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Open Mike 07/02/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 7th, 2019 - 235 comments
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235 comments on “Open Mike 07/02/2019 ”

  1. Jenny - How to get there? 1

    The Trump speech.

    A brilliant piece of demagoguery, where the President called on the Democrats to give up their “resistance” which he painted as being motivated by “revenge” and “retaliation”.

    And the world was greeted by the unedifying spectacle of the Democrats joining in with the Republicans in chanting USA, USA, USA.

    Now you know how it was done.

    Germany, Germany, Germany

    • Andre 1.1

      Rick Santorum doesn’t agree with you.


      (if Santorum doesn’t mean anything to you, and you’re nowhere near food or drink or anything breakable, google him)

    • Gosman 1.2

      That is a tradition in the US and it was in relation to the mention of tge record numbers if women elected to congress.

    • rata 1.3

      @Jenny. You are clearly a Germany supporter.
      Barracking for your own team is good.
      So who won the game USA or Germany?

      • Morrissey 1.3.1

        The U.S.S.R. won it in the Second World War. In spite of Stalin’s insane purging of his generals during the war.

        • rata

          Jo actually got rid of most of his officers before WW2.
          But your right U.S.S.R. won the 2nd WW.
          Britain got beat in 1940 in France and only came back
          in 1944 when it was all over.
          The USA came in late in 1944 too like
          they did late in the 1st WW in 1917.
          But the USA still say “we won the war”.
          To be fair no one won either war.
          They all just lost millions in stupid Empire squabbles.
          To be fair they all cooperate a lot better now.
          But then they have to because the next war is the last war.

          • Morrissey

            Fair comment, rata!

          • Gosman

            While you are mostly correct about the purge of the Soviet Officer corp you are incorrect about the British and the US involvement. The US was actually involved heavily in the War in Europe from early 1942 onwards. They were fighting German forces on the ground from November of 1942.

          • Wayne

            You are ignoring the air war over Germany and the Italian campaign. The air war was exclusively a British/Commonwealth and American campaign. New Zealand had 9,000 serve in Bomber Command. Over 3,000 were killed. No other arena of war has been more dangerous for New Zealanders, not even the Western Front or Gallipoli.

            I would have though the contribution from the western allies and from Russian WW2 would be basically equal. The number of casualties is not the only measure in warfare. It is also about about access to resources, and the mobilisation of nations. The air war seriously affected all of that for Germany.

            The allies can say they won the war. a global war hasn’t happened since, and most of humankind has benefitted from that fact. Would China, and Asia general been able to grow without the general peace? East Asia has not had a war since the Vietnam war ended nearly 45 years ago.

            • rata

              The allied bombing of Germany was largely ineffectual
              until 1944 when Germany had no planes left.
              The Italian and North African campaigns were irrelevant.
              The U.S.S.R. won the war.

              • Rata:

                The allied bombing of Germany was largely ineffectual
                until 1944 when Germany had no planes left.

                The 43,000 residents of Hamburg killed in just three days of bombing in 1943 would no doubt beg to differ, were they alive to do so.


                No other arena of war has been more dangerous for New Zealanders…

                Not as dangerous as for the civilians they were dropping incendiary bombs on, though…

                • Wayne


                  Yes, the 8th airforce got hammered in early 1943. It wasn’t until the Mustang arrived that fighter cover could be provided for the bombers throughout their missions.

                • Wayne

                  Psycho Milt,

                  I agree that bombing campaign was brutal on the German cities and the people. So was just about all of WW2 in Europe, especially eastern Europe.

                  The bombing campaign was effectively the only way for the western allies to take the fight to Germany in the 3 years prior to Normandy. What were the US and the UK to do? Nothing?

                  In the nature of WW2 they had to fight back against Nazi Germany with the only means they had.

                  • Gosman

                    There is an argument that the resources involved in the Strategic bombing campaign could have been better employed elsewhere . One of the reasons the Allies abandoned Churchill’s proposed attacks on the “soft underbelly” of the Third Reich in the Mediterranean was because they lacked sufficient landing craft for that AND and invasion of France. Focusing more on troop ships and support craft and less on Strategic bombers may have allowed the Allies to invade Yugoslavia and the rest of the Balkan rather than slogging their way up the Italian peninsular. That stated the Strategic bombing campaign forced the Germans to keep key Luftwaffe assets in Germany rather than use them closer to where the ground fighting was occurring so it did have an impact in that regard.

                  • In the nature of WW2 they had to fight back against Nazi Germany with the only means they had.

                    The people responsible certainly thought so. Everybody has reasons for the things they do, including WW2 Nazis. My point was that we shouldn’t call the UK’s strategic bombing campaign “largely ineffectual,” because the mass murder of civilians is (or should be) very significant.

              • Exkiwiforces

                Would you be kind to source your reference to your claim?

                I know the US 8th USAAC was almost blasted out of the sky Galland’s Jagerwaffe (Fighters) before the Fat one asset striped the Jagerwaffe for the Kursk Offensive in 1943 and there by denying Jagerwaffe of any day fighters, reserve fighters to make the killing blow on the 8th USAAC and training of new Jagerwaffe pilots in Defence of the Third Reich and the fourth coming 2nd Front (D Day) in 1944.

                RAF Bomber Command was starting to make inroads into the 3rd Reichs war production until Herr Speer created sub factories for vital war products and which these finally collapsed once Allied Forces were inside Germany itself.

              • Gosman

                The Allies made more ground between July 1944 and April 1945 than the Soviets did. The went from Caen in Normandy all the way to the river Elbe in the heart of what became known as East Germany. The only reason they didn’t get to Berlin before the Soviets is because they were stopped by the politicians who had allocated the surrounds of Berlin to the Soviet Union.

                • In Vino

                  Gosman and Wayne: you are both wrong. Roughly 80% of Hitler’s war effort went against the East. End of story – stop equivocating about minor aspects.
                  The Russians suffered, took, absorbed and overcame 80% – and reaped the rewards of victory. Stalingrad was the most deadly single battle in human history, and there were many other battles that dwarfed El Alamein, or Monte Cassino, or Bastogne.The Western allies were never really going to beat the two huge Russian armies to Berlin, even though they had an easier time because Hitler sent the main strength of his forces against Russia. Look more closely.
                  The USA coped with much less less than 20% of Hitler’s war effort, because they were not even in the war when Hitler devoted a good bit of that 20% to invading France, Belgium, Holland etc etc and sending the British exiting ignominiously from Dunkirk. When he launched the attack against Russia he basically turned his attention away from the West.
                  Stop distorting history. You are turning it into bunk.

                  • The Russians suffered, took, absorbed and overcame 80% – and reaped the rewards of victory.

                    Yep – one of the totalitarian regimes that started WW2 got to reap the rewards of victory. There are few happy endings in history.

        • Exkiwiforces

          Actually Uncle Jo almost got the boot from the Politburo in early 42 when the Stavka aka the Generals threatened to overthrow Uncle Jo after his micro management in Soviet Military Affairs in 41 and hell even Beria was going to back the Generals. As the Generals want to adopt the age old Russia Military tactic of trading space and time, as they have done for centuries. As Uncle Jo wanted to defend everything and if the Soviet Generals didn’t get their way, then it likely Uncle Jo would’ve had sweet bugger all in the long run.

          Anyway Uncle Jo let the Soviet Generals get on with fighting old Jerry in the end, unlike Herr Hitler’s micro management of the OKW and OKH. Which if Herr Hitler had’ve let his Military Command get on with the fighting in stead of micro management he might still have his Thousand Yr Reich.

          The Soviet Forces didn’t really get going until 1944 until they hit old Jerry where it hurts with Operation Bagratian. Which collapsed whole of the Eastern Front when Herr Hitler’s Army Group Centre was destroyed and Herr Hitler’s micro management of the OKW and OKH left him with no major reserves at theatre level after the battle of Kursk in 1943 and you had even sayafter the defeat of the 6th Army at Stalingrad in early 43 that Herr Hitler had no theatre reserve from that point on depending on one’s POV.

          • Psycho Milt

            Which if Herr Hitler had’ve let his Military Command get on with the fighting in stead of micro management he might still have his Thousand Yr Reich.

