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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    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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