Fitch ratings agency has lowered New Zealand's credit rating by one notch to "AA" and expressed concern over its high external debt.
"New Zealand's high level of net external debt is an outlier among rated peers - a key vulnerability that is likely to persist as the current account deficit is projected to widen again," Andrew Colquhoun, Fitch's head of Asia-Pacific sovereigns said overnight.
The country's net external debt hit 70 per cent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) in June.
Key's a wide eyed little ray of sunshine in a multi-millionaire bubble world who sees only rainbows and unicorns set against a pink sky raining cupcakes of love, however if I had a Hawaiian mansion and $50 million in the bank, I'd be pretty bloody optimistic as well.
I'm just not sure, 'Don't worry, be happy' can be an actual economic policy and this Governments economic mismanagement has exacerbated our troubles rather than prepared us for the double dip global recession.
That optimism of how well John Key has led the economy was Tuesday.
Today is Friday, and NZ's credit rating has just been downgraded! Bill English can't say he saw it coming, so that means he didn't see it coming and this week shows up the vacant aspiration of Key at it's most delusional.
If Helen Clark had boasted the economy was doing well, and by the end of the week the credit downgraded, TVNZ would be playing her claims of economic robustness juxtaposed with the downgrade on a 24 hour loop. Key does it and the stunned mullet media continue to broadcast Rugby World Cup manufactured chatter.
Occupy Wall Street movement begins to gain critical mass
Today is day 12 of the #OccupyWallSt movement, otherwise known as the 99% movement. The protests have had little coverage in their initial days by mainstream media, and are only know beginning to be discussed. Initially there were only around 1,000 participants that turned up. Unable to get close to Wall Street due to a lack of permits to demonstrate and the heavy handed police treatment that saw 80 people arrested on Saturday, the protests looked like they would fade away. However, the widely circulated image of a policeman pepper spraying two protestors who had already been cordoned aside by police seems to have given the protests fuel, and the arrival of Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon to give speeches seems to be providing additional publicity. Based in Zucotti Park, the protests seem to be spreading very quickly, testifying to the power of social media in mobilizing people and also the anomie a section of the US population is currently experiencing.
The protests seem to be spreading virally very quickly, regardless of mainstream news coverage, and I expect the weekend will bring more news as more people protest. #OccupyBoston began yesterday adding to the protests in Chicago and San Francisco, along with a march of a couple of hundred airline pilots in full uniform on Wall St. Watching Twitter yesterday, over the span of seven or so hours, the protests swelled from a few cities to 52 cities in total organizing protests or currently occupying financial districts. Reports are coming in that many police are also dissatisfied with their pensions and support the protests in principle. One of the many websites that has sprung up to document the protests, Occupyinfo, shows people attempting to organize protests in Canada, Australia and the UK in solidarity with Wall St. If this continues to spread, this will be the largest protest movement of unrest since the student protests in the 1970s. While the numbers of protestors are still small, this is incredibly significant due to its spread.
In the absence of a mainstream news media documenting the protests and providing a narrative, there has been much debate over what the protests are about. As Keith Olbermann details below, the US media ignored the protests for the first few days, with complaints already emerging at Yahoo for blocking 'Occupy Wall St' as a search term.
While the mainstream media has been focussing on the protestors not having any identifiable narrative or singular concern as to why they have hit the streets, there are clear themes that are emerging. The movement is named the 99% in reference to the fact that 1% of the US population control the wealth. This is hardly surprising - unemployment is officially at 9.1% nationwide, but it is as high as 32% in some cities. This does not account for the number of people underemployed in casual work, which is around 1 in 5, contributing to conditions where the next 20% are no doubt worried about the economy and their work. The first dip in the recession saw many people drop from middle class to camper vans during the foreclosures, and the bailout of large financial institutions contributed to a feeling of general malaise on both sides of the political spectrum. Well-founded fears about the US economy are being reinforced by get-rich gurus such as Bill Gates calling for a Financial Transaction Tax (Hone Heke tax/ Tobin tax) and Warren Buffett stating that the wealthy need to be taxed. Under these kind of economic conditions and fear, the emergence of resistant discourses is hardly surprising.