            Never even a remote possibility. The Jerries were about as outmatched against the USSR as Japan was against the USA. Their surprise attack was a lot more successful than Japan’s, but same deal in the end – if you come at the king, you better not miss.

            • Gosman

              The Germans could easily had taken the Soviet Union if they had not made some fundamental errors in strategic direction and were able to focus their entire War effort against them. The difference in the War economies of the two nations were not as great as some people made out. The only real major differences in the the numbers was in Artillery in which the Soviets had a massive advantage (hence why their later attacks in the War were designed around massive bombardments).

              • adam

                Magical thinking, but then again coming from you Gossy you tired ideological hack. I’m not surprised you worship nazies.

                • Gosman

                  How am I worshiping Nazi’s? This is a discussion on the contributions to victory in Europe during WWII. It has nothing to do with the pros and cons of the various combatant nations or the ideology behind their rulers.

              • The Germans could easily had taken the Soviet Union if they had not made some fundamental errors in strategic direction…

                It’s not obvious how. The Axis forces were outnumbered, outgunned, lacking the required transport capability, incapable of fighting in winter and consistently never produced enough equipment, fuel, ammunition or reinforcements to make up their losses. The surprise attack in 1941 was as near as they got.

                • McFlock

                  Once the Soviets had reorganised, yes, the Nazis were screwed.

                  But there are a few factors that bought the Soviets time and space to do that: as XKF points out, the redirection of Central to the south; the intelligence delivered to the Soviets that the Japanese weren’t headed north, so the Siberian divisions could be redirected to the support of Moscow; and the patent lack of preparation by the Nazis for coldweather operations.

                  Any one of those factors turned on a dime and could have resulted in the capture of Moscow and the resulting organisational dis-integration of the Soviet forces and infrastructure. It’s a major weakness of central planning. Even an eastwards relocation of the Soviet high command would have caused massive organisational disruption.

                  • They had all the time they needed. The great bulk of the German forces (not sure about the other Axis forces but assume little difference) invaded Russia on foot with horse-drawn artillery, the same as Napoleon’s did. Taking Moscow would have been no better for them than it was for him.

                    • McFlock

                      But they did have locomotives to aid the resupply, while Napoleon did not. And the impact of losing the Moscow industrial base (and transport hub) would have made life even more difficult in Leningrad.

                      Nazi victory might not have been a slam-dunk, but nor was it initially assured for the Soviets.

                    • They had locomotives and rail stock that were the wrong gauge for use on the USSR’s rail system, yes. They did capture some Soviet kit and eventually retrofitted some of their own, but logistics were a huge problem for them as soon as they crossed the border and the bulk of their forces moved at walking pace.

                      Western and Russian historians tend to mythologise the capability of the Wehrmacht because it’s less embarrassing for their countries that way, but the Jerries were running short of everything within weeks of the invasion, were still facing Soviet forces greater in number and better equipped than themselves and still had no capability to fight in cold weather. Basically they were screwed.

                    • Yep. It’s like they learned nothing from Napolean. I’ve been to a park south west of Moscow where the Nazis were stopped. Still had tank traps sticking out of the ground. There were thousands of dead beneath my feet; it still brings me a chill. As an aside, when I went to Red Square, there was a huge pile of flowers in front of Stalin’s slot in the Kremlin wall. The old people remember him as the guy that stopped the Nazis, not the guy that fucked the revolution.

                    • In Vino

                      McFlock and PM – you are both right. Hitler thought that Russia was a rotten structure. His idea was, if I remember rightly, Kick in the door and the whole house will crash down. He came frighteningly close to proving it when he nearly took Moscow.
                      But failed.
                      His next vital point was taking Stalingrad – the most deadly single battle ever fought in terms of human casualties. But by now the Russians were indeed churning out military equipment from factories that they had painfully transplanted to the East beyond the Urals while Hitler was threatening Moscow earlier..
                      The surprise Russian armies well-equipped with tanks that cut off the German 6th Army in Stalingrad were a total surprise to Hitler, and from there on, PM is right. The Russians had more of everything.

                    • The Soviets had more of everything from day one, which was a surprise to the Wehrmacht from day one. The myth of the ill-equipped Red Army standing up to the overwhelming might of the Wehrmacht is exactly that, a myth.

                    • Yep. It’s like they learned nothing from Napolean.

                      Hubris. They had very poor intelligence about the Soviet order of battle, but assumed that what they did know was the extent of what there was to know. So, if you’re under the impression the Red Army isn’t all that much larger than yours, is less well equipped and can be taken by surprise, you might be tempted to indulge in fantasies of a crushing sudden blow and everybody home again by Christmas. Every time it turns out I planned a project pretty badly, I remind myself that at least I haven’t sent over a million men into combat in sub-zero temperatures wearing summer clothes.

                    • In Vino

                      Hmmm – maybe so,,, but for 2 years the Wehrmacht surrounded and subdued huge Russian armies. Only the introduction of Eastern troops (after Stalin knew that Japan would not attack) saved Moscow – plus the early arrival of a severely cold winter.
                      Even after failing to take Moscow, the drive to the Volga seemed logical, but by that time Russia was already out-producing Germany. As I remember, Germany did not achieve its full military production until some time in 1944 – far too late.

                      Not such a myth, as Hitler, fortunately, misjudging things. I understand his increasing medications did not help.

                    • McFlock

                      Not just Soviet production, either – millions of tonnes of supplies and weaponry went through the Arctic Convoys. Capturing Moscow would have severly disrupted Soviet north/south logistics.

                      And then apparently Stalin was in a fit of depression and was refusing to leave – if that was his genuine “do or die” line that would have made things more difficult for the Soviets – a power struggle at the same time as a dark period in a hot war.

                      But that gets into weirder alternative-history stuff. It’s just interesting to me how many things in history and warfare come down to luck – another lesson from Napoleon 🙂

                    • I think the idea that the invaders could have captured Moscow is fantasy. The relevant divisions (ie the mechanised ones) had been in combat for months and had crossed a huge distance by western European standards. They were under-strength, short of everything, the equipment was in dire need of maintenance and the people were exhausted. Chances of taking Moscow with those divisions = 0.

            • Exkiwiforces

              Have you read any of the English versions of OKW and OKH Operations Orders from WW2.

              They make for some interesting reading if Herr Hitler had kept his bloody fingers out of any Military decision and these is a bloody case to put forward if Herr Hitler had gone for Mediterranean strategy before he committed to a Eastern strategy.

              The invasion of the Low Countries and France could’ve been a lot worse had Herr Hitler didn’t stop the his Panzers short of Dunkirk and allowing the BEF to escape or Herr Hitler’s fatal and stupid decision to send his Panzers Sth to Kiev instead of Moscow as per the OPORD IAW OKW and OKH. As the OKW and OKH knew from their time training in Soviet Russia in the 20’s -30’s, was that Uncle Jo was control and micro management freak. So thereby taking out Moscow would’ve or could’ve collapsed the Soviet System and that’s before we start taking about Herr Hitler’s racist policy towards the White Russians, Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Russia.

              Even Herr Hitler’s domestic policy’s IRT’s war production, food or raw materials etc and d the lack formation of any strategic reserve for the OKW or within OKH and the Fat One’s beloved OKL doesn’t make any sense. When you compare it with the UK’s domestic policy’s IRT war production in WW2.

              • Gosman

                The Germans could have defeated the Soviet Union if they had invaded earlier in 1941 or if they had focused their offensive capabilities better in 1942 and not lost sight of the Strategic bigger picture. They were definately on the back foot post 1943 but even then there were opportunities early on to force a tactical victory if they had managed to create a stalemate condition and win key battles (e.g. Leningrad and Kursk).

                • Exkiwiforces

                  I firmly believe if they had taken a Mediterranean option before the Russia one they would’ve been in a better position to exploit the Russia option down the track. But in say that the Russia offensive by Herr Hitler in 42 or if he captured Moscow in 41 would’ve lead to a more favourable outcome for Nazi Germany.

                  • Gosman

                    While I agree with you that it would have made sense for the Germans to pursue a Mediterranean (And Middle Eastern) strategy instead of attacking the Soviet Union in 1941 the trouble with this is that the Nazi’s had no real interest in these areas ideologically wise. Their focus was always on the East and gaining the lebensraum they felt was vital for the Germans destiny.The area involved in the Mediterranean strategy was of more interest to fascist Italy and therefore any focus from the Germans on this would have placed a strain on that alliance (not that it was very helpful for the German’s anyway). Attacking Russia at least played on the Germans strength in large offensive land forces with a very good tactical focused air-force. A Mediterranean strategy required a different focus on more flexible land forces supported and supplied by naval forces and a longer range air-force.

