistake and we all need to get in behind.

          Then when the new leader resigns it’ll be back to “see, I told you this was a mistake”.

      • bad12 4.1.2

        If David Cunliffe is to take Labour to the left of it’s current economic and social position, and lets face it, we ‘believe’ that a Cunliffe lead Labour Government will be moving leftward but we really do not ‘know’ this then Cunliffe is going to have to do some serious ‘hard selling’ to the Neo-liberal bloc of the current Labour Caucus,

        From everything written and said about David Cunliffe so far i detect that His one weakness can be located within His own politicking among His Caucus,

        On the other hand Grant Robertson is said to have this very strength in His armory and while David Cunliffe is wildly popular and even admired by the rank and file of the Labour membership and to a certain extent among the wider ‘left’, Robertson can be said to have less popular support,

        My view is that Cunliffe needs an operator within the Labour Caucus with those very skills that Robertson possesses in abundance, the codicil to this is Robertson once the dust of the leadership contest settles will have to make a personal decision at some point to support Cunliffe ‘boots and all’, in other words, go against His cautious nature and fully accept the highs and lows of a somewhat radicalized leftward looking Labour,

        It’s a hard ask, but, should Grant be able to free himself from His previous political self and offer that full support to David Cunliffe, He will make an excellent deputy to Cunliffe able to cajole and even bully the Caucus into maintaining unity in what is likely to be a defining election and Government for Labour as we go forward into this century,

        The other question being does Labour have someone else with the political skills to keep David Cunliffe onside with the Caucus and the Caucus onside with David Cunliffe, my opinion is no, the Labour Caucus is sadly lacking in Members with such skills…

        • Ennui

          Mayhaps it is a marriage made in Heaven….leaves Robertson as the heir apparent after the ship of Labour has been steered to the Left. Cunliffe can be the big baddy, Robertson can cement the direction as the new orthodoxy.

      • Skinny 4.1.3

        The real fight is if Jones gets more votes than anticipated, will it be enough to supersede Parker as the deputy.

  5. Tracey 5

    Could someone, anyone, PLEASE send this to Trevor Mallard?

    Message to Trevor Mallard

    • alwyn 5.1

      That is absolutely wonderful.
      I’m not sure that Helen Clark (see first small panel) ever actually poisoned anyone though.
      Trevor really is a little turd though.

  6. te reo putake 6

    20 or so comments over the last few days about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, yet not a word written in sympathy with the victims. Odd isn’t it?

    • Tracey 6.1

      What do you make of that te reo putake?

      • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1

        I think its odd, Tracey. Peculiar, even.

        • Tracey

          Well, for my part it is because of the enormous number of victims of this and other strikes and shootings that I am interested in the possibility that the UN and/or the USA will intervene and in particular the basis for that intervention (proof).

          “… we adopt the principle of universality: if an action is right (or wrong) for others, it is right (or wrong) for us. Those who do not rise to the minimal moral level of applying to themselves the standards they apply to others — more stringent ones, in fact — plainly cannot be taken seriously when they speak of appropriateness of response; or of right and wrong, good and evil. In fact, one of the, maybe the most, elementary of moral principles is that of universality, that is, If something’s right for me, it’s right for you; if it’s wrong for you, it’s wrong for me. Any moral code that is even worth looking at has that at its core somehow.” Noam Chomsky

          • Populuxe1

            And Chomsky would be wrong because every action and reaction is subjective and must be seen in context. For instance you would have to be incredibly naive to think that some things can only be met with interventionist force – Nazi Germany, for example, or the Balkan conflict. As an international community there must be zero tollerance of deployment of WMD.

        • Greywarbler

          Why is it odd trp? Such serious things are happening continually, which are being written about with alarm, anger and despondency – our ability to follow decent human rituals and behaviours is impaired. And you making prissy comments from an apparently superior position about that doesn’t reflect well on you. You appear hypocritical and petty.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Sad that you feel that my empathy with the victims of this war is in some way hypocritical or prissy. I’m a lefty, my sympathies always lie with the oppressed.

            I just find it remarkeable that people I would have thought had a similar outlook to mine have forgotten the dead and are instead wibbling about false flags. As if the default position for the left should be that the Syrian fa5cists are cool till proven otherwise. Even after these few more comments, I’m still the only one to express any sympathy with the victims. How sad is that?

            • Colonial Viper

              Several hundred people died in the chemical weapons attack in Syria TRP.

              They brought the death toll from the conflict up to very conservative estimates of 70,000-80,000 dead over the last year. 100,000 to 120,000 may be more accurate.

              Expressing sympathies for the newest victims now – well, I would feel a hypocrite because I didn’t for any of the earlier victims. Death by nerve gas is horrible…but only marginally more so than bleeding out from a gut and spinal cord shrapnel wound.

              And IMO I feel that pushing back against a major escalation in the war is the best thing to do for those victims.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Nicely put,CV, but I disagree with your suggestion. The best solution overall is unknown, frankly, but allowing a government to gas its own citizens cannot be allowed to go unpunished. I’m OK with a response similar to that used in Serbia, which was targetted strikes against symbols of the regime. A few cruise missiles up Assad’s ar5e would be fine by me.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Did the government gas its own citizens? Why would a government do that just days after a UN WMD observation team arrived in the country?

                  Back in April, a UN team member said that rebel use of Sarin was strongly suspected, but not proven.

                  Should Egyptian authorities be given the moral all clear to shoot hundreds of unarmed peaceful protestors? Double standards are being applied in spades.

                  Cameron is suffering backbench Tory MP resistance (from up to 70 of his own MPs) against immediate military action and it’s not hard to see why.

                • bad12

                  TRP, and of course simply tossing these ‘few cruise missiles’ at symbols of the Assad regime is guaranteed to NOT kill any innocent children and civilians right,

                  Or would such collateral damage in your opinion be acceptable coz the US Prez ordered the firing of these cruise missiles for all the ‘right reasons’…

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Yep, it’s acceptable, bad. Hate to have to point this out but lots of innocent German citizens died in the last days of WW2. Still needed to be done anyway. C’est la guerre.

                    CV, this is not about Egypt, its Syria. I have real difficulty with what the Egyptian army did, even though I’m glad the Brotherhood have been turfed out. It was not a proportionate response to a sit in..

                    And I don’t discount the possibility that the gassing wasn’t directly ordered by Assad, but could have been a rogue decision by his army. But it’s still the Syrian governement that has weaponised chemical weapons, has threatened to use them, and refuses to sign up to international protocols. Live by the sword …

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I reports from earlier this year that it was probably the rebels and not the government who had used sarin?