It is also clear in the Scribd.com open document for the communique of the protestors that worries about oppression in a heavily monitored democracy are a key concern - the first demand is for a participatory democracy. This is hardly surprising in an environment where access to the political sphere requires the amassing of huge campaign funds to outperform your opponent, or a country where many still feel scarred by the outcome of the Florida election. The protests were inspired by the Spanish acampadas and the Egyptian uprising and initially promoted by the Canadian-based Adbusters magazine and the elusive hacker group Anonymous. Egyptian pamphlets on non-violence are being circulated, and many of the symbols of the Arab spring are clearly identifiable. The mask of 'V' from V for Vendetta, a movie which examines a future British society controlled by 'Big Brother' surveillance, has become an international symbol for Anonymous and for freedom of citizens, and is being found everywhere from globalization protests in the UK, to Egyptian and Libyan videos. The mask symbolizes the struggle that citizens are currently engaged in with their states over information technology, a struggle that has seen the development of a Cold War-type technology struggle between citizens and their governments. This technology in the Arab world has seen states deploy the tracking of citizens to quash dissent and their identification, aided by technology companies that sell tracking technology at world fairs. For example, Nokia and Vodafone implicated in the Arab Spring in aiding dictators, or the online arrests of citizens through Facebook as in Bahrain or following the London riots. The US police responded by enforcing a 150-year-old law banning the wearing of face masks to arrest people. On some of the protestors the keffiyeh is also making an emergence to signal solidarity with the Egyptians.
The strength of the movement will depend on what happens over the next week or so - watch this space. With these types of movements spurred by social networking, it is the speed of spread rather than the numbers that give a good indication of the traction. With more than 1,000 people arrested for protesting outside the White House over the tar sands, and 1,800 arrested in New York City for protesting the Republican Convention in 2004, the spread indicates that people are beginning to break through the fear of protesting.
However Dutch investigative journalist, Bette Dam, told Radio New Zealand Afghan authorities had told her the soldiers may have been caught up in a family feud.
She said she was told the SAS and the Afghan allies were incorrectly told by one family that the home was occupied by Taleban bomb-makers.
The governor of Warduk told her the Afghan man who was killed, Younus Khan, was innocent, as were nine others who were injured.
"The governor's office told me that the people actually in the house that got raided were unarmed," she said.
"A lot of things are not clear yet, but for me, from he governor's office and even from the head of the response unit, there seems to be a different situation than you expect, like a Taleban being in the house, trying to Kabul, here at a hotel or whatsever - that seems not the case."
She understood the bullet that killed Lance Corporal Smith "came from in or around" that house.
NO MORE NZ INVOLVEMENT IN THIS FILTH! We are not protecting freedom and democracy, we are propping up American hegemony and a corrupt narco state while handing civilians over to known torture units.
John Key's desire to be a lap dog to the US means that his promise to bring back our SAS in March will be the first promise he breaks if re-elected. Lance Corporal Smith and his whanau just paid for Key's price of giving up an independent foreign policy.
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 1965
No matter how much you scrub your hands John, you'll never get them clean.
Dear TVNZ Breakfast - seeing as your network in particular has been so conned by the Military PR department (as pointed out in Nicky Hargar's 'Other People's Wars), allowing another pro war opinion defending the latest death on this mornings show seems willfully ignorant of your role in being cheerleaders for this pointless, needless war that we are not winning.
Guyon Espiner, your own so called Political Editor, was played like a puppet by the NZ Military PR Department, and didn't even have the intellectual curiosity to question the CIA using our 'Kiwi Camp' as a cover because 'reconstruction' bases don't get attacked like forward bases do.
This isn't building schools or digging wells, this is us involved in a proxy war and your continued unquestioning championing of this war by continuing to bring on pro-war pundits betrays your role as a publicly owned media outlet that is supposed to hold the powerful to account.
200 000 under 30's not enrolled and don't give a toss (surprise, surprise)
200,000 under-30s not enrolled to vote Two months out from the November 26 election, nearly 200,000 people aged between 18 and 30 are not enrolled to vote. More than 120,000 people aged between 18 and 24 are yet to enrol, a shortfall of more than 70 per cent of the estimated 438,300 who should be. In the next age bracket, 25-29, about 57,000 of the eligible 281,700 still need to enrol.
Is there any surprise that 200 000 under 30 year olds aren't enrolled to vote? Why would they? The cynicism towards politics is legitimate, when the sleepy hobbits of NZ can flock to a multi-millionaire money trader with the sort of hope evangelical Christians have for the rapture, who wouldn't be cynical?
When the mainstream media spend more time on Happy bloody Feet than us losing jury trials, who wouldn't be disenfranchised and disconnected . We have one of the highest youth suicide rates in the OECD, terrible investment in young people, high teenage pregnancy rates and selfishness sold as a virtue, that the next generation have become consumers and not citizens should surprise no one.
Want to lift the participation rates of young people in our democracy? Lower the voting age to 16 alongside a citizenship curriculum in schools. Rather than blame young people for boy racing, music piracy and every alcohol problem under the sun, how about empower them with their rights as citizens at an early age so the roots of democracy are protected, or they can wither and die.
Every great fishing expedition needs an organising committee:
Submissions can be made until 12.00am (midnight) tonight, Wednesday, 28 September 2011.