                • Wayne

                  It has been argued that that Crete and the Greek campaign forced a slowdown of the invasion of Russia. It seems unlikely since 3 million troops were committed to Barbarossa compared to less than 200,000 to the Greek campaign.

                  Having visited Russia, invading on June 22 was too late. It meant a little over 4 months for the Nazis to get to Moscow. It wasn’t enough time. They needed 6 months.

                  The world was fortunate that the Nazis failed.

                  • In Vino

                    Accurate maybe this time Wayne –

                    Because of the British slowly breaking the Enigma code machine, Churchill knew full well that Hitler was going to attack Russia. Churchill also knew that there was no chance of victory in committing allied troops (including NZers) to the disastrous Balkans campaign. But it did divert two German divisions from the build-up to the attack on Russia, and thereby delay that attack. We blame the incompetent Brits for our casualties in the Balkans, but it took only two German divisions to humiliate us, and we may well have contributed to the delay in Hitler’s attack on Russia. A week or two earlier, and Hitler could well have taken Moscow..
                    The possible outcome of no Balkans campaign and no humiliating losses there are very sobering.
                    I think Exkiwiforces is well clued up, and spot on.

                    • greywarshark

                      You might like this animation of the Soviets v Germany. I thought it good.

                    • Very, very good! I’m just going to have a look at the 1942 clip. Stalingrad.

                    • greywarshark

                      Glad you like it trp. Note it is creative commons – what a wonderful job they made. Also if the MORE button is pressed they have presented data under as well and helpful links. The group of people is drawn from different Europen countries and one Korean. It is a great example of joint efforts internationally.

                    • What a terrific series. It’s such a clever overview and gives a clear explanation of what both armies were trying to achieve. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the German General explaining to Hitler the need for the occasional tactical retreat. Or his Soviet counterpart, for that matter.

                    • swordfish

                      Didn’t see your comment, Grey.

                      Just posted precisely the same vids (all three – 1941, 1942, 1943/44) further below at 10:40pm in reply to Exkiwiforces (then scrolled up & saw you’d got there before me – so I deleted).

                      By sheer coincidence … I found that series for the first time just last night (and it’s not necessarily the kind of thing I’d normally be looking for). Weird how serendipity (or something roughly akin to it) happens sometimes.

          • Blazer

            Interesting fact…’in preparation for Operation Bagration, the Soviet summer offensive of 1944, the Americans sent Stalin a gift of 100,000 (yes, that’s 1 with 5 zeros behind it) Studebaker trucks. These trucks were instrumental in allowing the Soviets to carry an offensive deep into German occupied Belorussia and effectively obliterate Army Group Center, the last major German Army Group in the East, far larger than the forces opposing the Western Allies in Normandy.’-Quora.

            • joe90

              Folk seem the forget about the industrial muscle required to win a war.

              The United States delivered to the Soviet Union from October 1, 1941 to May 31, 1945 the following: 427,284 trucks, 13,303 combat vehicles, 35,170 motorcycles, 2,328 ordnance service vehicles, 2,670,371 tons of petroleum products (gasoline and oil) or 57.8 percent of the High-octane aviation fuel,[26] 4,478,116 tons of foodstuffs (canned meats, sugar, flour, salt, etc.), 1,911 steam locomotives, 66 Diesel locomotives, 9,920 flat cars, 1,000 dump cars, 120 tank cars, and 35 heavy machinery cars. Provided ordnance goods (ammunition, artillery shells, mines, assorted explosives) amounted to 53 percent of total domestic production.[26] One item typical of many was a tire plant that was lifted bodily from the Ford Company’s River Rouge Plant and transferred to the USSR. The 1947 money value of the supplies and services amounted to about eleven billion dollars.[49]


              British deliveries to the Soviet Union

              In June 1941, within weeks of the German invasion of the USSR, the first British aid convoy set off along the dangerous Arctic sea route to Murmansk, arriving in September. It carried 40 Hawker Hurricanes along with 550 mechanics and pilots of No. 151 Wing to provide immediate air defence of the port and to train Soviet pilots. The convoy was the first of many convoys to Murmansk and Archangelsk in what became known as the Arctic convoys, the returning ships carried the gold that the USSR was using to pay the US.

              By the end of 1941, early shipments of Matilda, Valentine and Tetrarch tanks represented only 6.5% of total Soviet tank production but over 25% of medium and heavy tanks produced for the Red Army.[50][51] The British tanks first saw action with the 138 Independent Tank Battalion in the Volga Reservoir on 20 November 1941.[52] Lend-Lease tanks constituted 30 to 40 percent of heavy and medium tank strength before Moscow at the beginning of December 1941.[53][54]
              British Mk III ‘Valentine’ destroyed in the Soviet Union, January 1944

              Significant numbers of British Churchill, Matilda and Valentine tanks were shipped to the USSR.[55]

              Between June 1941 and May 1945, Britain delivered to the USSR:

              3,000+ Hurricanes
              4,000+ other aircraft
              27 naval vessels
              5,218 tanks (including 1,380 Valentines from Canada)
              5,000+ anti-tank guns
              4,020 ambulances and trucks
              323 machinery trucks (mobile vehicle workshops equipped with generators and all the welding and power tools required to perform heavy servicing)
              1,212 Universal Carriers and Loyd Carriers (with another 1,348 from Canada)
              1,721 motorcycles
              £1.15bn worth of aircraft engines
              1,474 radar sets
              4,338 radio sets
              600 naval radar and sonar sets
              Hundreds of naval guns
              15 million pairs of boots

              In total 4 million tonnes of war material including food and medical supplies were delivered. The munitions totaled £308m (not including naval munitions supplied), the food and raw materials totaled £120m in 1946 index. In accordance with the Anglo-Soviet Military Supplies Agreement of 27 June 1942, military aid sent from Britain to the Soviet Union during the war was entirely free of charge.


      • Cinny 1.4.1

        Paaprakauta, I’m a bit confused, not sure what you are getting at. Can you please explain a bit more. Thanks.

  2. Gosman 2

    Open mike is so special today it has an extra n 😁

    [Fixed. My laptop has a habit of repeating Ns … MS]

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I don’t see the point of the Green Party continuing to elect Maori women as co-leaders if they are not allowed to speak on a marae! And what’s with the failure of the media and anyone here to comment on the discrimination?? I’m struggling with the notion that everyone feels it is acceptable behaviour.

    Just in case you didn’t notice, James Shaw represented the Greens at Waitangi yesterday. Or that was the impression I got from the media, so please correct me if I’m wrong. Was Marama Davidson even present? I just don’t get this weird stuff. I understand that Maori want to bring their patriarchy into the new millennium to demonstrate solidarity with the residual pakeha patriarchy, but since we are supposed to be a society based on equality of the sexes, I don’t get why everyone assumes we ought to feel it’s okay. Is bullshit really that addictive?

    If so, what actual rules or conventions bind the marae into their discrimination policy? No point honouring the Treaty unless we get public education around it!

    • veutoviper 3.1

      OK, I’ll bite as I notice that no one else has replied,

      Marama Davidson was also at Waitangi on both Tuesday and Wednesday as well as James Shaw and other Green MPs, eg Chloe Swarbrick was photoed with Ardern helping with the BBQ breakfast yesterday.

      On Tuesday, 5 February, Marama sat on the paepae with the other women, two seats along from Jacinda Ardern in the front row, during the Parliamentary representatives’ powhiri on Tuesday. She was quite visible in the live broadcasts of the speeches.

      Ardern was the only Parliamentary woman to speak in the powhiri and last year, she was the first female PM ever to do so. Both years she did so from the paepae of Te Whare Runanga on the Upper Marae at Waitangi, as the powhiri is no longer held at the lower marae, Te Tii Marae.


      I presume you know that on 5 Feb 2014, Annette Sykes and Meteria Turei were the first women to speak from the paepae in the parliamentary powhiri on the lower marae, Te Tii Marae.


