Open mike 31/07/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 31st, 2016 - 116 comments
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116 comments on “Open mike 31/07/2016”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1

    I want to pose a problem for a Sunday to commentators on the Standard.

    We need a philosophy and a political ideology which will take us into the 21st century and hopefully cope with the enormous problems facing mankind.

    George Monboit hinted in a lecture that some sort of idea was being formulated and will be broadcast next year. Until that happens – some thoughts:

    Neoliberalism is discredited and dead.

    Socialism may be able to take its place, but we cannot have infinite growth in a finite world.

    So any ideology will have to aim at equality without growth, economic justice without any skewering of the rewards. Such a philosophy must allow for human initiative and endeavour without the financial payment.

    Such a philosophy must motivate people to make the potentially enormous sacrifices which will be required if we are to combat climate change; must eliminate greed at a motivating force, yet encourage entrepreneurship!

    I can’t get my head round all the parameters of such a philosophy, except to be convinced that we are in desperate need of something political to believe in!

    Your thoughts?

    • BM 1.1

      A dictatorship is what we’re after.

    • Ad 1.2

      I’m not trying to be annoying, but you would have to admit to current capitalism’s successes – as well as its failures – first off. Ain’t no refugee boats heading from Italy to Libya. Our current form of capitalisms’ capacity for wealth acceleration has been better for more of the world’s people than democracy.

      Capitalism also generates its own crises through its own accumulative speed and consuming volumes. Also, unemployment, pollution, extreme inequalities, and world environmental destruction.

      After that, a successor system theory would need a few things before you could really imagine something completely outside what we have:

      – It should be concrete enough to see how it might work in practice

      – It should be able to look back, learning from gains and errors of other earlier efforts

      – It should illuminate the features and limitations of current reform movements and party platforms

      – It should outline transitional strategies to get from ‘here’ to ‘there’.

      That’s not a philosophy. But it’s the jungle-gym you’d need to start something.

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Ain’t no refugee boats heading from Italy to Libya.

        That’s because capitalism destroyed Libya.

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-destruction-of-libya-the-destabilization-of-a-nation-us-nato-crimes-against-humanity/5437027

        Paul Mason. Post capitalism.

        • Ad 1.2.1.1

          Paul Mason’s book is not a bad place to start on this field.
          Has a bit more oomph than ‘why can’t we all just be good people?’

          The last chapters have some sketchy ideas on where it could go – far more helpful than that little milquetoast Monbiot.

      • Ad – “capitalisms’ capacity for wealth acceleration” .v. ” world environmental destruction.”
        Y’gotta take a balanced view, eh!

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        I’m not trying to be annoying, but you would have to admit to current capitalism’s successes – as well as its failures – first off.

        Ah, but were those successes due to capitalism or socialism?

        I think you’ll find that it has more to do with the socialism after WWII than with capitalism. The capitalism of the 19th century increased poverty and we’re seeing the same thing happening again now that similar laissez-faire policies are being re-enacted.

        And then there’s the fact that people like being challenged, like creating new tools and generally making the world a better place. Capitalism actually needs that desire of people so that it can be exploited by the bludgers – the capitalists.

        Put in place the necessary support systems (education, resources) and I’m sure that we’ll get the same, if not better, development and we’ll do it without rich people and the poverty that they bring about.

    • Penny Bright 1.3

      ‘Roll back Rogernomic$’.

      The mantra upon which neo-liberal ‘Rogernomic$’ was based, is ‘public is bad – private is good’.

      There was no evidence provided to substantiate this myth, either before this neo-liberal model was forced upon us – or since.

      In my considered opinion, this ‘commercialise – corporatise – PRIVATISE’ model has been the root cause of significant ‘grand’ corruption, locally, nationally and internationally.

      In my view, the only ones who have benefited from local and central government services being run in a more ‘business-like’ way, are those businesses which have been awarded the contracts.

      In my view, it is the public majority – not the corporate minority, who should benefit from tax and rate payers’ public monies.

      The first step?

      OPEN THE BOOKS!

      Everywhere that local and central government uses private sector consultants and contractors – ensure the Public Records Act 2005 is implemented and enforced, and the following information is made available for public scrutiny:

      The unique contract number.

      The name of the consultant / contractor.

      A brief description of the scope of the contract.

      The contract start and finish dates.

