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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I love the Mr Asia story on TV3 right now - the Marty Johnston side of things rather than the Terry Clark side that was covered in the Aussie version. But these ads are just maddening. There are so many. I timed the programme bit just now and it was only 6 minutes. Six minutes. The ads are 3:30. This is an intolerable ratio. Stop breaking it up. They're on to a winner but they are ruining it. The human concentration span can only stretch so far. Give us a break... by not giving us a break.


NZ has a new (quasi) Head of State today. Not that anyone outside of the forecourt of parliament buildings would know it - or care. A new Governor-General is not a big deal. Most people will not know who they are by name - even after five years.

They are the Queen's representative - and the Prime Minister's bitch. They sign whatever gets put in front of them. No matter what. Despite petitions pouring in to stop the Foreshore and Seabed Bill the Governor-General of the day - at her holiday home - signed it off without even reading it. It's a farce. Even if they wanted to reject something they know the response would almost certainly be that the PM would fire them and replace them with someone who would - Nixon style. It's a very wobbly apex to our otherwise democratic pyramid.

NZ Herald:
At his swearing-in ceremony on Parliament's forecourt this morning, W[where's the 'h' you illiterate racist wankers!?]anganui-born former Defence Force chief Sir Jerry paid tribute to his predecessors and also to the spirit New Zealanders had shown in difficult recent times.

Sir Jerry said his appointment as governor-general was "an extraordinary honour'' that was still sinking in.

Appointment being the key word. They don't get elected by the voters, like they do in Ireland, the US etc., they are appointed. And they are not appointed by the parliament or a constitutional convention like they are in Germany etc., they are appointed by the Cabinet.

There are no safeguards or accountability in this system apart from the minimal courtesy of announcing the appointee some months ahead of swearing in so as to allow any problems to be brought to light in that period. The problem in this case is that Sir Jerry was acting as the chief spy-master throughout and is a product of the military. He assures us he is politically neutral, but obviously he cannot be system neutral in the way that an outsider to government institutions could claim to be. They are chosen for their obedience and adherence to the regime and Sir Jerry is a conservative choice by a conservative government.

The G-G role will be up for debate in a formal setting now the constitutional panel has been convened and we can expect little support for continuing the current system when they tackle this issue. Australia voted down a republic primarily on the grounds that voters at large would not determine the Head of State (the proposal was that parliament would choose), but I'm not sure NZers would be as insistent if the same option was put to at a referendum.

Anti-MMP campaign in contempt of Parliament?

You would imagine after having one of their founding members outed as a white supremacist that the anti-MMP 'Vote for Change' group would go out of their way to stay within the rules.

They haven't.

'Vote For change' launched this week an online smear attack on politicians denigrating them for their anti-MMP campaign

Now I'm in favour of attacking politicians and denigrating them, I call that a normal day at the office, but you are not allowed to use the official footage in this manner.

I've written to the speaker and advise any other member of Parliament to complain in writing as well at the manner in which 'Vote for Change' are in contempt of Parliament by contravening the standing orders that dictate the use of Parliament TV footage.

The rules regarding use of Parliamentary images is very clear, and are also in the Broadcasting Act...



1) Official television coverage of the House is made available on the following conditions:

Any broadcast or rebroadcast of coverage must comply with the Broadcasting Standards Authority rules.

Coverage of proceedings must not be used in any medium for—

(a) political advertising or election campaigning (except with

the permission of all members shown):

(b) satire, ridicule, or denigration:

(c) commercial sponsorship or commercial advertising.

3. Reports that use extracts of coverage of proceedings and purport to be summaries must be fair and accurate.

(2) Breach of these conditions may result in a loss of access to official television coverage, and may be treated as a contempt and proceeded against accordingly.

...this use of the official Parliamentary footage to denigrate for a political campaign is a clear no no and backed up in the Broadcasting Act.

Now seeing as 'Vote for change' have simply become a glorified give away site masquerading as a political debate, and seeing as 'Vote for Change' were so kind to thank me for outing their white supremacist founding member, as a thank you for pointing out your latest infringement, I would like an ipad2, $200 worth of itune vouchers and someone fronting on Citizen A to explain why an electoral system that favours the elites of society is preferable to MMP.


Top 5 things Hilary Calvert can go onto after being an ACT Party MP

Now ACT Party MP, Hilary Clavert has been dumped as quickly as second hand toilet paper, what now for this intellectual giant who used her own eyes in an advert for her brothel?

Top 5 things Hilary Calvert can go onto after being an ACT Party candidate

5: Spokesperson for the health benefits of KFC Double Down Burgers.

4: Brand manager for ADIDAS

3: Spokesperson for the invasion of Iran

2: Spokesperson for the re-invasion of Vietnam

And number one of the Top 5 things Hilary Calvert can go onto after being an ACT Party candidate, advocate for the freedom to spank your child, your pets and any other 'property' you own alongside 'guns for children' campaigns.

I would have done a Top 10, but no one actually cares about the future of ACT that much.


UNBREAKING NEWS: Colonel Gaddafi is ACT's secret number 3 list candidate

UNBREAKING NEWS: Colonel Gaddafi is ACT's secret number 3 list candidate. Don said, 'No one sums up one law for all like a maniacal middle eastern dictator. He is also a softer candidate with more voter empathy than Catherine Isaac.'

From a hate monger candidate like Cathy Odgers who described the poor as the 'pathetic heaving underclass' to a candidate like Catherine Isaac who wants to crucify the pathetic heaving underclass - the ACT Party meltdown continues.

ACT Party candidates like Kevin Campbell that refer to John Key as 'John the Jew', a campaign manager posting late night facebook updates bitching about how dysfunctional ACT is, financial backers like Louis Crimp who says of Maori, "I would like somebody to tell me what is Maori culture? Before the white man arrived, they were savages and cannibals." and let's not forget that Don ran the unwatered racist advert past his buddy Peter Huljich, yes, the same Peter who seemed so thrifty with the management of other people's money.

With Colin Craig running in Epsom now and the rumours Rodney will run as an independent just to spite Don who rolled him, the ACT party resemble less a political movement and more a fractured KKK franchise in receivership.

Don's claim to be sad that no Maori would stand for ACT seems to suggest that whatever reptilian creature currently inhabiting his human skin suit doesn't understand the Homosapien concept of audacity.

Once the full venom of Cathy's hate of the poor was identified to journalists, ACT knew they couldn't run her as a candidate as she would be a nightmare. Cathy's claim now is that she never intended to stand, if that's true, why did she turn down a lower party ranking once she was informed she wouldn't get the 3rd place ranking?

I like the spin she has attempted to put on this, but it's weak. She never imagined ever having to justify her hateful comments, and scoffed when I challenged her on them at the time she posted but I think she secretly regret using that type of language now and realize it's harmed her reputation.I was so disappointed with Cathy because it was a personal disappointment. Ever since Uni, even I had to concede she had talent, yet how easily she slipped into the same naked Bennie bashing crap was beneath her. She were supposed to be better than this. She wasn't.

Cathy's hate of the poor was just too obvious to be a political candidate where as Catherine Isaac has managed to wrap a veneer of credibility about her bennie bashing after her appointment as the Witch Burning Proctor of the ideologically stacked Welfare razor Gang. Her number 3 list ranking points out just how radical Paula's bennie bashing really is an issue that, Brother Gareth Morgan let rip on yesterday...

Last week we looked at why our Welfare State has lost its way, sees fit to give families earning $100,000 per year a handout, stigmatises everyone (apart from the elderly) who receives a benefit as a loser, and regards those not in the paid workforce as non-existent.