      While James Shaw spoke on behalf of the Green Party on Tuesday, Marama Davidson was very much in the forefront of a hikoi yesterday, Waitangi Day itself, protesting the pollution of the Hokianga Harbour. Shaw and other Green MPs were in the hikoi but Davidson was the main speaker and leader of the hikoi apparently. So it seems that they evenly divided their representation at Waitangi with Shaw covering the more formal parliamentary duties, while Davidson covered the more politically active aspects.


      As a woman myself although not Maori*, I am pleased to see the moves towards greater participation in the Waitaingi Day formalities and similar by women; but I do not see this as a case of one dimensional patriarchy. That is far too simplistic, IMO (as are similar assumptions in relation to many other cultures and/or religions).

      I understand the reasons for the historic rules of Maori culture in respect of women being behind the males etc; but also recognise the respect etc afforded women in many other aspects of Maori culture. Women have been very much to the forefront in Maori life over the decades; for example look at the role of the Maori Women’s Welfare League and the respect and mana accorded people like Dame Whina Cooper and other women who have major leaders of fights for Maori rights and similar.

      Sometimes changes takes time, but it is obvious that it is happening. Are you aware of quite a major change to the procedures that happened this year?

      That is, it was the first time that all the Parliamentary representatives were welcomed onto the marae as one group whereas in the past, representatives of the government of the day were welcomed and had a separate earlier powhiri from the representatives of the opposition whose welcome tended to be much lower key. In addition, for the first time, politicians and dignitaries were given earpieces to hear the translated words of their hosts during the official welcome. These changes were apparently introduced by Kelvin Davis in consultation and agreement with the Waitangi hosts and appeared to work really well this year.


      * Although not Maori, I am related by marriage of cousins to Maori (including the Mahuta family) with now many younger generation Maori whanau.

      In that context, I apologise to anyone who thinks I have not represented Maori culture etc correctly and am very happy to be corrected on any of those aspects of my comment.

      PS – here is a short (c 3 mins) radio interview of Davidson on Monday re Green Party attendance at Waitangi this year, expectations and what they would be focusing on etc.


      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Excellent report, which I very much appreciate. Thanks for the time you put into it. I feel reassured. Clearly my perception of the situation was skewed too much towards cynicism – the reality you have elucidated makes us aware that improvement is occurring. 👍 😊

      • solkta 3.1.2

        Davidson covered the more politically active aspects.

        She also comes from the Hokianga. The Hikoi kaupapa was to stop the discharge of treated sewage into their harbour.

        • veutoviper

          Thanks Solkta, I probably should have covered Davidson’s connections with the Hokianga but my comment was getting longer and longer.

          Davidson actually spoke clearly about her connections and the sewage pollution (which I did mention in my para starting “While James Shaw …”) in the radio interview I linked to above and also in other bites I have heard on RNZ National news etc.

          Anything else you want to add or correct? Would really appreciate your views as I have a lot of respect for you and know you are much more connected/knowledgeable about the area, Waitangi and tikanga etc. than me.

          I hope you had a great day there yesterday – was really jealous when you said you would be spending the day there but a long way from Wellington.

    • Morrissey 3.2

      Dennis, anyone can see the gulf in mana between such strong and confident women as Josie Butler, Marama Davidson, Jacinda Ardern, and such sad male figures as Peter Paraone—who came across as particularly pathetic and wretched as he bowed to pressure and banned Josie Butler a couple of days ago.

      Your portrayal of Māori culture as a patriarchy is rather forced and stereotypical. Some might say it was a gross distortion of reality. In fact, if I didn’t know you were a serious and thoughtful fellow, I’d say it was NBR-level analysis. [1] If you want to combat patriarchy, you might start with such glaring Pakeha examples as our awful Breakfast television programs, where the brightest person on screen—Hayley Holt, Amanda Gillies—is routinely required to play the role of the simpering underling to third-raters like Daniel Faita’aua, Jack Tame, Duncan Garner and Mark Richardson.

      [1] https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/02/nbr-apologises-for-publishing-lazy-m-ori-tweet.html

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        As soon as a Maori tribe has a female chief, I’ll have no basis for complaining about their patriarchy, right? So that ball’s in the Maori court, and all we need to do is wonder how many centuries must pass until they play it.

        They could demonstrate their acceptance of the principle of gender equality anytime. A pan-tribal consensus can be declared, whenever they feel like it. My bet is that they are too addicted to traditional patriarchy to do so. So now we just need to sit tight and wait for time to prove me right.

        • Morrissey

          Come on, Dennis, you know better than that.

          The most respected Maori leader of the twentieth century was Princess Te Puea. There is no Pakeha woman that even approaches her stature.

          What was all that nonsense about Maori patriarchy?

          • Dennis Frank

            Mana isn’t the point. Nor reputation. Status is the point. Legal status, inasmuch as the Te Tiriti provides it to male chiefs in article two. Why are you so keen to have the law continue to discriminate against Maori women? Can you not see the structural sexism it incorporates?

            • solkta

              Article two does not say that Maori chiefs need to be male. In fact it talks about “all the people”.

              The second

              The Queen of England agrees to protect the chiefs, the subtribes and all the people of New Zealand in the unqualified exercise of their chieftainship over their lands, villages and all their treasures. But on the other hand the Chiefs of the Confederation and all the Chiefs will sell land to the Queen at a price agreed to by the person owning it and by the person buying it (the latter being) appointed by the Queen as her purchase agent.


              • Dennis Frank

                So is it Maori law that makes all chiefs male? If not, how do you believe their patriarchy retains a monopoly on rulership?

                • solkta

                  Maori use a consensus process that is more painful than that of the Green Party. i don’t know what this “rulership” is. It sounds like a nickname a 70s teacher would have for his ruler.

                  “If you don’t obey you will face my rulership”.

        • greywarshark

          Really Dennis you are becoming a bit sharp on Maori male/female rights. Maori don’t have to comply with what you of any Pakeha decide is right, they will decide for themselves and the females will be seeing that they have sufficient recognition and say and such things have moved as has been stated above. It is likely that Maori may feel that you are being patronising, and though many will be understanding and appreciate your interest, they would say leave these matters to us to work out in the fullness of time. There are other aspects of Maori life to be concerned about, mostly about Maori being respected by Pakeha.

      • Bazza64 3.2.2

        Hayley Holt was talking about tickling children should be banned as she was tickled as a child & traumatised by it. Wow major trauma – might need to hang out with some war veterans so she can share her trauma. At least Daniel Faita’aua told it like it is & realises that people need to stop talking such rubbish.

        • Morrissey

          I’m sorry to say I missed that particular televisual classic, Bazza.

          Tickling has rather a dark side—-according to David Farrier, anyway….

  4. Andre 4

    Tick tock, motherfuckers.

    House Intelligence Committee interview transcripts to be given to Mueller, maybe even released to the public.


    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      Haven’t seen you ever mention this foreign government ( Israel )who we know meddles in US (and UK) elections and domestic politics as an actual fact…but no outrage from you? …or do you have some sort of special hate of the Russians?

      • Andre 4.1.1

        Nice attempted whataboutery diversion.

        • Adrian Thornton

          No just an interesting observation of you Russia conspiracy nuts.

          An actual conspiracy going on right in front of you doing all the things that you are so OUTRAGED about (and more) …silence.

          Still you must be quite pleased at being on the right side of history…the very first time the FBI and the CIA have both been on the side of an actual progressive movement…almost to good to be true.

      • Morrissey 4.1.2

        They don’t hate the Russians especially, Adrian. Right now they hate the Venezuelan government. Tomorrow it will be a new target. They take their lead from those de facto government mouthpieces the Grauniad and the New York Times—via the Gerald and TV news—and they simply regurgitate what they’ve been told, even by the obviously incompetent [1], the insane [2], and the crudely biased [3].

        [1] https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/melissa-davies-tv3s-substandard-london.html

        [3] https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/dame-ann-leslie-arrrrgggh.html

        [3] https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-people-who-run-bbc-are-put-there-by.html

        • Adrian Thornton

          Thanks I will have a read of those, meanwhile check out the level of comprehension that MSM reporters/writers have sunk too..it would be funny (it still is a little bit), except that people who you would think would know better, read their shit and as you say ‘they simply regurgitate what they’ve been told’

          • Jenny - How to get there?

