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Open Mike 30/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 30th, 2018 - 282 comments
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282 comments on “Open Mike 30/03/2018”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Trump keeps setting himself up to be the fall dude, this time for Amazon.

    According to Dave Kranzler and others Amazon is using an accounting trick to hide losses and despite it’s mammoth size and low cost business model may turn into another Enron. Hard to believe.

    In any case the P/E ratio is so freakin high it has to fall precipitously when Mr Market snaps out of the mania phase and back to depression.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/102723707/us-president-donald-trump-goes-after-a-favorite-target-amazon

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1

      When John F. Kennedy was President the total debt of the US was around $300 billion.

      That’s about the same amount debt the US issued in just the last week.

      At this point you either continue to believe Trump is playing some kind of 4d chess game or you accept that the US is in irrecoverable decline.

      • tc 1.1.1

        Picturing trump playing single dimensional chess is a stretch let alone 4d.

        Chess also has clear rules that you can’t change so not really the Donald’s scene.

        Declines inevitable if you aren’t allowed to change the system and POTUS are all about status quo.

      • JohnSelway 1.1.2

        I think we are seeing the dying gasps of the US now which is actually kind of scary.

        As an empire begins to fall it will no doubt become more aggressive to save itself. Also the vacuum will be filled by either Russia or China both of which have more draconian laws than the US. Say what you will about the US but at least the have some rudimentary laws regarding freedom of speech and association.

        • joe90 1.1.2.1

          I think we are seeing the dying gasps of the US now which is actually kind of scary.

          According to this bloke, the world’s first rich state failure is certainly on the cards.

          .
          Why? When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history. They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline — shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on —we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

          https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235

          This bloke predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union.

          Johan Galtung, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated sociologist who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, warned that US global power will collapse under the Donald Trump administration.

          The Norwegian professor at the University of Hawaii and Transcend Peace University is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of peace and conflict studies as a scientific discipline. He has made numerous accurate predictions of major world events, most notably the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

          Back in 2000, Galtung first set out his prediction that the “US empire” would collapse within 25 years.

          Galtung has also accurately predicted the 1978 Iranian revolution; the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989 in China; the economic crises of 1987, 2008 and 2011; and even the 9/11 attacks—among other events, according to the late Dietrich Fischer, academic director of the European University Center for Peace Studies.

          Back in 2000, Galtung first set out his prediction that the “US empire” would collapse within 25 years. After the election of President Bush, though, he revised that forecast five years forward because, he argued, Bush’s policies of extreme militarism would be an accelerant.

          https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d7ykxx/us-power-will-decline-under-trump-says-futurist-who-predicted-soviet-collapse

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2

          As an empire begins to fall it will no doubt become more aggressive to save itself. Also the vacuum will be filled by either Russia or China both of which have more draconian laws than the US.

          Yep which is why we need to be building up our defence systems and declaring ourselves neutral rather than picking sides. When empires collapse the small nations that chose against the replacement find themselves on the out.

          • JohnSelway 1.1.2.2.1

            +1 for building our defensive capability

          • wayne 1.1.2.2.2

            Russia certainly won’t supplant the US. Basic factors against Russia are less than 50% of the population of the US, an economy only 20% the size of the US, too many “enemies”.

            If any nation is to supplant the US it will be China. With 1.3 billion people and an economy that will be the size of the US by 2020 – 2025.

            However outside of all out war, nations do not suddenly collapse. So the US influence will be profound for decades to come, especially on the defence and security fronts.

            What then is the chance of war at scale that would fundamentally disrupt the power balance among the great powers?

            I would say pretty low. They are all nuclear states, and thus will go to great lengths to avoid direct an actual shooting military confrontation. Of course issues like the recent poisoning will occur, but something like that will not precipitate war.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2.2.1

              Who said anything about a war?

              Don’t need a war for the US empire to collapse. Just the collapse of the US from failed internal dynamics.

              And because we’re copying those same failed dynamics we’ll go the same way – unless we learn from their collapse.

              • wayne

                A sudden collapse, say any time before 2030, could only occur through war. Only war (and a global war at that) is disruptive enough to cause a collapse. Otherwise nations just go through slow decline.

                Use the example of Russia on how difficult it is for great powers to actually collapse. Even with the dramatic breakup of the Soviet Union, with only half the population of the United States, and an economy only 20% the size, Russia remains a hugely important nation able to do a lot of things at the global level.

                It is hugely unlikely that Trump can do anything to the United States as dramatic as the breakup of the Soviet Union. How could he?

                In fact at the moment the US is the fastest growing large western nation, and has been for the last 3 years. Even if Trump is not the beneficiary of that, or does not know how to use it, it will have an impact over time.

                So the United States is going to be hugely influential for many decades to come. In the Asia Pacific, it will either be the No1 or No 2 ranking power.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A sudden collapse, say any time before 2030, could only occur through war.

                  Bollocks.

                  Don’t recall a war being involved when the USSR collapsed. Just failed internal dynamics – same as what’s happening in the US.

                  It is hugely unlikely that Trump can do anything to the United States as dramatic as the breakup of the Soviet Union. How could he?

                  The Trump Administration is maintaining or possibly accelerating the collapse by internal dynamics by increasing the stressors on the people.

                  In fact at the moment the US is the fastest growing large western nation, and has been for the last 3 years.

                  Is it really growing or does it just have an overly-inflated share-market?

                  But most buyers of shares are hoping to make money not so much from dividends but from buying and selling shares at the right time as their prices go up and down so that they make a profit. Nearly two-thirds of share income comes from price increases, less than one third from dividends.

                  The reduced share prices may merely mean that the company has less collateral for raising loans – but then large companies generally finance real investment by ploughing back their profits, not by borrowing. The idea that shareholders are enabling productive investment, and in so doing have some claim to a share of the returns, is now largely myth.

                  but shareholding is now largely decoupled from real investment and amounts to a game in which shareholders compete for gains without having contributed to real investment

                  Instead of taking the legitimacy of absentee shareholding for granted, we should recognise it for what it is: a means by which uncommitted owners can benefit from the contributions of committed, dependent employees.

                  The idea of a ‘popular capitalism’, touted at the time of Margaret Thatcher’s wave of privatisations in the 1980s, in which everyone would own shares, predictably did not materialise. Most of the shares from the privatisation of nationalised industries that the public were allowed to buy were quickly sold on to large institutional ‘investors’ in order to make quick gains. So the privatisations of the 1980s did not produce popular capitalism, though it has to be said that this one-off source of unearned income was popular at the time.

                  That’s all from Why we can’t afford the rich.

                  The author uses these points to show that a lot of ‘growth’ in developed countries is more about asset price growth than actual development. Get rid of that inflation and there’s no growth more often than not.

            • Brigid 1.1.2.2.2.2

              “So the US influence will be profound for decades to come, especially on the defence and security fronts warmongering.”

              FIFY

      • dukeofurl 1.1.3

        “$300 billion this week ” ?

        Official figures suggest a lot less:
        ” The U.S. Treasury expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year, according to documents released Wednesday. It’s the highest amount of borrowing in six years, and a big jump from the $519 billion the federal government borrowed last year.”

        $955 bill in one year is more like $18.3 bill per week
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/03/the-u-s-government-is-set-to-borrow-nearly-1-trillion-this-year/

      • alwyn 1.1.4

        If you compare Debt to GDP the picture does change significantly
        Here are the numbers
        https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-by-year-compared-to-gdp-and-major-events-3306287
        In Kennedys first year it was 52%. It dropped fairly steadily to bottom out at 31% in 1974 and 1979. Neither was a great year economically. Then it rose relatively slowly to reach 67% in George W’s last year, 2008. The really spectacular growth was in the Obama years when it rose to 105% in his last year of 2016.
        Under Trump it has been fairly steady
        You quote the number of $300 billion for a week. That figure may be the debt issues but I do not believe it accounts for redemptions. It is the net figure that is relevant and it shouldn’t be calculated over a period as short as a week.

        • mickysavage 1.1.4.1

          Obama had to address the Global Financial Crisis. It is not surprising that debt increased.

          • alwyn 1.1.4.1.1

            I quite agree. I am merely pointing out that a comparison of a week under Trump to the total under Kennedy is a bit misleading, particularly when it is in nominal terms and doesn’t look like a net figure for the change in debt.

            Have you ever considered writing this same statement with Key instead of Obama? If you considered doing so did you actually carry it out? Or did you perhaps blame Key and the National Government as being personally responsible for increased New Zealand National Debt?

            • dukeofurl 1.1.4.1.1.1

              Well Key is known for saying before the GFC, that we had ‘too little debt’.
              The country he was thinking off was the celtic Tiger – Ireland.
              We know how that turned out

              Cullen knew that in a boom, a surplus was likely to be a mirage, so that was a good time to reduce debt- which he did.

              Tell us how much the debt has been payed down recently -last 4 years -by Key and English ?

              • alwyn

                “Key is known for saying before the GFC, that we had ‘too little debt’.”.
                I assume you can produce a citation for that statement?
                What is it?

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Easter, when you realise it must be awful to be Jesus. I mean, sitting one down from God, like being Prince Charles but for eternity.

    • Hillary 2.1

      I think you will find that Jesus and God are one and the same.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        I think you will find that they don’t exist, and you can spare me your thoughts and prayers while you’re at it.

        • JohnSelway 2.1.1.1

          Kind of an unnecessarily dickish response. I’m an atheist but was also going to point out that Jesus and God were the same.

        • james 2.1.1.2

          So we should not respect peoples views that do believe in God? Or Buddha, Or Allah?

          There are plenty of people that absolutely believe that they do exist – and as far as I have seen there is no proof either way.

          Personally Im not sure what I believe when it comes to this.

          • JohnSelway 2.1.1.2.1

            Actually there is plenty of proof for the non-existence of God (the Christian version at least)

            Technically the only honest position is agnosticism because you can never know for sure. But I’m an atheist when it comes to all the gods of men

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.2.2

            I respect their right to hold any view at all, but I don’t respect religious mumbo-pocus any more than I respect neo-liberal mumbo-pocus.

            • JohnSelway 2.1.1.2.2.1

              I always felt if you didn’t want your beliefs ridiculed you shouldn’t have such silly beliefs

              • james

                I was going to say that’s a very disrespectful thing to say – but then I remembered Scientologist.

                • JohnSelway

                  Beliefs aren’t meant to be respected. Your beliefs, as anyone’s, are open to criticism and rejection.

                  • tracey

                    I agree. Religion gets a free pass on the automatic respect and no criticism allowed scale.

                  • Incognito

                    Interesting PoV and it depends on what you mean by “respect”.

                    People’s beliefs, views, opinions, etc., are based on and underpinned by their values and value systems and, as such, are expressions of who these people are. As the saying goes, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, which, to me, means that people can agree to disagree and accept, tolerate, and respect others for what and who they are, and say, and that includes religious beliefs. Why do some people feel they must criticise and reject the beliefs of others and even heap scorn and ridicule them in the process?

                    • In Vino

                      They are defending their sacred right to do so!