Combine that reality with the ever-widening gap between the average wage and what those at the top of the paid workforce earn and you have a great recipe for alienating large tracts of the population - not just the poor but the majority who would never make it to the upper echelons of our white, middle class suburban nirvana. Whether they be economic or social outcasts, outcasts they will remain - and that sows the seeds of widespread social unrest such as we have seen in Britain of late.

The crippling of the Welfare State that Catherine Isaac and Paula Bennett are embarking upon will destroy this country. By privatizing social welfare and sub-contracting the Government's social obligations out for profit will see beneficiaries offered work totally unsuitable and kicked off the benefit if they don't accept, this is a recipe for social disaster aimed at the most vulnerable who have had no hand in creating the economic crises demanding cut backs from them.

The solutions to the 210 000 NZ children in poverty and the long term damage that poverty is doing to their health are not military boot camps that don't work or intrusive poverty ID cards for 16 and 17 year olds not to buy booze or ciggies, these are dog whistle smokescreen issues used to distract the media while quietly privatizing the Welfare State.

ACT's racism and hate of the poor alongside their lazy arguments about welfare are not the solution, they are the problem.


NZ Herald Digi Poll can kiss both cheeks of my smooth pale butt

Now that pleasant image is in everyones mind, who on earth believes the Herald Digi Poll?

Three months before the election, the Labour Party's support has dropped again in the Herald-DigiPoll survey to its lowest this term. Labour's support dropped among decided voters by almost two points to 31.5 per cent - its second lowest since 1999.

I don't believe most of what the NZ Herald prints, why on earth would i believe their bullshit cheap brainfart telephone polls with their failed landline methodology? This is the VERY SAME NZ Herald Digi Poll that was proclaiming a year ago to the month that Len Brown and John Banks were neck and neck, that election turned into a Lenslide. Len Brown ended up whipping John Banks, it was neck and neck the way Aboriginal life expectancy is neck and neck with that of white Australians. The Herald made that claim a year ago this month, why believe a word that drips from their mainstream media corporate bias mouths?

The NZ Herald has increasingly become the cheerleader in chief of the National Party; that they come out with polls using questionable landline methodology which last time had them claiming Banks and Brown were neck and neck should be as unsurprising as Colonel Gaddafi's insistence that he's done nothing wrong.

The NZ Herald's cult of no personality fawning over John Key is to Journalism what Fox News is to credibility. Giving a National Party online propagandist like David Farrar, the bore of Babylon, an unchallenged platform to peddle his soft sell dog whistles in an election year, has all the charm of a road accident.

The mainstream media are using these polls not to reflect public opinion, but to manipulate public opinion, and when it isn't doing that then it's drowning out any real debate about the main issues of the day with manufactured Rugby World Cup chatter.

You would think now that bloody 'Happy Feet' has been sent home that the media might start to focus on why we have 210 000 NZ children in poverty when the 150 wealthiest families gained $7billion in one year, but I suspect our children in poverty aren't cute enough for the News Producers who are attempting to gain ratings via soft entertainment pap rather than speak truth to power. I wouldn't be surprised if the Walrus of News, Mark Sainsbury actually does a live cross from Antarctica to interview the female Penguins Happy Feet might be screwing to see if wedding bells are being planned, because if they are, TVNZ will carry the penguin wedding live with commentary by Dame Jenny Shipley who will note throughout the ceremony how wonderful it would be if China could buy more of the country.

THANKFULLY some are awake and challenging our mainstream media's utter lack of balance, Bryan Gould yesterday...

With three months to go before our own election, I look in vain for that kind of debate.

The deficiency is likely to get worse during the World Cup.

It is not good enough to say that opposition politicians are not heard because they have nothing to say. How do we know?

No one can blame Key for using his charm and like ability to the best advantage. The concern is whether the media have become so used to it that they are now constrained by it as well.

No one needs persuading of Key's value to his party and Government, and it is inevitable and right that he should play a major part. But a strong and effective government needs more than a single foundation stone.

The Prime Minister's dominance, paradoxically, weakens his Government and - by constraining the scope of the political debate - diminishes our democracy as well.

...and then Brian Edwards stepped it up even further...

Is John Key such an inspirational leader that he deserves to enjoy the support of 57% of New Zealand voters? Is Phil Goff such a hopeless leader that he deserves the support of only 8% of New Zealand voters? Has the National Party’s record in office been so impressive that it deserves to enjoy the support of 56% of New Zealand voters, including one might surmise, a significant number of Labour defectors? And has the Labour opposition been so feeble that it deserves the support of only 30% of New Zealand voters?

Well, if the polls are right – and there is no great difference between one and another – then the answer to all of these questions would seem to be Yes. But are they right? The extremity of their findings – the adulation of John Key and the seeming invisibility of Phil Goff; National having twice as much support as Labour – seems curious, given the parlous state of the economy, the high level of unemployment and the near-Third-World conditions in which so many of our citizens, both adults and children, are currently living.

As a nation we seem to have closed our eyes to these realities, so dazzled are we by the luminance of the Prime Minister. The mirror image of ourselves as a people which the polls present seems to me less than flattering. Are we really a nation more impressed by style than substance? Are we really that shallow?

It seems that we are. It surely can be no coincidence that Key’s rating as ‘preferred Prime Minister’ is virtually identical to National’s rating as preferred party to govern. In the minds of Key’s supporters, leader and party are one and indivisible.

Attacking the messenger is never a good look, and arguing that the polls may be wrong invariably suggests sour grapes. But a couple of things are at least worth noting. The good or bad news which the polls bring each month reflects the answers given by around 1,000 people to questions put to them by professional pollsters. The so-called ‘margin of error’ is a little over 3%. Statistically speaking, the polls should be reasonably accurate.

However, a problem arises from the fact that the information is gathered exclusively by landline. This creates a bias in the poll results, since people on lower incomes – the non-working, working and lower-middle classes – tend not to have landlines, relying instead on (frequently pre-paid) mobile phones. The same is true of students and younger people in general. You can’t text on a landline.

The mainstream media are broadcasting for their interests, not ours. Tune into Happy Feet at 7pm and decide for yourself.

Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The latest public transport cutbacks in Auckland (thank you National)

I want to pay homage to whatever idiots have agreed to the axing of bus routes throughout central Grey Lynn and central Auckland. I choose not to drive and choose not to own a car so that my environment is not damaged or polluted any more than it has to be and my supposed reward for that civic contract is supposed to be a transport system that can transport me.

That civic contract has become a joke under the new public transport cutbacks, with one new route in particular that demands as much contempt as can be vomited upon it. The horrific new inner city red bus link has replaced all other buses traveling up queen street to Krd and begins in the tourist centre of the waterfront, meaning that by the time it arrives on Queen st, it is already packed with tourists, leaving no room for locals.

These new cutbacks mean buses are so packed and inconveniently infrequent that NZ Bus has finally managed to achieve that golden moment in Auckland Public Transport madness, services so bad, that people choose not to use them.

Bravo, NZ Bus, bravo.

Most Governments use an event like the Rugby World Cup to upgrade their public transport, not degrade it. I foresee 'Auckland transport is shit' becoming the highest trending tweet on twitter as overseas visitors are welcomed to the hate crime that is public transport in NZ.

That said, it is nothing compared to the issues facing the Christchurch whanau.


Citizen A - ONLINE NOW

Citizen A this week with Auckland Labour Party MP, Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Mayor of the Auckland SuperCity, Penny Hulse

Issue 1 - 210 000 NZ children in poverty while the 150 wealthiest families gained $7 billion in one year. As the 10th most unequal country in the OECD, is our egalitarianism now a myth?

Issue 2 - Another SAS soldier has died this week, what are we doing in Afghanistan and should NZ on Air money be spent on Army recruitment TV shows for children?

Issue 3 tonight - Have the financial benefits of the Rugby World Cup been oversold, if they have, what does that mean for the economy?