The committee will hear from invited parties at its meeting this morning, and will hear oral submissions from interested members of the public and interest groups later tonight. These hearings will take place in Select Committee meeting rooms 1 and 2, on the ground floor of Bowen House, in public session.
Members of the public who want to give evidence at the public hearing are asked to be present at Bowen House between 7.00pm and 8.00pm. Written submissions do not need to have been made beforehand, but submitters are welcome to make a submission through the Parliament website, or to bring a written submission with them if they wish.
Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill is now on the parliamentary website. The select committee is already meeting. The government - really the NZ Police, but same diff - anticipate the validation of their unlawful spying before the House dissolves for the general election next week.
The cops knew what they were doing was wrong. Their answer - because the police are NEVER wrong - is to get their wrongdoing put in as law. The search and surveillance bill has been before the House for some time now and the fishing expedition provisions are totally objectionable - they propose to authorise the cops off their own bat and without any judicial order to start spying if they feel like it, and then we have to trust them to desist if after a few days if they don't find anything. It is that which the NZ Police fear they won't get if that bill sits in the House and so now they concoct some alarmist scenario - without proof - to scare the politicians into permitting it by way of a special bill to be rammed through under urgency.
Will Labour and Act fold as the Nats have to the instructions of the NZ Police?
The citizens have until midnight to lodge a submission - a small mercy the Nats were forced into let us not forget.
47 police film cases in limbo - Collins Police evidence from hidden cameras in 47 cases - involving 229 accused - are in jeopardy until Parliament can fix the law, Police Minister Judith Collins says.
It is despicable the way the Government are rushing new spying powers for the Police through Parliament with the pretense of a Select Committee process for a Bill few have even read.
Police Minister Judith Collins told the media that 229 NZers are currently being secretly spied on and this justifies the ramming of these powers through. Seeing as the Urewera case has been a major embarrassment and flop, how on earth can that cock up be a justification for a spying practice by the Police that is illegal. Remember we are talking about enabling the Police to break into your home and plant spy cameras with the barest of judicial oversight, this is not how a democracy functions, this is how a Police State functions.
You've all bought the lie that this is aimed at da gangs, for the purposes of this bill, the definition of a gang is 3 people who know each other. These powers will be used on all of us, for a country that shat its pants over power saving lightbulbs and water saving shower heads, to grant the State the power to spy on you in your own homes is Nanny State on steroids, yet you all accept it because John Key's smile and wave pacifies you.
NZs sad worship of cop authority minus any fucking safeguards whatsoever deserves all the contempt free people can muster.
If Helen Clark had ever tried to pull this shit the NZ Herald would be calling on readers to burn her electoral office to the ground.
Welcome to the NZ crypto Police State, Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.
RWC transport woes unavoidable - report The transport chaos that hit Auckland on Rugby World Cup opening night was "inevitable" due to crowd numbers far exceeding the train network's capacity, an independent report has found.
Blame is pointed at event organisers rather than train operator Veolia Transport in the report issued by law firm Meredith Connell last night.
The single biggest problem was organisers failing to predict the number of people using public transport, the report said.
The report into the Rugby World Cup transport fiasco is in and it finds no one is at blame, which is a little different from John Keys position which is that after spending 3 years telling NZers to come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central - when everyone came to party central, it all became Len Browns fault.
Seeing as Key rammed through the Super City under urgency and appointed all the Transport and Waterfront boards, he and his Government are to blame for the fiasco, especially after they were told 20 months ago that the transport system couldn't cope.
Luckily for Key however, this whitewashed report finds no one is to blame, which when you consider the Train company weren't even asked to put on extra trains on opening night, seems a little more like criminal negligence than simply oversight.
Memo to John Key: 'Don't worry, be happy' isn't an economic policy
PM sticks with surplus forecast Dark clouds are threatening the global economy, but John Key insists there is no reason to change tack on policies or postpone the forecast return to surplus.
John Key's vacant optimism has reached new heights of delusion. As the Global economy collapses because of the venal corporate greed that melted down share markets in 2008, John Key can see nothing but rainbows and unicorns bouncing along under golden skies raining pink cupcakes. He refuses to readjust Treasury predictions for the economy and refuses to hear anything negative about the impending collapse of the free market system he adores. He's a wide eyed little ray of sunshine in a multi-millionaire bubble world divorced from the realities of life.
Whanau, if I had a Hawaiian mansion and $50 million in the bank, I'd be pretty bloody optimistic as well, but I'm just not sure, 'Don't worry, be happy' can be an actual economic policy.
John Key is so optimistic you could throw a glass of water at him and he'd still claim it was half full. That's great if you are a party boy millionaire, not so great if you are in denial and leading a country.
Vata Ngobeni, chief rugby writer for the Pretoria News, has labelled himself "the unlucky black man in Taupo" in a column published overnight in his newspaper after he was taken to a police station and searched after being accused of peddling drugs in a Taupo bar.