      The exact dollar value of every contract including those sub-contracted.

      How the contract was awarded – by direct appointment or public tender.

      Make this information publicly accessible under ‘Procurement – Awarded Contracts’ on the front page of each and every local government / CCO / central government / SOE / Crown Entity that spends public money on private sector consultants and contractors.

      That is STEP ONE…..

      Penny Bright
      2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • weka 1.4

      Bloody good question Tony. Can I put that up as a post?

      For me the philosophy (philosophies) already exist. I see them in Green politics, not so much the front end stuff that we see in something like the NZ Green Party that has to operate pragmatically within a neoliberal/patriarchal dominated culture, but in the deeper aspects. I can see it in the kauapa of the Greens (eg in their charter) and trace lines back to the Values Party work done in the 70s where sustainability and social justice were married (it also goes back much further than that). I also see lines coming from many other philosophies esp for me the understandings that come out of indigenous cultures where you also see a similar marriage of valuing people and valuing the land.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1.4.1

        Feel free.

        It seems to me that we are all searching for a political philosophy or ideology which will address the issues facing us all. Sure as hell capitalism is not the answer. Socialism may be (my preference) but how to sell it is the problem. And how to sustain it in the face of some determined (monied) opposition – well!

        What I had hoped for from my original comment was some ideas, some concepts, some suggestions, but the original idea, apart from a couple of comments, got sidetracked.

        So a major post exploring ideas on which we can hang some unifying concepts and philosophies would, I think, be welcome.

        • Pat 1.4.1.1

          given the nature of the challenges we will have to confront from hereon in I suspect the only practical option will be some form of technocracy

    • The Lone Haranguer 1.5

      NeoLiberalism may well be discredited, and maybe it smells dead, but you would be foolish to believe that it actually was dead.

      Mrs Clinton is about to try and ride it around the block at least one more time, and her big bankers dont seem to have heard of this “death” which you mentioned.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1.5.1

        Yes, there’s many a kick in the corpse yet, as we shall find to our cost if HRC gets to be POTUS!

    • Murray Simmonds 1.6

      Tony:

      Its worth taking a look at Tim Jackson’s book “Prosperity without Growth – ecomomics for a finite planet” if you are interested in alternatives to the current recipe for disaster that dominates Western (and more recently, Chinese) contemporary political-economic thinking.

      Monbiot is on the right track, of course but Jackson takes the argument a lot further.

  2. Penny Bright 2

    FYI

    I’ve just spent 26 minutes listening to this expose of the revolving door between the Pentagon and USA ‘military/ industrial complex’.

    Names are named – it’s ‘political dynamite’!

    PLEASE SHARE.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Ad 2.1

      I think Eisenhower beat you to it, just after World War Two.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.

      • Penny Bright 2.1.2

        Seems that Eisenhower was dead damn right – the information in this You Tube clip is a bit more recent.

        Penny Bright
        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • alwyn 2.1.3

        ” just after World War Two”
        God how fast time seems to pass. At this distance it probably does seem to be “just after”.
        It was in fact about fifteen and a half years after the end of WW2, as the speech was made on 17January 1961, just before he ceased to be President.
        Great speech though, given by the most underrated President of the 20th century. It is still worth reading and still relevant.
        http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html

  3. Ad 3

    One of the biggest pains in the ass is this idea of “revolution”. I can almost guarantee that the coup would have worked in Turkey if they hand’t bombed Parliament.

    Bernie Sanders used the word like it was a colonic. He didn’t want to define it; it was simply a verbal stand-in for ‘huge change fast’. Better known as ‘Magic Fairy Dust’.

    The old leftie idea form the 20th century of military insurrection should be taken out the back and buried in the offal pit. Democracy itself is going backwards fairly fast – that’s what reformist movements need to defend if they’re going for structural change.

    Again, I know this is more instrumental thinking rather than end-goal fresh ideology, but it’s a biggie that needs permanently squelching.

    • Olwyn 3.1

      Bernie Sanders used the word like it was a colonic. He didn’t want to define it; it was simply a verbal stand-in for ‘huge change fast’… Well, that is one of the ways in which the word “revolution” is used – the introduction of Thatcherism has also been described in such terms. Bernie has often said “we need to get the public good back to the centre of politics” which is what he seemed to have in mind in his use of the word.