                    • JohnSelway

                      No beliefs are sacrosanct and immune to criticism. Sure – you have the freedom to say what you want but that doesn’t mean you can’t be criticized.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      People feel this way because of all the gross harm religion causes, organises, hides, and excuses.

                      The relentless lies, the targeting of children, the targeting of grief. The moralising.

                      From a pragmatic perspective, “Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
                      Closely held beliefs are not easily let go;
                      So religion enthralls generation after generation.”

                      It’s good to live in a country where the religious are not allowed to pull our fingernails out or burn us to death any more. Notice how cloying and unctuous they’ve become?

                    • solkta

                      Why do some people feel they must criticise and reject the beliefs of others and even heap scorn and ridicule them in the process?

                      So we should all give those poor neo-liberals a break then?

          • solkta 2.1.1.2.3

            Anybody who believes that Buddha is a god is not doing a very good job at understanding his teachings.

        • Brigid 2.1.1.3

          God loves even you OAB. Jesus died for your sins, and rose again, the greatest prophet of all time!

          You are in His prayers and thoughts.

  3. Gabby 3

    Jesus might be less into the status thing than you sanky.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      Genesis 22: God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to prove his loyalty. A messenger from God stops Abraham at the last minute, saying “now I know you fear God.”

      The whole monotheistic thing seems pretty status conscious to me.

      Still, Jesus did disappear on Friday and turn up looking a lot worse for wear on Monday, maybe he just went Glasto or something cos I sure looked like death warmed up on the Monday after that as well.

      • weka 3.1.1

        you do realise that the Bible was written by men right? And men of a particular time, place and agenda.

        • joe90 3.1.1.1

          The compilation of the bible by committee, with lots of snark and silliness.

          Back to the Bible: lots of Christian fic out there. By the time you got to a copy of a copy of a retelling of a conflation it was getting hard to figure out what had been an episode of the show and what was someone’s AU RPF.

          The centuries passed. Much in this manner:

          • First century: Christ and the apostles are alive. People who knew Christ and the apostles are alive.
          • Second century: People who knew people who knew Christ and the apostles are alive.
          • Third century: People who knew people who knew people who knew Christ and the apostles are alive.
          • Fourth century: It’s anyone’s game.

          http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/014838.html#014838

          • alwyn 3.1.1.1.1

            This source, at least, seems to think that most of the books were written in the first 40 or so years after Jesus’ death in about 30 AD
            https://www.biblestudytools.com/resources/guide-to-bible-study/order-books-new-testament.html
            Can’t say I am terribly interested though. I only look at a bible when I am trying to do a crossword puzzle or a quiz in the newspaper.

          • Sanctuary 3.1.1.1.2

            Basically after Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman empire the whole outfit sold out to accommodate paganism. Christ was based on the most attractive of the ancient Gods, a sensual and perky young Apollo, with the dual sexuality of the pagan Gods taken care of by elevating Isis to the status of number one mother Goddess and re-branding her as Mary.

            Catholicism is basically the Pagan state religion of the Roman Empire re-worked for monotheism and all was well and good in the Empire.

            Actually, that is not entirely true. The central revolutionary idea of Christ survived. The idea that all people are equal and we shall be judged by God not on how many bulls we can afford to sacrifice but on how good a life we have lived is so central to the way we see the world that it beggars belief that no one thought of it before Christ, but that was his big idea. People thronged to Christianity because it offered hope. The hope of salvation no matter what your station in life by simply living a good and holy life. No longer were the rich specially favoured by the Gods in the afterlife. In fact, if anything the opposite was true. The centrality of this idea still underpins our society and culture, which is why even though a majority say we do not believe in God, we are still a “Christian” culture because we all still believe in the big idea of Jesus – even if we don’t realise it.

            And as for the Protestants… Well, what would they know? Marin Luther was 1500 years removed from the time of Christ and his scatological obsessions were very… Teutonic.

            • solkta 3.1.1.1.2.1

              What beggars belief is that there are still intelligent and educated people today who believe in the god and myths of ancient simpletons.

              As for the dropping materialism and valuing everybody thing, that is obviously thousands of years older with it central to what the Buddha taught and also in the traditions that he drew from. Going much further than Jesus, the Buddha held that ALL life had dignity and was worthy of compassion. If it hadn’t been for anthropocentrism of Christianity we would most probably be far less up the environment shit creek that we are.

              • Brigid

                I think it proves they aren’t particularly intelligent. They just don’t have the intellectual capacity to challenge their belief in god or whatever.
                But to be fair though, to stand apart from the whole community that one depends on for their whole existence, which has some god type belief system, would take some courage and strength.

              • Grafton Gully

                It has to be anthropocentric because as a human being everything you know happens in your brain. What is outside you is known to you only through your own human brain. “be transformed by the renewal of your mind”
                https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Rom%2012.1-2

                • solkta

                  Bollocks. The Buddha was able to have and teach compassion for all things while the Christ it would seem only people.

                  In traditional Australian Aboriginal society each person has an animal totem and a responsibility to be a guardian of that species. Rituals need to be performed at the correct time and place to ensure the healthy continuance of their totem. They see ancestors and their Dreamtime actions in environmental objects.

                  Christianity however holds that God gave humans Dominion over all things and that ‘he’ created the environment for people. Worse still, this environment is not even the real thing but rather just a testing ground of worthiness for the eternal life to come. .

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2.2

              No longer were the rich specially favoured by the Gods in the afterlife. In fact, if anything the opposite was true. The centrality of this idea still underpins our society and culture

              Really?

              Have you noticed how our socio-economic system is set up to have us worship the rich?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.2.3

              the central revolutionary idea

              As authored by Guan Zhong (720–645 BCE).

            • millsy 3.1.1.1.2.4

              “…Catholicism is basically the Pagan state religion of the Roman Empire re-worked for monotheism and all was well and good in the Empire….”

              In case anyone is wondering how this may be, the esteem that Catholics have for their saints (and the many festivals they celebrate for them) is a big clue.

        • jcuknz 3.1.1.2

          Which accounts also for the demise of God the Mother as opposed to God the Father.

      • Gabby 3.1.2

        Worse for wear sanky? You might bounce back fresh as a daisy from your weekend session with Madame Lash the Roman Nail Lady, but you’re an exception.

        • Louis 3.1.2.1

          Can you explain that please and
          doesn’t “but you’re an exception” contradict “might bounce back fresh as a daisy”?

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Nice to see Yulia Skripal’s condition has improved.

    • mikesh 4.1

      That’s pretty uncivil of her. She should have died, otherwise how can Mrs May be expected to succeed in selling the idea that it was novichok that was used against her and her dad.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        You sound disappointed. The OPCW will say what it was, but frankly, even Teresa May’s word is worth more than yours.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        If she recovers she’ll be a witness of some credibility. Hope her hospital security is on the ball.

        • francesca 4.1.2.1

          So do I.
          No doubt she will be debriefed thoroughly by the British authorities
          But yes, I’m really happy for her and hope Sergey makes a good recovery.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.1.1

            debriefed

            Nice weasel smear. Agents get “debriefed”. Witnesses get interviewed.

            • mikesh 4.1.2.1.1.1

              “Debriefed” would suggest she was briefed prior to the incident. That seems unlikely.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Coming soon to a Kremlin smear campaign near you.

              • francesca

                true dat mikesh
                Lets say she will no doubt wonder what the hell has happened to her and will be apprised of her circumstances
                Great news for her family in Russia
                The cousin did a long interview with Russia BBC
                expressing her hope for a miracle
                And a miracle it will be indeed
                Mirzayanov and other chemists says no one can survive novichok

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Chemists are not medical professionals and have no idea what dose was delivered, though, so their reckons can be discounted. Not that that will stop you.

                  I note that the Kremlin’s lies have changed from “it doesn’t exist” to “it’s far too deadly to be the nerve agent used in this case.”

                  • Incognito

                    The important question is what dose was absorbed and we will never know the answer to that; at best we’ll have a guess. Has the structure/identity of the poison been independently confirmed and verified yet?

                    Not all chemists are the same; medicinal chemists, for example, generally have a very good idea (as in: knowledge & understanding) of the biological activity, mechanism of action, and dose-potency of the biologically-active compounds they design & synthesise and often test as well.

                • mikesh

                  Mirzayanov was the chemist who worked on novichok and later emigrated to America, taking his knowledge of the nerve agent with him, thus giving the lie to Jacinda’s claim that novichok could only have been produced in Russia.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Keep telling yourself that, but do check from time to time to make sure you’re still running the official lines. The Kremlin changes them daily.

                    • mikesh

                      It’s not a “Kremlin line”. That Mirzayanov worked on novichok, and later emigrated to the States, are statements of fact.

                      Jacinda, rather than accuse Russia directly, took the more cautious line and said that only Russia makes the stuff, a statement which has as many holes as (if you will excuse the cliche) Swiss cheese.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Careful, you just contradicted the official story.

                      Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said that Russia has never had a nerve agent called “Novichok,” saying that those who say otherwise do not have full information on the issue.

                      No, wait…

                      Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok, which the UK has said was used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, is not part of an international ban on chemical weapons, the head of a Russian government agency has said.

                      I don’t blame you though. It must be hard keeping up with a bunch of lying trash.

                    • mikesh

                      All I have said is that Mirzayanov worked on novichok and later emigrated to the States. I have no idea whether or not the Russians actually succeeded in their endeavours to produce the stuff.

                      The Russians don’t need an “official line” as you call it. The onus is on Mrs May to prove them guilty, which she has so far failed to do. The Russians are not required to prove their innocence. A simple denial from them that they were involved in the Salisbury incident is all that is required.

                  • tracey

                    Ardern is rabbitting the claims of others.

                    I chuckled at the former trade ministef and now shadow foreign minister getting uppity at Ardern over Russia cos I have a vague recollection when others invoked sanctions on Russia Key still wanted to send our milk?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The thing which goes unrecognized is the degree to which the environment has changed.

                      Pre-1991, Russian activity was mostly linked to embassies in some fashion. There were not migrant oligarchs or investors in any quantity, much less the troll or hacker groups.

                      Oligarchs – or businessmen or investors as they describe themselves, are worthy of some scrutiny. Most were active prior to 1991, and if they acquired significant wealth subsequent to the demise of the soviet state, they rarely did so by productive conventional enterprise.

                      Like the profiteers of Rogergnomics they generally benefitted in some fashion from the acquisition of public property at significantly less than its real value. They have more in common with organized crime than conventional businesses do, and some may be used to manage any of the intelligence activities once centred around the embassies.

                      The expulsion exclusively of embassy staff suggests a lack of attention to other kinds of operatives.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The Russians don’t need an “official line”

                    So why are their officials releasing a series of contradictory pathetic excuses that make them look as guilty as they possibly can?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Mirzayanov? What, this Mirzayanov?

                  In 1994, Mirzayanov says, Russia sent Syria up to 700 kilograms of sarin precursors. In fact, Russia helped Syria create the heart of its chemical weapons program, the euphemistically titled Syrian Center of Environmental Protection Problems.