Bay of Plenty Police district commander Superintendent Glenn Dunbie said they had "received credible information about an alleged offence and we were obliged to act on that information. Ethnicity, occupation or any other details would be irrelevant - the police focus was on the alleged offence''.
A South African Journalist here to cover the Rugby World Cup alleges he was racially profiled and searched by racist NZ Cops in Taupo after they alleged he was selling drugs in a bar he had just entered.
Police claim 'someone' told them Vata Ngobeni was dealing drugs in a toilet and that was good enough for them. Plus he looked like a gangsta rapper, and they all have drugs.
Vata is lucky he wasn't arrested for being black in a built up urban area after sunset because when the NZ Police aren't pointlessly strip searching those they racially profile as drug dealers, they are arresting Tiki Taane for singing songs they don't like and illegally spying on so called terrorists.
PM's coalmine joke falls flat Prime Minister John Key's humour fell a little flat this morning when he suggested that Australia could give New Zealand a coalmine if the New Zealand Warriors won the NRL grand final against Manly on Sunday.
He said he made the suggestion to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last night when the pair had been texting each other.
They were working out what they could put up as prizes for a winning bet.
"It's got to be something useful," he said. "It's hard to swap ties when one side doesn't wear a tie. I suggested a coalmine actually - they've got a few in Australia.
"We can give her the pavlova recipe."
"Anyway we're working it out," he said before before heading into National's weekly caucus meeting.
Australia's mining boom has helped to keep it out of recession during the global financial crisis and Mr Key was likely referring to that.
But the mention of coalmines in New Zealand at present is synonymous with tragedy with the Pike River mining disaster being relived at the hearing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry in Greymouth.
...and let's not forget his recent attacking of critics of party central during the RWC opening ceremony 30 minutes before downtown Auckland became a public safety hazard. Apparently after telling NZers to come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central, come to party central for three years, when everyone came to party centrally it all became Len Browns fault.
John Key's humor is as amusing as a tumor. Personally his claim this week that marijuana is a 'gate way drug' was my high point of hilarity. A gate way drug to what? Dominos Pizza? For Key to attempt the moral high ground on Marijuana while backing down on any meaningful alcohol reform is about as credible as his sad Dad jokes are funny.
Steven Joyce threatens University Students (know your enemy)
Students should keep heads down - Joyce LATEST: Student protesters should ''keep their heads down'' because most people think they are ''doing okay,'' Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says.
Hundreds of students across the country yesterday protested against what Joyce said ''seemed to be a bit of a grab-bag'' of issues.
Auckland University Students' Association president Joe McCrory said the protest was ''a student led movement against Government attacks on students''.
An ACT Party member's bill to introduce voluntary student union membership is set to pass tomorrow and McCrory said there had also been a Government ''crackdown on student services levies'' that would see students worse off.
The Auckland protest, which culminated in the occupation of the upper floors of the university's business school, was also over fee rises caused by ''underfunding''.
The Hollow Brain, Steven Joyce has threatened University Students to 'keep their heads down' as a sudden spike of student protest action shakes the apathy from Gen Y who have suddenly realized what the destruction of their student unions will actually mean to them.
Of the 4837 submissions, 98% opposed what ACT are planing, and yet once again John Key is allowing the ACT tail to wag the dog. National continue to allow this fringe political party of hypocrites to dictate hard right social policy to the country.
The claim that freedom of association is what is at stake are nonsense, any jumped up little libertarian who had a philosophical issue with the Student Union they joined always had the opportunity to argue their case and have the student fee paid to a charity of their choosing rather than to the Student Union. This is not about freedom of association, it's about the freedom of dis-association, by shutting down student unions the right wing amputate one of their largest critics.
If as the bullied Heather Roy claims, Whitireia is a reason to abolish student unions then Taito Phillip Field & Roger McClay are reasons to disband Parliament.
As I said at the select committee...
...this is a brutal political assassination dictated by the fringe right which will rob society of one of its critics and most importantly rob students of any real say at their Universities, Labour and the Greens should promise to reverse this as an election promise.
But what do we know about Steven Joyce the hollow brain?
In the week of the 16-20 May 2005, Steven Joyce had a formal meeting with the exclusive brethren who were organizing their despicable advertising campaign and Joyce met quietly with other pro-National lobby organizations telling them the two crucial messages were “change”. Change was the main theme the Exclusive Brethren ended up using, remember National weren’t officially having these meetings with the Brethren and Joyce was the hollow brain behind this.
Joyce also saw the draft pamphlets and advertisements from the Exclusive Brethren before they went out, remember National initially pretended they knew nothing about the Exclusive Brethren.