                      CV, this is not about Egypt, its Syria.

                      Different standards for different countries? I can understand that, as long as we are clear that the differences in treatment are purely due to US/UK geopolitical interests.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Not different standards, different circumstances.

                    • Tracey

                      “but lots of innocent German citizens died in the last days of WW2. Still needed to be done anyway. C’est la guerre.”

                      you mean like in Dresdon ?

                      The value of your sympathy for them when coupled with a notion they had to die is confusing me. Unless you are being tongue in cheek?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Agree, the circumstances are different.

                      One is a war against the Syrian govt, incited and resourced by external powers. Another is a civilian protest against a military led coup taking down the democratically elected Egyptian government.

                    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard


                      The women in Fallujah will still be giving birth to deformed babies for years to come. Why? Who allowed this to occur? And have they gone by unpunished?

                      Unless people get to understand exactly who is keeping these monstrosities happening, the best form of sympathy is learning exactly where the source of corruption really resides and ensuring it is not allowed to keep occurring.

                      This requires refusing to buy into the propaganda we are being fed. It requires not supporting the very narratives that are keeping this going and it requires so many people following such a course of action that it simply can’t occur anymore.

                      You say Assad should have a bomb placed under his arse?
                      What is your view on Bush and Blair then?

                      You say Assad should be murdered?
                      This is totally buying into the narrative of those who keep these inhumane events occurring decades after decades.

                      I’m sure that the women giving birth to deformed babies in Fallujah would far prefer that people in the West got it together to stop buying into the narratives that keep these occurrences occurring and instead act to ensure such war crimes don’t occur again, rather than sending them flowers and a sympathy card.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    trp, how do you think Assad will react to the attack?

                    It looks like the plan is the sort of barrage you suggest. The aim, as stated by the US, is to stop him using CW and no more. It’s being made explicit that there is no intention of regime change. The Syrians are still in this on their own, all this attack is about is sending the message that CW use will be responded to.

                    How is that going to play in the context of the Syrian civil war? Assad is going to respond in some way, and he probably won’t respond against the west.

                    • Tracey

                      ” It’s being made explicit that there is no intention of regime change.”

                      Do you believe that?

                      Arent they going to target airports and military equipment and facilities? IF they succeed in crippling them, wont the anti-assad folks have the whip-hand?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Well if there is an intention of regime change, then mission creep is cooked into the plan.

                      Which makes it a not very good plan. Democracies don’t win wars their populations aren’t keen on fighting.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Indeed – most likely any US retaliation will be restricted to targeted strikes on air fields. All the screaming from various parties who should know better about bombing civilians and all out war are talking shit. There is a certain kind of person on the left who would happily crawl over a pile of gassed babies in order to take a swipe at US “imperialism”. The last thing the US wants is another quagmire in the Middle East.

                    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard

                      @ Populuxe1,

                      “The last thing the US wants is another quagmire in the Middle East.”

                      If this is so, they’ve got a really funny way of showing it.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “Indeed – most likely any US retaliation will be restricted to targeted strikes on air fields”

                      Well the leaks coming out of the WH are suggesting a bit more than that.

                      But the question remains as to what Assad’s response will be, and what the US’s response to that will be.

                      The stated aims are simply to punish Assad for the CW use. But not to change the outcome of the civil war. That’s a fine line. the uS has to be seen to be hitting hard enough that it is meaningfully punitive, but not hard enough to turn the tide in the civil war.

                      So if there is a short term bombing campaign targeting various things, what are the desired effects, and the possible outcomes.

                      I’d say it’s not unlikely that Assad will respond with a conventional onslaught against the rebels in built up areas, fully complying with the demands to cease the use of CW.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Which makes it a not very good plan. Democracies don’t win wars their populations aren’t keen on fighting.

                      You forget that the definition of “winning” is highly flexible. Did the USA “win” Iraq? Highly debatable. Yet Halliburton, Boeing and Raytheon definitely did.

                • leftriteleft

                  Missiles = more deaths.

                  Did I get him?

                  Oh f**k missed.

                  And the missiles keep on coming.

                  Bit of a lottery really.

            • bad12

              TRP, from where i sit they are all insane fascists, from the Syrian regime to those trying to topple that regime,

              From the US and UK warmongers to those in Russia who see the supply of weaponry both to the Syrian regime and those attempting to topple that regime, as simply geo-politics,

              All of them from London to Moscow from Washington to Damascus must be condemned without fear nor favor as they all have daily the blood of innocent children washing through and over their every action,

              The semantics of how these children die be it from Sarin gas attack or from a circling Apache helicopter delivering death via automatic cannon fire are a mere quibble,

              No one, not the US Prez nor the ‘rebels’ on the ground in Syria deserve the merest hint of any of us’s support, they all, everyone one of them should be labelled by us for what they are,

              The mass murderers of children…

              • Te Reo Putake

                Actually, there is a difference, Bad. The Apache is a precise instrument of death, gas is indescriminate. That’s one of the reasons the civilised world have signed up not use these kind of weapons. As I recall, the gassing of his own people was the crime Saddam Hussein was hung for, so it should not be a surprise to his buddy Assad that it will not be tolerated.

                Just a quick thought; I also recall the old peace slogan that a rifle is a weapon with a worker at each end. The nature of war is that it is rarely the rich and powerful that make the biggest sacrifices.

                • bad12

                  TRP, nice to know you are right at home sitting among the warmongers…

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    You know nothing, bad and I am not stting with the warmongers, I’m sitting with their victims. And I’m picking the survivors would be just as happy if there is a external response of a very very direct nature to this war crime.

                    • bad12

                      Yes TRP, the Apache helicopter complete with auotmatic cannon are ‘precise’ weapons of death and when an Apache is used to murder children while those operating it’s weapons sit aboard such instruments of murder cracking jokes about people bringing their children to a ‘fire-fight’ these precise weapons are being used for the purpose of child murder with knowing deliberation,

                      After the last US episode of invasion based upon ‘hard evidence’ of the possession of weapons of mass destruction supposedly possessed by the State of Iraq i personally would not trust the US, the UK, nor the UN in any further declaration of either their possession or use by anyone,

                      However, as you say i know nothing, you on the other hand having great knowledge and believing everything you see beamed at you via the TV news to be the truth instead of a mish mash of staged propaganda being pushed by the dealers of mass murder on all sides,

                      Enjoy the ‘body count’ from this latest little US ‘adventure’ wont you…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, Bad, will do 🙂

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But you don’t know who is responsible for this “war crime”.