            Maybe you should engage with someone who knows what they are talking about.

            Assad is genocidal dictator. Of this there is no doubt.

            That Tulsi Gabbard is an admirer of this fascist style dictator is also not in doubt. That her trip to visit Assad was funded by an extreme Right Wing group linked to the fascist Golden Dawn movement is part of the public record.

            (She later returned the money when her links with these pro-fascist groups was exposed)

            • Morrissey

              She’s not an admirer, Jenny. You’re willfully misrepresenting her, just as you did Bill a while ago.

              • Jenny - How to get there?

                ‘Admirer’ may possibly been the wrong choice of word to describe Tulsi Gabbard’s position on Assad.
                Though certainly, ‘admiration’ is the position of the fascist groups that sponsored her trip.

                Tulsi Gabbard’s position on Assad could more accurately described as ‘Apologist’.

                Apologist or Admirer is only a matter of degree.

                To take issue with me over this definition exposes the weakness of your position. I notice that you didn’t try to challenge me when I wrote; “Assad is genocidal dictator. Of this there is no doubt.”

                I find it interesting, (as well as repugnant), that apologists for Assad like yourself, or Bill never deny Assad’s genocide, choosing instead to gloss over it.

                Tulsi Gabbard’s Syria Views Cost Her Support Of Hawaii Teachers Union
                The state’s fourth-largest union had backed the Democratic congresswoman two years ago.

                Amanda Terkel – Huffington Post, May 23, 2018


                In its email to its members, HSTA lambasted Gabbard’s comments on Syria:

                She was one of just three representatives, and the only Democrat who refused to condemn Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal chemical attack on his own people. After the attack, Gabbard traveled to Syria to meet with the genocidal dictator al-Assad without permission from the White House or Congress. Her trip was funded by a group with ties to al-Assad supporters and she only covered the expenses herself after the news media reported who paid for her trip.

                Then, after al-Assad bombed his people again, Gabbard continued to refuse to admit the attack had occurred. At the same time, she voted to practically ban Syrian refugees from coming into the United States after the Paris terrorist attacks, even though Syrian refugees were not involved in the attacks.

  5. Blazer 5

    According to Greek Mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate beings, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
    ― Plato, The Symposium

    • Paaparakauta 5.1

      Greek gods were rather challnged in anatomy ..

    • rata 5.2

      The truth is God existed for a trillion years then became lonely.
      So he created a man from dust (adamah) the earth
      in his own image and called this man Adam.
      Then Adam took a rib out of himself and made a woman.
      She was called Eve.
      All done.
      This should be part of the school curriculum from year 3.

      • Cinny 5.2.1

        How to control people…. invent a deity, then tell the people if they don’t follow the rules (including giving money for forgiveness) they will burn in an imaginary place called hell.

        brian tamaki is nailing that method.

    • bwaghorn 5.3

      Hours of fun to be had seeing if the plug fits various sockets .till you find the Goldie lox one.

  6. Gosman 6


    The regime that caused the hardship that the humanitarian relief effort is meant to assist is stopping that relief effort getting to the people in need.

    Anyone supporting the Chavista regime and claiming to stand for human rights and help for the poor and suffering are now shown up for the hypocrites they truly are.

    • dv 6.1

      ALL political systems create unintended consequences, both positive and negative. You would be living in a fantasy world if you thought they could be avoided.

    • Morrissey 6.2

      The regime that caused the hardship is the United States. The “humanitarian relief effort” is nothing more than a brutal and cynical propaganda exercise.

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.1

        The people of Venezuela disagree with you. They are protesting against being starved by the Maduro regime. The regime is stopping the food aid to prove that their contempt for the people is more important to them than helping the people.

        Obviously an authentic socialist regime would help the people. Contorting yourself so as to avoid facing that fact diminishes your reputation. Why do it??

        • Morrissey

          So why doesn’t the U.S. stop its illegal blockade?

          • Gosman

            Blockade of what?

            • Morrissey

              Jesus Christ, if ever there was proof that you are nothing but an ignoramus, there it is.

              Go away, you hopeless, bad faith troll. I am now joining the long list of others who will have nothing more to do with you.

              • Gosman

                You remind me of Ken Livingstone’s responses to being questioned on sanctions.

                “There has to be negative impacts of sanctions because the Venezuelan ambassador told me so”


            • mauī

              Do you know what sanctions are?

              • Gosman

                Who are you asking?

                If it is me then why don’t you explain what sanctions are? Do so in reference to the questions asked of Ken Livingstone around the same issue.

            • francesca

              ” Executive Order 13.808, issued on August 25 of 2017, barred U.S. persons from providing new financing to the Venezuelan government or PDVSA. Although the order carved out allowances for commercial credit of less than 90 days, it stopped the country from issuing new debt or selling previously issued debt currently in its possession.

              The Executive Order is part of a broader process of what one could term the “toxification” of financial dealings with Venezuela. During 2017, it became increasingly clear that institutions who decided to enter into financial arrangements with Venezuela would have to be willing to pay high reputational and regulatory costs. ”
              In effect The sanctions cut off Venezuela’s ability to access finance
              Thats a blockade

          • Gosman

            Also even if there was a blockade (which there isn’t) why is it “illegal”? There is nothing under international law stating you have to trade with another country.

            • Poission

              A blockade is an act of war.

              The constraints were well outlined to Kennedy during the cuban crisis.

              • Gosman

                No, a blockade can be deemed legal in international law. Indeed Israel’s blockade of Gaza has been upheld under international law by our very own Geoffrey Palmer in a UN report


                • Poission

                  Legal and Practical Consequences of a
                  Blockade of Cuba

                  The President has the power to establish a blockade of Cuba under the laws of the United States without further congressional
                  A blockade may be unilaterally established by the United States under international law but its establishment may be questioned within the Organization of American States and the United
                  Nations. In addition, such a blockade could be regarded by Cuba and other Soviet Bloc nations as an act of war.


                  • Gosman

                    Note the use of the words “could be regarded “and not “is regarded”.

                    You need to try harder if you want to claim a blockade is illegal under international law. Also there has been no blockade imposed on Venezuela. Sanctions is not the same as a blockade. Do you not understand this?

                    • Poission

                      The russians orders were to not allow the boarding of any russian ship,and to use all possible means to stop the boarding,including scuttling.

          • Dennis Frank

            I presume the sanctions policy is meant to work on the same basis as when applied to other nations in the past. South Africa ditched apartheid as a result, didn’t it? Can’t blame the US for stalinist slow-learning.

            And why are China and Russia not providing alternative supply routes to make the sanctions ineffective? Are they just pretending to be friends of the stalinists?

            • Gosman

              Yes why was sanctions on South Africa legal but not on Venezuela?

            • Morrissey

              There you go again with that ridiculous “Stalinist” slur, Dennis.

              The only party in this disgrace that comes close to Stalin’s brutality, dishonesty and hatred for democratic government is the regime of Trump, Pompeo, Pence, and Abrams.

              • Gosman

                Read this and try your last statement again


                “Despised by 80 percent of Venezuelans but still loved by his corrupt inner circle and some remaining followers, Maduro will be sworn in as president by the Supreme Court, that is, of course, packed with government loyalists. This very same action will constitute Maduro’s first official violation of the country’s Constitution during his second term in office, as it is a constitutional requirement that a president takes the oath before the National Assembly and not the Supreme Court.”

              • Dennis Frank

                Stalinism is use of covert infiltration to capture the institutions of govt, primarily via selective replacement of opponents. Works best when democracy still seems to be operational, via the masking of the takeover. Perception defeats reality for most observers. The sham just needs to fool most people most of the time…

          • Wayne

            There is no blockade against Venezuela.

            There have been US sanctions for some years against specific individuals, about 20 or so. In the last week also US sanctions against the state oil company.

            The economic problems of Venezuela have nothing to do with the sanctions, personal sanctions against 20 people, even if they are the leaders, simply don’t have that effect.

            • Psycho Milt

              There is no blockade against Venezuela, but it’s also untrue that its economic problems have nothing to do with US sanctions. The drastic decline in Venezuela’s economic fortunes coincides with the sanctions imposed in 2017, which didn’t just include sanctions on particular individuals:

              The Trump administration ordered Citgo profits to be retained to pressure Maduro to step down. It also barred U.S. customers from transferring payment to PDVSA, depriving the OPEC-member nation its largest source of cash.