When confronted with allegations that this was a stitch up job, Joyce’s ‘response’ was that Stephen Win (the contact person on the EB pamphlets and advertising) wasn’t a National Party guy and it certainly wasn’t a National-funded campaign – that of course is a twisting of the facts after meeting with the EB and providing input and viewing all material about to be released by the EB, we can see how hollow Joyce’s response really was.
In 2005 Joyce wrote to electoral campaign committees saying that “in this election National is planning to go close to its legal limit for Party Vote campaign expenditure (meaning $2,240,000), That has not happened previously”. Interestingly when the donation declarations were delivered to the Electoral Commission not one name from National’s largest financial backers were declared after their donations had been washed through the National Party launderette, the ‘Waitemata Trust’ so that their political influence through financial donations remained invisible. Interesting side note isn’t it, Winston was crucified in the media for something the Electoral Commission, the Serious Fraud Office and the Police cleared him on, has National’s funding ever been given that level of scrutiny?
Steven Joyce was credited in the last election by National Svengali Peter Keenan for keeping on Crosby/Texter, the Australian spin Doctors who were so good this election at spinning the ‘change’ and ‘moderation’ con job.
The Hollow Brain went to Australia to meet with Crosby/Texter and on October 19th 2004 prepared the con job they would use to try and spin the election on, it is incredible how much of that con job was so similar to the con job the Hollow Brain used to win this election, let’s go through them…
1: Stop us going down the path to rampant political correctness. 2: Put an end to the grievance industry. 3: Make our community safer by locking away violent criminals. 4: Ensure your hard-earned tax dollars are spent on Education and Health and not wasted on Labour’s pet projects and bureaucracy. 5: Put in place economic policies that will lift all our incomes closer to those of Australians. 6: Tighten up Welfare and ensure that everyone that can work does work.
Note, none of this is policy, just focus meeting tested bigotry.
Interesting to note that when Joyce was challenged on whether or not Crosby/Texter was giving National advice in 2005, Joyce said there was ‘some’ advice but National had no plans of bringing them to NZ, which was a clear twisting of the truth because Joyce had been to see them in 2004, when challenged again Joyce fudged the issue and pretended to not know the depth of any Crosby/Texter relationship and advised Don Brash to claim he only met them in passing.
NZ Herald: Sir Michael Fay says his group's bid for the Crafar farms remains on the table despite being rejected by the receivers yesterday.
The group's $171.5 million offer is almost $30 million short of that from China's Pengxin International Group.
KordaMentha receiver Brendon Gibson said the accepted Pengxin offer was by far the best offer and remained so.
Regarding Fay's offer, he said: "It was conditional and a collaboration of several companies and was a price that we think was unacceptable, so no go on any of those fronts.
"The price is a very key factor. That's our job to get the very best price and we've got an offer that we were happy with and remain happy."
Here's my answers to some of the FAQs:
We need the investment No, the asset is already there - there is no net investment. It would be different if they were buying a swamp and turning it into a dairy farm, but they aren't they are taking over a going concern. They are not taking risk they are not adding any value above that which a domestic buyer would, they will be extracting value back to China.
The Fay group bid is too low, the Chinese are offering the market price No, despite Michael Fay's brutal business acumen and his links to previous governments which enabled him to buy up state assets on the cheap, leverage them to the max and then flog them off, the Fay consortium's bid is the realistic market price - it is the Chinese bid that is above the market price because they are willing to pay above the odds for a strategic chunk of the country's productive farmland. If you define whatever the highest price is available in the world as the market value then it will be the Chinese. The Chinese interests will always be willing to pay a $30m premium on any offer. If Fay and his mates offered $250m the Chinese would offer $280m.
The workers and managers will all be NZers anyway. No, they will import their own people for these roles. Under the so-called "free trade agreement" NZ signed with China they are allowed to import categories of workers for Chinese purposes already. Anyone who thinks they won't extend this to farm workers and managers is naive.
So, that's a no then. The Chinese - and any other foreign group in this situation - are not investing they are taking over. Is it any wonder the Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu will fly in at this point.
Imran Khan says that Key does not understand Afghanistan' on Q + A
Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer come politician, announced that John Key does not understand Afghanistan on Q + A. While Khan is also a politician, New Zealanders should sit up and take note of his criticisms as they are pertinent to our understanding of New Zealand's role in global politics.
The New Zealand prime minister does not understand Afghanistan. If only he had read the history of Afghanistan, even the British - three wars in Afghanistan. The Russians killed a million Afghans - a million out of a population then of 15 million. A million died, and they were fighting more at the end than the beginning. Everyone was fighting. The women were fighting. They do not understand Afghanistan. This is a quagmire. From day one, I've opposed it, this insane war, and I can give you in writing that for another 10 years, there will be fighting there, and they will make no headway at all. In fact, they radicalise the people much more.