                      If the US repeats its previous strategies of trying to destabilise regimes, they will take out the electricity grid, water reservoirs and sewage pumping stations.

                      In other words, they will make life a misery for millions of civilians.

                      Like the sanctions against ordinary Iranian people, these steps will really “teach them a lesson.”

              • Populuxe1

                Just because one commits crimes on a regular basis doesn’t mean one can’t do something noble.

            • Tracey

              no offence intended, but actually writing you sympathise doesn’t mean you are the only one to sympathise.

              as for forgetting the dead, the whole thread is about the dead, past and future.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Good point Tracey. I was trying to say that the sympathy/empathy I thought was natural for the left was not being expressed. Hence why I thought it was odd. I probably could have worded my original comment better.

                • bad12

                  Empathy TRP??? i fail to detect any for the innocents you claim to be protecting by your calls to have Assad ‘taught a lesson’ via the use of cruise missiles which like the use of gas do not differentiate who is destroyed…

                • Greywarbler

                  I thank you on behalf of others who mightn’t get to express their feelings of gratitude, for expressing sympathy to the victims of this heinous crime for today.

                  This will apply up to the present only and we will take responsibility for all the future events that at present we hold to be beyond the pale. Who knows what will be decided to be acceptable in the future when newer horrors are introduced.

                  In the meantime we must keep talking about some of the old ones, along with the new, so let’s not forget phosphorous, depleted uranium etc. And feel lucky that we are not being forced to use it, or receive it, or be anywhere near it at the same time as we feel sorry for those who are.

    • Sinnick 6.2

      Do you think the victims of chemical attack more deserving of our sympathy than the thousands of women and children killed by bullets, shrapnel, incineration, entombment, starvation, torture and more ‘conventional’ means up this point in the conflict?

      If you do, I’d find that odd.

      Further thoughts on the subject:

      • Populuxe1 6.2.1

        So basically the US is fucked either way. If the US intervenes it is a warmongering imperialist and if it stays out it’s abetting war crimes (or in some cases genocide). I really wish people would make up their minds.

        • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard


          How about contenting yourself with the understanding that the interests behind US warmongering imperialism will be entirely happy that ‘people’ are left in this state of dissatisfaction with their behaviour with either course of action they follow; that way they can simply shrug their crusty little shoulders and go ‘ah well we may as well just do what we want to’.

          Let’s face it this is fairly well what they were going to do anyway.

          • Populuxe1

            Mainly because such reductive reasoning about large, complex countries of diverse and sometimes contradictory influences wouldn’t be worth my time

            • beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard

              My comment made no reference to ‘countries’ and the ‘interests’ that I did make reference to are not too complex.

              Your response is a poor excuse for thinking no further on a subject that we all need to understand in order to put a stop to the anti-democratic and inhumane movement occurring in the west currently.

              • Populuxe1

                You wrote: “the interests behind US warmongering imperialism”
                There is the word “interests” and the US is a country.

                • beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard

                  @ Populuxe1,

                  In the same way that when referring to helminths in a human body , is not a direct reference to the human body nor its functioning, likewise, referring to the warmongering imperialist interests emanating from a country is not a direct reference to that country or its functioning.

                  I can see how you got that wrong, though.

        • Colonial Viper

          So basically the US is fucked either way. If the US intervenes it is a warmongering imperialist and if it stays out it’s abetting war crimes (or in some cases genocide). I really wish people would make up their minds.

          What are you talking about? The US has been actively intervening in the Syrian “civil war” for many months now.

  7. framu 7

    drilling permits set to become non-notified

    thanks amy adams -thanks a fu**n bunch

    I think thats the final nail in the coffin for any nat to claim that their not in the back pocket of the oil industry

    • Tracey 7.1

      it’s ok framu, the oil companies can be trusted to self regulate… they wont cut corners for profits to satisfy their shareholders and they wont risk the lives of their employees.

      for years we heard cries from Nats and ACT that Ms Clark acted like she knew what was best for us. They painted that as a bad thing, dangerous for nz even…

      “”Tired of telling everyday New Zealanders what to do, the Government is again training its sights onto business – trying to convince them that Labour knows best.”

      Mr Key is referring to statements made by Dr Cullen at today’s finance and expenditure select committee, where he said there would be no tax relief for Kiwi companies paying 33%.

      National’s policy is to reduce the corporate tax rate to match Australia’s 30% rate.

      “True to socialistic form, Dr Cullen is saying that rather than returning money to business by way of a more competitive tax rate, the Government plans to champion its own pet projects.

      “There was bad news, too, for hard working individual taxpayers, who won’t be offered any relief from so-called fiscal creep…”
      Key 2004

  8. This law change is terrible and only assists the continued exploitation of our country.

    The Government is planning to remove the public’s right to oppose deep-sea oil and gas exploration.

    A law change would see applications by oil giants go through the Environmental Protection Agency, but they would be “non-notified”, which means members of the public would not get to have a say.

    Environment Minister Amy Adams released a discussion document yesterday and invited submissions.

    The proposal will be introduced to the Marine Legislation Bill, currently before Parliament, by way of a Supplementary Order Paper. This means it won’t go through a parliamentary select committee…

    Ms Adams said the new classification – which also includes discharges of harmful substances and dumping of waste in the Exclusive Economic Zone – would provide an appropriate level of oversight and discretion by the EPA. The activities would only take place over a short period or are routine. Exploratory drilling for oil and gas generally takes up to six weeks.

    “The proposals in the discussion document balance the need to protect the ocean environment, while not overly burdening industry with excessive costs and extended timeframes,” she said.

    disgusting!!! There is no balance with these exploiters – they take and take and then take some more.

    Edit – snap! great minds think alike framu 🙂

    • Tracey 8.1

      National knows best!

      “This means it won’t go through a parliamentary select committee…”

      They have worked hard to remove the right of people to have a say… This and 5 other Bills rammed through under urgency.

      I would love to see updated statistics on urgency

      “Overall for the three Parliaments under the last Labour government the total percentage of time used for urgency was 13% (99-02) 21% (02-05) 10% (05-08). ” G Robertson 2011

      Will ask Mr Farrar to update.