      You use the term “capitalism” in a rather general way yourself, when what people are mostly concerned about is capitalism in its current form. I see it as an analogous to soviet communism. In the soviet case, a bunch of statist bureaucrats determined that things had to be organised so that capitalism could not get a foothold. In post-Thatcher capitalism a bunch of financiers, speculators and managers have sought to organise things so that socialism cannot get a foothold. Both involve a segment of society deciding that their interests trump those of everyone else, a state of affairs which is not conducive to the broader public good. It may take something like a counter-revolution to Thatcher/Reagan/Douglas’s one in order to address the many problems that their revolution has generated.

    • ianmac 4.1

      And all done with a funding stranglehold Sabine. Maybe it is a plot to force National Radio to become funded by advertising. National have said that this should happen, so they force RNZ to its fiscal knees.

    • Robertina 4.2

      The headline on that story is wrong*. It’s impossible to say it’s a ratings resurgence. It’s the first time in 17 years that RNZ has been included in that survey.
      This will feed the perception that the shift to a more commercial model has widened the audience. And that it can continue to be starved of funding by the RNZ-loathing National Party.
      Personally there are things I quite like about the commercial tone such as the shift to more aggressive interviewing, and things that aren’t good, such as making a leading science journalist redundant.
      There is major change afoot at a public broadcaster with no public consultation, no transparency, and a pretence that because ”platforms” are changing, the ”content” must also change. Only in New Zealand.

      *Media consultant Tim Murphy said commercial stations probably always knew RNZ had a larger audience.

      • Garibaldi 4.2.1

        To put it mildly ,Paul Thompson is no left winger, going by his record at Fairfax.

        • Robertina 4.2.1.1

          Yep, among other things regional coverage at Fairfax was decimated under his watch.
          And this morning on MediaWatch he kept referring to the ”media eco-system”.

          To clarify my comment above, I certainly don’t see ”aggressive interviewing” as the province of commercial media, but RNZ had become staid and uncertain. I’m enjoying its sense of purpose and advocacy in political and social coverage.
          While Guyon Espiner is too quick to make his mind up about particular stories, his style and grasp of facts is good and has really helped Morning Report.

          • Garibaldi 4.2.1.1.1

            True about Guyon but I have no time for Sleazey Fergusson. Thank goodness for John Campbell – he has injected some life back into Natrad in the afternoon/evening.

            • weston 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh i dunno cambell comes accross as too damn friendly to me when he interviews someone and its a serious issue he sounds like hes gonna give them a big slobbery kiss !! Better than mary sure ..her greatest problem was she never seemed to vary her go for the jugular style wouldnt have mattered if it was attilla the hun she was interviewing or mother teresa .

    • Gangnam Style 5.1

      “Left wing”? Don’t make me laugh.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      I note that you are citing the reported opinions of a sub-set of anti-Corbyn UKLP MPs and pretending the Left is a hive mind. Projecting much?

      • Gangnam Style 5.2.1

        Meanwhile in NZ under a right wing Govt http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/79934298/Beehive-extends-Southern-District-Health-Board-commissioner-team-to-2019 no democracy for us in the south, how far does your concern go James?

        • BM 5.2.1.1

          According to one of the comments Labour voted for this extension.

          Democracy in action

          • Gangnam Style 5.2.1.1.1

            “Labour did it tooooooooooooooooooo” want some crackers with that wine? National are the Govt of the day, so own it.

            • James 5.2.1.1.1.1

              No – what he is saying is that Labour voted the same was as National on this at the same time. Something that you were saying was undemocratic.

              What BM was pointing out is that this is democracy in action.

              But given the Dem in the US and Labour in the Uk – I can see how a leftie can be getting confused about what a democratic process is.

              Anyway – do you have anything to add to the discussion on the link I posted ?

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.2

            According to one of the comments Labour voted for this extension.

            [citation needed]

            And, no, that’s not how democracy works. Democracy works when everyone has a say rather than just a few at the top of the pile.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Hansard confirms it. They tried to get an amendment writing the actual date of the election into the bill. National voted it down.

        • Stuart Munro 5.2.1.2

          You will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

      • James 5.2.2

        I sure you can point me to many links showing how the left are extremely happy with the democratic process they are running in the UK Leadership race?