That there is no military solution. There's going to be a political solution. And the longer they keep killing people, and this military, these night raids - remember, most of the people being killed are innocent civilians. They are not fighting an army. They are fighting militants which are being supported by the population. That's why they're going to lose the war - because it's not a question of Taliban; it's a resistance movement now. And the history tells you, in Afghanistan, whenever an invader comes, they get together and they will resist. They have never accepted outsiders.
While the way that this has been covered in New Zealand implies that Khan is pitching to an internal audience due to Claire Robinson's commentary (which he most certainly is), to solely consider his comments in this light undercuts the way that he is reflecting popular sentiment in Pakistan and is a very simplistic reading of our foreign policy stance. Pakistan, like many other postcolonial nations, is wary of the interference and political concessions that conceding to more powerful nations involves. The War in Afghanistan has not been a good move by the US and the UK and has provoked serious debate in both countries. While invading an entire nation to find a group of terrorists at the time seemed like a good idea to the US and the UK, this is not an idea that has proved the test of time. The mobilization of troops has not worked to stabilize the region, in essence it has dragged the country into a brutal civil war. The invasion of Afghanistan, pitched along humanitarian lines to the west with the notion that it was protecting women's rights against the fundamentalist perspectives of the Taliban, might sound credible to western populations, but outside of this it is measured alongside a greater awareness of the actions and involvement of these nations in foreign policy. This means that the involvement in Afghanistan was read within the anti-colonial narratives of struggle of many nations, and that the strong interest in Afghani women was countered by the US' close military and strategic countries like Saudi Arabia, which ruled by a Wahabbist sect also has incredibly strict restrictions on women that sound hypocritical in this context. Last year a Pew Poll found that 59% of Pakistanis saw the US as an enemy, although 64% wanted better relations with the country, reflecting the conflicted position that many states find themselves in when US troops are currently in around 70 countries and still remain a major economic power in a fragile environment.
The problem with our stance as a nation on the War on Terror is that it has been sold to our population as just the contribution to reconstruction. We have been told that our forces are merely helping with the construction of water supplies and schools. The problem with this kind of stance, aside from the legal implications of being involved in the invasion of another country, is that if it is not true this message circulates around other nations and potentially endangers our citizens. There is now a growing body of evidence emerging that signals that the New Zealand public needs to look a lot closer at what is going on - we have heard from reputable journalists such as Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson that there are issues around the way that our troops are cooperating with those who torture. If we are going to be contributing to another country's war then we have every right as citizens to have a transparent debate around the moral implications of this. Hager's book Other People's Wars implies that our government has been unaware of many decisions that have been made autonomously by the military. The US and UK involvement have led to a civil war environment in Afghanistan which many analysts now believe that people
Although these debates keep getting written off as unimportant by Key and his colleagues, regardless of your opinion, they are important. The idea that anyone would get into politics and know everything about every country's policies is clearly a fallacy. Expecting our bureaucrats to be experts in this when we don't really even have any academics that are experts in the region (or many other regions for that matter) is also a bit of a heavy problem. Having a public debate with further information on this is clearly prudent when our policy stance has the ability to affect our citizens.
Nicky Hager is speaking on New Zealand's involvement in the War on Afghanistan in an event hosted by the Department of Political Studies tonight at 5pm, Women's Federation Room above Old Government House, The University of Auckland.
So things are so bad inside ACT now, Don is trying to appeal to stoners? Note it isn't actual policy, it's just Don desperately trying to surprise voters enough to keep him hip enough to vote for.
What a blunder. ACT stopped being a party with principles a long time ago, now it is a red neck talk hate radio knee-jerk party who only recently were squabbling over how racist their 'bribe a tribe' newspaper adverts could be with John Ansell walking off in a huff calling the party 'white cowards'.
Brash was supposed to get ACT over 10%, that's why he implemented the corporate coup that over threw Hide in the first place, however ACT have misplaced their own racism as everyone's racism and instead of focusing on the economy, went back to the exact same redneck populist hate that Hide embodied.
Dons latest attempt to repaint himself by clutching at joints is terribly misplaced because there are no longer any principled supporters of the Party left, and the uptight voters of Epsom while needing a joint, won't look to John Banks of all people as their new Tambourine Man.
That Don is standing on the North Shore shows how close Epsom could be, the problem for Don is that while the North Shore is certainly racist, they just aren't THAT racist to elect Don 'bribe a tribe' Brash.
Pass the dutchie to the RIGHT hand side just doesn't have the same appeal does it?
I said in my post about the Act party list that Boscawen alone was the only one worthy of being returned because he was a free-thinker and a nice guy. Today I woke up and the news was he - at No.2 - had taken himself off. Well, that leaves no-one worthy of being elected from Act: they are down to the ideological pricks whose ideology seems as opportunistic as they are prickly. And if John Banks - arch conservative - now has to sell Don Brash's policy of decriminalisation of marijuana (as outlined this morning on the Q+A show) then it becomes a possibility that no-one at all will be elected from Act.
