Open mike 30/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 30th, 2010 - 43 comments
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43 comments on “Open mike 30/10/2010”

  1. Logie97 1

    Members of Parliament travel expenses.

    So the last 5 years of any and all of the last government’s tenure was under microscopic scrutiny from the media and several members were hung drawn and quartered as a result.

    Now Lockwood is going to prevent further scrutiny…

    A certain C word comes to mind here. WTF.

    • Lazy Susan 1.1

      And just to ensure none of the heat falls on “my preshus” we get this. They really do take the p….

    • Armchair Critic 1.2

      Disgusting. Just when I was beginning to like Lockwood, too. I hope the next government have the courage to let us know how taxpayer’s money is spent.

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        There is a certain logic in Lockwood reasoning. It is apparently a setting aside of moneys from salaries for travel. It is the creepy response from Key that sickens me. “Sorry people. I tried so hard to make us transparent just like you wanted, but there you go. It is the Speaker’s fault. I did try but I think he is wrong. Love me still?” (paraphrased.)

        • Jim Nald 1.2.1.1

          Well put. The people must reject this ‘bad cop, love cop’ double act.
          I’ve said it elsewhere, I will say it here, and I will say it many times again —

          All details must be available under the Official Information Act.
          What is there to Hide? Why is it secret? What is there for MPs to be embarrassed about?
          Make Parliamentary Service subject to the OIA.
          The previous Speaker in 2007 had proposed this.
          Live up to openness and transparency.
          Which political party truly has the integrity to put up a bill to this effect?
          Now, such a bill would be deserving of urgency!

        • Another smart con job by Key and his mates.They get what they wanted but the great leader comes out of as the real hero .This lot have an incredible publicity team. To be honest its a worry.

    • Steve Withers 1.3

      I have mixed feelings on this.

      If Lockwood Smith’s explanation is true and not a re-writing of history, then I’m happy with this change of policy. I’ve known many MPs and I know how hard the vast majority work and I have seen first hand the havoc their commitment to public service (mixed with personal ambition, to be fair) can play on their family life and on their own health. I actually don’t really care if they spend what are in relative terms mere pittances on travel….and most of it is for good reasons anyway.

      What has bothered me is the media beat-ups over these relatively trivial sums of money while REAL disasters are going on. Like the Super City gutting of the democracy in Auckland. Yet the Herald is mostly silent on that as they don’t really like democracy anyway.

      I’ve followed media for almost 40 years. Commercial media outlets and the large corporations they front have a vested interest in making sure we have little respect for the people we elect to represent us. It gives the medium concerned more power and influence if they can denigrate and deride the only people accountable to us – our MPs. I have always noted I don’t get to vote for the editor of the local newspaper or the shock-jock winding people up on local radio. They are unaccountable….even if they tell lies. In the case of the newspapers, they all have a monopoly in their cities…and there is no prospect of any competition ever appearing.

      With that in mind I tend to ignore these periodic beatups over pennies. Their real aim is to separate us from our agents and representatives…..in favour of the interests of those who aren’t accountable to us at all. NZ’s foreign-owned media have been very successful in making us dislike and disrepect the people we elect to represent us. Sorry…I’m just not buying it anymore. I’ve seen first hand how the media lie outright – by commission and omission – and are effectively unaccoutable because you won’t read about it in their paper.

      Have a nice holiday, Rodney and all the rest of you. Take the whole family. I could care less.

      Now can we have some real news please? How about a story on the Auckland Council election that saw 62.5%of votes cast elect none of the 20 Councilors? How about a story on two-thirds of the new Auckland Council getting less than 30% of the vote? 81% of votes in Albany ward elected no one. This is the biggest Auckland story of the year…..and who’d ever know from reading the Herald? First Past the Post was a disaster….and who knew?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        In the case of the newspapers, they all have a monopoly in their cities…and there is no prospect of any competition ever appearing.