                  Better be careful Francesca: you might undermine some of the other lines you’ve been running.

                  • Brigid

                    “During the winter of 2001 and throughout 2002, Miller produced a series of stunning stories about Saddam Hussein’s ambition and capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, based largely on information provided by [Ahmad] Chalabi and his allies—almost all of which have turned out to be stunningly inaccurate.”

                    http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/9226/

                    You really need to do more research oab.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Shoot the messenger, fool.

                      A lot of equipment, including laboratory hoods capable of working with chemical warfare agents (CA) and vacuum pumps, were sent from GosNIIOKhT via the Air Force base in Chkalovskaya, in the suburbs of Moscow. Canisters with DCAMPA were among the equipment sent to Syria.

                      Vil Mirzayanov.

                  • mikesh

                    That was before Putin’s time as leader. I’m pretty sure Putin, since taking office, would have dissuaded Assad from using chemical weapons, if only on tactical grounds.

      • francesca 4.1.3

        The Intercept has a good article on Bolton and his interactions with the OPCW
        The US certainly has persuasive methods
        .Lets hope the current OPCW is as ballsy as Bustani was

        https://theintercept.com/2018/03/29/john-bolton-trump-bush-bustani-kids-opcw/

        As to the UK/EU solidarity
        it seems in Germany that is already crumbling

        https://www.ft.com/content/8836cff0-31a6-11e8-ac48-10c6fdc22f03

        Nauert , US State Department spokesperson gives a clue into how EU states were made rapidly compliant after original intransigence

        “Our Deputy Secretary Sullivan, Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell, and many others in the building across the interagency process have worked tirelessly over the past three weeks to achieve this unprecedented level of cooperation and also coordination. The end result – 151 Russian intelligence personnel sent home to Moscow ”

        https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/03/279585.htm

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.3.1

          I see you’re already setting up your denials of whatever the OPCW finds.

          • mikesh 4.1.3.1.1

            It seems strange that, before the OPCW have investigated and filed a report, and before other investigations have been completed, that Mrs May should go off half cocked making unsupported accusations. No wonder Lavlov treated her with richly deserved contempt.

            I’d have thought Mrs May would have had more sense, but I guess she had to act before the propaganda value of it all went stale.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.3.1.1.1

              No, it doesn’t seem strange at all, since she has seen a lot more of the evidence, whereas you will never see any of the evidence, because there will never be a trial, because the Kremlin will see to it that anyone charged is not extradited, just like Andrey Lugovoy.

              In the vanishingly unlikely event that the Kremlin thug who perpetrated this crime is ever arrested and charged, you won’t see any of the evidence then either, because you won’t be on the jury. Happily for you, that means you will never have to confront the facts at all.

              Also, diplomacy is not a court case.

              • mikesh

                Since she has not revealed any evidence we can be pretty sure your claim has originated from an “interview of your typewriter”. But she should in any case have waited till all the evidence was in. However as I said earlier she probably felt she needed to obtain maximum propaganda from the event.

                Presumably you think that making unsupported accusations is OK providing they are made outside a courtroom.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s a lovely impression of a young Earth creationist you’re doing. Teach the controversy. The science isn’t settled.

                  In fact there’s plenty of evidence. Motive, means and opportunity have all been established, the nature of the poison used, and the Kremlin’s ever-shifting campaign of doubt.

                  Also, releasing evidence is the role of the British Police, should they choose to do so. You may want to brush up on the separation of powers if you want your doubt stories to have some fleeting relationship with reality.

                  • mikesh

                    It doesn’t matter whose job it is to release evidence, Mrs May has provided no evidence to support her claims so those claims should not have been made. All she has said to the house is that is “very likely” to have been the Russians. This of course is euphemism for “we don’t really know who did it but we think it may have been those naughty Russians”. I don’t think she has even claimed to actually have any undisclosed evidence. All she has said in support is that it must have been the Russians because they are the only source – a statement which has more holes than Swiss cheese.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The jigsaw has some holes in it. Not as many holes as the constantly changing lies of the Kremlin, though.

                    • mikesh

                      The Kremlin have not changed their story. They have consistently denied involvement.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Consistently denying involvement by telling an ever-changing series of lies. M’kay.

                    • mikesh

                      This is one writer’s comment, which may be of interest. It expresses no opinion as whether or not Russia is guilty, but looks at the House of Commons’ reaction to Jeremy Corbyn’s questioning of Theresa May’s opinion on the matter. You will recall that he was shouted down by the government members and by some members of his own party.

                      “And that makes it a blood chilling experience for anyone hoping for some form of rational, measured discussion, to put matters in their proper perspective.

                      No such human qualities were on display in this witches cauldron of vitriolic accusation and barely hidden call for blood. The British Houses of Parliament.

                      It sends a shiver down the spine of all sentient human beings when they realize that what is on show is nothing more or nothing less – than the denial of the right to an opinion. That any mortal who dares to ask a logical question is shouted down and accused of working for the devil.

                      For that was the sentiment of this occasion. And it amply illustrates the pervasive, creeping rise of the fascistic state; everyday more strident, more dictatorial, more authoritarian. An ever more threatening sword held over citizens who have not fallen. Who have refused to be slaves. An ever more sinister clamoring and broadcasting of the vitriol of war.

                      Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are they key components of a democratic constitution.”

                      https://www.globalresearch.ca/freedom-of-expression-the-denial-of-the-right-to-an-opinion-britains-inexorable-slide-into-fascism/5632662?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

                      I’m inclined to agree. And it encapsulates perfectly the mood in
                      which this “demonisation of Russia” is occurring.

                  • mikesh

                    “Motive, means and opportunity” are merely circumstantial evidence and prove nothing.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The greenhouse effect hasn’t been proved either. What are you a tobacco company lawyer?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  As for “unsupported accusations”, “it was the Czechs, it was the CIA, they’re all crisis actors! I seen it on RT!

                  What a hypocrite.

                  • mikesh

                    I never said any of that. You are starting to sound like that raving lunatic (you know who).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The hypocrisy is in your focus on the British government’s statements without once running the same “sceptical” (lol) ruler over the constantly changing lies of the Kremlin.

                    • mikesh

                      The British are making the accusations so the onus is on them to prove guilt, not on the Russians to prove their innocence. It is notoriously difficult to prove a negative in any case.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Big on name calling but fact free as ever.

                      Still waiting for your link on the imaginary women who you claimed gets Assad off the hook at Khan Sheikhoun.

                      We don’t come to The Standard to read vacuous tripe like this – lift your game.

                • Stuart Munro

                  “Since she has not revealed any evidence…”

                  Actually she is unlikely to reveal the evidence she has. She has intelligence as well as forensic sources, and may know perfectly well who is responsible. That doesn’t mean that she is free to release that information for the titillation of Putin dupes.

        • One Two 4.1.3.2

          You’ve been targeted, francesca…

            • One Two 4.1.3.2.1.1

              Assumption was that you had noticed, and in any case, are well prepared…

              Have a good day…

            • francesca 4.1.3.2.1.2

              And here’s the interview with Victoria Skripal, Yulia’s cousin
              https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-43559446

              • Carolyn_Nth

                That’s all Russian to me, Francesca.

                Al Jazeera’s Listening Post has done a good piece on the media coverage of the Skripal case in the UK and Russia.

                Both countries have been ramping up the hyperbole and cold war style rhetoric: a “monotone” coverage in the UK, and propaganda in Russia. Both sides taking the opportunity to demonise the other:

                For the past two weeks, the story of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a retired Russian double agent, and his daughter in the UK has led news bulletins in Britain and around the world.

                Much of the coverage has been low on facts, high on conjecture and speculation.

                British headline writers have had a field day. Moscow meanwhile has denied any involvement and has claimed the British press is churning out “hysterical propaganda” to whip up anti-Russian sentiment.

                The Listening Post’s Marcela Pizarro reports on the diplomatic standoff being played out across the airwaves.

                • francesca

                  Sorry about that Carolyn
                  The translate button probably doesn’t come through with cut and paste
                  English is not too bad for an online translation
                  I feel for her trying to cut through the bureaucracy on all sides

                  Thanks for the link, interesting stuff

            • Brigid 4.1.3.2.1.3

              Thanks for the link Francesca, rather amusing it is, their forth form ‘presentation’.

              “long pattern of malign activity” by Russia.
              Couldn’t a long pattern of malign activity by the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia make them equally culpable?

              Do they really think we are such fools to be impressed by these spurious claims?
              Still, politicians aren’t renowned for their great intelligence.

              • One Two

                The presentation of substandard and amateurish material, is a sneer playing out publicly…

                Recall the ‘acme bomb’ drawing to The UN by Netanyahu…

                The mobile weapons labs in Iraq….etc

                It is debateable that those preparing such documents are not particulary clever/well prepared…

                Or if it is, a complete piss take…

                Even stakes with other influences mixed in…

                Out of control, a runaway train…

              • francesca

                Pretty dire all right
                Like Netenyahu with his childish drawing of a bomb
                How those diplomats kept a straight face I don’t know. I bet they pissed themselves laughing afterwards.
                And poor Laurie Bristow having to present the thing.
                It’ll be the US state dept that did all the heavy lifting

                • Stuart Munro

                  I’m not sure that this has any relevance.

                  • francesca

                    Then you’re not keeping up :
                    Nauert, from the US state Dept:

                    “Our Deputy Secretary Sullivan, Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell, and many others in the building across the interagency process have worked tirelessly over the past three weeks to achieve this unprecedented level of cooperation and also coordination. The end result – 151 Russian intelligence personnel sent home to Moscow”

                    Its the US behind the scenes , not the slideshow thats been so persuasive

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Or the slideshow was persuasive, and the US helped coordinate the response. You have no evidence either way.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Oh nonsense.

                      European nations have long experience of Russian espionage, they’re not naïve about it like you. They can’t afford to be.

                      This is just a briefing for expat diplomats who won’t be making any decisions about it, that your source is trying to beat up into the crime of the century.

                      The fact remains that nothwithstanding these histrionics, Russian is still the only plausible assailant. Evidence may eventually change that, but other countries will be treating that possibility with the same skepticism police have for lifelong criminals. Russia has thoroughly earned its murderous reputation and their incessant whining about it is neither here nor there. They won’t stop whining if it is incontrovertibly forensically proved.

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.2

      That is very good news. Some commentators gave both the daughter and father about 1% chance of recovery.

      Smearing a nerve agent on Skripal’s front door is a very reckless thing to do. It could have been the postie, a neighbour, a friend, or many other people who came into significant contact with it.

      Whoever did it is scum!

      • james 4.2.1

        got to agree with that 100%

      • McFlock 4.2.2

        I have read elsewhere that it might have serious long term effects. But glad to hear there’s improvement.

        • Incognito 4.2.2.1

          Yes, delayed neuropathy (neurotoxicity) caused by (axonal) nerve degeneration. If the victims make full recovery and will be able to walk normally again and have full use of arms & hands it is extremely unlikely that were poisoned with the alleged nerve agent. But then again, I am just another misguided commenter here so my ‘views’ can be easily discounted …

  5. nzsage 5

    Ok this is hard to admit but I do read the online magazine Stuff quite regularly and recently I’ve noticed the comments and “Thumbs Up” related to political stories and opinions are massively skewed to right wingers. What is causing this?