The contortions needed for Banks to sell a soft-on-stoners policy is a limbo bar set at the height of a matchstick head. Electoral survival revolves around the gravitational mass of the Epsom electorate and I'm not sure that a party with its parliamentary leader abandoning ship at the eleventh hour and running a conservative on a liberal-radical platform is going to be a coherent and credible enough prospect for any set of voters - let alone those of Epsom. There's swallowing dead rats and then there's attempting to eat live capybara...
The party is falling to bits. Unless Superman and Wonder Women are going to pop up at number 2 and 3 on the list they looked doomed. How many shenanigans will the true blue Tory voters - upon which Act is wholly dependent - put up with?
I was putting Act at about 3% before, but it's realistic that it may be only half that after the latest phase of their meltdown. Remember how the party did after Rodney Hide rolled Prebs? - that's what they are looking like now - and yes, I believe that they could also lose Epsom and that would be the end. What will Rodney Hide do?
The cynic would see that the only way Act could be viable is if the Nats stood down their electorate candidates in key seats to give Act a clear run. North Shore (Maggy Barrie) in favour of say Don Brash, in Tamaki withdraw Alan Peachy and pull out Goldsmith in Epsom. Indeed it already makes sense since Boscawen says he will continue to stand in the Tamaki Electorate. It would be gaming MMP, but in these circumstances what else can they do? The Nats would otherwise have to pull about 47-48% to get a majority with Peter Dunne and perhaps Turia and Sharples if they survive. I can't see the Nats getting more than 46% max. Desperate times, desperate measures, no?
Another staged walk-out by the precious, hypocritical Western government delegations at the UN during the President of Iran's speech. He once said that Israel should be wiped off the map, but it is the Israelis and their American and European proxies that have wiped Palestine off the map and intend to keep it wiped off - that is the greater crime - the actuality of national destruction than the utterance of the possibility of that reciprocation. The US - contrary to their position last year and at the behest of the Israelis - are going to block the recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN.
They are wiping Palestine off the map. And the NZ govt will dutifully follow? Of course they will. Doing other people's bidding is what they are best at. NZ voted to create Israel - but will not vote to recognise Palestine.
The United States led a mass walkout of the UN General Assembly when Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched an outspoken attack on Western nations.
A US diplomat who was in the assembly hall to monitor the speech left halfway through, while the 27 European Union nations, along with New Zealand and Australia, then followed in a coordinated protest move.
The Iranian leader again cast doubt on the origins of the Holocaust and the September 11, 2001 attacks and criticized the United States for killing Osama bin Laden rather than bringing him to trial.
Ahmadinejad has in the past drawn international condemnation for his use of major speeches to call for the destruction of Israel and indicate that the US government may have been involved in 9/11.
Ahmadinejad told the UN summit that the United States and its allies use the Western media to "threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military action."
Once again "destruction of Israel" appears in the media of the West - the NZ Herald in this instance - but it is the West that has voted and will continue to vote for the destruction of Palestine. Does the Iranian President not have a point? If anyone had any balls they would have walked out on Obama - he is the one promoting oppression.
The "two-state solution" is problematic to say the least. For comparison of how to resolve inter-ethnic clashes, partition into completely separate states seems the worst one to me. Imagine a partitioned South Africa as a solution to Apartheid? Unthinkable - and yet this is what is being proposed for Palestine. And all on Israel's terms. It is totally unacceptable.
Sweet Jesus Bryce Edwards is over rated on liberation blog- anyone noting Tim Watkins from pundit as a highlight needs an enema. Seeing as Farrar pays for this daily politics briefing, why doesn't Bryce just call it 'National Party Soft Sell Massage points daily'. It's no surprise the Penguin and Whaleoil always turn up in this daily tripe.
The power and influence the Bore of Babylon, the fallen one, David 'climate denier' Farrar has been given by the mainstream media is incredible, the NZ Herald should be ashamed they still give him an unchallenged column, that a State propagandist can be given so much exposure would make Fox News blush.
PS - It seems my deep dislike for the right wing bullshit that is Bryce hasn't gone down well with some of the esablished left, so let me get much more precise and nasty - the fact that the bore of babylon, the fallen one, David Farrar pays for this seems to have escaped the notice of those defending Bryce. Farrar is using Bryce as cover, why the PSA continue to contribute to this joke is something they should look at, Farrar certainly gets his money's worth because it isn't Tumeke, no right turn or left wing blogs that get any attention, bullshit moderates like baby boomer wannabe Tim Watkin and hard right pretending to be moderate like Farrar and Whaleoil are the links most wanked on about by Bryce. This is a way for the hard right to propagate their hate under the guise of academic neutrality. It is bullshit and should be called.