Citizen A now plays 8pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89 Fridays



End of Quantum Cover?

King Gerry VIII has announced a massive blow-out to the Earthquake Commission's fund - now it is another $4 billion on what they had previously estimated! How could they get this so wrong?

Endless Questions Converge?

One answer would be they are using the notoriously random Treasury clowns to do their forecasting. A psychic Octopus - or even a squid responding to a tarot readers' cards - would render more accurate projections than any muppet connected to the NZ Government. Heard Bill English on the radio explaining what had happened and all with a very hoarse voice - perhaps from screaming at Treasury officials all morning. Wouldn't be surprised to find on TV tonight that he'd ripped great gouges of hair from his head either. This is a nightmare for any Finance Minister.

Official statement:

Combined, these factors are likely to push the operating deficit before gains and losses up to about $18 billion - $1.3 billion higher than the Budget forecast. However these figures have not yet been finalised or audited.

So it could be even higher...

Because this increase is above EQC's level of reinsurance for the earthquake, which covers the cost of claims between $1.5 billion and $4 billion, EQC bears all of the increase on its own books.

And their books are the government's books are the taxpayers books when it all boils down:

Q. Who pays if the Natural Disaster Fund (NDF) is used up?
A. The Natural Disaster Fund managed by EQC held about $6 billion before the first earthquake on 4 September 2010. Based on the latest estimate the shortfall is $829 million. However due to the expected timing of claims assessments and payments, the eventual shortfall is not expected to exceed $500 million. Under Section 16 of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993, the Government would honour its guarantee if there is a shortfall, but the final form of this payment, if it is required, has not yet been established. In the meantime, this figure will be reflected in the Crown accounts as a small increase in forecast net Crown debt.

Q. Who pays if there is another event?
A. EQC has renewed its reinsurance, which means EQC has reinsurance for another two events the size of the 4 September earthquake. If the NDF could not cover EQC’s share of costs from a future event, the Government would honour its guarantee under the Earthquake Commission Act.

Yes, but as the first question was answered the fund is now in the negative to the tune of half a billion. The cupboard is bare. Reinsurance alone is supposed to pay for Wellington's "big one". Is it? The hit from Christchurch is 9% of NZ's GDP - Wellington may be a magnitude greater in both fiscal and seismic terms.

And the answer to what contigencies are available rests on Gerry's trip to Monaco:

Q. What is the Government doing to allay any concerns reinsurers might have about writing cover in New Zealand?
A. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will lead a government delegation to London and to the Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte-Carlo, Monaco on 10-15 September. Mr Brownlee will give a presentation on the Canterbury earthquakes and meet several major reinsurers including Swiss Re, Gen Re and Munich Re.

Will they take the gamble? And at what price?

Child poverty in New Zealand


How political polls in prime-time + no serious political debate in prime-time = catwalk values and dumbed-down voters

Is John Key such an inspirational leader that he deserves to enjoy the support of 57% of New Zealand voters? Is Phil Goff such a hopeless leader that he deserves the support of only 8% of New Zealand voters? Has the National Party’s record in office been so impressive that it deserves to enjoy the support of 56% of New Zealand voters, including one might surmise, a significant number of Labour defectors? And has the Labour opposition been so feeble that it deserves the support of only 30% of New Zealand voters?

Well, if the polls are right – and there is no great difference between one and another – then the answer to all of these questions would seem to be Yes. But are they right? The extremity of their findings – the adulation of John Key and the seeming invisibility of Phil Goff; National having twice as much support as Labour – seems curious, given the parlous state of the economy, the high level of unemployment and the near-Third-World conditions in which so many of our citizens, both adults and children, are currently living.

Brian Edwards raises a question that is worth asking in this blog: why is the National government receiving so much support under economic conditions which for one in four children mean living in poverty?

The notion of poverty is contentious in New Zealand. This is perhaps why the debate is failing to gain traction. One only had to watch Back Benchers the other night to see the crux of the debate in action - it is difficult for New Zealanders to call their own poor, in comparison with global conditions. These are, after all, the global poor that most in this country are aware of who pick their tea, make their shoes, and sew their designer brands. This is hardly surprising considering that national debates have erupted over the last few weeks over Adidas jumpers costing $220 when they cost $8 to make; we are now in the kind of globalized world where we are aware of global inequality, and the contrast between our own kids and the images that we see on TV often leads people to overlook the poverty in our own society.

While the National government has made cuts to early childhood education and is placing increasing pressure on beneficiaries as a result of the plan to get 100,000 beneficiaries into work, the effects of the quite serious poverty that affects one in four children in New Zealand seems to be hardly making its mark in the mainstream media, which tends to focus on upbeat stories that boost ratings or appeal to the demographics with disposable income that can be sold on to advertisers. The 25% of children that are in poverty are read through the lens of crime statistics in this environment, which tends to reinforce narratives that position the threat of poverty as one that can be individually sold through effort, as foretold in John Key's own rags to riches story, or as one that is not a white problem. This is not to say that National have not made some important incentives towards reducing child poverty - whanau ora is one - but that by and large, these concessions have been made under the pressure of supply and demand agreements, and lack overall organization and cohesiveness. To put it bluntly, it is difficult to construct cohesive social policy when Key has to run the gambit between the hard right elements of his party who believe in minimizing government intervention and the appeal to ideas of social justice that must be made in order to appease the so-called centre ground.

The research that is emerging on poverty in this country is very clear: it does exist, regardless of whether the poverty is relative in global terms. People who are in poverty are defined as those that earn 60% less than the median income. A UN Committee Report on the Rights of the Child found that cuts in early childhood education were having a significant impact on our appalling levels of child poverty. We have made headlines in Australia for ranking 28th out of 30 in the OECD in the Every Child Counts report. We spend only 1.5% of our GDP on social services for the early days of life. As Executive Director of UNICEF in New Zealand Dennis McKinlay argues, "New Zealand spends $US14,600 ($NZ17,500) per child whilst, in comparison, Scandinavian countries spend $US50,000 per child under six. Other countries, like the Netherlands, spend less but have better outcomes. The stark reality is that poor outcomes for children are costing New Zealand $NZ6 billion per year in areas such as health, welfare services, crime and justice."

Take for example the Children's Social Monitoring Group's Report that was released yesterday, which found that:

In New Zealand, children and young people living in more deprived areas experience significantly worse health outcomes across a range of measures (e.g. infant mortality, hospital admissions for infectious and respiratory diseases, non-accidental injuries) [1]. Growing up in a low income family also increases the risk of longer term negative outcomes, such as leaving school without formal qualifications and economic inactivity.

Similarly, Dr Elizabeth Craig highlighted the links between child poverty and health outcomes yesterday.

Child health and poverty linked: study

As the economic downturn progresses in New Zealand, hospital admissions for children with poverty-related conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and skin infections has increased, Dr Elizabeth Craig, of the University of Otago, says.

"We've got to really look at the impact our economic environment has on our kids," the head of the university's Children and Youth Epidemiology Service said yesterday.

She was commenting on the Children's Social Monitor's 2011 update which is to be released today at a public forum at the University of Otago in Wellington.

Dr Craig said they could not prove the uncertain economic times were the cause of the hospital admissions as the data provided was anonymous, but it was "concerning".

While the rapid increases in children's hospital admissions for "socioeconomically sensitive" medical conditions seen during 2007 to 2009 appeared to have slowed, rates rose further in 2010, with 4890 extra admissions per year compared with 2007.

