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Open mike 30/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 30th, 2020 - 70 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

70 comments on “Open mike 30/10/2020 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Coal Mining

    "An experienced miner who once headed Spring Creek is behind plans to reopen it, with a decision from regulators due mid-2021."

    Permit…and Jobs

    "Terra Firma Mining Ltd announced in July it wanted to drain the mine and reopen it with a smaller operation, targeting the specialist market of silicon manufacturing.

    It would target about 200,000 tonnes of coal a year and employ 60 staff when in production.

    Terra Firma has already applied for the minerals permit, and says it has the staff and equipment ready to start work."

    On this side…

    https://www.letstalkaboutcoal.co.nz/coal-in-nz/

    The other…

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2010/S00211/activists-deliver-a-message-to-mining-lobby-straterra-as-mining-lobby-cancels-conference.htm

    I've talked to many people…and they are genuinely Interested in what the Greens offer for Work alternatives? (Not just in the coal replacing areas either. )

    Oh…and an FYI for the "interested"…I dont use coal. And see its replacement as Urgent. I also signed petition against Denniston mine …and others…. Anyway.

  2. Devo 2

    Fingers crossed that the cannabis referendum is close enough today to win outright or to flip on the specials

    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      Yes, thinking of those who are living in hope of the affimative.

      • Phillip ure 2.1.1

        I am going purple in the face from holding my breath re cannabis outcome …hopefully I will be able to exhale @ 2pm..I actually voted no on the euthanasia bill…three reasons for that ..one is the high standard of palliative care in this country..so end of life suffering is minimised..(so what is the problem we are trying to fix here..?)..second is fear of abuse/coercion by family ..trying to hurry things along…and the third is class/race-based…as in the poor and those others already proven to receive less care than white folks..will no doubt be euthanized at a higher rate than those monied/white folks…and to my mind any one of those three reasons is reason enough to say no….

        • Phillip ure 2.1.1.1

          This must be how a national party voter felt on election nite. .I am 2 for zero on the referendums ..

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Kier Starmer apparently hit a cyclist and then left the scene before the police arrived in London on Sunday just past, he was apparently on his way to his tailor in his SUV at the time. It has given rise to a mild joke doing the rounds at the moment in the UK that goes he hit the cyclist because he indicated he was turning left but went right instead.

    Such a joke is strong indicator that the jury of the wisdom of the crowd is now in on Starmer while the circumstances – few in the UK visit their tailor on a Sunday – gives us a glimpse of the world of the British elite. Out of touch, lacking self-awareness, narcissistic and a smug assumption of being above the law. No wonder the shambolic British coronavirus response has been marked by corruption, nepotism, and incompetence.

    The British Labour party is still behind in the polls despite the catastrophic handing of the pandemic but it seems from news from the UK that the real enemy is the is still the Labour left and Jeremy Corbyn, and weaponising anti-Semitism as a way to ensure the most obvious current threat to the rule of the British ruling class are removed from anywhere near the levers of official power. Tory-lite waiting interminably for muggins turn.

    Looking at the UK, you have to conclude their post-imperial decline is gathering pace. Covid has smashed British soft power. It is the biggest hit to British prestige and cultural influence since the fall of Singapore in 1942. The UK consists of a ghastly tinsel monarchy imprisoned in a Byzantine thicket of pretentious protocol, a frantic and ridiculous English nativism that props up a myth of great power status via hollow imperial pomposity, An economy that relies on selling weapons to brutal Wahhabist extremists, squandered oil reserves pissed up against the wall on tax cuts and sticking plaster welfare and a corrupt to its eyeballs upper class ruling clique that has given up even pretending to care about anyone except themselves and the crony capitalism they all benefit from. The electoral system is a train wreck, obsolete, dysfunctional yet apparently unreformable for reasons of Westminster’s "greatness" as the "Mother of Parliaments" (despite the fact that NZ's parliament is nowadays more representative, elected by a fairer system, and by a considerable margin the oldest fully representative parliament in the world).