              The sanctions also exacerbated the economic problems by making it hard for Venezuela to borrow money:

              The aim of the latest US action is to choke off funding to Venezuela by blocking access to foreign currency.

              The Trump administration is at least as responsible as the Maduro administration for Venezuela’s economic problems, maybe more so.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yes, but Russia & China could rescue Venezuela anytime they choose. I consider it extremely significant that they are not choosing to do so. They seem to feel that giving propaganda support to the Maduro regime is all the situation requires. Tokenism. It puzzles me that the regime isn’t calling their bluff.

                Maduro ought to send out a broadcast to the world’s media: “We’ve sucked all the money out of the country, the people are starving, and the Great Satan Trump is threatening us! Please, Russia & China, help us like you said you would. Look, I’m on my knees, grovelling.” [Camera pans down to show Maduro’s knees]

                • francesca

                  For goodness sake Dennis
                  You must know that both China and Russia have made huge loans to Venezuela , have pledged their support and have huge investments in infrastructure etc. Its one of the reasons that Trump the well known agent of Putin …sarc… is targeting Maduro
                  The new President, the compliant Guaido , would refuse to honour the loans

                  • Gosman

                    I suggest you have little evidence that President Guaido would not honour loans from China or Russia.

              • Shadrach

                “The drastic decline in Venezuela’s economic fortunes coincides with the sanctions imposed in 2017…”
                Nah. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ivonaiacob/2016/07/24/venezuelas-failed-socialist-experiment/#1ff17a8841dd

                “Just this year, Venezuela has faced shortages in toilet paper, diapers and milk (and more) forcing more than 6,000 people to cross the border in Colombia to purchase necessities. The country had to ration its electricity use because of severe power shortages. It also could no longer afford to print its own money. Come 2016, the IMF forecasts Venezuela’s inflation rate to exceed 1,600%.”

                “Nationalization continued with the Bank of Venezuela and household fuels distributors and petrol stations. In 2011, with a 27% annual inflation rate, the Venezuelan government introduced price controls of some basic goods (they would extend to other products in the following years).
                By the time of Chavez’s death in 2013, inflation had grown to 50% and rose to 63.4% in the following year. Towards the end of 2014, the country entered into a recession.”

                That was written in 2016. Venezuela is a basket case largely because it has deployed socialist economic policy. In that regard it follows a legacy of many other nations.

                • In Vino

                  The Monroe Doctrine was never morally acceptable. But Wayne, Gosman, Shadrach all appear to regard it as Gospel.

                  • Shadrach

                    So I make a comment supported by a qualified source and you mention the Monroe Doctrine. Is it that hard to just admit socialism is a shit system that wrecks evereything?

                    • RedLogix

                      There are plenty of countries that competently combine mixed systems, merging the twin driving forces of capitalism and socialism into economies that work reasonably well. (Or at least have done so in the past 100 years or so; it’s a model I think will need expanding as our economies transform yet again over the next few decades.)

                      However it’s absolutely clear Maduro’s regime has gone about it’s agenda in the most incompetent fashion possible. In particular they went about removing virtually all the capable and experienced industry managers, engineers and technical people from their industrial base. As a result the real economic activity tanked and hyperinflation has taken over as the govt printed money in a panic.

                      It’s not so much socialism that is the problem, but narrow ideological zealots who believe it’s the sole silver bullet to all the world’s problems and can be imposed in the absence of a functioning economy.

                    • Shadrach

                      Yes there is good and bad in all systems. And yes there is good and bad implementation of all systems. But there is no escaping the fact that the implementation of socialism has destroyed economies the world over, at the same time that market economics has raised millions out of poverty.

                  • Gosman

                    Where have I expressed any view of the morality of the Monroe doctrine?

                    • In Vino

                      By thy deeds shalt thou be known.

                    • Gosman

                      So you have ZERO evidence that I have expressed anything about the Monroe doctrine yet you assume I must support it. Does that mean you are a supporter of the Brezhnev doctrine considering you are a hard core leftist?

                    • In Vino

                      Where have I expressed any view on the morality of the Brezhnev doctrine? (See? I can play your silly game in better English.)

                    • Gosman

                      Yeah it doesn’t so don’t link me to the Monroe Doctrine.

        • Gabby

          They’re being starved by the food producers aren’t they franxie.

          • Dennis Frank

            More accurate to say starved by the market, huh? Inflation over a million per cent. The regime taking money for themselves instead of doing socialism makes it worse. Can’t blame food producers really – we don’t know how much their profit feeds them, they may not have excess, may also be in grim struggle.

            • Gosman

              Even more accurate to state that they are being starved by Government regulation. Price controls coupled with inefficient State owned production and distribution operations mean there is not enough supply to meet demand.

            • Gabby

              They’re not going to make much money by not selling what they make are they franxie, it’s just not praxical.

    • francesca 6.3

      The Colombian govt is a right wing ally of the US
      They do not give one fuck about the poor of Venezuela.
      Otherwise they would be imploring their special friend to reverse the sanctions
      Any “aid” will be arms for the opposition

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.1

        But if the Maduro regime wanted to feed the people, they’d use some of the money they have siphoned off to import food. Waving the US as strawman isn’t likely to distract attention from the reality of the situation.

          • Dennis Frank

            Okay, I’ve now read this and agree it is worthy of consideration. “Guaidó is known as the president of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, but he was never elected to the position.” That contradicts Wikipedia!

            “By Jan. 11, Guaidó’s Wikipedia page had been edited 37 times, highlighting the struggle to shape the image of a previously anonymous figure who was now a tableau for Washington’s regime change ambitions. In the end, editorial oversight of his page was handed over to Wikipedia’s elite council of “librarians,” who pronounced him the “contested” president of Venezuela.”

            This raises the question of accuracy and impartiality! Makes the truth seem unobtainable. Both sides look like they are unable to play fair.

    • Adrian Thornton 6.4

      From that same Guardian article…

      “The main goal now is to look to break the military – and the humanitarian aid is basically the Trojan horse to try to do that,” said Maryhen Jiménez Morales, an Oxford University specialist in Venezuelan politics.

      • Gosman 6.4.1

        Yes, she is indeed a very good source of information on Venezuela.

        Here is her analysis just prior to the existing constitutional crisis.


        Do you not think the military ties to the illegal Chavista regime should be broken?

        • francesca

          Whats illegal about it?
          Un Chief recognises Maduro as the legal head of Venezuela


          • Morrissey

            As do the Venezuelan people. Maduro won a free and fair election. Certainly far freer and fairer than the one that installed Trump and his bellicose cronies.

            • francesca

              Exactly Morrissey
              I should have followed my UN comment with as, ..(and more importantly) … do the Venezuelan people

              • Dennis Frank

                There’s an old saying: `power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. I suspect Chavez & Maduro were good people originally. Those desperate are still leaving in a flood:

                “Pamplona, Colombia – Up to 50 Venezuelans sleep in what used to be 55-year-old Marta Duke’s dining room every night. Forty sleep in her former living room; more in what was once her son’s bedroom. Scores more sleep at the neighbour’s house, and 200 more sleep outside in this chilly mountain town 75km from the Venezuelan border.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/venezuelans-flee-crisis-pushes-deeper-colombia-190205154614543.html

                She told the reporter “far more than 1,000 Venezuelans pass by her home each day”. Yet the regime claims to represent the people! When we see headlines proclaiming the daughter of Chavez as the wealthiest citizen in Venezuela, we suspect that’s due to inheritance of money obtained by corruption. An authentic socialist regime would not starve the people, or make them desparate to flee, or use organised corruption to enrich a cabal.

                • Gabby

                  Sounds like Auckland franxie.

                • greywarshark

                  There seems an observable and absolute truth in the saying –
                  ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely’. When the ‘tends’ is put in to cover the outliers, then this is a powerful saying about power.

            • Gosman

              “Despised by 80 percent of Venezuelans but still loved by his corrupt inner circle and some remaining followers, Maduro will be sworn in as president by the Supreme Court, that is, of course, packed with government loyalists. This very same action will constitute Maduro’s first official violation of the country’s Constitution during his second term in office, as it is a constitutional requirement that a president takes the oath before the National Assembly and not the Supreme Court.”