    • karol 8.2

      And still no DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK! headlines from the NZ Herald.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Of course not, the NZHreald couldn’t care less about democracy – they only care that National are in power and are thus able to dictate to the public.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Here is a suggestion for whoever wins the Labour leadership – take a leaf out of the Green’s playbook and appoints a male and female deputy leader. At a stroke, it would say they are not as silly as the Greens politically correct logical fallacy of pretending you can have two leaders of anything (can two people come first?) but also say they are concerned about womens issues in a concrete way – important to winning back the solid majority of women voters who like that nice man Mr. Key, and a good way to have your political cake and eat it to, viz:

    Leader – David Cunliffe.
    Deputies – Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern.

    South Auckland Pasifika and the mortgage belt get their married family man in the top spot, identity politics latte sippers in Grey Lynn get to coo on the blogs about the nice balance in the runners up.

    • that is not such a silly idea..sanctuary..

      ..i want ardern as deputy..

      (as in a cunnliffe/ardern pairing having the strongest appeal to the electorate..and hence highest chance of strongest victory..

      ..which of course will give much more of a mandate than just limping over the

      ..and/but also recognising robertsons’ skills/current position..

      ..a co-deputy-leadership could be a solution to all that….

      ..and would be a consolation prize for ardern not getting the deputy-role in her own right..

      ..tho’ i know the caucus votes on the deputy-leader..

      ..and i still hope they have the political nous to see the potency of a cunnliffe/ardern pairing..

      ..and after cunnliffe gets the nod.. her into the role..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Greywarbler 9.2

      Sounds sound sanctuary. Hope someone reads and acts on it. The basic idea is good, and the woman – I wouldn’t know. Some say Ardern is too new?

      Has she got a feel for the issues of low income strugglers, DPB parents needing help, Maori attempting to carry their own legals in Court (back to where they were before the push that got legal aid started). Or unemployment generally, and lack of will to create jobs in PEP schemes getting things done outside the usual budgets – could be teams of outdoor workers tackling old man’s beard and bindweed (popularly convulvulus) etc.. Loss of confidence and respect in those being put off under 90 days multiple times, which apparently has been viewed as a flag for being someone on the fringes lucky to get a toenail in to a job according to a comment from an employing mouthpiece.

      I would really like someone who isn’t just a pretty face with a steel comb for savagely ridding us of nits as an approach by political women to our real difficulties in young, poorer NZ I remember the actress who had the Wonderwoman part in the USA was interested in politics from the right wing view. Educated, attractive women with good verbal skills – we need more than that. We need heart, vision mixed with practicality, determination to help people to where they want to be living, giving and belonging and receiving the fruits of a good society.

      What we need is someone with compassion, practical understanding of social policy, and interest in using some of the excellent measures that get suggested in academic studies and have probably been trialled successfully somewhere overseas years ago. Let’s stop going down to a default position of the late 19th century. And restore the boon of legal aid. And stop applying moralistic and ideological demands on people and concentrate on what can be improved in a situation, requesting the beneficiary to articulate a plan and goals that are achievable and then helping them do so. etc. Boring, mundane, but exciting and hopeful for those in difficulty and those who really want NZ on lower deciles to have great opportunities for good lives.

      • phillip ure 9.2.1

        “..Has she got a feel for the issues of low income strugglers, DPB parents needing help, Maori attempting to carry their own legals in Court…”

        ..going on the/my observations from doing commentaries on q-time for awhile..

        ..i would say yes she has..

        ..phillip ure..


        • Greywarbler

          phillip u
          Well that sounds hopeful for getting the right person. Now wait and see I guess, as I’m not Labour but am very interested in seeing it after it comes out of hiding. May be down at the service station getting a change of engine. Does wonders for an old but good vehicle.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      Two deputies is a very good idea.

      Louisa Wall should take the spot on the basis of being very hard hitting, high impact and values driven. Grant then comes in with his smart, fast intellect and ability to smoothly navigate the corridors of Wellington.

      Cunliffe as leader.

      • Sanctuary 9.3.1

        Actually now I think about it I really like Louisa Wall as deputy ahead of Ardern as well – she has a great back story, seems to be able to get stuff done, and has won and held a solidly working class electorate. Far more than Robertson she is my most likely candidate for our first gay P.M.

        • phillip ure

          i agree about the skills/future potential of wall..

          ..but she has only really just arrived on the parliamentary–scene..

          ..and getting back to that electoral-appeal factor/imperative again..

          ..i don’t think you can go past a cunnliffe/ardern pairing..

          phillip ure..

          • Colonial Viper

            NB this is the second time Louisa has been an MP, and she has proven extremely effective as a bipartisan operator this time around.

        • Anne

          Be very careful who you wish for as a deputy. One or two that have been suggested here were donkey deep in the ABC club and still lean heavily towards them. Their choice of leader is dependent upon where they think their political ambitions will be best served. I think it would be very difficult for Cunliffe to feel he could trust them in the role of deputy.

          Btw, Louisa Wall is not one of them of course, but at this point she lacks the necessary experience. Hell, we’ve just seen what happens when lack of experience is ignored by those who should know best of all how important it is.

          Edit: Yes I know its second time around for her CV, but the first time was a very short stint – about a year from memory. I think she’s got a big enough task in Sth. Auckland and for the time being would be happy with that. She’s certainly one for a future leading role… honest and trustworthy too.

        • felix

          +1 Sanctuary

        • Murray Olsen

          I would put Wall well ahead of Ardern. She has profile from actually having achieved something. Ardern seems to rely heavily on Mallard. Even while she’s speaking in Parliament, he’s handing her bits of paper. She has shown a worrying inability to score hits on Paula Benefat, who should be an easy target. I really don’t rate her at all, sorry.

          • Chooky

            +1 Murray Olsen….I would say someone with natural ability , potential and learns fast is better than someone seasoned who will never cut the mustard

            …also loyalty is a big factor …a leader cant always be watching their back if they want to do the job easily and well..

            …that said I dont know Wall or Ardern

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes, I rate Wall. Have spoken to her before, and she is smart, driven by her values and compassionate. She held up well in the media glare earlier this year, and if she had been given the job of deflecting the bullshit Man Ban flak a few months ago, would likely have outshone Shearer’s efforts (not difficult I admit, still…).

            Especially in a situation where a more experienced MP is the other Deputy Leader, we’ll see her grow in the role very, very quickly.

    • northshoreguynz 9.4

      Does the LP not have a woman MP who is not past it, but not a newbie either? I haven’t seen enough of Ardern to know whether she can cut it as a Deputy Leader, and Wall is just too new.
      Having said that, a Cunliffe/Ardern ticket could certainly be a vote winner come election time.