    What a shocking state of affairs, no wonder the Scots want out, Northern Ireland is thinking the South isn’t that bad after all and even the Wales, long regarded as the personal property of the British crown, is umming and arring about going it alone. I’d want to be shot of the English shit-show as well if I were them.

    • tc 3.1

      Starmer's continuing to do a wonderful job on behalf of the tories. Reminds us that the ABC brigade are still around in parts under Ardern.

    • I Feel Love 3.2

      Great summation, wonderful writing, nice one.

    • Ad 3.3

      For those interested in the actual investigation into anti-Semetism within the Corbyn-led Labour Party, here's the summarised findings of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission report for you to consider:

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/oct/29/key-findings-of-the-ehrc-inquiry-into-labour-antisemitism

      • Siobhan 3.3.1

        …and for those interested in some actual thoughts on Corbyn..or atleast opinion from people who are not on record as having gleeful bias against any and all policies and stands associated with Corbyn.. here's another great piece from David Graeber..

        I was tempted to go over the Guardians hatchet job on Corbyn..however I recal covering their proud stand against Corbyn so often I started boring myself..I only hope the Guardian folk are enjoying life under Boris..and I wish them the best of luck getting any traction with Starmer..

    • Ad 3.4

      Sometimes we see national decay occurring faster than it is, because we want to see it.

      States have this decade become masters at exploiting the seams between peace and war. What constitutes an asset or a weapon in this grey area longer has to go 'bang'.

      Energy, cash, corrupt business practices, cyber attacks, assassination, fake news, propaganda, trade disputes, and indeed military intimidation are all examples used to gain advantage in this era of constant competition. In this respect the UK does very well.

      It's not kind, or polite, or even-handed, or sometimes even rule based. And we've been waiting for hubris to catch up with UK colonialism in one great redemptive wave for a while.

      It's not going to happen. London remains the financial capital of Europe. The UK remains the energy leader of Europe. Britain's public institutions remain strong. Its companies remain dominant in the world.

      The last time I can recall someone trying to evaluate global soft and hard power as an evaluation of national capacity, it was the Henry Jackson Society.

      https://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HJS-2019-Audit-of-Geopolitical-Capability-Report-web.pdf

      Britain was still ranked second in the world.

      Plenty to argue about in the methodology section, but there's no story of inevitable entropy in there.

      • RedLogix 3.4.1

        Yes lots to debate in the methodology there, but worth a read all the same.

        It all comes down to a pair of concepts we can easily grasp but spend little time pondering.The first is continuity: the idea that the positive things that make your life today possible—health, shelter, clean water, food, education, clothing, a functioning government, and so on—will still be around tomorrow. The second is economies of scale (and it's close cousin specialisation).

        Both are necessary for successful nation to establish itself and then develop. Both heavily depend on geography; locations in the world that have secure borders, easily integrated interiors and sufficient size to gain economies of scale are rare.

        For instance Russia has any amount of scale, but lacks decent borders, while NZ is the most protected nation on earth, but we're too small to gain scale. My main quibble with this document is that while it tosses many interesting factors into the mix, it places too low a weight on the ones that really matter in the long run.

        The reason why I keep returning to this theme is that the post WW2 US-led order is coming to an end. It was a unique period of human history where virtually all nations could trade with all others, with both the security guarantee and trade mechanisms propped up by the USA. For all of our lifetimes, geography never really mattered the way it did through 10,000 yrs of conquest and empire.

        Well now the Yanks are going home, and once again geography will matter. And we're not really accustomed to this.

    • Mika 3.5

      Really interesting video from a Jewish socialist/anarchist on the background to anti-semitism and accusations of such within the political left.

      https://www.doubledown.news/watch/2020/12/april/the-weaponisation-of-labour-antisemitism-david-graeber

  4. Andre 4

    First we had the nasty-ass honey badger don't care, now we have nasty-ass covey spreader don't care.