    1. Right wingers becoming more politically active in opposition?
    2. Left wingers have become complacent now a left leaning government is in power?
    3. Cambridge Analytica (and their like) doing their online bit to brainwash readers?
    4. The Labour led coalition is REALLY that unpopular (polls don’t reflect this of course)

    Any other ideas why and how to counter it?

    • James 5.1

      I dont think there have been any polls recently – not since the labour camp etc etc etc.

      • Louis 5.1.1

        When John key physically abused that waitress, National’s poll ratings didn’t go down. In fact all the scandals that rocked National, their ratings remained high. Why do you think that was? When was the last Roy Morgan? isn’t that long overdue?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      5. Left wingers are all busy at work. National’s support tends towards people with more time on their hands.

    • Gabby 5.3

      A massive shift in what you consider to be right wing?

    • veutoviper 5.4

      IMo the comments and thumbs up under articles on Stuff have always been massively skewed to right wingers, nzsage. And I recall others on here also expressing that opinion/perception over recent years. So I don’t think it is anything new. I only occasionally venture there (into the comments) and mainly to get a feel for what the other side thinks. Personally it is not somewhere I can be bothered commenting.

      Stuff are now one of the few media outlets that still allow comments and this may have had some effect on the numbers going there. Eg many of the comments on The Herald website were right biased, and they no longer have this outlet.

      Right wingers may also find the RW blogs, Kiwiblog and Whaleoil for example are too toxic, although some of the Stuff comments can also be pretty over the top.

      • Kay 5.4.1

        Stuff retaining the comments section is now their point of difference as far as “readers” go. Remove that and watch the clicks drop. There’s no reason of course why they can’t get rid of that pathetic thumbs up/down thing, that’s where the RW army at work is glaringly obvious, if you look at some of the perfectly reasonable, often bipartisan comments being down voted. maybe some attempt to manipulate those who are still open to manipulation?

        I’m actually more concerned about which topics predominantly are open for comments- have a look sometime. Unless there’s legal issues, nearly everything to do with poor/homeless/beneficiaries/every other group RWs just love to judge and criticise; all the stories about the rental crisis (to pit landlords vs tenants), any possible hint that an extra tax somewhere MIGHT happen, or any policy hated by the right in general, and indiscretions by this current Govt and it’s MPs.

        Comments rarely opened for indiscretions by Opposition MPs, damage done by previous govt (weren’t open at the time either much), etc. etc.

        Some of the supposedly moderated comments I’ve seen in there border on hate speech as far as I”m concerned, especially opinions about NZers having a really rough time of it. Much as I despise the Herald, it’s the one thing they did right.

        • patricia bremner 5.4.1.1

          Thought about this a great deal. Stuff is an echo chamber, picking up and repeating memes. full of hate.

          The Herald now has Farrar doing the dirty work, attacking Jacinda for all he’s worth. A nasty member of the right.

      • Sanctuary 5.4.2

        Look at the utter fiasco that Clare Curran created. Now, if it had been under John Key a few journalists in ‘highbrow” publications would have fretted over a potentially dangerous precedent but the pro-right corporate media would having largely moved on after a single news cycle.

        Under a Labour government and you get a dozen opinion pieces and editorials thundering for resignations and talking up cover-ups and using the harshest possible language.

        What gets me is Labour don’t appear to understand how structurally hostile the corporate MSM is to even mild centrist reform, and how dominated it is by the apologists for wealth and privilege. The rampant neo-colonial conservatism of our MSM was there for anyone with eyes to see with the way it has practically demanded the government tow the British line in the Russian poisoning affair.

        The only thing I can think of is far too many Labour politicians don’t want to upset the structural apple cart lest they miss out on fat sinecures in their post-political career.

        • francesca 5.4.2.1

          It is disturbing, and I’m not sure how its constructed
          News media has become corporately owned, so I guess there’s an editorial focus on pleasing the shareholders and doing the bidding of the owners
          The journalists, having whacked up a fair loan need a job and a roof over their heads before the luxury of integrity.It must be a bitter pill to swallow.Or not for some more cynical
          Someone once said, I forget who, that Murdoch?” never told us what to write, we understood perfectly what was expected”
          Jonathan Cook’s written about the process for Medialens “Intellectual Cleansing” after he got kicked off the Guardian
          But I feel there’s something more sinister and orchestrated, powerful PR being employed here , and clearly not just NZ, in favour of RW interests
          Corbyn being stretched on the rack for instance on the charge of anti semitism.
          One hardly dares to say anything against Israel these days

        • patricia bremner 5.4.2.2

          It is the BIG MONEY talking.

        • Chuck 5.4.2.3

          “Now, if it had been under John Key”

          Under Key, the minister in question would have been stood down and properly stripped of their portfolio.

          But hey Curran is amongst other things the Minister for Open Government!

          “The rampant neo-colonial conservatism of our MSM was there for anyone with eyes to see with the way it has practically demanded the government tow the British line in the Russian poisoning affair.”

          Not just the British line, pretty much all of our allies and friends line as well. Having the NZ deputy PM defending Russia the week before (re- shooting down airliner etc) did not help. Then Ardern saying we would have expelled Russian spies, but could not find any…well it makes it so easy for the MSM.

          • Stuart Munro 5.4.2.3.1

            No – how many did he do that to? Only Judith really – and that was to cover his back.

    • Louis 5.5

      Others have noticed that too nzsage. Young Nats the cause?

      • Stuart Munro 5.5.1

        Clickfarms maybe – they’re not expensive, and the whale has form.

        • james 5.5.1.1

          Or perhaps – just perhaps it represents the views of the people reading the comments?

          • mac1 5.5.1.1.1

            James, I’m sure you’re right. But what is being commented on is the frequency, the amount of expression by the forces of reaction.

          • tracey 5.5.1.1.2

            Seems odd that more people are upset by this govt and curran than were upset by

            Collins didnt resign over her causing death threatCollins helping husbands company
            Bennett didnt resign over abuse of power
            Smith didnt resign over abuse of power
            Finlayson hasnt resigned over abuse of poweKey abusing a woman in her workplace
            Key lying about payout to Saudi Businessman etc

            Under Bennett multiple privacy breaches out of WINZ…

          • Stuart Munro 5.5.1.1.3

            Some of them probably are – but the more enthusiastic users of dirty politics – Farrar, Slater, Key etc., are not known for their restraint. Having the capacity to queer a pitch, they do tend to use it.

            It’s like whether one can trust an Aussie with strategically located abrasives.

    • Ankerrawshark 5.6

      Have noticed this too.

      And what seems like a negative framing of stories about Labour

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    I see that the Guardian (the neo liberal Trojan Horse) is again doing it’s best to undermine the first real Left Wing Labour party the UK has seen in many decades with it’s anti sematic witch hunt…

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/29/labour-is-waiting-for-corbyn-to-sign-off-key-antisemitism-measure

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/29/labour-focus-beating-tories-feuding-2022-election

    Of course this is unsurprising as The Guardian plainly displayed all their neo liberal colours during the last UK election cycle…and is willfully pushing this whole bullshit Russia hysteria…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/27/the-guardian-view-on-expelling-russian-diplomats-spies-and-collective-strength

    The Guardian probably do more damage to a unified Left that any other single new source IMO.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    So, folks….how are you all finding our new progressive government?

    Living up to your hopes and dreams?

    So far I am singularly unimpressed.
    Listening to the discussion about Counties Manukau DHB’s unhealthy buildings and who was told what by whom and the politicians from all sides pleading ignorance it’s is fairly clear that the current mob inhabiting the Government benches have two options.

    Step up and wrest control of the Ministry of Health from the bureaucrats, listen to the people, the workers at the coalface and those of us deeply impacted by Ministry generated and government enforced laws and policies…

    Or just continue the way your going…SSDD.

    I was wondering if Julie Ann Center git even the slightest whiff of toxic fungus when she was over at Middlemore hospital a few weeks ago handing out the bouquets for their conservation efforts?

    MPs need to open their eyes and their ears and commit to finding out the truth.

    Or… continue ignoring those of us who have attempted to communicate directly, because we know the bureaucrats are feeding them crap.
    Some of us are quite desperate for positive change…and we are fast losing faith…

    This may or may not get through as I am using my newish and cheap phone…and sending this from the Far Far North.

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      So would you like the Nats back in power?

      Don’t buy into the Right’s tactics of slamming this government from day 1-judge it after 3 years.

      • weka 7.1.1

        We don’t have three years. If they’re going to fuck this up, they need to be held accountable now.

        • Bearded Git 7.1.1.1

          Given the first 5 months of this government can you list the issues that makes you think it would be better that the Nats were in power instead?

          Standardistas are buying in to the Right’s tactics of slamming this government from day one using its mates in the MSM.

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.1.1.1

            What a crock, BG, with respect.
            We’re not all beguiled by the Media…some of us are personally affected by significant issues that this current mob actually used as part of their campaign and are now choosing to ignore us. Instead they will do what their predecessors did and “take advice from the Ministry” and the same misleading data will be used to perpetuate discrimination and breach human rights.

            Or…they can decide they no longer enjoy being mushrooms and bloody well listen to those of us with real facts and lived experience.

            I am not holding my breath.

            • Carolyn_Nth 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Jacinda Ardern never looked to be really on top of the social security area when Labour spokesperson for it. She makes all the right noises about supporting beneficiaries. However, she doesn’t really want to take on board the much needed perspectives of beneficiaries.

              And she has talking her her ear, the likes of Robertson who is all about appeasing the mainstream media.

              The government REALLY needs to take more time to listen to beneficiaries, and to be guided by their insights.

              • weka

                Must check in with the We Are Beneficiaries people about how their meeting went with Sepuloni.

              • tracey

                Robertson doesnt get that no matter how like National he acts most Nat voters will still vote National.

                Time to grow a pair and start standing for something. Passion has gone. Dep Lab Leadder has to say nothing cos he tends to put his foot in his mouth. Peters quiet.

            • tracey 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I tend to agree with you.

              I suspect they are tip toeing around not wanting to upset some folks while forgetting those folks will never vote for them, even if they were exactly like National.

              I am staggered our Minister of Health has only just discovered the depth of trouble at Middlemore. If this was kept from the Minister some sackings are required and Statutory managers appointed while new Board and Employees are recruited.

          • weka 7.1.1.1.2

            “Given the first 5 months of this government can you list the issues that makes you think it would be better that the Nats were in power instead?”

            Wrong question. What would the last 5 months look like if the Greens had more power? That’s what the left should be aiming for, not Nat-lite.

            Some of us where talking about this before the election so it has nothing to do with MSM narratives about Labour.