      • bad12 9.4.1

        Adhern was quoted someplace, at the bottom of a Herald article i think, as having given Her support to Grant Robertson, how true that is i cannot fathom as i have only seem such an insinuation the one time,

        That could have just been more BS from the home of Jonolism with the usual aim of creating division so as to provide Tory rule…

        • Anne

          Probably true bad12. Had close links to the ABC club.

          • Skinny

            She should be stripped of her spokespersons role against Pork Barrel, just not effective. Put back on the backbench & warn her off hanging out with Mallard. I’ve seen her contempt of Unionists which is a worry. Make her earn any future positions, ranking her 21 on list from the outset was more a Goff thing than Clark

    • QoT 9.5

      politically correct logical fallacy of pretending you can have two leaders of anything

      It’s only a fallacy because you’ve defined “leader” as a supreme individual.

  10. Greywarbler 11

    Apparently Phil Goff has been on radio putting a biological weapon in his mouth, ie his foot. People have emailed to Radionz in anger at his stupid and callous comments. Apparently saying that even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons! Doh! Some have reminded him that something called white phosphorus was used in earlier Middle East locations. He or someone said that it was wrong to use nerve gas against innocent civilians, implying that it was okay to use against the enemy forces. What a murky ghastly argument to be involved in, and to attempt to find levels of agreement with the use of these inhuman methods of attack shows someone with no ethical sense or judgment at all.

    This morning the news seems invaded by USA led information. It was a pleasure to hear Maori news come up and know it would be about things happening around us, about us, informing us about us.

    Main news with USA basis –
    1 Psychiatrist receives death penalty by army court.
    2 Syrian maneouvres between powers outside the country.
    3 Comment on what Israel is thinking – USA satellite.
    4 50 years from lovely speech of hope from Martin Luther King.
    5 …. War what is it good for?

    • Tracey 11.1

      Goff and Mallard within 24 hours… JFC!!!

    • Sanctuary 11.2

      “… Doh! Some have reminded him that something called white phosphorus was used in earlier Middle East locations… …to attempt to find levels of agreement with the use of these inhuman methods of attack…”

      In order ban something, you have to first agree to a definition of what you are banning. The definition of chemical weapons is that agreed to by the The Chemical Weapons Convention. According to the Chemical Weapons Convention Schedule of Chemicals, WP (White phosphorous) is neither a toxic chemical nor a precursor to a toxic chemical. Protocol III of The Convention on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects prohibits and restricts the use of incendiary weapons in civilian populations. It defines an incendiary weapon as “any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons”; this definition excludes “munitions which may have incidental effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signaling systems.” Under that qualification, WP is not necessarily considered an “incendiary weapon” if it incidentally sets buildings on fire.

      So WP is not a chemical weapon, and nor is it banned under Protocol III of The Convention on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons. So I am not sure what your point is here.

      “…He or someone said that it was wrong to use nerve gas against innocent civilians, implying that it was okay to use against the enemy forces…”

      In this context, it should be pointed out that Syria is one of five states (the others being Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan) that have not signed the The Chemical Weapons Convention. Therefore technically the use of chemical weapons by these states against an armed internal opponent is not illegal and does not constitute a war crime. However, the use of any chemical agent against unarmed and innocent civilian populations (be it in the gas chambers of Nazi Germany or the suburbs of Damascus) is a definite war crime by anyones definition.

      Goff is clearly doing his best to point out that from Labour’s POV our support for any attack on Syrian government forces is not open ended and should be limited to punishing those who have committed a clear, legally defined, war crime against civilian populations…

      • Greywarbler 11.2.1

        It defines an incendiary weapon as “any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons”; this definition excludes “munitions which may have incidental effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signaling systems.” Under that qualification, WP is not necessarily considered an “incendiary weapon” if it incidentally sets buildings on fire.

        So WP is not a chemical weapon, and nor is it banned under Protocol III of The Convention on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons. So I am not sure what your point is here.

        Thanks Sanctuary for pointing out the fine points of the law to me. My point now is that I must remember to hide with my windows shut if I ever hear of you being in a war zone when I am around. That’s the sort of sanctuary I understand. How long would it take you to check the regs to see what it was legal to injure me with? And I would try to get away in that time. Is that allowed in the official regs or must I stay put and take whatever the edict says I deserve?

    • Paul 11.3

      Goff was part of the neoliberal clique who sold this country to the corporates.
      He betrayed NZ in the 80s….no wonder he’s continuing to do their bidding as they drag the world to war for more profit for the men in suits.

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    The Onion picked Miley Cyrus’ overuse and depletion 3 years ago

    Just brilliant

  12. AmaKiwi 13

    Maryan Street, please help me.

    11 Nov. 2012: “Mr Shearer stripped Mr Cunliffe of his fifth rank and portfolios and sent him to the backbenches yesterday for disloyalty” because Cunliffe “refused to pledge to endorse him in the future.” (NZ Herald)

    27 August 2013: “I was ready to move a motion of no confidence had he not responded the way he did,” says Ms Street. It’s outright admission of a planned coup – Ms Street wanted Mr Shearer out to make room for Mr Robertson.” (TV 3 News)

    Maryan, please help me understand why you, Grant Robertson, and everyone involved in this coup should not be expelled from caucus for disloyalty?

    Surely there cannot be one set of rules for Cunliffe and another set for you and Grant.

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      Because Street was contemplating using the provisions endorsed by the last conference. ie she was going to move a motion within the rules of the LP.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        If Cunliffe was going to make a move on the Leadership, he would have had too as well.

        So what’s the difference?

        Instead, Cunliffe got nailed simply for supporting those changed LP rules you speak of.

        • Anne

          Yes CV. It’s interesting that information has only come out now.

          Recall the complaint laid by the New Lynn electorate committee about the treatment of David Cunliffe… we never heard the outcome because the participants were apparently sworn to secrecy. We now know the real cause of that crap was his endorsement of the new rules for selecting the leader. In their unhinged minds, the ABC club interpreted that as a formal challenge to Shearer – not withstanding he was not the only MP who voted for those rules.

      • Tracey 13.1.2

        One possible difference is that no reporter asked Ms Street to pledge to endorse Mr Shearer in the future from the time she had clearly lost confidence in him and wanted him replaced.

        • Colonial Viper

          Also remember that no MP plans something like this without ensuring support from at least several colleagues in advance. In other words, this has been a conversation for at least the last 1-2 months. (Hate to say it – but Garner was right 6-7 weeks ago, yes really).