    • AB 4.1

      What can Biden do if deaths are pushing towards 300,000 by early January when (if) he assumes office – and still climbing? Trump has so poisoned the well that coordinated, national action seems impossible without battles on the streets with armed Covid-deniers.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Well, he could just follow the plan he has set out. It includes:

        1. Set consistent, evidence-based guidance to stop outbreaks

        2. Seriously ramp up testing

        3. Establish a US Public Health Jobs Corps

        4. Help people get health insurance

        5. Create a caregiving workforce

        6. Bolster resources for vaccine distribution and PPE production

        There's trucks of detail under that.

        https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/28/928392673/coronavirus-is-a-key-campaign-issue-whats-joe-biden-s-plan

        Of course, for any of that, Biden has to win.

        • AB 4.1.1.1

          2-5 are good, but are chasing after the virus. No. 6 requires that a safe, effective vaccine actually exists. No. 1 is where the opportunity lies to actually make a difference, but if executed via real actions like short, sharp lockdowns and giving everybody money to survive, will spark the contention and violence everyone fears.

          I don't see Biden as having the will (or support from his donors) to do what actually works. And I certainly don't buy the insinuation that Biden is some sort of under-rated policy genius who will surprise everyone.

    • Gabby 5.1

      Hiring Fijian troops to run their refugee concentration camps?

    • McFlock 5.2

      Didn't we get Aussie cops to assist after the earthquake?

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Were they given free rein to branch out wherever they saw fit?

        This from the above link – green left:
        New bill aims to allow foreign troops and foreign police to be used in ‘emergencies’

        The new bill has not received a lot of media attention. However, human rights lawyer Kellie Tranter said in September that “there are a number of elements that are concerning and will impact on civil liberties”.

        In her briefing paper she said that the bill not only fails to properly define “other emergencies”, it also: “delegates too much responsibility for the call out to a single minister; permits foreign armies and police forces to be called in; does not restrict the use of force for defence forces and extends an unreasonable level of immunity for the defence force from criminal and civil penalties.

        “Defence forces used in a civilian context should not be normalised”, she said…

        This bill enables foreign military forces and foreign police to be used in emergencies; and with immunity from prosecution and the assistance that they are providing is at the discretions of the minister.

        • McFlock 5.2.1.1

          Same rein as NZ cops.

          • greywarshark 5.2.1.1.1

            I think the lawyer in OZ sees the move as enabling a virtual occupying force if there were enough protests or on just about any excuse if blown up enough, and can be done on the brainfart of one particular minister.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              It's a bit like the lawyer who got the judgement that the first week of lockdown was illegal, in my opinion.

              It's good for lawyers to raise these points, but they're not really big news that the population should be aghast at. If there are so many protests in aus that state and federal police, supported by aussie soldiers, aren't enough, then inviting in the US 7th Fleet isn't going to help.

              But if there are multi-state wildfires in the southeast and a tsunami hits the Gold Coast, better to smooth the legalities of international assistance now.

              • greywarshark

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/429483/ministry-of-foreign-affairs-and-trade-issues-warning-for-new-zealanders-ahead-of-us-election

                The 59th US presidential election is set to take place on Wednesday, New Zealand time.

                The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Safe Travel website said political activity, including rallies and protests, could be expected in the lead-up to the election and the presidential inauguration.

                "Even protests or political rallies which are intended to be peaceful can result in violence," it said.

                "A strong police and/or National Guard presence can be expected at any further protests. Police measures have, at times, included the use of rubber bullets and/or pepper spray to disperse crowds."

                United States troops and others have practised maneouvres in NZ using a similar scenario happening here, to be the background for organising their actions.

          • KSaysHi 5.2.1.1.2

            They didn't get immunity from prosecution when carrying out their duties.

  5. millsy 6

    Corbyn's worst crime was to speak out against Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and continued encroachment on their land.