It is costing us socially and economically to have these levels of poverty. As Professor Innes Ashir, the head of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Auckland highlights in her open letter to the Ministerial Group of Welfare Reforms, the current policies are punitive on solo parents whose children already face many challenges. The equation is simple: penalize parents and you will pass on the stress to their children. Reducing the threshold for abatement of earnings to $20 as proposed by the Welfare Working Group will mean that for every $100 a parent earns, they will take home $40 (ibid). Perhaps the most telling social statistic is that New Zealanders are only 6th in the OECD with the percentage of the working population in paid work (ibid), meaning that the myth that parents are in this situation to breed and out of generations of welfare dependence is a damaging one.

Child poverty is a serious problem that affects every thread of our social fabric and must be addressed through a cohesive approach. Labour intends to establish a Children's Commissioner if elected (I have to agree with Annette King on this one that it seems ridiculous that we have a Gambling Commissioner and not someone who represents the rights of our children), Mana intends to address poverty more generally, but it is the Greens in this instance that have the most comprehensive social policy for lifting 100,000 kids out of poverty. ACT have some policies that, while arguably well meaning in nature (establish mentors, etc), work to further extend the current National government's raison d'être of penalizing parents for their inability to find work. Whatever your perspective, it is clear that there are serious social issues that deserve discussion.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Greenpeace protest for fish but not humans???

I'm sorry, but what the hell Greenpeace? You are protesting against Sealord for the way they treat Tuna, but not the way they treat humans???

Don't get me wrong, I love the little fishes too, and believe the manner inn which Sealord rapes the sea and over fishes is terrible, and hiding behind 'safe dolphin' brands which aren't actually very good at keeping dolphins safe is a joke, but right when Sealord are embroiled in allegations of slave labour, my deeper concerns are how Sealord are treating human beings, not bloody fish.

Rudman sets the scene...

In 1992 came the Sealord deal, giving Maori 50 per cent of Sealord Fisheries, 20 per cent of the quota for new species and additional cash and shares in other companies.

In 2004, Te Ohu Kai Moana was set up to oversee these assets. Since then Maori have built up this asset and now, according to the Ministry of Fisheries, "control or influence more than 30 per cent of our commercial fisheries".

As far as the $4 billion plus domestic fishing quota is concerned, Maori interests control around 37 per cent of it.

But instead of expanding the local fishing fleet, and creating new jobs onshore, the Maori quota owners are hiring ancient Asian and Ukrainian boats to do the fishing, and most of the processing is done overseas.

They are turning a blind eye to the often scandalous conditions of the workers on these ships.

Following the recent release of a report by an Auckland University team headed by Dr Christina Stringer, probing the labour and human rights abuses aboard foreign fishing vessels, Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway called for pressure to be put on the fishing quota holders, not on the protesting Indonesian fishermen now facing deportation after fleeing their ship.

...the disgusting way in which Sealord has gone about playing an active role in turning a blind eye to this slavery should shame and shocknus every bit as much as their damage to fish stocks yet the human element in this abuse is utterly ignored by Greenpeace.

Greenpeace should have highlighted this human abuse alongside the Tuna abuse if they wanted to avoid the double standard of putting huge effort and cost about protesting for the fishes while ignoring humans.

We all love the fishes, but I have a soft spot for humans as well.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

ACT Party List

No review of q+a or the Nation today, I'm up North plotting and will be about to announce a new disclosure on Tumeke regarding my immediate future, but it is interesting to note on this beautiful day that Cathy Odgers has missed out on a place on the ACT Party list in favor if Roger Kerrs wife, Cathern Isaac, that's the 'big secret' number 3 spot.

I have mixed feelings about that, on one hand Cathy's hatred of the poor and sad attempts to justify her hate made her about as appropriate as a political candidate as a brain eating zombie on meth. She would have been a nightmare candidate with scores of bloggers pouring over her posts finding crazy shit to throw at her, so from that perspective, you can understand ACTs reluctance to include her, but from the perspective of another example of bloody baby boomers rolling and blocking the aspirations of a fellow Gen Xer, it's infuriating.

All that's left for total ACT meltdown now is for Rodney to run as an independent in Epsom. Slater once said in Citizen A that the Left are great at looking after their own, while the Right eat their own. The manner in which Hide was shat on will have ramifications and the rumor mill is leaking left right and centre that Hide is considering it. Hell have no fury like a Rodney scorned.

If I were John Key, I'd be phoning the Greens on Monday.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

School rules

The Education minister has announced the end to arbitrary search and seizure at schools. At last something recognisably progressive from the National government and a long time coming this has been.

“These new guidelines should give principals and teachers more confidence to pre-empt and deal with difficult situations, and ensure that this minority of students gets the message that drugs and weapons are not acceptable in our schools.

“This will allow teachers to manage any disruptions, and get on with the important job of lifting achievement.

“I have also instructed the Ministry to investigate changes to legislation which will give schools even greater support in what is a complex legal area.

The Minister says the policy is about drugs and weapons, but that's the thick end of the wedge. What about other incidents?

I'm guessing my school experience of the 80s and 90s was pretty standard: the teachers asserted an absolute right to search bags, desks and lockers and a right to confiscate whatever they liked. They did this as a matter of loco parentis - the only latin ever taught us. That meant whatever a parent could do to you so could a teacher. Up until 1989 when parliament banned it that also meant dishing out beatings with various traditional torture implements. I can still recall listening to that debate as a secondary school student as Labour pushed it through over the vehement objections from some of its own members, most notably the increasingly grumpy and reactionary Trevor de Cleene.

While the physical punishments have been outlawed the routine assumption by school authorities that students had no protection under human rights legislation continued. And the assumption continues despite laws and regulations to the contrary. Indeed the central contradiction of the school (and there is no distinction between private or state institutions in this regard) is that while the school demands of its students total obedience to its own plethora of pedantic and petty rules the school authorities themselves are wantonly subverting and acting in defiance of the rules that are supposed to govern them. They act as a law unto themselves. Thus the perceptive students (and there are unfortunately very few) who observe this happening learn from this that the power of one over another is not based on a concept of justice, or the facts of the written law, or even what they officially claim it is, but on the whim of the strong over the weak, their own convenience and circumstance. And then come all the lies, bluster and nonsense needed to support the inconsistencies which inevitably arise with this contradiction - further undermining the credibility and moral stature of the school authorities in the minds of those subject to it. These new guidelines may be a small measure to address that problem.

Of the many, many examples of abuse of power and the arbitrary actions that pass as school policy the random search would be one of the worst. At my secondary school they were common practice. The most absurd instance I recall with any clarity was an urgent circular from the principal to every teacher in the school that they had to check every student's bag... because a telephone had gone missing. The teacher was as contemptuous of this as her students were. "Do we search your bag too?" - the obvious retort to her. The assumption by the principal (or really the deputy as all operations of this sort were at the instigation of the deputy) being a student had stolen it, rather than any other possibility, and the automatic response that a dragnet invasion of every student's privacy was necessary. So in one hit the school authorities imputed guilt and responsibility exclusively upon their students (and without cause), and then demonstrated that institutional mistrust in a comprehensive policy that not only was far beyond reasonable but also embarassing and humiliating to both students and teachers.

That's one of those incidents at school when you find out which of the three types of person you are: those that associate themselves with the personal power of the teacher and the authorities to bully and coerce others, the ones who don't think at all and just comply with whatever those in power demand without question, and those that understand what's going on and object because it is unjust. The first lot become prefects and then tomorrow's police, parking wardens etc. and enter professions where the power of punishment and control can be obtained for themselves. The second lot are the bulk of the population who will acquiesce in almost anything the first lot do - no matter how monstrous - not just because of their (at times wilful) ignorance of the situation but because their own personal exposure to the injustice is limited - making them in some ways as selfish as the first lot. The third lot are the smallest group in society - those that will never join the professions of the overseer class (apart from protest/activist politicians, lawyers etc.) and find it difficult to attract and mobilise the middle group, and often find themselves concentrated in tiny cells within academia, the bureacracy or alone on the fringes with no institutional support or networks. That is what society is like and that is what school teaches you if you were paying attention.