          • Gosman

            The UN is only doing what it is allowed to do under it’s structure. That does not make Maduro the legitimate ruler of Venezuela according to the Venezuelan Constitution. Indeed the UN has no jurisdiction to rule on that.

            Btw did you read the actual link I posted?


            • Psycho Milt

              From your linked article:

              Simple math tells us that a president with a 21 percent approval rating cannot win an election with 68 percent of the vote (representing 6.2 million Venezuelans).

              Actually, simple math tells us he sure as fuck can if the opposition parties boycott the election.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, good point. I thought it was stupid of them at first, but then I discovered that the stalinists had taken control of Venezuela’s equivalent of our electoral commission. Maduro lost the election until that corrupt organisation declared a number of opposition winners invalid, giving Maduro enough votes for a majority. That’s why I call it a fake election.

                • Gosman

                  It wasn’t stupid of them. They were denied the right to campaign freely and put forward candidates of their choosing. The conditions for a free and fair election were not there so they decided not to give Maduro democratic legitimacy because he had none.

              • Gosman

                Why did they boycott the election?

                • Given the events of the last month, you’d have to assume they boycotted it as part of a plan to mount a coup with US help.

                  • Gosman

                    No, they boycotted it because the Chavez regime made it impossible for them to campaign freely and restricted them put forwarding a candidate of their choosing.

    • adam 6.5

      I’m over your anti-democratic rants Gossy. Your B.S is staggering.

      Social democracy works, but people like you are willing to kill people to make sure it it never gets talked about.

      I guess you worked out I think you’re a sack of shit on this topic? Siding with killing people and mass murder to win an ideological argument, what a low life scum you are.

      It because all you ever do is spin you’re ideological scumbag B.S over and over and over.

      • Gosman 6.5.1

        That’s nice Adam. How about you refrain from participating in discussions I’m involved with in future. That might make it a little easier for you 😉

        • adam

          How about you go eat a bag of shit and stop telling lies?

          To soon to point out your an ideological hack who wants a war?

          • Gosman

            Again, what lies have I told and why exactly are they lies?

            • adam

              Do I have to repeat myself all the time.

              Lies about the economy and lies about toilet paper.

              Also lies I see about letting candidates run in the election – see above.

              • Gosman

                Again you haven’t shown how they are lies.

                Here is an article of how Maduro banned opposition candidates from standing.


                “Mr Maduro has lost popularity because of the worsening economic crisis. In the face of criticism, his strategy has been one of “divide and conquer” – find ways of weakening the opposition to make them less of a threat.

                And he hs succeeded – he has imprisoned some of the most popular opposition leaders like Leopoldo López. He has prevented others like Henrique Capriles from running for office. And now this threat – banning the most influential parties from taking part in future elections”

    • Ad 6.6

      Who is supporting Maduro still?

      Here’s a helpful interactive map.


      Maduro supporters by country:
      – Russia
      – China
      – North Korea
      – Cambodia
      – Turkey
      – Syria
      – Cuba

      Guaido supporters by country:
      – The Americas in total except Nicaragua, Suriname, Bolivia
      – Europe with a few sitting on the fence
      – Australia

      Unable to figure it out yet:
      – New Zealand

      • Anne 6.6.1

        Staying out of it – New Zealand.

      • Morrissey 6.6.2

        I should do what most people will do if they even bother to read this fellow Ad’s foolish and inaccurate joke, and simply ignore it. But, hey, what the hell? Let’s at least pour a bit of the sugar of truth into his engine of lies…..

        Fearful of antagonizing the dangerous and unstable U.S. regime and therefore willing to sacrifice Czechosl–, errr, Venezuela:

        The right wing dictatorships of Latin America. —- NOT Mexico. NOT Suriname. NOT Nicaragua. NOT Bolivia.

        The heroic democracies of Western Europe (this is 1938 all over again.)

        Notorious rogue states: Australia, Israel, fascist Hungary.

  7. francesca 7

    Guaido is a relative unknown in Venezuelan circles
    But rather more well known in Washington , as he’s been a protoge for some years
    He’s never been a presidential candidate and can on;ly assume an interim presidency if Maduro is incapacitated and unable to rule.
    If Trump can be impeached and his presidency revoked because of collusion with a foreign adversary, then Guaido should be clapped in irons for his collusion and acceptance of money from the US who has long salivated at the thought of once again achieving total control of the Venezuelan oil fields
    Yiou say the UN has no jurisdiction to rule on the Venezuelan leadership
    How does the US presume to?
    Or any of the toady European countries?

    • Gosman 7.1


      “Popular Will (Spanish: Voluntad Popular, abbreviated VP) is a centrist social-democratic political party in Venezuela admitted into the Socialist International in December 2014”


      • adam 7.1.1

        more whataboutism…

        Sheesh gossy, desperate today much…

        Not enough war for you to masturebate too? Not enough killing to get you hard?

        Because that what you are supporting. Killing, war and death.

        • Gosman

          No you are mistaken. I am not supporting the illegal Chavista regime. I am opposed to them causing killing and death.

          • Psycho Milt

            In what sense was either Chavez’ government or Maduro’s “illegal?”

            EDIT: and are you equally exercised about the right-wing dictatorships in Latin America causing killing and death? If not, why not?

            • Gosman

              Because he did not get sworn in by the National Assembly as the Constitution of the country dictates.

              • So there’s a case to be made against the current Maduro government, ie since 2018 it can be argued Maduro’s rule is illegitmate. However, you referred to the “illegal Chavista regime,” which implies that all Venezuelan administrations since 1998 have been illegal. What was the basis for that?

                • Gosman

                  No, just the Chavista regime in power at this point in time. I have no problem acknowledging that Chavez won elections freely and fairly (beyond limiting the space for the opposition to get publicity). Even Maduro’s first election in 2013 was broadly free if not entirely fair. His re-election last year on the other hand failed to meet any of the standards you would expect if you wanted to claim democratic legitimacy and his swearing in makes his regime illegal.

            • Gosman

              I oppose brutal dictatorship of any political hue. I am particularly focused on left wing brutal dictatorships though.

      • francesca 7.1.2

        No true socialist calls for loans from the IMF
        The IMF’s conditions are as far from socialism as you can get

        • Gosman

          Yet supposedly the problems that Venezuela is facing is because they can’t access funding from the US. Hmmm… why is it okay to get funding from the US but not the IMF?

      • Tiger Mountain 7.1.3

        Sod off Gosman, Guaido has various neo lib and neo con links, a US education, he is a frontman for some rather nasty people and comprador capitalists that have little interest in poor Venezuelans

        • Gosman

          As opposed to the illegal Chavista regimes who loves poor people so much they have made virtually the entire population of Venezuela poor other than a few people (many of who are connected to the regime).

          • Stuart Munro

            Whereas you love the Venezuelans so much you’re wishing a US puppet on them. No doubt, like Iraq, Venezuela will need to be occupied from now on, to prevent the people from ousting the puppet.

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      I’ve already posted the evidence here that the authentic parliament of Venezuala elected Guaido their president, and also the clause of the Venezuelan constitution that applies due to Maduro’s fake election. That’s why the National Assembly gave him the authority to declare himself interim president. Try to keep up, huh?

      “According to a recent poll, the government can count strongly on 14.8 percent and somewhat on 12.9 percent of Venezuelans. The opposition, on the other hand, is strongly supported by 16.3 percent and somewhat by 15.1 percent of the nation.
      But here is the tragic truth: 40.8 percent does not support any of these two. How is it possible that the vast majority does not side with the opposition given that the government has destroyed the economy, buried the rule of law, shut down media outlets, persecuted dissident and so forth?”

      This triadic structure of the electorate also applies now to western countries. Polling numbers proved it had happened in the USA when Reagan got re-elected in ’84. No excuse for ignorance. Anyone who keeps trying to demonise one of the three political groups at the expense of the other two is a binary fool.

  8. Cinny 8

    Really proud and grateful to all of those in our region and beyond who are here fighting the fire and helping those affected by it.

    You are all doing an incredible job. THANK YOU.

    • dv 9.1

      That link has lost dp!! Odd
      Its 4.3%

      • lprent 9.1.1

        It is somewhat early to tell.