    • Devo 6.1

      The Democrats in the U.S.A and Labour in the UK have fought harder against their own progressive voices in Sanders and Corbyn than they have against their conservative governments. Makes me feel ill

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        I think I'll support The Canary it looks promising for useful information well presented.

        I have been getting samples of what The Telegraph puts up and have formed my own opinion about it. It seems to me to appeal to the hoity toity in the UK and come out with snide little pieces about the young Royals, a fair amount to amuse the comfortable middle class, and sneery bits about left concerns with only a few that indicate a balanced viewpoint towards politics. I can't waste my time reading those things.

        The Canary cheeps well by the looks of it. Thanks BG for putting that up. However I think I will donate to The Guardian too if they have a useful news service that will accept my 'mite'.

    • Mika 6.3

      "Corbyn's worst crime was to speak out against Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and continued encroachment on their land."

      I think it is more about the attempts by the Blairite wing of the party to use any means necessary to defeat Corbynism, and Corbyn's support for Palestine gave them the opportunity. I don't think Starmer et al are doing this because they have strong views on Israel and Palestine; their goal is to bring the days of the mass membership party to an end and turn UK Labour into a Blairite rump.

      The ensuing civil war in UK Labour will run for decades after this.

      • Bearded Git 6.3.1

        Agreed Mika….if they had MMP Corbyn would already have formed a new left wing party.

        • Mika 6.3.1.1

          I don't think the same applies to UK. UK Labour party has a long history of being the organised wing of the labour movement, and the links to the unions have been retained even during the Kinnock and Blair eras. So the potential for UK Labour to become again a mass socialist party of the working class has remained, in a way that it hasn't in NZ Labour.

      • AB 6.3.2

        Or the plan is to be so outrageous in the condemnation of anti-Semitism that barely exists, that you end up provoking the real thing. Thereby creating a retrospective justification of your original outrageous claims.

        • Mika 6.3.2.1

          More than one Jewish socialist commentator has suggested this is what has actually happened.

    • Gabby 6.4

      Or being lazy about anything involving disagreeing with anybody. That mural thing was just stupid.

    • Ad 6.5

      Corbyn's worst crime was losing when he should have won.

      The rest is excuses.

  6. Anne 7

    It looks to me like Britain is going down the same path of chaos and anarchy as the USA. The methods being used are different but the end result is the same. And it is the neoliberal ideology which is largely responsible – the rise in narcissism… power at all cost… nepotism (in Britain the notion that upper class toffs should rule) and deeply embedded corruption in high places.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      This thought came to me this morning, it seems to fit in with yours.

      The splitting of communism by capitalism in the apparent triumph of the USA over Russia's apparent ambitions seems to have resulted in lesser concern for people, effectiveness of the country's living conditions and businesses.

      It seems to confirm the economic thing about needing competition to stop a monopoly getting slack and incompetent. Having communism seen as an opposition forced the USA to show that it was better in every way. Now it just shambles round like an old drunk with money, indulging itself uncaring about affects on others and looking for others drunk with whatever – finding the UK and perhaps France to be drinking buddies with, (and Australia eager to join the party and sneer at the wowsers outside).

      Lisa from the Simpsons with a message to us in these times!

  7. greywarshark 8

    My point is confirmed about the need to love our parents, not disdain them, regard them as a boring drain on the country which it might surprise many people, is the received message by many from their treatment by authorities here.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/429462/screen-time-a-concern-as-research-finds-poor-language-skills-for-new-entrant-children
    Alarming numbers of children are starting school with very poor language skills, with some only speaking like two year olds…

    More than 60 percent of new entrants in some low-decile schools in Christchurch struggle to express themselves in words.
    Of the 247 children tested by researchers at Canterbury University 16 percent could not pronounce the few words they did know properly.

    The director of the Child Well-Being Research Institute, Professor Gail Gillon, who is leading the study, said the root causes were complex, including household stress and parents working multiple jobs to pay for the necessities of life, leaving them no time to spend with their children.
    Screen-time was also a factor because it reduces talking time.