Another way of putting it is the first is the rapist and his mate, the second are the dozen or so pretending it isn't happening or that she deserves it somehow, the third is either calling the cops or grabbing a baseball bat to put a stop to it. The analogy may be crude - yes - but accurate, absolutely. And it is something of a grand hypocrisy that there is so much focus on anti-bullying campaigns in schools when it is the school system itself that is the epitome of bullying.

The Ministry of Education's guidelines themselves are merely that:

Note: These guidelines are not a legal code and are not a substitute for specific legal advice. They are instead designed to provide general guidance to schools in their management of incidents that may give rise to possible search or confiscation.

So there is ample wriggle room for schools to continue arbitrary search and seizure unfortunately. However by making it clear that the reason is for harm (including self-harm so that drugs can also be a reason) means such random and dragnet operations and group punishments like searching the whole school for a telephone will no longer be acceptable. It's a step towards a full recognition of rights, but it's a tiny one and one prone to constant erosion as drug hysteria pushes the authorities to testing and dog sniffing and so on. For trust to be established it needs to go deeper than just some guidelines.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bomber's Blog - The War on News - ONLINE NOW!

THE WAR ON NEWS:In this weeks political media crimes against reason kill zone

Another Dead NZ SAS soldier - we need a new justification for occupying Afghanistan, I suggest the KFC Double down burger

The amazing disappearing unemployed youth trick

Phil Goff leadership crises, no one wants the leadership

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos 10pm Thursday Freeview 21 & simulcast on Sky 89.

Join Bomber’s Blog – The War on News Facebook group

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ngunguru spit saved - Napier Hospital site lost

Save Ngunguru victory. Just heard Mitch Harris on Radio Live announcing the sandspit has been bought by the Crown and is safe from the threatened development that has drawn criticism and protests for many years now. Having been on one of the protests I'm glad to hear this news. Mitch and I have mutual friends in the area and no doubt the Ngunguru - Tutukaka community will be over-joyed that their persistence has coincided with commonsense. The thought of subdivisions and houses or apartments being built on such an unspoilt - not to mention precarious and unstable - spit had every possibility of occuring as the Council seemed to be hamstrung by the developers.

I also know someone on the other side too - whoring themselves to the greed-mongering developer. The strategy with these outfits is simply extortion. They have little inclination to start bulldozing and sinking in any real money of their own, what they want is to generate momentum in the planning stages so that the development is fully approved and at that point they can then extract the maximum amount from the Crown for the land. Armed with lawyers and deep pockets the developers can challenge Council zoning and fight their way through the environment court and other courts until they get their way. Scaling the horror back just a little each time in order to appear reasonable and give the impression of compromise they got their way in the end. This is the template for all sensitive land blocks in the hands of developers. They can often make more money by not developing it.
But what is the cost?

From Stuff:
he Department of Conservation has bought the Ngunguru Sandspit in a confidential deal with the spit's owner Todd Property Group.

In a related transaction Todd Property is acquiring the defunct Napier Hospital site.

The deal will see the Whangarei beauty spot preserved for the future enjoyment of local people, Whangarei MP Phil Heatley says.

The generic "LandCo" rubric is Todd Property, the development arm of the mega-wealthy Todd family. Note on the "meet our staff" roll call on that website that former Sky City CEO, Evan Davies, is the Managing Director and note that practically all the top management are white men and the lower orders practically all female - with minorities co-opted to front. A typical business structure in NZ.

Ever wondered how the rich get richer? - the Ngunguru block is a case study of the easy way. Extort the Crown by threatening to destroy the sensitive area and instead of using all the statutory and regulatory powers the Crown has at its disposal (and powers it would not hesitate to use to upend Maori efforts) the state just rolls over to the corporation and does a deal. This deal is a land-swap for the Napier Hospital site. The local MP, Phil Heatley, is also a minister we should remember so he must have convinced Cabinet:

"While confidentiality clauses prevent me discussing the details of the deal, I am able to confirm that a new mental health unit will be built in Napier with part of the proceeds of the transaction. This is a clear win, win, win situation," he says.

Win, win, win? That's even more winning than Charlie Sheen, what is Heatley on?

"Firstly it's a huge win for the people of Whangarei who have a place that is very dear to them preserved. Secondly it's a win for the people of Hawke's Bay who have funding for a new, much needed, mental health unit and finally it's a win for the Todd Property Group which has the opportunity to develop the old defunct hospital site to its full potential, which should enhance its value to Napier.

The way he says it it's like the Todds have gifted the spit and then made a donation to rebuild Napier Hospital! Who is writing his press releases - the Todd Property Group? The questions are glaring: What is the value of the hospital site, how much did this cost the Crown and what is Todd's cut?

The hospital cost answer is $13m+:

Napier's former hospital site has been sold for more than $13 million, with some of the proceeds to be spent on a new mental health unit, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

The old Napier Hospital site, on the market since 2006, was bought by Todd Property Group.

The Todds sell Ngunguru to DoC for $x and then buy the hospital site for $13m. Since the Todds aren't operating a charity then surely $x is greater than $13m. How much greater is still unanswered and is deemed commercially sensitive, but will come out eventually.

The other question which never glares in the media's mind is the Treaty settlement situation of the land - both the Ngunguru spit and the Napier hospital. Are Iwi going to see one square centremetre of that? Obviously not, and yet both areas are not settled (see Map below with Napier inset) and landbanking of state assets would be expected to be in force. So since when was the Todd family a Mohaka ki Ahuriri hapu claimant? Why does that family now hold a $13m+ state asset and the local Iwi does not? This is privatisation pure and simple.

Police love to fry Maori and Pacific Islanders

Maori, Islanders high in stun-gun statistics
Fears police would use Tasers disportionately on Maori and Pacific Islanders have been realised, say the Mana Party and the Greens as police numbers show almost 60 per cent of people tasered in the past year were of those ethnicities.

Exactly as Mana and Greens predicted, the NZ Police can't move fast enough to taser when the target is brown. Tasers are not supposed to be used to enforce control, they can only be used if a weapon has been pulled, compliance is not a justification for using a taser, and the speed with which Police use tasers to control the mentally ill demands an inquiry.

The new Police Commissioner announced in April that the restrictions placed on Tasers have now been lifted so that any clown within the Police force, (maybe one who was attracted by the Police recruitment arsehole advert where a young recruit repaints the carpark lines so that no one could open their door), ANY clown within the Police can now taser any member of the public, especially if they are brown.

Tasers were only available to 26% of frontline cars and an officer had to gain permission via the communications centre to use them, NOW, tasers will be available to all and no permission sought. Excellent, ill trained cops with tasers.

We know the damage ill trained cops with guns can cause. Ask the family of Halatau Naitoko who was gunned down by ill trained Police. Wasn't the report hilarious? Cops just opening fire in public like it's a fucking playstation game - of course Police need the tools to police, but ill trained cops running around with weapons isn't a policing policy is it? It's a recipe for disaster, ask the family of Halatau Naitoko.

The reality is that nothing will change until a middle class white kid get's the same treatment, then watch how quickly Judith Collins will move to investigate. While the police are led by a tough on crime cheerleader like Crusher, the same targets of Police racism and profiling will always be the victim of tasering while a compliant Independent Police Complaints Authority will do what their told.

I wonder if the Police who outrageously arrested Tiki Taane for singing 'Fuck the Police' would have tasered him if they had a taser available when they bullied him into an arrest?

Fried pork never tasted so bitter.