    • Greywarbler 13.2

      Perhaps the pollies should concentrate on now and not turning back to last year as their main focus. It is important that the old and newer factions talk about how they can find a good leader, for the election win and then have some puff left over to think about the country wide policies needed, without ignoring the unglamorous bottom deciles. Wow that’s a lot to think about.
      Then there is the approach, is the election to be run with a presidential approach? Is it policy or personality, pretty prancing ways and quick quips that will sway the punters? Are people deep into viewing life as a tv reality program, where someone who has charisma stays, and the ones that don’t have easy appeal get discarded. Where challenges and successes are contrived so that reality is photoshopped and maneouvred for the viewers’ benefit.

      I think that is plenty to consider without rehashing past maneouvrings which we now understand better, with hindsight. Keeping up with the dance steps now, particularly what the present usurper Lord of the Dance is doing, and that should be everyones focus.
      Here are some of the words of this hopeful energetic hymn.

      I danced on a Friday when the world turned black
      It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
      They buried my body, they thought I was gone
      But I am the dance, and the dance goes on

      They cut me down and I leapt up high
      I am the life that will never, never die
      I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me
      I am the Lord of the dance, said he

      Dance, dance, wherever you may be
      I am the lord of the dance, said he
      And I lead you all, wherever you may be
      And I lead you all in the dance, said he

  13. Tom 14

    .. and now we find that

    “After John Key ramrods through new spying bill, New Zealand to build new Pacific fiber submarine cable.”

  14. amirite 15

    Labour leadership candidates must brace themselves for unprecedented attacks by the MSM and the right wing political opponents. Keep it clean and civil and beat them with intelligence, vision, wit and graciousness!
    Also, the support among right wingers for Robertson is growing,(* hint hint*). Hooters is one of the supporters according to Paddy the Handsome and Fartair’s tweets this morning.

    • Symbol 15.1

      Robertson is Shearer MKII. Shearer was always comfortable being National Lite, he would only veer left when facing large doses of criticism. It is obvious that Robertson is a more articulate version of Shearer, otherwise his offering is exactly the same.

      I was going to take a lead from Irish Bill and stay away from bad mouthing various candidates but heard Michael Cullen have a go at Cunliffe at the NZ Book awards on RNZ this morning, in his nasty humoured way. Of course, Michael is married to a former Labour MP who served from 1984-1990, and we know what side of the Left/Right divide that lot sit on.

      For some reason Robertson supporters can get away with doing things that Cunliffe’s cant. What would have happened if Marian Street was part of Cunliffe’s faction?

      John Key said “if you scratch below the surface you will find most kiwi’s are socialist”, well our msm certainly aren’t…and nor are some in the Labour Party.

    • Tracey 16.1

      Haven’t seen any interviews with anyone who wouldn’t vote for Jones because he is Maori. Hopefully it is because there are no such people out there.

      • Tigger 16.1.1

        I’m sure TV3 are desperate to find some so they can craft a whole story around it.

        Also Andrew Little, wtf?

      • Hayden 16.1.2

        …there are no such people out there.

        I do not share your optimism.

        • Ennui

          Thanks Hayden, I often speculate that the difference between Left and Right biased people is that the Leftists want everybody to be compliant PC types with no prejudices. Rightists by contrast see how people really are and play to the prejudices.

          As a consequence the Left assumes that all their flock will go merrily along with the pretense and not have their own prejudice / beliefs. The corollary is that their votes are lost as the Right comes in and panders to that prejudice / belief. And that is the key point to the arrogance that is “identity” politics, the assumption that everybody on the Left will meekly accept what they don’t believe in as part and parcel of a broader belief.

          • Anne

            I often speculate that the difference between Left and Right biased people is that the Leftists want everybody to be compliant PC types with no prejudices. Rightists by contrast see how people really are and play to the prejudices.

            Leftists want everybody to be PC compliant types… oooh that’s a bit broad brush Ennui.

            I’m a Leftist and nobody could called me PC compliant and I do have prejudices like… I can’t stand arrogant, wealthy tycoons who parade their wealth and hang NZ flags on tall poles outside the front of their mansions. I’ve contemplated more than once going out on a moonless night and doing a Hone Heke on one close to my home but I’m a bit old for that sort of malarkey. Anyway I’d muck it up and get caught. 🙁

            But I agree with the second part.

            • Ennui

              Anne, the broad brush stroke is fairly broad….sort of a shotgun way to get a reaction…can I loan you a chain saw to cut down the flagpoles? Its a bit easier for us older types than an axe.

              • Anne

                You do realise Ennui that once I’m caught you will become an accessory after the fact. 👿

          • Tracey

            Interesting postulation.

            Rightists, in my opinion are very resistant to change and prefer the status quo. Their basis for ridiculing behaviour they see as “PC” is often by reference to their own upbringing.

            “I was caned and it never made me…”

            “My father never said he loved me and it didn’t make me….”

            and so on.

            Then there’s the “good old days”, which tend to be the days when white men went through life unfettered and unchallenged by those different to them.

            NO I am neither man-hating nor assuming superiority.

            Hence the development of such notions as

            “They are taking our jobs” in reference to quotas for example. Because the jobs, were by definition the property/domain of the white man.

            OF COURSE leftists have many of the same prejudices.

            Generalisations are dangerous for sure.

            bigotry tends to be political leaning-free and your point is an interesting one for sure

            • Ennui

              Tracey, as I said to Anne the postulation is me fishing for a reaction. The second part is my way of cautioning the Left against our expectation that our side be purist to the point that it drives our broader community away. I could have said that the Taliban are bigots…they could then with validity call me the same because I am so entrenched (even more bigoted maybe) in my beliefs because I wont accept theirs….

    • Bill 16.2

      What a very odd piece… anyway, must admit to chuckling every time the vein of homophobia within sections of the Pacific community is tapped into as a way to illustrate or suggest (however subtly or otherwise) that us whiteys/pinkies are soooo much more ‘advanced’ in our attitudes towards sexuality. Quite willing to be corrected here – but wasn’t it the case that Pacific nations/peoples were fairly relaxed about sexual preferences before colonisation and the introduction of ‘our’ Christian morality? Bitey bitey arse time.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        More to the point: the Labour Leader who can turn out South Auckland is the Labour Leader who beats John Key.

        The Labour Leader who can’t – is the one who won’t.

        • Greywarbler

          I wonder if just having people being free, willing, election drivers to take people to the polls would bring out half the stay-aways. One would need to be far sighted in thinking that even if they were going to vote for another party when in the booth, at least it was encouraging people to vote, and providing role models for family neighbours children etc.