        The Corbyn activist have been treated extremely fairly and the party have done everything possible to ensure that it is a fair and even contest right?.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.2.1

          So in direct contradiction to your original smear that “the Left” “aren’t big on democracy”, you now seem to be saying that “the Left” is fighting for democracy…

          When you have a coherent narrative, you won’t be a right winger any more.

    • Paul 5.3

      The Blairites are right wing.
      I thought you would have known that.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      The Blairites are about as Left-wing as John Key.

  4. Gangnam Style 6

    2 views in yesterdays ODT…

    Regarding Todd McClay –

    “The Opposition tried to paint the political failings of the minister into a story about the failure of the Government to take the threats of a trade war seriously. But the facts did not support the claim. Mr Key had been kept in the dark by Mr McClay.” – Audrey Young

    &

    “Trade Minister Todd McClay initially denied any knowledge of such threats as did Prime Minister John Key. But then Mr McClay “remembered”, after “checking overnight”, that he had been briefed by his officials about it the previous week, while he was in China. Now we are told officials have been looking into it for months, & the Prime Ministers department knew of it but despite its importance, didn’t brief Mr Key (yeah right!)” – CIVIS.

  5. Chooky 7

    shouldnt the date in the heading be 31st?

  6. Ad 8

    A test for you:

    http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz

    Note there are options to complete many more questions, in the lower tab on each section.

    I came out preferring Hillary, but Stein was a close run thing.

    • BM 8.1

      I got Donald Trump and I was a bit of this, bit of that, policy wise.

      http://www.isidewith.com/elections/2016-presidential/2480200662

      This site could be a bit of a vote winner for Trump

    • ianmac 8.2

      Came out 95% Stein and Clinton.
      Should try the reverse psychology thing of choosing the opposite of what I actually think!

    • b waghorn 8.3

      Stein for me but it gave 96% for her and Clinton

    • swordfish 8.4

      98% Stein.

      Try this … http://www.celebritytypes.com/personality-tests.php

      Take the Political Test to find your ideological co-ordinates

      Take the Presidential Test to discover, crucially, which former US President your personality most resembles.

      • Colonial Viper 8.4.1

        Sigh…I came up with frickin Obama

        • swordfish 8.4.1.1

          😎 😎 😎 Suggests you’re a bit of a charismatic, silver-tongued lothario, CV 😎 😎 😎

          I appear to have James Madison tendencies (albeit on just 3 of the 5 dimensions, I notice). I like to think I’m also just a little bit Woodrow Wilson, a little bit Dwight D Eisenhower and a whole lot Ulysses S Grant.

          • Anne 8.4.1.1.1

            I appear to have James Madison tendencies.
            Me too. Have to do a google and find out more about him.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.4.2

        I did the morality test6 on that page.

        • swordfish 8.4.2.1

          Cheers, Draco. I have very similar scores to you on 4 of the 6 dimensions.

      • Ad 8.4.3

        On that political one, I was between Obama and Bill Clinton.

        On the Presidential one, I was very similar to Obama.

    • swordfish 8.5

      Of course, to take your isidewith test seriously, Ad, we’d all have to assume that Clinton’s policy programme really will turn out, in reality, to be virtually synonymous with Stein’s. That, for example, Hillary really is genuinely opposed to TPP.

      Seems, you know, just a little unlikely …

      • Colonial Viper 8.5.1

        Oh come now Swordfish, Clinton may have had a genuine ‘road to Damascus’ moment just before the DNC Convention, like so many seem to want her to have had.

        Ahem.

      • One Two 8.5.2

        Indeed

        With the list of paid bribes taken directly and indirectly by Hillary and Bill, there is slim to no chance of Hillary being opposed to the TPP

        Still, there are many who enjoy being lied to, made hypocrites of being ‘anti TPP’ while at the same time ‘pro Hillary’

        Pathological liars are not to be trusted

    • weka 8.6

      98% Stein, now there’s a surprise 😉

  7. Halfcrown 9

    I don’t normally recommend books to other people as we all have our own reading tastes. However if you want to read how a down and out got himself up off the ground I suggest reading “A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen and the assistance he got from an unexpected source.