A vote for Peter Dunne is a vote for more public sector cuts

Wellington feels pain of state job cuts
Wellington will bear the brunt of the job cuts from the latest public sector restructuring plans. About 110 positions based in the capital are to be axed after the Fisheries Ministry was folded back into the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry on July 1. Under the new ministry's "consultation proposals" published yesterday, 241 positions – mainly corporate roles including communications and policy jobs – will disappear from October. Of those, 97 were already vacant. Of the remaining 144 jobs to be axed, about 80 per cent are in Wellington.

How is that 'change' feeling Wellington? Bice and cosy under National are we? One of the many mainstream media lies is that Peter Dunne will win Ohariu. Why? Ohariu has the highest concentration of Public Service workers than any other electorate in the country, why would any of them, especially with a reminder of the jobless wolf at the door like this, vote for Dunne? These voters know a vote for Dunne, is a vote for National and that's a vote for more public service cutbacks. How stupid does Dunne and Key think the voters of Ohariu are?

Ohariu is one of the first electorates on election night that Labour need to win if the left have a chance of having a higher majority.

Dunne is so irrelevant, even his toupee won't accept his facebook friend request.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vote for Change has become a shallow prize giveaway gameshow

Has anyone else noticed that the Anti MMP group, ‘Vote for Change’ are simply becoming a prize giveaway game show? I’m not sure how handing out I-tune vouchers and Ipad 2’s helps expand public debate about MMP when the Vote For Change spokesperson Jordan Williams does all he can to escape any actual interviews, but shouldn’t the anti-MMP group be, oh I don’t know, actually debating the issue rather than simply trying to bribe young people through twitter giveaways? Ever since I outed one of their founding members as a white supremacist, their media campaign has resembled more like a lotto big Wednesday advert with more prizes to give away than the price is right than a public information campaign discussing  to merits of our electoral system. It’s like entrusting game show contestants to conduct open heart surgery, shouldn’t  we have a more adult discussion on this issue rather than the bribe-a-thon Vote for Change are currently conducting. Dump the prize giveaways and front the debate, free X-box’s and I-phones are not a reason to dump MMP.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bugger the Polls, tax the rich and hold the line sleepy hobbits

Another bout of bullshit cheap brainfart telephone polls burped out of the mainstream media this week, Petra (bless her) on TVNZ Breakfast earnestly asked Phil Goff, 'how do you turn things around when your polls are so bad'.

Phil was way too polite.

Phil should have attacked the polls, should have pointed out that the landline methodology so favoured by the expedient and under paid journalists don't work in a recession this steep, that the NZ Herald digi poll using the exact same failed methodology predicted the race between Banks and Brown was neck and neck (Len of course won by a landslide), that the very same failed methodology predicted Hone would only win by 1% in Te Tai Tokerau (he of course won by over 9%).

Phil should have pointed out that these cheap telephone brainfart polls are attempting to manipulate public opinion rather than reflect it.

Which is of course exactly what the mainstream media are attempting to do by allowing a Government propagandist and pollster like David Farrar unchallenged space to peddle his soft sell push polling messages as 'political columns' and is the reason why most of the mainstream media continue to base their headlines on gutter raking by whaleoil who has predicted Phil Goff will be rolled more often than the West have proclaimed victory in the war on terrorism.

Watching our incompetent mainstream media's love affair with John Key in our first official cult of no personality has reminded me there are two types of NZer - the Shire Volk who support an unjust system because they benefit from it and the sleepy hobbits who just bounce from candy flossed news story to candy flossed news story without challenging any of the real issues.

In short we've dumbed down debate so far, that a smile and a wave can win an election. How cringe worthy. How ugly. How casually fascist.

As the brilliant Gareth Morgan so righteously points out in his brilliant column today...

One could be forgiven, in the light of the jargon of government-appointed tax working groups and welfare working groups, for believing that the main tax policy objective is to stop tax dodging and the main redistribution issue is to end welfare bludging. That's how dumbed-down and myopic the New Zealand discussion on tax and distribution has become.

...he is of course right. We have been so led in our thinking by a mainstream media who are as uncritical as State Libyan Television into refusing to even comprehend that our tax system is the egalitarian back bone of our nation that prevents us becoming a plutocracy by the elites, in the interest of the elites, and for the elites.

Much better that we bennie bash those who are powerless and force parents back to work rather than look after their child and create a tax system that enriches the wealthy while robbing from the poor. Better we are led to bitch about tax cuts and ignore the 210 000 NZ children in poverty while the 150 richest families gain in one year $7 billion, better that we don't question how we were plunged into an economic recession that demands those who had no hand in creating it do with less.

As far as the mainstream media are concerned, it is better we stay sleepy hobbits.

But I believe we are made of sterner stuff, I believe that sleepy hobbits can wake up and I believe those bonds of social obligations via redistributive tax were forged in fires far deeper than the pockets of our vacantly optimistic Prime Minister. When the rich and poor of NZ fought on the battlefields where our Nations honour was tested, they stood shoulder to shoulder and held the line. THEY decided that if all shared in the sacrifice of democracy, then all should share in the fruits of that democracy.

The mainstream media never tell us that narrative about ourselves.

Mike Williams reminds a spooked left that there is plenty of time for the polls to turn and that we need to recognise that the Rugby World Cup was always going to dominate until the 5 weeks when we could debate the issues. NZ has one of the highest voter turn out rates in the OECD, we take voting seriously and Goff can beat Key one on one in those debates because the free market dogma Key espouses has failed, and continues to fail.

Anthony Hubbards echos points I've made about Key's vacant optimism becoming his greatest weakness...

National's biggest asset will begin to shed its value. The smiley face might even become a liability, an empty grin amid the ruins.

...where I disagree with Anthony is that a Labour plus Greens Plus Mana Party majority would be the worst of wins, it would show a majority do not want to follow the punitive free market privatization solutions suggested by Key. Where I agree with Anthony is that at this stage, Labour simply haven't done enough to deserve a win and they are running out of time to earn that.

The reality for Phil is that by having the leadership handed to him by Helen, he didn't earn it. Political leadership is about seizing power, it can not be handed to you, without the blood of victory, the throne is crowded and not singular in direction. That political truism however is no excuse for allowing the Government to win, if Key is re-elected a punitive bennie bashing agenda mixed with a privatization agenda will swamp this country and damage our communities once again, just like they did last time when we saw our suicide rates sky rocket to the national shame they are today. We can not write off an entire generation of NZers for the interests of the wealthy so they continue to justify their 'right' not to be taxed more.

While National will have the most votes on the night, they may have no coalition partners and proof that not even they believe the mainstream media's nonsense of 60% support is that they are desperately cutting sleazy deals around the political spectrum to hold onto those tails so the dog can wag.

The message for those on the left of NZ is clear - hold the line, only the mainstream media and right wing fantasists believe this election is in the bag.

The final word to Gareth...

It requires abandoning stereotypes that populist politics incites. It is not true that those on benefits or not in paid work are inferior, and need to be whipped out of their complacency, that they would be "better" people if they were in paid work.

Yet the Welfare Working Group's recommendations which National is now implementing assume just that.

That our consumer society has become so mesmerised by materialism that the common belief is that everyone should be in paid work is testimony to the corrosion of what we value and our obsession with material gain, no matter how trivial. We have, sadly, lost the plot.

As Adam Smith said of the materially poor: "The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature as from habit, custom and education."

There is nothing lackadaisical about the poor.

Our tax and welfare policy is in urgent need of reconstruction so it ensures equal opportunity for all to participate and fully realise their potential in society in its widest sense - whether it be the paid or the unpaid workforce.

The chauvinism in policies that disparage unpaid work - whether it be care of the elderly, juveniles or of the community - has run way too far and will alienate more and more.

Time for sleepy hobbits to wake up now, John's smile and wave holds no answers for us as a country.