        There was a substantive increase in the September quarter. The bank economists were expecting a bounce in the December quarter. That didn’t happen as fast as the growth in employables. As far as I can see, the usual december process happened with increases in retail and end of year restructures.

        If you look at the actual figures rather than Amy Adams analysis, what you see is a economy slowing its internal growth rate. Something that happens every few years. However she is over-egging the alarm – the period is too short to notice a trend in it.

        What I’m surprised out is that at ~4% unemployment there isn’t more volatility. That is in the Phillips area of the workforce where you see a relatively steady rate of people moving between jobs.

        Personally I tend to look at changes in longer term un/under-employment without bothering to look at the gross figures with their usual bouncing around. However I’m also not paid to generate headlines.

        • Shadrach

          A full quarterly series (https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/labour-market-statistics-december-2018-quarter) shows that there is often an upward tick in unemployment in the December quarter. Far too early to read anything into these numbers.

          • alwyn

            I would love to see how you can make that claim from the evidence you link to.
            The data only cover the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
            In 2016 the unemployment rate rose in the 4th quarter compared to the 3rd.
            In 2017 the unemployment rate dropped in the 4th quarter.
            In 2018 the rate rose in the 4th quarter.
            How you can take that data as justifying the claim that “there is often an upward tick in unemployment in the December quarter” really is beyond me.
            Were you using other, more complete data to derive your conclusion? If so do you have a link?

            • Shadrach

              Hi Alwyn. If you scroll down on the page I linked to, you will see the quarterly rests back to Dec 2009. For clarity, the ups and downs in the unemployment data are as follows:

              Dec 2010 Up
              Dec 2011 Up
              Dec 2012 Down
              Dec 2013 Down
              Dec 2014 Up
              Dec 2015 Down
              Dec 2016 Up
              Dec 2017 Down

              So half of the previous 8 December quarters showed an uptick in the unemployment rate. I may have misused the expression ‘often’, apologies. My point was that it isn’t an unusual occurrence.

              I have also gone back to the Stats archive, and looked at previous Dec quarters. http://archive.stats.govt.nz/infoshare/ViewTable.aspx?pxID=4a5de0d0-24d5-4614-ad6d-31202c049ba2

              Dec 2009 Up
              Dec 2008 Up
              Dec 2007 Down
              Dec 2006 Stable

              Perhaps ‘volatile’ is a more appropriate description?

              As I said, I just think it’s too early to read much into the latest numbers. Another quarter or two with unemployment moving up, now that would begin to look like a trend.

              • alwyn

                Thank you.
                I didn’t get far enough through the graphs to find any that were back past 2016.
                I don’t really think that you can take much, if anything, out of a single quarter. On the other hand I find it rather amusing that both Ardern and Robertson crowed happily about the numbers in the third quarter and now have to live with people talking about one quarter here.
                Still I’m sure they will find a squirrel to point at.

                • Shadrach

                  I wouldn’t take anything JA says about the economy too seriously. But I also don’t think we should rush to conclusions based on one quarters unemployment number.

                  Edit – just checked, and can’t find any comment on the figures from either the PM or Robertson. Still, that’s politics.

        • Gosman

          What is clear is that nothing the government has done is making any difference (either positive or negative) to the unemployment or employment rates.

          • Poission

            nothing is clear.

            What is the standard error rate for the statistics? ie uncertainty.

            • Gosman

              Nothing is really moving and previous movements can not be linked to any particular policy changes made by the government.

              • Poission

                Its a model as such it has uncertainty.What is the uncertainty?

              • lprent

                Policy changes take a while. Usually about 2-3 years before effects really show up in the real economy stats numbers.

                I seem to remember pointing this out to you about 2010 when I was commenting about why NZ was getting out of the GFC without too much of problem..

                • Gosman

                  I don’t disagree with you. In fact I make tge point that no government can really claim to be making progress based on statistics from the first year or two.

                  • lprent

                    But with regards to your point, politicians are going to anyway.

                    National managed to ride through the GFC because they were able to expand government debt cheaply. Cullen had left them an economy that was incredibly low on government debt, which had a sizeable asset in the superannuation fund, and with a rising level of savings in the kiwisaver.

                    Which is why that National government’s gross lack of attention to the longer-term economic fundamentals (like a lack of new housing and relevant infrastructure as they raised nett migration rates) didn’t bite them in the arse. It was particularly hypocritical as National in opposition had made a noisy political point about housing costs – something that they only paid minimal lip-service to after they took office.

                    Same as the 4th Labour government got an effective boost because the lagging effects of Asian flu diminished after their first year. They were able to ride a rebounding economy to reduce some of the economically debilitating austerity of the 90s.

        • alwyn

          I wonder why Grant and Jacinda were so ken on the 3rd quarter results and didn’t emphasize the erratic nature of quarterly numbers at that time?

          • lprent

            WTF: Easy question to answer. They’re politicians.

            They were less dimwitted than Nick Smith or Stephen Joyce had been in the last government. They didn’t actively lie about the numbers by changing the base to improve how they looked. Nor did they do a careful selection of the comparison period in the way that Paula Bennett perfected. And they didn’t simply lie about the meaning of the numbers – that was Judith Collins speciality.

            Grant and Jacinda’s joy was pretty short-sighted, but not dishonest. I prefer that. It is easier to deal with than having hypocritical liars using various PR bullshit techniques. I’m sure you agree…

            Anyway I’m sure they didn’t ken the numbers – they were just keen on them.

    • Jimmy 9.2

      4.3% is not that bad, though will be concerning if it increases again next quarter.

  9. Andre 10

    More news for the Wallnuts. The troops being sent to the border are draping razor wire all over existing “fence”. On the American side, so it looks like it’s there to stop Americans escaping into Mexico. And the locals, y’know, the people that are first in line to be raped, drugged, murdered and diseased by the oncoming hordes, don’t fkn want it.


  10. Tiger Mountain 11

    Paul Buchanan has another stab at the situation in Venezuela…he is more honest than some of the apologists for US Imperialism here


  11. alwyn 12

    About a week ago their was a story, covered by all the elements of the msm, about a person arrested in Kenya who was carrying two New Zealand passports.
    He was apparently suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack in the country.

    Has anyone seen anything further about this story. It seems to have simply vanished, which seems surprising considering the coverage at the beginning.
    Was there anything else that came out about the affair?
    Was he really a New Zealand citizen or had he simply obtained New Zealand passports by fraudulent means?
    Anyone have anything new to offer about the affair?

  12. Observer Tokoroa 13

    Hi Readers

    Now that the Standard has become “The Gosman Drivel Rag 24/7”, can any of you advise me of a reputable publication that talks sense and makes sense.

    I certainly hope that Gosman does not suffocate in his own strangeness. But even more than this, New Zealanders do need something that exceeds the ability of little children.

    • Bazza64 13.1

      You might want to consider the Blubbery Oily one. They are very right wing, but due to Gossmans hard right stance, the “average” comment on TS may be more right wing than WO !

    • Shadrach 13.2

      Or, you could pursue an adult solution, like actually trying to refute what Gosman posts, rather than having a whinge.

    • greywarshark 13.3

      The right wing certainly has a hold on the blog. I have to search for anyone whose bias is worth reading. Please stick in here as we need the lefties or informed leftish setting agendas for comments that aren’t just recycled mouldy hash; at present its a hash and grab crime scene!

    • Gosman 14.1

      Do you agree with him how bad the Maduro regime is?

      • francesca 14.1.1

        Here’s another point of view Gosman, that rather tempers the view that Maduro is utterly hopelesss
        Campbell’s criticisms were mainly directed at US interference.
        The following piece explains the devastation wrought by the 2017 sanctions


        • Gosman

          The Venezuelan economy started imploding long before 2017. Regardless all those sanctions did was make it difficult (not impossible) for Venezuela to use the US financial system. They can (and did) still use funding from a multiple range of other sources including China and Russia. Unless you think the US should just allow nations that are actively hostile against it to benefit from the US system. That seems odd. It would be like expecting the US to allow North Korea to use the US financial system. The US has no obligation to do that.

        • Gosman

          I also note you failed to address my question in regards Gordon Campbell’s view on how bad the Maduro regime is. Why was that? Is it because you can’t even admit a little bit that Maduro is a corrupt and undemocratic leader?

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