        Of course not, it’s natural monopoly the same as dairies.

        Now can we have some real news please?

        Would be nice but we won’t get it unless we get public funded, not for profit, media as a well informed populace is detrimental to capitalist control.

  2. Tigger 2

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4285073/Risk-of-others-like-Wilce-in-public-service-Key

    There’s also a risk that there are MPs who have lied about their CVs…Aaron Gilmore springs to mind Mr Key but you don’t seem to care about that, just spreading more fear and loathing around the public sector..

    • Logie97 2.1

      … and this coming from Key who cannot look a reporter straight in the eye when it comes to knowing :
      what share holdings he has,
      who tried desperately to remember exactly the dates he was with Elders and got it wrong.
      who told us just last week that he saw bigger demonstrations in the 80’s yet couldn’t remember the 81 Tour.
      who couldn’t recognise a racist slur from an interviewer.

      What did the Eagles say about lying eyes …

  3. The Chairman 3

    NZAid assistance for prospective overseas growers amounts to taxpayer boost for privately owned company?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-government/news/article.cfm?c_id=144&objectid=10684030

  4. Bored 4

    For all those petrol head Standardistas, here’s a sign of the times, a funeral notice that will have those of us who love big blocks, lots of chrome and flasher than flash dragsters in tears..Pontiac has gone to the wall http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/30/business/30pontiac.html?_r=1&hp
    RIP the American car industry, your time has passed, it was at times great fun.

  5. prism 5

    David Suzuki on climate change this morning on Kim Hill was bound to be interesting. He sounds spot on. A book to read if you are interested in the climate change denier original genesis is The Merchants of Doubt by Naomi somebody. She has put in the yards tracing the figures behind the various public faces and words. Millions in their pockets, these background figures, and when scientists spoke against cc they had evidence then that showed the opposite, they all knew they were promulgating lies. There is money in it for them all that must be the answer.

  6. prism 6

    Was anyone listening to the end of Kim Hill’s interview with Suzuki? Just as she was finishing he said that it had been a very negative interview. She thought he meant the subject and started to reassure him. He then accused her of having been very negative to him in her questioning. It was astounding.

    She had run a good interview encouraging his opinions and eliciting the factual background also questioning him on things that we know about but are often half-informed on. She tried to cover both NZ and the world situation. He gave a global coverage and then was particularly interesting on Australias solar opportunities yet to be embraced, behind Chinas I think he said. He had forgotten that he was speaking to a NZ interviewer. But lots of informed background.
    I thought that the interview was great myself.

    What a shame that these focussed people so informed on serious issues can end up being paranoid and over-sensitive when their judgment is being tested for reliability and balance. I understand that Pilger took this attitude after one of his interviews taking about the Palestine people which he advocates for rightly and so well.. It comes across in a petty outburst that diminishes their believability for future statements.

    • Lazy Susan 6.1

      Yes I heard that and was pretty astounded at Suzuki’s reaction. Maybe he was taken aback by Kim Hill’s style, she’s fairly blunt and quickfire.I took some time to get used to her manner but now appreciate her as a very good, well informed and balanced interviewer – a very rare breed in the NZ media.

      • prism 6.1.1

        Yes she is blunt and can be quirky. Some interviewees can take themselves so seriously that they are ‘put out of countenance’.

        I look to her (and Chris Laidlaw) Nineto Noon’s top people like Kathryn Ryan to put all the points to their interviewees so I get real information to understand the matter. That’s why I haven’t ever followed Paul Holmes, Paul Henry or any radio jocks. I may be missing some good people out there but I can’t be bothered searching for them when I’ve got jewels on RadioNZ to refer to. And continue to rely on.

        anti-spam – corrupted (not!)