Rugby World Cup a looming financial disaster?

So beyond the manufactured World Cup chatter regarding ADIDAS, fake Rugby World Cups and every sperm is sacred abstinence plans that block real news discussion about the fact we have 210 000 NZ children living in poverty while the richest 150 families skip to the bank with $7 billion, shouldn't the mainstream media be asking some much tougher questions about all the supposed gold at the end of the Rugby World Cup rainbow?

Are the Mainstream media muted in their criticism because they are all media sponsors and as such have a deeply vested interest in clapping along rather than questioning?

The canaries in the coalmine have been dropping like ADIDAS sponsored partys. The Eden Park luxury uber expensive penthouse suit extension at the posh part of the park was dramatically scaled back from a double story to a single story after a complete lack of interest in pre bookings. This elite part of the clientele are supposed to be the profit margins for these events, and to date the uber rich ain't commin. This is born out by the collapse last month of a local business set up with rugby legends of old as front men to hire exclusive homes out to these same class of rugby spectators. Add the appalling ticket sales to date alongside news that cheaper seats are being released because tour operators can't sell them, and increasingly it's looking less and less likely that the Rugby World Cup is going to be the vast money maker Treasury were hoping like hell it would be.

Why does any of this matter?

It matters because according to Treasury, the Rugby World Cup alongside the Christchurch rebuild will be the two main economic drivers of this year. Did I say two main, I meant 2 only. Now one doesn't need to be Ken Ring to predict that the Christchurch rebuild won't really start this side of December, so that leaves the Rugby World Cup and in terms of that, the latest news that we have used numbers so questionable it suddenly makes our supposed growth prospects very, very, very, very optimistic.

How optimistic? Well Christ on a bike, turns out the 95 000 tourists here for the Rugby World Cup are actually made up of 70 000 tourists who would normally be coming to NZ anyway, leaving a mere 25 000 actual rugby fans. Oh. My. God.

RWC: benefits 'wildly overestimated'
The economic benefits of the Rugby World Cup may have been wildly overestimated by the tournament's backers, a senior academic said yesterday as the Reserve Bank hosed down expectations of a $700 million boost to the economy.

So we've cooked the books to pretend that 95 000 rugby fans were coming when it's really just 15 000 to 25 000 rugby fans who will be actually turning up, drunkenly pissing off and annoying the normal 70 000 tourists we would get anyway.

When will we start to wake up to the possibility that we've been scammed here and what wider economic ramifications this scam causes to the wildly optimistic growth forecasts suggested by Treasury that enables the budget to look plausible?

Meanwhile homeless people on Queen St continue to be harassed every day by the $20 000 private security firm who have been charged with twice daily sweeps to make sure the tourists don't see that NZ is the 7th most unequal country in the OECD.



File under: Another thing Whaleoil predicted that didn't happen

Mallard makes 'blubber boy' wail
Despite shedding 15kg, blogger Cameron Slater, also known as Whaleoil, could not match Labour MP Trevor Mallard in a 60km bicycle race around Auckland's eastern suburbs yesterday.

Right, so Cam's prediction that he would kick Trevs arse can be filed alongside his other failed predictions of John Banks winning the Auckland Mayoralty, Phil Goff being rolled, Chris Carters Mother using a tax payer cellphone (when she had been dead 12 years), Mana not forming, Phil Goff getting rolled, Mana not forming in time for the election, Phil Goff getting rolled and Hone losing the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

With such a failed track record, I can see why the mainstream media base so much of their ill-researched weekly news stories on Whaleoil's twitter feed.

PS - Trev, stop giving Cameron this attention, to quote Cam at his best, "never roll around in the mud with a pig". You may have 'won' a bloody bike race but you lost the war, Cam wins because you have wasted so much energy on mud wrestling with him.

The left are kidding themselves if they think Slater is stupid, he isn't, he's the best dog whistler the right have. Can we get back to how the National Party are crippling the welfare state and why we have 210 000 NZ children living in poverty while the richest 150 families increased their wealth by $7 billion, or does the NZ Herald want to run Cameron's latest leadership rumour regarding Phil Goff as gospel again?


Police should be ashamed at handling of Asperger's 'looter'

Lawyer rubbishes police claims over autistic 'looter'
The lawyer for a man with Asperger's syndrome who was accused of looting in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake has rubbished police claims his client was intoxicated during his arrest.

We can all see what happened can't we? The Police, having just gone through one of the most intensely stressful day of their life are patrolling streets when they catch some young bloke who is clearly taking things from homes hit in the quake. As adults we can all step back and see how the tensions, the anger, the frustrations and stress played out, we can all see how this snowballed.

For the actions on the night, I simply can't feel anything other than sympathy for those tasked with trying to keep order in the wake of such a terrible earthquake, many perhaps knowing that friends and whanau were still in rubble.

Yes we demand high standards from the Police in their conduct at every moment, yes we train them and yes we empower them with a vast amount of power that has to always be monitored, but the Christchurch earthquake was a unique event and within that paradigm I think we must accept some things are not going to go as we demand in the best of times.

But that sympathy ends on that night. Beyond the frustrations of the Police in the heat of that moment, much cooler and wiser heads at Police HQ should have stepped in as soon as they were made aware of the dimensions of this case, because it is the Police conduct after it was glaringly apparent that Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp had aspergers which made him compulsively act out a light fittings fixation that is the real issue here.

By denying him diversion, by holding him for 11 days, by then THREATENING the bloody media with legal action for highlighting the utter injustice they were committing by refusing to back down because of their misjudged loyalty to their front line officers, the Police have done themselves a terrible disservice on a day when many NZers would hail them as heroes for their amazing handling of the Earthquake.

This is a terrible failure of leadership in the Police force, and the manner in which Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp (someone Cameron Slater was demanding be 'gut shot' for looting) has been maligned serves no one any honour in this ugly little event.

Real questions of Police leadership must be asked in this case, to threaten the media for pointing out the brutal reality of what the Police were doing to Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp after the fact is simply a step too far by the Police, our media are there to hold them accountable for their actions, for the Police to turn on the media and threaten them with a legal investigation suggest a Police force that has simply been given far too much power.

Perhaps one positive out of this sorry mess will be a recognition that the power NZ Police have been allowed under the 'get tough on crime crap' has become way out of balance with the powers a Police force should posses in a Western Liberal Democracy like NZ.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Noose tightens: rebels govt.

This looks like the end for Gaddafi now the rebels are taking action in the capital. Events are moving fast after Tripoli was cut off a few days ago.

How's this for the State TV news bulletin: a presenter brandishing a gun! Not going to get Simon and Wendy doing that anytime soon on TVNZ (no matter how much we may want to see it). This is a desperate hour for Gaddafi's hardline supporters. Their careers and wealth and security have been built upon the regime and killing sprees are no idle threat.

What is Gaddafi's exit strategy? Rumours of talks with rebels have been circulating for a fortnight or so and expect that some plan has been made to get out despite the rhetoric from Gaddafi's sons - one of whom has been captured. His message ends in gunfire, but reports are he is safe.
It has taken many months of fighting to get to this stage - the UK and others have already recognised the rebel government. The Arab spring is not yet over and attention will now focus on Syria where pressure is mounting to isolate that regime.

NZ Political Parties on facebook - who is winning?

The failed methodology of the mainstream political opinions polls are throwing up results that are more and more detached from reflecting political opinion and are increasingly about manipulating public opinion.

Only the brain dead msm and right wing fantasists believe this election will be a landslide, this is the same mainstream media flawed landline cheap brainfart telephone polls that proclaimed Len Brown and John Banks were neck and neck while predicting that Hone was only ahead by 1% when he in fact won by over 9%.