            • red-blooded 7.1.1.1.2.1

              This government (unlike the last) is confronting and making plans to actually deal with things like the unhealthy hospital buildings. What do you expect them to have done by now, though? Down here in Dunedin, the site for our new hospital has been agreed and plans for the rebuild are being advanced (after years of the Nats making empty promises, sitting on their arses and then deciding to let the private sector build and own the facility – glad we dodged that bullet!). Any plans for other major rebuilds or upgrades will take time, and huge amounts of funding that wasn’t provided for because the Nats had hushed the whole situation up.

              You can promote the Greens, weka, but the” National-lite” label is unfair. Plenty of us on the left support Labour and acknowledge that a strong Labour Party is crucial to any left or left-leaning government in NZ. And undermining Labour is also counter-productive for Greens supporters – it cuts away at any chance for the Greens to achieve anything meaningful in parliament.

              I try hard not to undermine the Greens in comments here and elsewhere.

              • weka

                I wasn’t promoting the Greens though, I was pointing to what the govt would look like if there were more left wing policies being enacted.

                If you have critique of GP policy, I wish you would say it. They’re not perfect either.

                “And undermining Labour is also counter-productive for Greens supporters – it cuts away at any chance for the Greens to achieve anything meaningful in parliament.”

                How so?

                Saying that Labour are better than National but we shouldn’t critique Labour for being less LW than the Greens is pretty much the definition of Nat-lite. As I’ve said elsewhere in the thread, I think that Labour will do good things and will fail on some fundamentals. It doesn’t help to be in denial of those things. With welfare it’s very obvious.

                We knew this before the election, so it’s more been a matter of waiting to see just where the balance would lie. You ask what Labour could have done in five months. With WINZ that is ample time to start chaining the messages and the culture. Sepuloni is saying suitable stuff, I want to see it demonstrated and I’m not seeing that yet. 6 months is ample time to get that stuff right if one is intending to head down that path. I don’t Sepuloni is.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Sepoloni going down the same path….like Clark happily going the way of Ryall and Colman.

                  Clark even has the same possum in the headlights look that Ryall and Colman perfected.

                  Neither of them had the balls to stand up to the Misery of Health bureaucrats…

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Red blooded, since you’re clearly a fan…how does one get the attention of a politician when one has strong evidence that the previous incumbents were deliberately misled by a ministry and the evidence is that the current Minister is going to go down the same path?

                We have written, and emailed and occasionally phoned and have been consistently ignored at all levels.

                Some of us have sound knowledge and lived experience of disability and are sick of being forced into the margins and obliged to watch while yet another government gets it wrong.

                Labour is no different from National on this..

                And, let’s all sit back and watch while yet again the entire House laughs and applauds as an other National Mp scuttles off to wherever they go to avoid bring held accountable for the cock ups.

                Because when it comes down to it…they have more fellow feeling for other politicians from left or right than they do for us.

                • veutoviper

                  We have written, and emailed and occasionally phoned and have been consistently ignored at all levels.

                  So have you written, emailed and phoned the Associate Minister of Health – who happens to be Julie Anne Genter?

                  According to this press release she was actually wearing her Associate Minister of Health hat when she visited Middlemore Hospital -.
                  https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/healthcare-sector-committed-reducing-carbon-footprint

                  The other two hats she wears are Minister of Women and Associate Minister for Transport; and she does not have any formal climate change/environment responsibilities.

                  Things would be very different five months down the track if the Greens had more power, according to some here.

                  I am not convinced having closely watched the Greens’ performance to date, including Genter’s answering questions in the House on behalf of the Minister of Health – the latest was yesterday.

                  I am not getting at you Rosemary, as I know myself the complete shambles that the Ministry of Health has become, and particularly the Disability Services from my own personal experience. Forms and doctors’ letters lost repeatedly, no responses and a s a result no help etc.

                  But no-one has a wand that can just be waved and all of these problems miraculously resolved overnight. And the problems the incoming govt has found are overwhelming.

                  • weka

                    No-one, absolutely no-one, has said Labour should solve these problems overnight. What is being pointed to is the way that Labour are behaving that doesn’t bode well given history. I’m happy to be proven wrong (really), but I’m not ok with waiting until the first term is up and then trying to address these issues then. We can’t afford to let things slide for that long.

                    I agree Labour have got their work cut out for them. I don’t think that is the problem and I don’t think many here would expect perfection from them. But I’m not convinced that on some areas they are even moving in the right direction.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Plenty of us on the left support Labour and acknowledge that a strong Labour Party is crucial to any left or left-leaning government in NZ.

                Which is a false position. Supporting any party on the Left strengthens the Left. Our political system demands that you only support parties with more than 5% support of course and that needs to be changed.

                The other major problem is that Labour is actually right-wing and not of the left. Has been since the 1980s.

                And undermining Labour is also counter-productive for Greens supporters – it cuts away at any chance for the Greens to achieve anything meaningful in parliament.

                Who’s undermining them? Holding them to account for their actions (signing the TPPA) or their inactions (continuing oil extraction) is what we need to do to get the required changes. If we don’t do that then we won’t get the changes as they’ll just assume that we’re happy that they’re supporting the rich stealing from us.

                • red-blooded

                  Draco, if you think Labour has been right wing since the 80s, then you haven’t been paying attention since the 80s.

                  • JohnSelway

                    Draco thinks Labour are right wing because some anonymous website said so and it conforms to his biases

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No. As I said, political compass gives a reasonably consistent relative positioning of parties based upon their policies.

                      Thing is, when I read Labour’s policies and see their actions I label as right-wing because they are. Signing the TPPA was not something that a Left-wing party would do.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Using your political positions as a relative measure of what constitutes left wing is worse than the political compass you keep linking to.

                      The political compass can’t be used as evidence for anything. It is completely anonymous, gives no indication of who filled it in and what they based the answers on except in the most general manner. 10 people could compete it and get 10 different results. It is hopeless and extremely poor as a reference.

                      Saying Labour isn’t left wing because they signed the TPPA is like saying National isnt right wing because they raised the minimum wage and kept WFF

                    • In Vino

                      Specious, JohnSelway. National raised the minimum wage so little as to ensure it remained utterly demeaning, and insufficient. They kept WWF because it isn’t very left-wing anyway – it is more a subsidy to employers who pay too little.

                    • In Vino

                      That was supposed to be WFF, for obvious reasons…

                    • JohnSelway

                      I know it’s specious – it’s a reflection of Draco’s reasoning behind calling Labour right-wing because of the TPPA.

                      I have a BA in Politics and have done a lot of study and work around NZ Politics and not one of the political theorists I researched ever called Labour anything but centre-left.

                      So what and who to believe? Draco anonymous website results or people who have made a career out of political theory, put their name to their work and write books on the subject.

                    • In Vino

                      Hoping this comes out at right point…

                      JohnSelway, I don’t know how old you are, or what depth of vision you have regarding right wing/left wing; socialism/capitalism; or communism/fascism. I hope you understand the lot. In the 1980s the Rogernomes and their compliant commercialised media managed to skew most people’s understanding of all this, and make them think right wing is centre, and left wing barely exists, except that ‘hard left’ means dangerous, hostile radicals.
                      Draco fights against this skew, and maybe you should not be so quick to condemn.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It is completely anonymous, gives no indication of who filled it in and what they based the answers on except in the most general manner.

                      And that is your RWNJ logical fallacy coming to the fore again.

                      And, of course, they have stated how they get their answers for the party.

                      10 people could compete it and get 10 different results.

                      I would expect that a group read the policies and debated if they were right-wing or left-wing. It’s how we did it in PolSci at uni.

                      I know it’s specious – it’s a reflection of Draco’s reasoning behind calling Labour right-wing because of the TPPA.

                      No it’s not. It’s your desire to defend the Labour Party from their actions.

                      I have a BA in Politics and have done a lot of study and work around NZ Politics and not one of the political theorists I researched ever called Labour anything but centre-left.

                      I like this response:

                      The Political Compass chart represents the whole spectrum of political opinion, not simply the range within a particular nation or region. The timeless universal centre should not be confused with merely the present national average. The former is far more meaningful and informative. Where, for example, would the centre be within the political confines of Hitler’s Germany, apartheid South Africa or the Soviet Union? By showing the whole spectrum of political thought, we can indicate the width or narrowness of prevailing mainstream politics within any particular country. It also enables us to chart the drifts one way or another of various parties, governments and individuals.

                      Twenty-five years ago, social democracy was riding high in western Europe. A chart at that time would have shown a number of EU governments to the left of the centre. In our globalised age, however, the shift has been rightward, which accounts for the altogether different cluster that the contemporary chart depicts. In other words most democracies, either reluctantly or enthusiastically, have embraced neoliberalism (ie a right leaning economy) to a greater or lesser extent.

                      Curbs on civil liberties, rationalised by issues such as illegal immigration and terrorist threats, accounts for the concurrent drift upwards on the social scale.

                      And you can believe whomever you want. I hold that Labour is centre-right as it’s maintaining capitalism and the inequalities and injustices that come with it.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Draco, you know as well as I do that although the appeal to authority is a logical fallacy it can’t be used to dismiss vast expert opinion out of hand in order to support your single conclusion based on 1 source and your opinion.

                      The Politcal Compass would have validity if it showed how it came it to the result it did. It doesn’t and is therefor only evidence for your desire to cling to whatever fits your narrative. But if you are so sure of it why don’t you go edit the Wikipedia page for the NZ Labour Party given it, in your opinion, is wrong

                      I’m not right wing either, no matter how often throw it around.

                • adam

                  Safer ground to call them economically right wing Draco T Bastard. I agree with you assessment, because at the end of the day it’s all about economics.

                  Economically the labour party are right wing.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Wrong question. What would the last 5 months look like if the Greens had more power? That’s what the left should be aiming for, not Nat-lite.

              QFT

              We would have seen a lot more happening if we had.

            • chris73 7.1.1.1.2.3

              The Greens would have more power and policy concessions if they cut Labours umbilical cord and became a truly independent party

              • weka

                National would have more power and policy attainment if they split into two competing parties.

                See how that works?

                • chris73

                  Well no, the Greens have chosen to be beholden to Labour which is why the Greens don’t have as much influence as NZFirst

                  I’m not saying the Greens should go with National I’m saying the Greens should say that they’ll base their decision on the policies of each party, that they won’t automatically go with Labour (even though in all likelihood they will)

                  • weka

                    If they didn’t give Labour Confidence and Supply, how would Labour have formed government?

                  • veutoviper

                    “…the Greens have chosen to be beholden to Labour which is why the Greens don’t have as much influence as NZFirst.”

                    Well is that really true?

                    Yes, the Greens are in a less formal/restrictive C/S agreement with Labour than their full Coalition partner, NZF.

                    Despite this, the Greens have three MPS with Ministerial positions and one MP a Parliamentary Under-Secretary. That is half (50%) of their 8 MPs are in positions of considerable influence.

                    This compares with NZF with four of their 9 MPs holding Ministerial posts and one MP being an Under-Secretary – 55% of their MPs. So NZF’s position is only marginally better than the Green Party.

                    For their part, only 22 (47.8%) of the 46 Labour MPs hold Ministerial positions (21 MPs) and one holds an Under-Secretary position.