        • Lazy Susan 6.1.1.1

          Agreed, thank goodness for RNZ. As for Holmes and Henry I wouldn’t describe them as competent journalists or interviewers. They are so completely wrapped up in themselves they just present as opinions looking for a home. Holmes on last weeks Q&A was so anxious for viewers to know his opinion on the Hobbit dispute he didn’t listen to any answers – although, come to think of it, nothing unusual about that for Holmes and Henry.

    • Armchair Critic 6.2

      Yeah I heard that and was fairly shocked. The interview was typical Hill and very well conducted. I’d have been disappointed if she had accepted his assertions without any questioning.

    • Vicky32 6.3

      “He gave a global coverage and then was particularly interesting on Australias solar opportunities yet to be embraced, behind Chinas I think he said. He had forgotten that he was speaking to a NZ interviewer. But lots of informed background.”
      It was more than that! He banged on about “you in Australia…” and I thought if he wasn’t an American, she’d have been more forthright about reminding him that she’s in New Zealand. (Like Ryan and Lyn Freeman, she is a wee bit grovelling to American interviewees…
      I am afraid that he came across as a complete prat! (Mind, I am a ‘global warming/climate change sceptic, a denialist as the like of Suzuki call us… Offensive indeed, as it links us with Holcaust and Moon Landing deniers, which 99.7% of us are not!)
      Deb

  7. NickS 7

    Finally came across this again:
    http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=7813

    In a nutshell: The Lord of the Rings books are pulp that embraces anti-modernism and paternalistic authority, to which it’s only redeeming feature is the deep and detailed level of world building Tolkien did.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      I’d agree with that. I’d also say that they’re rather boring books and really can’t understand why people are so enthused about them.

      When you look carefully you’ll almost always see “paternalistic authority” and general dictatorships in works of fiction. You’ll also see the delusions of infinite growth and working “free-markets” (a few rich people controlling everything because, you know, they’re “special” and that’s why they’re rich) as well. I’ve come to the conclusion that most people writing good fiction are RWNJs and the reason why they can write good fiction is because they actually believe in the delusion.

      • Vicky32 7.1.1

        ” You’ll also see the delusions of infinite growth and working “free-markets” (a few rich people controlling everything because, you know, they’re “special” and that’s why they’re rich) as well. I’ve come to the conclusion that most people writing good fiction are RWNJs and the reason why they can write good fiction is because they actually believe in the delusion.”
        I have to rush to defend Tolkien! He was in no way a RWNJ… He was in fact, a very early greenie.. (most of his concern about industry, people being trapped in wage-slavery and the destruction of the environment and their way of life, was cut from the LotR films…
        My son hates the LotR books, and finds them boring, but then his interests lie in film, not literature.
        You might see a lot of promotion of “paternalistic authority” in Tolkien, and fair enough – it fits with the kind of fiction he was writing, but he came from a lower middle class background, and then ended up in extreme poverty when his father died and his mother had to foster JRR and his brother out, because her own family had cut her off without a penny for marrying a Catholic. (My mother’s NZ family did the same to her 50+ years later, because she married a working class immigrant!)
        My sympathies are with Tolkien. He’s a lot deeper than those who disdain him understand.
        As a linguist, I rate him especially high!
        Deb

        • NickS 7.1.1.1

          And none of that changes my opinion that Tolkien’s books are very much pure pulp. Heck, I’d rather get kids reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s Eathsea novels, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Novels or even Ian Irvine’s The View From The Mirror Quartet. As these authors create intricate detailed worlds, on top of managing to produce strong* characters, both female and male. And then there’s the anti-modernism stuff.

          Anyhow, Maps’ says it much better than I can manage:
          http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2006/11/against-tolkien.html

          @Draco.

          It more depends on how closely you read the author’s work. On a causal read, Bank’s Culture Minds could be seen to be PA’s, but in both individual books and across the Culture Novels, the Minds are more or less as “human” as those the rest of the inhabitants of the Culture. Just as capable of doing dumb things when they want to, but generally they leave individuals to do as they please.