    The bit that got to me was, he was describing all the different unfortunates trying to eek a living on the streets of London outside The Angel Islington Tube Station. Funny that I thought, as it reminded me of a book I had many years ago written by Henry Mayhew in the 1800’s describing all the different characters trying to live off the streets of London.
    We have definitely gone back at least a 100 years in our care and welfare as a society, after reading how this unfortunate became as he said “a non person” It also has hope for the future, and as much as Thatcher said “there was no such thing as society” there is, with a lot of caring people out there from all walks of life.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      We have definitely gone back at least a 100 years in our care and welfare as a society

      And rapidly heading further back under the neo-liberal paradigm. If we continue we will be full on feudal within a few decades.

  8. Lanthanide 10

    A few weeks ago (search is broken so I can’t find it) I made a comment about farming being a sunset industry.

    More evidence: http://www.newshub.co.nz/environmentsci/beef-substitute-set-to-take-on-meat-industry-2016073017#axzz4FsEWyvFn

  9. adam 11

    I hope h.r.c can keep the voter suppression and fraud going. She is going to need it.

  10. UncookedSelachimorpha 12

    Excellent opinion piece from Jeremy Corbyn in the Grauniad today, on strengthening worker’s rights.

    A lot of the problems he describes are entrenched in NZ. I hope he becomes Britain’s next PM – could set a good example for New Zealand to follow.

  11. fisiani 13

    When the next opinion poll shows support for National is over 50% will that be considered yet another rogue poll? How high will the figure have to go till the penny drops that most people are happy.

    • Paul 13.1

      Are you able to discuss policy?
      Or do just discuss polls?
      Many people are not happy about the cost of housing.
      It’s just they aren’t voting at all.
      Only 33% of the adult population voted National.
      And even of these 33%, not all are happy.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        I wouldn’t do the 33% thing because it means 20% voted for Labour and 7% voted for Greens.

        • weka 13.1.1.1

          Better to be honest about it. Polls should have to include the non-vote.

          • Lanthanide 13.1.1.1.1

            Seats in parliament aren’t allocated based on the portion of the population that vote.

            Would be interesting if only 80 of the 120 seats were filled, though.

            • left for dead 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Would be interesting if only 80 of the 120 seats were filled, though..

              that Lan is a delicious idea, good one.

    • weston 13.2

      Bronagh will prob do the next one

    • North 13.3

      Rank stupidity from The Fizzy One so hopelessly devoted to The Effete Giggling One.

  12. fisiani 14

    http://www.roymorgan.com/morganpoll/new-zealand/nz-government-confidence

    Here are the polls that really matter. As long as the right direction remains over 50% there is no mood for change. No one is talking about income equality, universal basic incomes or the other whacky ideas of the Left. Houses are very affordable in over 90% of New Zealand (ex Auckland and Queenstown)

    • Pat 14.1

      “Houses are very affordable in over 90% of New Zealand (ex Auckland and Queenstown)”

      Your idea of “very affordable” would appear to be at odds with accepted measures

      http://www.interest.co.nz/property/house-price-income-multiples

      • fisiani 14.1.1

        Not at 4.0-4.5 which is the norm ex Auckland and Queenstown as per the figures you quote

        • Pat 14.1.1.1

          might pay to read the attached link fisi….

          “Based on this official work, it seems to have become accepted that a median multiple of 3.0 times or less is a very good marker for housing affordability.”

          NZ total 5.83
          Tauranga 6.90
          Nelson 5.80
          Wellington 5.61
          Christchurch 5.35

          and historic low interest rates to boot……you are of course incorrect again and nothing if not consistent.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      “Houses are very affordable in over 90% of New Zealand (ex Auckland and Queenstown)”

      Given that 32% of the population live in those two districts, your 90% figure is deliberately misleading.

      • fisiani 14.2.1

        “in” indicates geography. I am of course correct yet again.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          No, you’re lying by numbers yet again.

          And house prices are rising in the regions becoming unaffordable in relation to local wages there as well.

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1.1

              “Very affordable” indicates a household income multiple of 3 or under. That would be Invercargill or Wanganui.

              4 starts to become a stretch and 5 is on the very limit.

              6 is an impractical debt burden for most families.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1.1.2

              No, you’re wrong again.

              Affordable house prices are around 3 to 4 times median household income. Most of that list was above 4 times median household income, i.e, into the unaffordable. 14 out of 29 was above 5 times median household income, i.e, well into the unaffordable.

        • Lanthanide 14.2.1.2

          I said you use of the 90% figure was deliberately misleading. I didn’t say it was incorrect.

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