                  • tracey

                    Do you consider NZF is also beholden to Labour?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Of course not, NZ1st is the tail that wags the dog – according to the National aligned RWNJs.

      • james 7.1.2

        Why wait 3 years?

        People are allowed to be let down and unimpressed now.

        Example the TPPA (or whatever it is called now) – Many are unhappy that Labour signed it after all the singing and dancing about how bad it would be. Not many would have thought that they would have signed it within 6 months.

        Do they have to wait three years to slam them for that?

        It seems that there are a number of people who are disappointed that this government hasn’t met their expectations as yet. Things might change, they might not.

        But if people dont mention anything, dont raise their voices then things will carry on as they are – and if you dont like it, it wont get better.

        • weka 7.1.2.1

          James, do you want the government to ratify the TPPA?

          • james 7.1.2.1.1

            Yes – have always said that.

            I said many are unhappy – Personally I am for it.

            But I was using that as an easy example of why some people could be disappointed or let down now and dont need to wait three years.

            • weka 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Right, so you can see how you might come across as concern trolling. You can telling people they can protest the govt now over and issue that you support the govt on, but it’s a govt you don’t support.

              • james

                Depends on how you read it – It was just an example that I was using to support Rosemary’s post.

                • weka

                  Oh I suspect that most people here would find suspicious a RWer telling lefties to go ahead and criticise Labour over the TPPA when the RWer supports the TPPA.

                  • Monty

                    Hey Weka

                    I see that as a issue here, some on here just look at the name of the person commentating and go into personal attack mode.

                    People can have different points of view, opinions and disagree then agree on others that is awesome and what I enjoy.

                    This labelling and then dismissing the person out of hand due to a label and they have a different point of view I find disappointing.

                    I have reading the standard for at least 5 years. I only started commentating as I feel the mods have done a good job chilling out abuse.

                    Intend to put in my opinion a lot as a disclaimer so to speak to not get into tit for tat.

                    I agree with James those who voted for Labour as an anti TPPA vote should be annoyed and challenge the govt, as the labour MPs in opposition were vocal against it and went to protests and appealed to protesters that they would oppose it. So they have every right to want to hold the govt to account. You can be for something and still hold the view that others have been let down.

                    • weka

                      Cheers monty, always good to get feedback on how people are experiencing the site.

                      I agree there is too much people attacking each other because of their history. I did read James’ comments though and checked something out and then critiqued his position. It’s true that some of that is because of his history but I would have asked the same thing of any known RW here. If it had been Puckish Rogue or chris I would have assumed outright trolling 😉 James has a history of trolling but appears to be making an effort now, so all good.

                      “I agree with James those who voted for Labour as an anti TPPA vote should be annoyed and challenge the govt, as the labour MPs in opposition were vocal against it and went to protests and appealed to protesters that they would oppose it. So they have every right to want to hold the govt to account. You can be for something and still hold the view that others have been let down.”

                      I agree, but it’s very hard now to find Labour voters who voted Labour because they thought they would stop the TPPA 😉 There are a few, and they are rightfully pissed off. The people not pissed off want Labour to be given a chance. Stand off.

                    • tracey

                      Yet our national supporters almost never , if not never, criticised Nats in their last 9 years. Apparently anything was better than Labour

                    • Monty

                      At Tracey, the same can be said for any of the tribal/blinkers on people on both sides. So to try and say that about Nat supporters is very biased when labour and green supporters follow the same lines.

                    • tracey

                      Monty

                      Not in my experience here. Labour andzGreen supporters are often more critical of this govt than alwyn, james, BM PR etc were of Nats.

                  • Sacha

                    In this case I believe James is being straight up in his comments. TPPA is an obvious and public example.

                    I’d say Rosemary is addressing more-hidden systemic issues about pollies being captured by senior staff views from agencies who have long been part of the problem, just as with the previous govt.

                    I’m waiting to see the Budget myself. I have been heartened by the comparative openness of the Health Minister so far about the scale of the damage to be redressed, though investment seems likely to be channelled into bricks and mortar rather than people and services.

                    None of that helps disabled people specifically and our advocacy was almost non-existent during the election campaign.

                    • weka

                      Fair call on James.

                      Thanks for saying something good about Clark. I think that a balance of critique and praise is really useful, and a better approach than complaining about people criticising Labour too early in the first term. Adam said something good about Clark recently too after Clark had fronted at a disability meeting, and I suspect it takes something decent to impress adam politically.

                      I also worry about the bricks and mortar thing. People are rightfully angry about the mould but I wish they were tweeting as much about this guy’s campaign, or what Rosemary is writing about.

                      https://twitter.com/ArbyHyde/status/979521681122209793

                      (America’s Cup is an easy target but he’s pointing daily to how much disabled people are ignored by Labour).

    • weka 7.2

      Just been reading some stuff about the numbers of complaints against WINZ made in Auckland in the past few years. Sepuloni and the deputy CE trotted out some nicely framed things, but to these tired old beneficiary ears it sounds like the same old shit dressed up. Yes, we get it. Labour will do welfare more nicely than National. Not seeing any fundamental shifts in the culture though that National can’t just roll back when it’s their term. We’ve been through this before Labour

      The PR speak is only going to get them so far for so long. I’m guessing the budget will be the point where it becomes patently obvious which way Labour are going to go.

    • Incognito 7.3

      I don’t find this Government cohesive, they don’t gel well together, and they don’t put up a united front. It gives the impression of being more like three separate teams running their own shows without talking enough to each other or even amongst themselves.

      They let themselves down, over and over again, by silly mistakes and poor communication. They get easily rattled and distracted by the Opposition and MSM and they don’t stay on script & course, i.e. they don’t hammer down their own messages for their own vision – nail your colours the mast. Yes, there are some good speeches, here & there, every now & then, but it is all too sporadic and fragmented.

      This is just the delivery side of this Government, the how; so far, they have not actually delivered much tangible stuff, the what. But it takes time to undo 9 years of National Government.

      Obviously, the powerful Opposition and almighty MSM love playing this game of hiss & roar; it is the grist to their mills.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      So, folks….how are you all finding our new progressive government?

      Pretty much what I expected. It’s still keeping the same failed system and chasing after the ‘growth’ that’s destroying the world.

      They’ve just added promises of being nice to people.

      • Spot on Draco.

        We – New Zealand and the world are facing huge problems which are already manifesting themselves. Carrying on as we have, in a sort of perpetual present, is, frankly, nowhere near good enough.

        We need a government prepared to be radical, really radical, and the courage to back themselves.

        Anything else is selling out our grandchildren!

  8. Rosemary McDonald 8

    Thank you weka.

    Hard for me to hold a conversation right now…but methinks you are on my wavelength.

    Time is short and delays and errors will only increases fiscal risk and reduce trust from the electorate.

    Be different…ffs

    • weka 8.1

      I was willing to give them half a year to see just where the balance will lie. Like Clark’s govt I think they will do some good things, but there will be little serious change where it really matters. I suspect they will even do it nicer than the Clark govt, but it’s increasingly clear that they will hold the neoliberal ground and that we need to start agitating on that now, not waiting much longer.

      If we are wrong, then that holding them to account will still be useful.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    Listening to Newshub last night saying the Auckland city council is putting $92 million into the America’s cup. Can’t find anything really in the media today. Is this correct? If so then I’m glad I’m not an Auckland ratepayer!

    • veutoviper 9.1

      It was all announced a few days ago,RBCV. I am way out of my area of expertise – or interest not being an Aucklander – but here is a Stuff article I came on by change after reading your comment. Hope this helps but there was a lot in the media over the last week.

      The Government is also putting in S113.9 M so us non-Aucklanders also get to ‘contribute’.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/102688144/auckland-council-votes-yes-on-2021-americas-cup-village

      • RedBaronCV 9.1.1

        Ah yes stuff was yesterday too. Funny how there isn’t much in the media about the contribution of us taxpayers- slipped out under the cover of easter??

        $200 million would buy heaps of other stuff – and no doubt there is a lot of hype about the “benefits” but it needs to bring in offshore income of about $1 billion all of which is taxed before we get this back and even then we have to stump for the extra social costs of roading, housing and all the other social costs. Can’t see how this is justified as anything but the rich boys playing .
        And we could no doubt get better returns in otehr areas of govt investment.

        • veutoviper 9.1.1.1

          Agreed. i am over the America’s Cup. The rest of us outside Auckland don’t see much in the way of benefits for our tax contribution.

          • Janice 9.1.1.1.1

            I’m over it as well. Living in Auckland I will have to pay twice, once in rates and once in taxes. Fix Middlemore first.

            • RedBaronCV 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Finally found some analysis on newsroom.co.nz – looks like our legacy from the vast spend is going to be close to 0.00.

  10. joe90 10

    The Putin effect – Kinder, Kuche, Kirche.

    /

    The All-Russian survey of the Levada Center, conducted in late December 2017, showed that the majority of Russians (68%) condemn the extramarital sexual relations of family people (the sum of the positions “is always reprehensible” and “this is almost always objectionable”). In 1998, 50% of respondents answered this way. From 68% to 83%, the proportion of those who do not approve of same-sex relationships has increased. And respondents, for whom abortions are unacceptable, even if they are caused by low family incomes, became 35% compared to 12% in 1998.

    […]

    According to the Levada Center survey, at the end of 2017, 54% of Russians agreed with the statement that the husband’s business is to earn money, and the wife’s business is to lead the household and engage in family activities.

    google translate

    http://pravoslavie.ru/109827.html

  11. Muttonbird 11

    Supposedly impartial and self-appointed arbiter of political discussion, Mr Bryce ‘cut-n-paste’ Edwards cuts and pastes several links here in one of RNZ’s many competitors. Nine links to be exact, and just the one even remotely supportive of Curran’s wider agenda – better public broadcasting – which surely is more important than the beltway fluff on coffee meetings and the minister’s diary venomously promoted by government opponents.

    The only support of course comes from Chris Trotter who gets, at the very end, a lame paragraph with no quotes. Contrast that with the ‘must read’ descriptions of Farrar and Rutherford’s manufactured outrage.

    There is zero evidence Curran was trying to influence content or the political direction of RNZ the way the Nats did with the appointment of Griffin. She was however trying to implement a well advertised position of the new government pre-election (they campaigned on it, ifs!), and that is to expand the state broadcaster to match the expansion of other media and according to current consumption trends.

    My question is, why the fuck shouldn’t she?

    • Louis 11.1

      +1 Muttonbird

    • Carolyn_Nth 11.2

      Of course the Nats and other rightees will do everything to resist a re-development of public service media. And they will pounce on any opportunity to scupper the current government’s plans in this area.

      A strong public service media is absolutely necessary to making NZ’s political and public culture more democratic. The corporate mainstream media are shitting all over democracy these days, and are ferocious about maintaining the neoliberal framework.

      But, if the Labour cabinet were truly motivated to move towards a truly public service media, they’d have put someone more competent in charge of handling it.