    Children aren't developing properly because their parents don't talk to them enough. Other matters have priority like getting back to work when they are still babies. And coming home tired and stressed from work ever after. For many, seeming to have a good standard of living, getting back to work to afford the house payments would be a priority after a certain amount of maternity leave.

    Or the parents are in the precariat, and don't receive enough wages and state monetary assistance that is not a loan and when they are at home are too uptight and edgy to sit long with the child, playing with it, having little games of pick up the toy, singing with it, later reading with it.

    There isn't time, they have to be out of their house in a month and have to find something else, hopefully near the kid's school, or they have to find a new school too. Etc etc and on. What a bloody life to offer young parents in a country that prided itself on being the best to bring children up in. All words, and fleeting emotion, a bit of sentimentality that we didn't really mean and care enough to hold onto. What hypocrites we have been. Can we find our way back to a reasonable standard of care now?? Or have we declined into sterile modernity and it's all SEP and technology will be brought forward to manage every aspect of our lives? Make up your minds.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      By the way when I say 'our parents' I am thinking nation-wide not our personal parents. There seems a need for some group to be scapegoats in any society – that is where all the bad values tend to reside. And I fear that young parents and especially unmarried ones, have been made the official ones by the preachy, and pseudo-religious in management roles, and the cant of politicians who seem to be figures of rectitude in their electorates.

  8. Byd0nz 9

    Can't wait to see Scotland vote for Independence and get rid of the sassenachs. Eisd O Eisd.

    • The Al1en 9.1

      Yeah, will be comical to see them withdraw from one union, for the 'independence', and attempt to immediately join another far more restrictive and less sovereign one in Europe.

      But yes, a hard border please, no use of Sterling in their economy and renewable permits needed to live and/or work in England will do for starters. Oi oi saveloy.

    • woodart 9.2

      cant wait for scotland to vote for independence. end of union jack, we will HAVE to change our flag then.

  9. Phillip ure 10

    The greedy/grasping rentier-class/slumlords writ large…rents have gone up 25 percent in porirua in the last year..one of the poorest suburbs in nz…scum-sucking bastards they are..

  10. Patricia Bremner 11

    Blast!! So sorry Barfly. So close and yet too far for the specials I think. However, I am heartened by the number of specials.. we need two thirds of those to get yes.

    Also there is talk of a members bill if the vote is extremely close, so waiting.

    • At only 53% against in the cannabis referendum a member's bill would make sense.

      It would get through in a referendum vote in 10 years time anyway.

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.1

        Labour, being keen to support the post-Covid economy, may put it through anyway, if the referendum is pretty close.

  11. RosieLee 12

    So cannabis for personal use is banned, and will stay in the hands of the gangs and illegal trade, criminalising perfectly ordinary recreational users. Medicinal cannabis for perfectly legitimate reasons will remain in the hands of Big Pharma and be prohibitively expensive. I just don't get it.

  12. SPC 13

    It is going to be harder for the Green Party members to accept the party working with the government after they ruled out decriminalisation without any apparent consultation.

    • SPC 13.1

      Questions

      1. Did Little decide on no decriminalisation himself or is it Cabinet policy – er what Cabinet there is none yet appointed, a higher level call?
      2. Were Greens informed of this while negotiating with Labor over Ministerial positions
      3. Were Greens consulted before Little made his public statement
      4. Is this an attempt to induce a Green Party member veto of a working agreement with Labour?

      Because on the grounds of loss of trust alone, this is now quite possible.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        this is from September

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/09/cannabis-referendum-jacinda-ardern-reveals-why-she-won-t-publicly-take-a-side.html

        In contrast, the cannabis referendum is not binding. It was set up as part of the Green Party's confidence and supply agreement with Labour. A proposed legal regime is outlined in the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, but there's no legal obligation for it to be adopted wholesale if the referendum passes.