          Neal Asher is a bit different, but the nature of the AI minds that rule the Polity becomes more nuanced across the series, where we see the AI’s aren’t gods, and can be just as much complete arseholes as humans, even Earth Central. The only reason they’ve come to be in charge, and stay bin charge, is because they haven’t fucked up as much as human governments have historically.

          Though I tend to stay away from crappy writers.
          _____________
          *NB: by strong I mean nuanced characters that come across as people, rather than plot devices. Particularly female characters…

          • Vicky32 7.1.1.1.1

            I did try to read the ‘Culture’ series, as they come highly recommended, but the general air of smugness was unbearable! I felt the same about Le Guin, sadly, though I agree about Irvine.. From my experience with my son, I would never encourage kids (or even teens) to read Tolkien, (that being said, the teen girls in my class at the school I attended in the late 60s/early 70s devoured Tolkien and fought each other for the copies in the school and public libraries – but we were the girls who would have been called in later decades by the Americanism “geeks and nerds”. Shallow teens should stick to Twilight!)

  8. Fisiani 8

    In a parellell universe Trevor Mallard is castigating the government for calling Warner Brothers bluff and then losing The Hobbit (like he did with the IRB Rugby Word Cup) after they did not want to face the MEAA fiasco they have already experienced in Australia.
    He is decrying them for losing a 800n million dollar movie and a 3 billion industry. He is announcing that 3000 jobs have directly been lost and another 5,000 indirectly.
    In a parallell universe Trevor Mallard becomes PM in 2011.
    Thank God in the real world we have a great negotiator, a great politician, a great pragmatist and a great man in , soon to be Sir, John Key to lead NZ out of the morass for the next 13 years.

    • Armchair Critic 8.1

      …John Key to lead NZ out of the morass for the next 13 years
      In the real world he hasn’t held one job for more than five years, and most of his jobs have been for two to three years. What makes you think this well established pattern will suddenly change now he is PM?
      It seems much more likely that he will either:
      (a) retire mid-term if National form the government after 2011, or
      (b) retire immediately after the 2011 election if National can not form a government.

      • ianmac 8.1.1

        Nope. He must get a knighthood at all costs. He will have to do more than buy off Warners but Sir John will be goal No 3 so he will stick around even if he uses the Earthquake Act to delay the next election till maybe 2015 or so.

        • Tigger 8.1.1.1

          Fisi, Key’s going to be PM for 13 years but soon to be sir? So he’ll give himself a knighthood while he’s still PM…? Bwhahahahaha – I mean travel perks are one thing but granting yourself a title, that’s a whole new level of troughing.

    • Joe Bloggs 8.2

      I thought this was great:
      Trevor Mallard says Gordon Campbell has a great post on the Hobbit:
      http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/10/28/gordon-campbell-on-the-hobbit-deal/

      Following the link I happen to read in the midst of Campbell’s post:
      Incidentally, it has been incredible to hear the same Trevor Mallard who flung money at the America’s Cup and caved into the IRB’s commercial demands for draconian legislation to protect the Rugby World Cup, now accusing John Key of caving into Warners. The hypocrisy is breath-taking.
      http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/10/28/gordon-campbell-on-the-hobbit-finale/#more-1002

      Frakkin’ hilarious – Yes Trev it is a great post – hits one particular nail right on its head!

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        Bloggs – Campbell makes a point, which also means that you must agree with his final conclusion:

        Instead, the structure of the settlement deal for The Hobbit means that the same negative mindset – and the same undue reliance on Jackson – will be perpetuated. Rather than raise New Zealand’s 15% level of production subsidies to 20 % – and thus protect our ability to compete for projects – the government has concocted a de facto 20% deal and reserved it exclusively for The Hobbit. This will virtually ensure that next time round, major film projects that are not umbilically tied to Jackson will be lost elsewhere. What Key has done is to increase our dependence on Peter Jackson. It is no way to build an industry, or run an economy.