      I think Curran also leans towards public service media as it was pre-digital. Other people who have more competence in this area, or part thereof are Kris Faafoi in Labour. And also the following who I have seen talking on public service media in the role as spokesperson for their party:

      Tracey Martin (is up to dealing with tough kickback) – very much on board with the public service component needed.

      Juile Anne Genter a few years back – understands it’s importance (is up to the focus, background research, and tough talking to opposition that is required).

      Gareth Hughes – is very much focused on the role of digital technologies in current media and communications.

    • patricia bremner 11.3

      I will probably be called a conspiracy theorist again, but if there is a conspiracy we need to recognise it.

      Yesterday I pointed out how orchestrated the attacks from National and supporters were, and how the same memes appeared….. well this is an example of magnification and confirmation of National views with a “Jacinda is inept? doesn’t have control of her team” etc.

      There is total avoidance of any discussion on Burnham or Findlaysen. No calls for resignations there…. No… No… “Look over here”. Smoke screen. IMO.
      The nasty drip of DP.

    • Sanctuary 11.4

      Bryce Edwards must be the most deeply cynical news aggregator of the lot. The guy is parasite who aggregates the writings of others and re-packages it as received wisdom for whatever personal agenda he has.

      He used to be a full on Marxist when he lived in Dunedin but I see he is trying his hand in the bright lights of the 09 these days.

      My guess he is either still a secret Marxist who loathes Labour for being centrist sell outs or having moved to Auckland he has done one of those (out of fashion since the 1980s but he is from Dunedin which is a few decades behind the rest of the country so, yeah…) Marxist to Randian conversions like the Labour traitors. Either way, he is out to get labour with the all sly zealotry of someone with a hidden agenda.

      • tracey 11.4.1

        The change appears to be since he is well paid for his cut and paste. He will be telling himself he must be impartial if he is being criticised … forgetting he is only criticised by the Left.

        I note he hasnt called for Finlayson’s resignation.

      • weka 11.4.2

        What’s the 09?

    • patricia bremner 11.5

      Hi Muttonbird. Mr. Bryce is too kind, how about Mr. Bias?

  12. jcuknz 12

    Mttonbird 10 My question is, why the fuck shouldn’t she?

    Because she is only supposed to deal with the top deadheads / seat-warmers rather than practical workers lower down …. That is the system.
    Since Labour do not have the wealth of experience and talent that National did have until recently it is obvious that they are going to make stuff up after stuff up as they learn . and we the general public are going to pay for it.
    The fact that National made a number of serious fuck-ups is why they are now in opposition but the new crowd have even less experience and for sure are worse as they are faced with impossible problems to solve. It is a ‘devil or the deep blue sea’ situation unfortunately.
    Having given all their money away to groups [ first year students , Americas’ Cup ] they now have no money to deal with the real problems coming to light such as Auckland’s hospitals etc.
    The much derided 11 billion hole is going to prove to be rather bigger than Joyce could admit to.
    It is obvious that capitalism doesn’t work like socialism doesn’t either but a meld of both is the answer.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Newsflash: a meld of Capitalism and Socialism is usually referred to as a “mixed economy”, such as the one you are now living in. However, despite that, the National Party still manages to make a corrupt stinking health-hazard of it whenever they’re given the opportunity.

    • Chuck 12.2

      “The fact that National made a number of serious fuck-ups is why they are now in opposition”

      National maintained their share of the vote compared to the previous election. So if they made a number of serious fuck ups…you better hope they don’t learn from them come 2020.

      The simple fact is…They are now in opposition due to the soon to be Prime Minister of NZ.

      “they now have no money to deal with the real problems coming to light such as Auckland’s hospitals etc.”

      It was easy to work that out during the election campaign and predictable to blame the previous Government for not telling them to keep some spare money aside to fix boring stuff like buildings.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    I am Labour. So that tinges my view. There is an agreement to be in government together. So on that basis the Greens are allowed to agree to disagree with Labour and record that. Labour has the same right, as does NZ First.

    What I don’t see is Labour people coming on here critical of the Greens or NZFirst.
    I know there is a belief in ” free speech” here, but it appears partisan at times.
    As a coalition there will be large and small areas of compromise.

    When people say “Do something different” (FFS) I take it they mean “Look at my issue”
    When what has been done doesn’t suit someone and they say “If the ….. had more of the vote”… But it is what it is, and I get the frustration. Our area is short two surgeons so my operation may be next year?…. never?

    Do I agree with all that is happening… NO! However I know these people care and are working hard to try to improve people’s lives.. Yes, it hasn’t happened for all of us yet, and if it hadn’t been for Jacinda we may have been still being fed bullsh.. and jellibeans by Coleman etc.

    Would I vote the same way ? YES. They are good people.

    • Carolyn_Nth 13.1

      There are quite a few Labour cheerleaders here, for whom Labour can do no wrong.

      • veutoviper 13.1.1

        There are quite a few Labour cheerleaders here, for whom Labour can do no wrong.

        Equally, there are quite a few Green Party cheerleaders here, for whom the Green Party can do no wrong.

    • weka 13.2

      “What I don’t see is Labour people coming on here critical of the Greens”

      Why is that? Genuinely curious. It is because you don’t think there are issues with GP policy? I vote for them and I don’t think their policy is perfect, so why not critique it?

      That’s not being partisan btw. I think it would help if people learned the difference.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.3

      Sepoloni going down the same path….like Clark happily going the way of Ryall and Colman.

      Clark even has the same possum in the headlights look that Ryall and Colman perfected.

      Neither of them had the balls to stand up to the Misery of Health bureaucrats…

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.4

      When what has been done doesn’t suit someone?????

      How about when what has been done gas found to be illegal by the Courts and the subject of yet another Court case and had attracted criticism from the UN and was used as an election campaign issue by Labour???

      Be Labour, Patricia Brenner…support them and flag wave…but please don’t presume that all people expressing frustration and disappointment with them have been sucked in by right wing media or are merely focussing on an issue that affects only them.

      t
      The Ministry of Health are restructuring disability supports at the moment…a big ‘system transformation’ if you please.
      Fact…despite nearly twenty years of this being a significant issue family care is not being discussed by the working group.
      f
      Fact…the issue of advanced personal cares and the fact that the moh system had failed this group requiring very high supports is not being discussed.

      So…ffs…is it any wonder some are not exactly orgasmic at the current incumbents’s commitment to effecting change on order to do better?

      • weka 13.4.1

        +1000.

        I think disability is the edge where it is bleeding obvious (apologies for that image but I think it’s appropriate). Still so many NZers don’t understand how the issues for disabled people have been not just badly managed but have been either actively monkey wrenched or actively ignored and now many many people are in dire straights (disabled people and their families).

        What gob smacks me is that this isn’t news. It’s been on blogs, social media and MSM. And still people are defending Labour and refusing to consider that Labour are part of the problem.

        Labour chose to make children the poster child for welfare reform and in doing so they created another division of the deserving poor and the undeserving poor (the Greens did this too up until last year and it’s one of the things I have criticised them for). Better to place vulnerable people in the centre, and work your way out because then you have a system that is grounded in compassion not one that that doles out compassion to the ones who have been deemed suitably deserving and says fuck off to the rest.

        There are *very good reasons why many of us don’t trust Labour, and it irks to be called partisan as a way of continuing to ignore the elephants in the living room.

  14. cleangreen 14

    A community report to the media and all environmental advocates. 30/3/2018.

    “Community concern’s expressed truck noise, vibration’s, and air pollution exceedances at pre-hearing”.

    GDC- RMA pre-hearing held on 29/3/2018 at the 9am at the Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club

    This week we attended the secret “Chatham rules” special GDC “pre-hearing” meeting involving ECT on their Eastland Port berth log expansion activities chaired by Consents Manager Reginald Proffit, as Winston Morton’s continuing submissions as one of the submitters to the GDC pre-hearing (that we are attached to as Winston’s “Deputy’s).

    Winston Morton’s concerns were valid, addressed before the “secret Chatham rules’ pre-hearing meeting, that the chair had ignored the submitter during his earlier submissions made to GDC for the ECT planned expansion to be made under the usual “regional plan Change” rather than a RMA application”.

    Mr Morton was seeking to allow the process to be made into a ‘transparent process and to allow the whole community to have their right to make changes to the way the Port operate in future in a more environmentally responsible manner.

    Issues of the transportation of logs to the Port 24 hrs was concern here as the bulk of the submitters were voicing their opposition to the industrial noise generated to the Port that were awaking many it was revelled at this meeting.

    Past ‘submissions’ on logging truck noise to GDC, may have overlooked it appears?

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/environment/2662642-135/log-truck-complaints-come-thick-and

    We made a strong case to GDC after receiving a 280 signed petition in 2011-12 from the Esplanade community group who were requesting GDC make changes to Eastland Port bound logging trucks, to mitigate against their excessive noise, vibration and air pollution being generated.

    Chair Mr Proffit may wish to consider Mr Morton’s submission to change to “A Regional scheme change” rather than the restrictive secretive process the Eastland port appear to prefer to use.

    If Eastland Port really does care about the wider community impacts of negative noise, vibration, and air pollution from their ‘industrial activities” can GDC encourage ECT to be “environmentally and socially responsible” they are governed under, of “industrial activities” in a built environment”?

    Jacinda’s campaign launch speech

    Quote; PM Jacinda Ardern said on her first speech;
    “The government I lead will be a government that listens, then acts. A government that leads, not follows.
    I will never stop believing that politics is a place where we can do good.
    That we can build a confident and caring nation if we include each and every person, in each and every town and region. That is New Zealand at its best.”

    As former residents/property owners of Napier before settling in Gisborne in 2005, our Napier community suffered similar problems as ECT Eastland Port are causing, when 14 suburban communities surrounding Port of Napier have truck noise, vibrations, and air pollution from carrying export freight to the Port of Napier, berths for future activities as Eastland port are.

    Our groups there have had meetings directly involving Napier Port executives at their own boardroom, receiving strong level of support from Port of Napier about their truck traffic noise, vibration, air pollution issues, so we are surprised the Eastland port are not reciprocating with all suburban communities surrounding the Eastland Port, are they worried about criticism from the wider community of Gisborne?

    We stated clearly to Chair Reginald Proffit we are part of Mr Morton’s submission to GDC on Eastland Port RMA application and operate an Environmental Monitoring company CER Ltd since 2002 has involved partnerships with Government agencies as well as Watercare and NIWA.

    Our company has reviewed the Eastland Port “independent environmental assessment” report for the ECT and we have several issues of concerns about the report.

    Many communities are now suffering from “industrial activities” involving truck traffic to Ports around NZ now and a new method of measuring “industrial noise” is warranted using changes in sound noise monitoring, as WHO and the EU are doing.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/101613963/No-respite-for-sleepless-residents-on-main-port-thoroughfare

    This monitoring of truck freight residential urban noise, vibration, air pollution is a long debate now that will generate some issues, as we prepare to take up with GDC/ECT going forward.

    We do support the request made by Winston Morton to change the ECT application to a more “inclusive” far less ‘secretive’ procedure.