        "On the issue of marijuana, that is a conscience vote for the Labour Party… we do not have a position as a whole party," said Ardern. "My view therefore would not be the Labour Party view.

        this from October

        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/jacinda-ardern-outlines-priorities-cannabis-reform-regardless-whether-referendum-passes

        The first priority, she said, would be to ensure "young people do not end up damaging themselves as a result of access, because that is what I saw as a young person".

        "Second, I don't want to see people unnecessarily criminalised. Whatever outcome, that’s what I think we should be looking to achieve."

        Ardern was asked today if Labour would consider decriminalisation of cannabis as an alternative, if the legalisation effort failed but the party returned to power.

        "Only if it is considered in the public interest to do so," she said. "What I am interested in doing is looking at the circumstances of the way that the change of law is happening now. Is it meeting our expectations?"

        i think it was quite clear before the election that if the referendum were to fail that looking to the Labour party for something would be a big fat waste of time. As for the Green Party, the Labour Party at this stage owes them nothing and does not need to consult nor ask the Greens for anything.

        • SPC 13.1.1.1

          As one person who supports the Greens all I can say is, I no longer trust the Labour Party to do the right thing. And I would advise that they reconsider taking Ministerial positions or having anything to do with them.

          This three year period is going to be monumental disappointment and they would be better advised to have nothing to do with it and thus retain credibility via independence – holding this lot to account now needs to be their prime job.

          • Sabine 13.1.1.1.1

            The 'holding to account' needs to happen before any election, once the count is in its to late. And frankly, to many people got cought up in that fearmongering that National would have a chance – were clearly they never had. That led people to vote for Labour as if FPTP is still the law of the land. And in regards to the weed referendum, Labour was quite clear about 'not gonna do much if it gets a no vote' before the election.

            And like National, Labour now risks becoming a no mates party.

            • SPC 13.1.1.1.1.1

              It had a mandate for decriminalisation – around 49% for legalisation and a major group in the no campaign supported decriminalisatuion.

              Not acting on that mandate, after the party leader said they would look to reduce harm to people (whatever the result) is indicative that Labour is going to upset half their own party and the Greens just to retain some centre support.

              It'll take a year and people will be saying Ardern is the best National Party voter supported PM since Key. Not praise as high as that for Douglas, who was rated a better Min of Finance than Muldoon.

              • Sabine

                It'll take a year and people will be saying Ardern is the best National Party voter supported PM since Key.

                some of us said that before the election 🙂 .

                anyways, the child has fallen into the well, and no use for crying over spilled beans.

                Fact is that Labour could tomorrow simply state that it would go the way of Holland, Canada, the US etc and start with decriming personal use, small possesion and growing for own use. Tomorrow. All on its own. And they don't. Everything else is not important. They have the numbers to go it alone and they don't. And worse even, they don't even bother coming up with a justification that is science based, costed – both the cost of implementation, the cost of savings in regards to prison time, home D etc, and the subsequent investment into mental health and general well being, and last the emotional one 'what about personal freedom and choice'. So it seems Labour has no issues with the status quo, no matter the harm it causes.

                • SPC

                  Which explains the no affordable dental and the cheap diabetic drug Maori get which means they go onto kidney dialysis 10 years before they should (which makes them more vulnerable during a pandemic).

                  National will not hold them to account, nor ACT – it has to be Greens.

                • Phillip ure

                  I agree..the whole referendum thing was a cop-out .. an abdication of authority/leadership on arderns' part…she should have shown some leadership ..that's what leaders are expected to do…that's why they are elected…so now we end up with this mess..if we wanted 100 percent consensus all the time..we'd elect counsellors to rule over us..

                  • SPC

                    Labour is competing to be the party of government, the space is more narrow since Key.

                    He kept interest free fees and WFF tax credits, Labour went brightline 2 to 5 years and now a top rate of tax like Clark had (both these adjustments National will remove in 2023 or 2026).

                  • Grantoc

                    The referendum was the Greens idea I thought – part of their agreement with Labour following the 2017 election.

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  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
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