        Key really has no idea what he is doing – unless his plan was to create legislation specifically to suit one Sir Peter Jackson.

  9. Fisiani 10

    Wanna bet which way the next lots of polls goes? The people will fall for the Labour/Green bullshit and get labour up to 40% and Phil up to 25% . Really??? John Key has already earned a knighthood.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Love how the Right admires the trappings of aristocracy and money. What is it, a demonstration of (upper class) societal legitimacy?

      • Steve Withers 10.1.1

        Colonial Viper: The *need* for titles and status is a manifestation of insecurity in my view. It’s the same insecurity that underlies much ‘conservative’ thinking….especially around property rights (afraid of losing it). This is part of the reason why fear is such a visceral thing for many conservatives. Combine that fear with a strong sense of one self and what I see as a lower level of regard for others. In a word: selfish. Not evil….just engrossed in their own view of things and less likely to want to listen to or know much about any other.

        In contrast, I’ve found people who aren’t afraid of much of anything and who aren’t in need of status or titles tend to also be more generous and giving and sharing. They like to listen. They consider the views of others and show respect for all. The outcome of that sort of behaviour, to me, is these people tend to not be conservatives. Conservatives look at them and call them “liberals”…which I interpret as being more open to others and free of thought, which can be a source of insecurity for people who don’t do that much. Full circle.

        Of course these are gross generalisations and will certainly be inaccurate and unfair in many specific cases. But as a model or rule of thumb for initial assessment they can be very useful.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Yep your model explains a heck of a lot of the behaviours and responses you get from people in real life.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2

          Of course these are gross generalisations and will certainly be inaccurate and unfair in many specific cases. ut as a model or rule of thumb for initial assessment they can be very useful.

          And backed by decades of research.

    • Irascible 10.2

      With Key and his NACT govt forgetting that their combined party name contained the word “Nation” and, therefore dropping it from their reference, we will need to refer to the party as AlACT. The Al standing for “Absent Leader”.
      Ironically it can refer to both Hawaiian holidaying Key and Fiancee globetrotter Hide as well as representing the sellout policies of the party.

      • M 10.2.1

        No different to Bush who was always vacationing somewhere in case someone pushed a mike under his nose and expected a coherent thought. Coherency was left to Uncle Cheney – suppose the uncle role is fulfilled by Blinglish here.

        Key’s undisguised lust for a title is embarrassing but then he parked his dignity at the door a long time ago.

  10. outofbed 11

    A prediction… If Mat does well in Mana .We can look forward to seeing a new leftwing political party emerge in the new year led by Sue Bradford. You heard it here first

  11. Pascal's bookie 12

    An account of an encounter with a certain viscount at an Oxford Union Debate:

    http://blogs.ft.com/rachmanblog/2010/10/a-night-at-the-oxford-union/

    The viscount is an interesting character. He once worked in the policy unit at Number Ten under Lady Thatcher and is now deputy leader of the anti-European UK Independence Party. More recently he has become famous as a vociferous climate-change sceptic and for fighting a Quixotic campaign to gain entrance into the House of Lords. I was seated opposite him at the pre-debate dinner, and initially I found his conversation rather unsettling: a blizzard of statistics and anecdotes on everything from climate to Europe, all delivered with supreme confidence and a slight gleam in the eye.

    I began to think that Viscount Monckton might be a formidable opponent during the debate. Then he told me that he has discovered a new drug that is a complete cure for two-thirds of known diseases – and that he expects it to go into clinical trials soon. I asked him whether his miracle cure was chiefly effective against viruses or bacterial diseases? “Both”, he said, “and prions”. At this point I felt a little more relaxed about the forthcoming debate.

    As they say, heh. Indeedy.

    • prism 12.1

      Sounds like one of PG Wodehouse’s characters. He loved to write about well-rounded eccentric men with aristocratic connections. He probably would have introduced Lord Monckton with a side (snide) comment that he used to be called Monkey at his public school.

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