    ECT with their narrow focus “only inside the port noise zone” are restricting all residents from seeking mitigation from three negative truck effects of noise, vibration and air pollution, and should make a fresh submission to GDC for a simple scheme change to allow all members of the Gisborne community to become involved with the future planning of our Port facilities of which we all actually own as it was leased to the Trust called ECT which was to have provided equal benefits for all.

    Lastly at the GDC ‘pre-hearing’ on ECT RMA application our other submitter “Rail Action Group” the Chairwoman Gillian Ward expressed the wish that Eastland Port consider rail to move the logs to Eastland port. http://transporttalk.co.nz/news/rail-cards-gisborne

    While in Napier last week we witnessed 55 wagon trains stacked full of logs going to Port of Napier and while at the ‘rail head marshalling yard’ were wagons alongside the port for export (as used to happen at the Gisborne Port.}

    We support rail freight to our ports around NZ which is the plan in the Labour Government policy from 2004 by Pete Hodgson called NZ National Rail Strategy” TO 2015.
    Ministry of Transport.
    http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Import/Documents/nationalrailstrategy.pdf
    We reviewed Hon’ Megan Wood’s speech to the Petroleum Conference which bodes well for rail since the minister has clearly defined the long term goals of her Labour lead coalition/NZF Government “transition to a low-carbon or a net-zero carbon economy will be as transformational as the industrial revolution was to the societies and economies in the nineteenth century.”
    so Labour need to get that rail re-opened and to plan to electrify the rail service from Napier to Gisborne to achieve that goal.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1803/S00293/hon-megan-woods-speech-to-the-petroleum-conference.htm

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  15. jcuknz 15

    PB …
    For some time now i has been obvious to me that most current greens are Labour in drag so the news that an ‘ex-green’ hopes to become a National MP replacing Coleman is great news that it could be the start of a sensible Blue-Green grouping.
    Leading to National becoming a right wing group with a heart rather than the hopeless idealists we find in the current left.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      If only the Greens were more like National, they could trash the environment and the social fabric of the country too.

      Your wishful thinking isn’t going to change the definition of “Green”, no matter how hard you try. Read the charter. Nice attempt to smear the wider Left though.

      As for environmentalism in the National Party, it looks like Nick Smith defecating in a glass of water. Scientists are just like lawyers, eh.

    • mac1 15.2

      I am glad that you see, jcuknz, that National is firstly, a right-wing group, and secondly is lacking heart.

      I am not sure that a Blue and Green grouping is sensible, even in a fashion sense.

      I do not believe that the National Party would be so converted by a 2-3% group. That group exists already in National, and ex-Green MPs like Ian Ewen-Street did not achieve much when we examine the evidence of the misery, pollution and neglect left as a legacy by National this decade.

      As for hopeless idealists in the left…….. as the houses are built, as they were after 1935, as the hospitals are rebuilt and extended, as the schools are strengthened in materiel and in mana, motivation, mien and metaphysics, as rivers and beaches are cleaned up, as the homeless are housed, the mentally ill helped, and violence reduced in our community by better justice practice and education, as inequality is addressed,

      then may you be proven wrong.

      • jcuknz 15.2.1

        I just hope you are right as neither the current left or the gone right inspire any confidence that they have any wish to markedly improve matters.
        I see a lot of the problem as the stranglehold the public service has on the politicians who simply do not know what is reasonable as was alluded to earlier in this thread.
        We need a good PS but not an overpowering one with ‘all the answers’ to suit themselves.

        • patricia bremner 15.2.1.1

          It is the quality of the people in the Public Service, given most were chosen with right wing views to implement, and to prepare sections to be sold off.They have no time for the coalition so are still in the previous settings, and possibly keeping the right informed. Changes will happen.

    • millsy 15.3

      A core green value is having laws that stop people from dumping toxic crap into our rivers, or pumping it into the air.

      From the looks of it, National are committed to rolling them back. So I fail to see National being blue-green anything.

  16. cleangreen 16

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12020527

    BUSINESS
    $30 million freight-distribution centre to be built in Tauranga

    Public COMMUNITY letter;

    Protecting our environment & health.
    In association with other Community Groups, NHTCF and all Government Agencies since 2001.

    Dear rail stakeholders,
    RE; $30 million freight-distribution centre to be built in Tauranga

    We at CEAC placed a submission for a inland freight terminal before the HBRC Land transport Committee in 2005 for a freight terminal and the 10 acre land was purchased at Whakatu by HBRC in collusion with other councils for providing a “Inland Port freight terminal, so we need to begin construct as Bay of Plenty has done, so we need this now put this land into use in Whakatu.

    We in HB must get ahead of the curve of the changes in transport logistics.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  17. Rosemary McDonald 17

    When what has been done doesn’t suit someone?????

    How about when what has been done gas found to be illegal by the Courts and the subject of yet another Court case and had attracted criticism from the UN and was used as an election campaign issue by Labour???

    Be Labour, Patricia Brenner…support them and flag wave…but please don’t presume that all people expressing frustration and disappointment with them have been sucked in by right wing media or are merely focussing on an issue that affects only them.

    t
    The Ministry of Health are restructuring disability supports at the moment…a big ‘system transformation’ if you please.
    Fact…despite nearly twenty years of this being a significant issue family care is not being discussed by the working group.
    f
    Fact…the issue of advanced personal cares and the fact that the moh system had failed this group requiring very high supports is not being discussed.

    So…ffs…is it any wonder some are not exactly orgasmic at the current incumbents’s commitment to effecting change on order to do better?

  18. joe90 18

    The fossil fuel industry has a choke hold on government and the sooner they and their golden eggs, taxes paid and royalties, get the arse, the sooner renewables take over.

    Prices for solar, wind, and battery storage are dropping so rapidly that renewables are increasingly squeezing out all forms of fossil fuel power, including natural gas.

    The cost of new solar plants dropped 20 percent over the past 12 months, while onshore wind prices dropped 12 percent, according to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report. Since 2010, the prices for lithium-ion batteries — crucial to energy storage — have plummeted a stunning 79 percent (see chart).

    https://thinkprogress.org/solar-wind-power-prices-are-beating-natural-gas-c9912054400c/

  19. I recommend reading this. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/naomi-klein-how-power-profits-from-disaster

    According to Naomi Klein, Climate Change (like wars) will just create an opportunity for corporates (many of which have caused the problem) to move in to make further profits. They will profit from the private security firms that will manage the millions of climate refugees and the private prisons and refugee centres that will contain them. They will also profit from the scarcity of food and ramp up the profits here too.

    Look at any major disaster (Katrina, Yemen, Iraq…) and you will see big business swooping in and profiting from misery. If Trump is replaced by Pence, he has a background in ensuring profit from crisis.

  20. dukeofurl 20

    Some people have reminded us when a previous Minister or their advisor interfered in a national broadcaster.

    It involved Maori TV, Flavell and his press secretary and wasnt a chat with the head of content but an actual email with the producer of a current affairs show
    http://www.labour.org.nz/m_ori_tv_editorial_interference_scandal_deepens

    Labour has released emails between Te Ururoa Flavell’s press secretary and Maori television that show the Minister’s press secretary tried to alter the format of a proposed Native Affairs debate on Whanau Ora and attempted to dissuade Māori Television from inviting NZ First to appear on the show.

    Telling the Producer NOT to invite a political party representative.??

    Maori TV didnt follow that advice and parts for the segment were filmed but then Flavell had a meeting with the head of MTV.
    Later that afternoon the show was cancelled

    The appropriate legislation says the Minister or their representative must not direct producers etc on the production of any current affairs show.

    • patricia bremner 20.1

      And Maori Channel viewers voted. I feel that was the first of many things which lost Flavell his seat. “Santa Baby” being another.

  21. newsense 21

    Duncan Greive recently wrote about the end of an overlong era- Key, English and Joyce are gone. While Hosking burbles on on ZB he’s off the 7pm slot.

    But please they take Matthew Screech-owl with them too? I’ve become simply exhausted with him on every form of public and ‘public’ media we’ve had and the conversation has simply moved past what he has to offer.

    He’s a tired unnecessary figure of yesteryear. Enough.

  22. millsy 22

    Keith Murdoch has died.

    I guess we will never know now, the circumstances behind him being sent home.

  23. Kia ora Morena show on Maori TV good story on Elon Mus Teslar and showing the fact that the Maui Dolphins tragedy of near extinction I challenge the IWI with the biggest fishing enterprise to put up some of there mana and save these beautiful creatures .
    At the minute I’m studying My tipuna Mokena Kohere he is a great Chief of
    Ngati Porou see you at 10 am apopo ka kite ano

    • eco maori 23.1

      Here we have two CEO retiring one because his hand was forced because he did not keep up with the times and another who retired because he could see it was good for the company .I new Rod Drury was Maori he is doing what is right for his people his shareholders my accountant uses his Xero software its excellent it makes accounting so easy .I have used other accounting software and they were not as unfriendly as
      Xero it halves the time to do the books Ka pai Rod Drury enough said. heres the link.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/102711128/rust-never-sleeps–a-tale-of-two-retiring-ceos Kia kaha Ka kite ano

      • eco maori 23.1.1

        Here we go again someone who is making brash claims about a third industrial revolution John Mc Crone is making predictions about the Protein our good Farmers produce could be replaced by factories growing meat milk in a commercial scale what a load of Bull—– 30 years ago people predicted a lot of things that have not become reality . For some thing to displace meat milk first you have to be-able to scale production up and produce it profitably then one has to get the public to trust and use that product. The manufactures will tell all these lies to try and con us into using the crap products they will lie about all the bad side affects there products cause to humans . But now we have this 21s century device the Internet and social media this device will soon let all the people know when these greedy bigots are selling us a bad product quick smart . So good farmers ignore this idiot and keep up the good work. I’m not impressed with John Mc Crone I won’t say exactly what I think of him Kia Kaha ka kite ano here’s the link .

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/102640438/the-future-of-everything-why-the-third-industrial-revolution-is-a-risk-to-nz

        • eco maori 23.1.1.1

          Newshub the Tauranga sandflys were jumping through hoops going around and around the mulberry bush the block like the little kids they are . All they get out of the vast amount of resources they pour into intermediating me is it takes me 10 minutes longer to get to work and get home.

          That’s a excerlint story on Liberia it shows if the charity’s innovative and provide the people ways to make money and grow there own food is a much better way than just giving them the food ECO MAORI still shakes his head as to why these poor people are in the situation they are in poor and starving in the 21s century
          I know who is responsible for this situation going on around Papatuanuku World
          at the minute look in the mirror .
          Kia kaha poor people Ka kite ano

          • eco maori 23.1.1.1.1

            I can see after today’s mahi that they have turned some people against me .They have used my words to turn you against me what I have said is fact but that does not mean I have not got your back and I need uses to have my back always. So I can make life better for all yes my mokos and children come first but I fight for all the suppressed people. One can see from my mahi that things are improving for you . When you are no longer of use they will throw uses under the bus ECO MAORI will never throw anyone under the bus Kia kaha people ka kite ano

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