          Perhaps that provision would be good in South Auckland where there seems to be a lot of interest in what the others around are doing – in church donations for one. It might have a big take-up, just phone some number, or get your neighbour to phone, and you might get the whole street lining up! Probably have to clean sticky marks off the car, spilt orange drink which stains indelibly, raisins trodden into the carpet is a regular with children, also food wrappings, but cover the floor and seats and anyway a good sacrifice for a good outcome of a good voting turnout.

          • Colonial Viper

            Labour does tend to do a lot of those things, but people have to want to get involved and vote. They didn’t last time.

            Interesting note: I know some golden oldie Blue voters who use Labour lifts to get to polling booths. Ha!!!

            • Greywarbler

              Though Labour has given them the means to be either gold or blue rinsed! And still goes on giving. Funny really in a strange sort of way. Anyway how do you know they vote Blue? They’re probably secret Winston fans, such a nice man, lovely smile and voice, good hair, dresses so well (and quickly too).

              • Colonial Viper

                Fair point actually. Such a winning smile, even though he is getting on a bit!

                • Greywarbler

                  I saw a photo of Winston and he looked really lined. Dorian Gray? I guess I have an idea of him as a sort of ageless Peter pan.

          • Winston Smith

            I hear KFCs not a bad why to get people to vote…

        • northshoreguynz

          Quite true.
          Another question, who is the Party’s campaign manager for next year. Cos turning out South Auckland/Porirua is a hell of an organisation thing.

  15. amirite 17

    After doing away with our privacy and freedom of speech with the GCSB bill now the Nats are taking away our right to oppose drilling, this is a chilling reminder that we’re slowly sliding into some kind of totalitarism:

  16. Tracey 18

    Interesting headlines in the herald today.

    “Air NZ profits soar

    Air NZ has unveiled a big jump in profits this morning, with a $182m net profit after tax for the full year – up 156 per cent.

    Air NZ to axe 180 engineer jobs – union

    Air NZ’s Dreamliner becomes a reality”

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      You make profits for shareholders in the new world by getting rid of workers.

    • MrSmith 18.2

      Yes very Interesting Tracy how all these assets the Nat’s are planing on selling suddenly turn an increased profit just before going on the block.

  17. North 19

    Amirite @ 15 – laughing so much about “Paddy the Handsome” almost forgotten I’ve got a paste ready to go – anyway here it is – Bryan Gould in Herald 23/8/13 re this government’s blithe ignorance of the tenets of democracy and the rule of law.

    Masterful ! So much so that someone’s probably already linked it. Sorry about that but I hadn’t seen it until this morning.

    A read of a few ShonKey Python suckers’ comments below the article offers hilarity to offset grave constitutional concerns anyone with half a brain must have. Talk about thick and ripe for totalitarianism !

    • Greywarbler 19.1

      That’s an excellent piece by Gould straight to the points which were well made.
      I like his masterly dealing with the Dunne Deal and GCSB Turnkey in one para.

      The rationale offered by Peter Dunne for his own support for the bill offers no more comfort. If the Prime Minister were to misuse these powers, Peter Dunne assures us, John Key would be “punished by public opinion”. Leaving aside the question of how the public would ever know, what makes Peter Dunne think that John Key is deterred by public opinion? If public opinion counted for anything, we wouldn’t have the bill – and nor, for that matter, would we have Peter Dunne.

      (My bold)

  18. Winston Smith 20

    – Finally the lid is lifting on the dodgy dealings by teachers, its about time

  19. alwyn 21

    I think we should have Shane Jones as leader of Labour.
    He is quoted in the DomPost this morning making a truthful statement. This is so unprecedented by any of our politicians I think it deserves to be rewarded.
    Shane is quoted as saying, about his flying visit to the union rally in Auckland.
    “Given I had already wasted the taxpayers’ money in coming here it didn’t seem it was a good idea in using taxpayer money and not fronting”.
    Now we have to get him to actually stop wasting money, and not just talking about it.

    • Tracey 21.1

      you forgot he also said “bro”

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      If we’d kept Mighty River Power, we’d be able to afford free flights not just for all MPs, but for you too mate.

      • Winston Smith 21.2.1

        Really? That comment is not up to your usual standard.

        • Colonial Viper

          And look at the tens of millions the government is spending trying to keep the Meridian sharefloat above water.

          National is wasting so much money every week, on an asset giveaway to the rich.

      • alwyn 21.2.2

        That is a fascinating comment. I would love to see how you would attempt to justify it.
        I shall give a very crude reasoning for the silliness of your claim. My numbers could be out by a factor of 20 and your claim still doesn’t make any sense.
        MRP Profit for the year to June was about $115 million. At most they have given away 49% of that or about $56 million. Let’s ignore any tax paid by the shareholders and also ignore the interest would have to pay on the $1.7 billion they got for the shares.
        Free air tickets? Well look at Air New Zealand alone. About half their seat-kilometers are on short haul flights, which I assume the ones that are going to be given free to all. Given that their passenger revenue for the group is about $3.8 billion that would mean that we would have to find about $1,9 billion to pay for them. Lets ignore the fact that Air New Zealand is not the only provider of short haul flight air travel.
        I don’t know about you but $1.9 billion seems like a lot more money than $56 million.
        Would you care to explain the logic of your proposal?

  20. Tracey 22

    BUT does it include teachers in charter schools who are not actually qualified teachers and therefore not answerable to the teachers council?

    It’s a good start provided it’s released after a guilt finding and not before..

    • Winston Smith 22.1

      Being answerable to the teachers council doesn’t stop teachers but it does help hide teachers

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Of course, that’s a lie. What are you going to propose next? Abandoning all professional bodies?

        • Greywarbler

          W Smith would probably translate that into stop hugging his GP if he isn’t going to marry her.

    • Bob 22.2

      The same way that University Lecturers aren’t all qualified teachers?
      Have you ever been mentored by anyone? Were they a qualified teacher?
      Have you ever had any training at work? Were they a qualified teacher?

      You don’t have to be a qualified teacher to be able to teach, this is shown nowhere better than in our Universities.

  21. amirite 24

    A must watch tonight:

    You know righties are shitting their pants when Sean Plonker labelled Bruce a communist.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.1

      RWNJs don’t react well to such disloyalty


      And that is why they’re all a bunch of authoritarians who will do anything to protect their leader even when it’s conclusively proven that their is wrong.