As Political Parties grapple with trying to bypass an increasingly right wing and biased media, perhaps the media could cast an eye over who is winning the facebook war to see which Party is managing to adapt to the new social networking explosion.

It is not surprising when the Herald places a hard right masquerading as lite right Government propagandist like David Farrar in an unchallenged position on their site that the left would want to bypass the msm and talk directly to their activists and supporters, so who is succeeding and adapting?

Not surprisingly, NZ First is the lowest I ranked with 367 supporters. Seeing as their average age of supporter is close to 89, Winstons hopes of appealing to a younger demographic seem more aspirational than real. One cold winter could half NZ First's voter base in a season, needs to try harder.

Maori Party comes in at 6 with 724 supporters, but I'm not sure if this is even their official page as there is no link from their website, although there is a bebo page. Which I think speaks volumes on it's own. Apparently swallowing dead rats for little gain is as unsupportable on line as it is in reality.

ACT have disappointingly small Facebook support. At a mere 921 supporters this is a disappointment because ACT have such a large and active online troll supporters league who live in the bowels of Kiwiblogh, Cactus Kate and Whaleoil blogsites. The problem with Facebook is that because it is so identifiable, it robs the right of their anonymous viciousness, I mean who wants to openly identify with a racist party who only last month were bickering internally about how racist they should go with their race baiting advert. Judging on its paltry 921 supporters, not many if any.

The shocker of the lot is the National Party with a tiny 1197 supporters. While Key's facebook site is liked by a staggering 63 045 Shire Volk, the National Party itself is a shadow of its vacantly optimistic leader and comes in well behind at number 4.

For a political party that has only existed for a couple of months, Mana Party leaps ahead with 2 429 supporters making their ranking in the msm polls of .9% of the population seem more hopeful of the msm than reality.

Labour's Clare Curran has seen the future and constantly projects about the digital electorate which would explain Labour's impressive 3525 supporters placing them at number 2, but for real arse kicking facebook power for a Political Party, the Greens are the champions.

Political Party Facebook Supporters
1: Greens - 11 633 supporters
2: Labour - 3 525 supporters
3: Mana - 2 429 supporters
4: National - 1197 supporters
5: ACT - 921 supporters
6: Maori Party - 724 supporters
7: NZ First - 110 supporters

At over 11 000 supporters, the Greens from their activism days have understood the importance of social networking and are the kings of using this new media as a way to engage with their supporters unlike any other political party. The real possibility of a Green Party that manages to gain 10% is not inconceivable when you see the real interaction they have managed to create on their site.

The minor parties are adapting to social networking and bypassing the mainstream media, who through their myopic and uncritical acceptance of their own bullshit cheap landline telephone polls, are missing the evidence that something very different is occurring on the left for this election.


Guyon takes TVNZ back 60 years with Mana communism insult

John Minto's performance on Q+A on Sunday was almost as brilliant as Cunliffe's performance, his measured critique of the inequality in NZ would have disappointed those on the right (Don Brash, Mathew Hooten, Whaleoil and Farrar) desperate to paint Mana out as extremists but one question at the end made Guyon sound as defunct as the stale air in the corridors of a brain dead TV, the almost farcical, 'are you a member of the communist party' sytled question was an insult to our collective intelligence, 'isn't this communism' by Guyon is something I'd expect from an ACT party undergrad, not TVNZ's political editor.

I don't remember Guyon asking Don Brash if ACT was a racist fascist party last time he interviewed him.

How on earth can a damning critique of free market capitalism at a time when the global economy is in crash mode because of that very same free market capitalism suddenly get belittled by being called 'communist'?

Seeing as this is the very same TVNZ political reporter who called the Te Tai Tokerau byelction for Kelvin Davis and was out by over 9% when Hone won, I think Guyon is sounding as out of touch with the electorate of poverty that Mana represent as every other elite in the country.

What the mainstream media miss is that the sense of class has evolved in NZ into the concept of whanau, that is why Guyon can not comprehend the possibilities Mana presents for a progressive NZ.


Citizen A - ONLINE NOW

Citizen A this week with Auckland Labour Party MP, David Shearer and Western Bays advocate Mr Geoff Houtman

Issue one: John Key's welfare reform - will it create jobs or is it just populist bennie bashing?

Issue two: Is the privatization of welfare, like the privatization of prisons just something we don't actually care about?

Issue three tonight: Snow that isn't fluffy, earthquakes that don't shake and Auckland loses against Tasman - has the little big city lost it's mojo?

Citizen A now plays 8pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89 Fridays


Afghanistan - killing in the name of?

As another soldier John Key sent back into a war zone because we no longer attempt an independent foreign policy dies propping up a corrupt narco state while we are about to anoint a Governor General who has allegations of breaching international obligations by over seeing our handing over of Afghan civilians to known torture units, let's ask again, what are we doing in this unending war of occupation.

Wayne Mapp embarrassingly claimed during Q+A that we are in Afghanistan to prevent the 7 NZers who have died because of international terrorism in 10 years. If our threshold for occupying another country is a mere 7 NZers who have died in a decade, why the bloody hell aren't we sending the SAS into every KFC in NZ to torch them? The Double Down burger will kill many more NZers than international terrorism ever will.

The first thing Key will do if he wins is U-turn on the SAS and keep them in Afghanistan. I introduced Jon Stephenson at the Wintec School of Journalism last week to reflect on our latest war without end, his courage at continuing to challenge the official version of events and highlight the unconscionable position we place our soldiers in by having them hand civilians over to known torture units.

Thank God Metro are relevant and brave again!

No one sums up the contempt for war like our greatest poet, James K Baxter...

The Gunner's Lament

A Maori gunner lay dying
In a paddyfield north of Saigon,
And he said to his pakeha cobber,
"I reckon I've had it, man!

'And if I could fly like a bird
To my old granny's whare
A truck and a winch would never drag
Me back to the Army.

'A coat and a cap and a well-paid job
Looked better than shovelling metal,
And they told me that Te Rauparaha
Would have fought in the Vietnam battle.

'On my last leave the town swung round
Like a bucket full of eels.
The girls liked the uniform
And I liked the girls.

'Like a bullock to the abattoirs
In the name of liberty
They flew me with a hangover
Across the Tasman Sea,

'And what I found in Vietnam
Was mud and blood and fire,
With the Yanks and the Reds taking turns
At murdering the poor.

'And I saw the reason for it
In a Viet Cong's blazing eyes -
We fought for the crops of kumara
And they are fighting for the rice.

'So go tell my sweetheart
To get another boy
Who'll cuddle her and marry her
And laugh when the bugles blow,

'And tell my youngest brother
He can have my shotgun
To fire at the ducks on the big lagoon,
But not to aim it at a man,

'And tell my granny to wear black
And carry a willow leaf,
Because the kid she kept from the cold
Has eaten a dead man's loaf.

'And go and tell Keith Holyoake
Sitting in Wellington,
However long he scrubs his hands
He'll never get them clean.'

James K Baxter

You'll never get them clean John.

And while we are at it, I still think it is utterly unaceptable that we are spending tax payer money via NZ on Air to recuit children into our military and having this show play on the weekend on TV2...

Operation Hero is being funded by a bewilderingly huge advertising budget by the NZ Defence Force that has spent $20 million in the last 3 years with another $15million lined up for the next three.

Why on earth are we spending money on reality TV shows aimed at Children coming out of the recruitment budgets of the military? When did we start propaganda for the war machine as part of television programming for kids?

What obscenity are they cooking up here?

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to the Sesame Street Miltia?

The semi-automatic rainbow connection?

Cookie Monster says get on the ground now terrorist?

Our children are not recruitment fodder for the NZ war machine and our taxpayers dollars sure as hell shouldn't be used to con kids into thinking it is.

Out of Afghanistan now.