      • Draco T Bastard 25.1.1

        Edit function not working.

        Last line is supposed to read …proven that their leader is wrong.

        [lprent: Odd. I checked it across several browsers in the last set of updates to the server the day before yesterday. I will look at it again this evening. What OS/browser? ]

        • Draco T Bastard


          At that time all that happened was that the Chrome window went grey and the page shifted down to the comment box at the bottom but nothing else happened. Trying to anything else resulted in Chrome reverting to normal status. It was like it was waiting for something from the server and not getting it.

  22. Tracey 26

    Is the USA planning on taking their democracy road trip here anytime soon????

    Sometimes you can be dead without dying.

    Saudi women given vote in 2015 will no longer need male approval to run for election

    Despite the impending changes, women still can’t travel, work, study or marry without male authorisation

    “Saudi Arabia woman are still not allowed to travel, work, study abroad, marry, get divorced or gain admittance to a public hospital without permission from a male guardian.”

    Read more:

    • Greywarbler 26.1

      Are they allowed out in the street to go to the market without holding the hand of at least one of their male children, a toddler even?

  23. Tracey 27

    Does Gerry Brownlie even know that he is an MP?

    “”So you want us to have a policy but the gallery has no policy?”, Mr Brownlee asked.”

    • bad12 27.1

      To simplify ‘it’ for Gerry Brownlee who seems to have contracted the ‘thickness disease’, two wrongs do not make anything right,

      The material Vance had was not classified material so where is the ‘security issue’, such distinctions are obviously wasted upon Brownlee…

      • Greywarbler 27.1.1

        Everything is wasted on Brownlee. The thickness disease – he is riddled with it from head to toe. Terminally.

      • Tracey 27.1.2

        also he asks if journos will agree to their personal information being looked at cos they print others personal info BUT the kitteridge report wasn’t personal information. No wonder Christchurch is a mess.

    • geoff 28.1

      cheers, that’s a good read

    • Tracey 28.2

      thanks for this…

      ” It is for the middle class, which Marx said would be crushed by the logic of late capitalism. He spoke specifically about how the small shopkeepers and tradespeople would fail. There would be left the great mass of poor people and a tiny minority of the ultra-rich, and then of course violent revolution.”

      At least the downtrodden know they are downtrodden. Many Nat supporters vote for National because they have swallowed the notion that with its policies one day “they” can achieve the wealth they aspire too. You are being duped friends, and taking the rest of us with you.

      • Half Crown 28.2.1

        ” Many Nat supporters vote for National because they have swallowed the notion that with its policies one day “they” can achieve the wealth they aspire too. You are being duped friends, and taking the rest of us with you.”

        Two Bob Millionaires

  24. Jackal 29

    Um! The ‘Aw! Did I offend you?’ post I just put up on The Jackal is attributed to Labour in The Standard’s feed for some reason? Would appreciate that being fixed.

    • Jackal 29.1

      I also notice that The Greens’ post ‘Time to commit to a GE-free New Zealand’ is attributed to The Jackal. I wouldn’t like to be accused of plagiarism again, so would appreciate that being fixed as well.

  25. beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 30

    So here we have it folks, in order to achieve the much needed ‘more skilled economy’ that National ‘say’ they have been aiming at; this is their latest move to ensure that more obstacles are placed in the way of achieving just that.

    Changes to Student Allowance for students aged 40 and over:
    The current Student Allowance 200-week limit will reduce to 120 weeks for students aged 40 years or over on the start date of their course.

    Changes to Student Allowance for students aged 65 and over:
    The Student Allowance will not be available to students who are aged 65 and over on the start date of their course. ~(copied and pasted from a letter from StudyLink)

    No more upskilling required, unless you have the wherewithal to do so, it appears.

  26. NZFemme 31

    Wow. Simon Bridges just called Darien Fenton a loser when answering her supplementary question. No point of order called, and the speaker didn’t blink an eye.

    This parliament is a joke.

  27. bad12 32

    David Cunliffe on Parliament TV right now giving it to the Government during the first reading of the Social Welfare Debt Recovery bill,

    Just held up for the education of the Tory’s a graph showing the size of tax debt when compared to welfare debt,

    Good skills, speaking without notes…

    • Mary 32.1

      Labour’s still supporting the bill to the Select Committe, though. This isn’t a bill that’s just in need of a bit of tweaking. It’s yet one more nasty wholesale attack on the poor. Not one jot of it is remotely principled. Everything about it is at complete odds with Labour’s apparent belief in a caring society which suggests Labour should be opposing it outright. Sure, Cunliffe said it’s “with a heavy heart” he announces Labour’s support for it to go to the Select Committee, but one has to wonder whether it’s more likely to be business as usual rather than a new beginning.

  28. Mary 33

    No investigation into GCSB because there’s no evidence of intent.

    The investigation’s conclusion was “independently reviewed” by Kristy McDonald QC. Only trouble is that Kristy McDonald QC represented the Attorney-General in the Dotcom litigation. Unbelievable.

    • But conspiracies. No Sir, Never! Not our governments! We are a Democracy! 😆

      • Mary 33.1.1

        Kristy McDonald also represented the police in the Dotcom cases. So this means the police got their own counsel to review their investigation and then called that review independent. This beggars belief.

      • Mary 33.1.2

        And in any case, while the legislation clearly requires an intention to intercept, it doesn’t require an intention to break the law, as the police are claiming. Even the police seemed disgusted with what they were no doubt instructed to do when they walked out after the news conference without taking questions. They knew it stunk.

  29. And while we trundle towards WWIII with maniacs in power (here in NZ with the help of non other than our own warmongering idjit Phil Goff it seems) propagandizing us to wage war against a sovereign nation on accusations that have yet to be proven I thought I’d link to this little titbit in which General Wesley Clark telling us how the West planned to attack 7 countries in the days after 9/11 in 2001: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan because of a policy coup perpetrated in the days after 9/11.

    But conspiracies? No Sir, No way, not our governments. Never!

    • Muzza 34.1

      Goff is an agent same as the others. On a radio interview last year on the ME, Goff was pumping for getting the drones involved, he was revved up while he talked about it.

      He may be an idiot, but I don’t think so, he a dangerous agent, just like most those who are sold as politicians, the outcomes tell the tale, it’s that simple !

    • bad12 34.2

      I had a read of the transcript of that interview last night, a chilling read…

  30. Pascal's bookie 35

    I’m not a lawyer, does this mean anything with regard to the legal status of action against Syria:

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