When I saw the news on TV3 last night the first things that flashed through my mind - fast, but perhaps not as fast as the train - is why has there been no mention of the police charging him for what by his own admission was entirely his own fault, and secondly that Gurney, being a professional runner and cyclist, is just the sort of arrogant wanker that routinely presumes they have immunity from the road rules. And seeing as how he only got a scratch I doubt he would have learnt anything from the experience - in fact he was quoted on TV3 and in today's NZ Herald as being mystified by the event. Mystified, confused but at no point taking any responsibility:
He said the crash was a blur and he was still trying to piece together what went wrong.
"I'm confused about how I ended up T-boning with a train.
"I'm a professional athlete that's used to looking for danger, I'm the last person that expects to have a crash with a train. It raises questions how did I get in that situation?"
On TV3 he was going further, blaming the existence of level crossings and suggesting they need to be examined! If only self-examination was in his play book.
As I said it is probably precisely because he is a professional cyclist and runner that he brazenly ignores the normal, commonsense rules to which everyone else adheres. We all know the type of super-serious cyclist and runner on the streets who keep barreling through intersections with barely a glance and expect others to avoid them no matter how in the wrong they are. They behave recklessly towards their own safety and endanger other users - it's what they do as a matter of course. They must think that because they are more vulnerable than a motor vehicle that they therefore have an automatic right of way and this bubble of exception is projected wherever they choose to go. When Gurney applied the same attitude to a train at a level crossing you think he would have learnt his lesson? Of course not - it's everyone elses fault.
The only difference between a level crossing and an intersection of a road that articulated trucks go along at 100kmph+ is that the level crossing has better signage and is also marked by painted stripes on the carriageway. There is simply no argument here - the difference in the two cases is that some people just don't respect the train crossings and treat them all as an optional give way situation - as if they were abandoned lines.
Gurney should be charged and he should also be made to pay Kiwi Rail for the delay and cost of interrupting the passengers. An apology - if it comes at all - will be quite false as he has already shown his inability to comprehend his actions.
Having said all that - in the situation of Auckland and the planned increase in services on the exisiting old lines which have many level crossing sections throughout the city - it must be taken into account that the Gurneys of this world do exist and because they are arrogant and reckless wankers they are impervious to all manner of education, signage and warning systems. The dazed elderly motorist, the manic courier driver, the inattentive pedestrian etc., will continue to cause accidents regardless.
The increase in services will inevitably increase the accidents and death toll if every - every single - level crossing in the metropolitan area is not removed. It will be expensive - but no more so than the electrification project. With trains every five or less than five minutes the road traffic - and pedestrains - will backlog and in the frustration become more likely to attempt to run through the barrier arms. If the trains are really going to be running as frequently as they need to to become a world class service then the urban level crossings must be phased out.
Turns out all that corporate debt our Governments picked up as Sovereign Debt won't work after all. That sharp pain your feeling in your stomach right now is Adam Smiths invisible hand punching you in the guts.
Note though even the IMF's gloomy forecast is best case scenario. They predicted 2.5% US growth this year, now they are forecasting 1.5%, and that 1.5% will only happen if the US can lift it's current weak growth rate of .7%, so actually, it can get worse, a lot worse.
Who other than John Key sells precious assets off in a market as turbulent as this?
Why we are adopting more free market ideology when that free market ideology just blew its brains out all over the floor?
Some still entertain the notion that in the future humanity will achieve greater freedom - that the arc of civilisation runs in a single direction from a society mired by repression, slavery, secrecy and suspicion, dominated by a permanent and narrow elite relying directly on the brute force and intimidation of over-indulged thugs to maintain their system to a quite different society that is rational, open, egalitarian having an accountable, democratic governance with the rules made by a process of consent and enforced by professional bodies under an independent judiciary. We have not met this ideal in this country and under the present National government we have continued to slide backwards towards a rule of law concept that resembles a rule of police and little else. That most of the population seem unaware - or worse, supportive - of this regression is firstly a sad reflection on the critical abilities of the mass media, and secondly a function of the silence, aquiesence and complicity of civil society (including the opposition parties) who align themselves with the conservative elements of the establishment.
There are so many instances of this regression over the last term of the NZ parliament (let alone the ones immediately previous under the Labour government) that the task of listing them all is too large to undertake here, so I mention just a few from the last week to demonstrate how far we have sunk.
Justice Minister Simon Power's contribution to the nation begins and ends with his work as the NZ Police Association's proxy. His/their DNA dragnet is set to sweep across basically everyone arrested:The "final phase"? Does anyone really think they will stop at this point - they haven't so far - every step has been followed by another. It's only "Phase 2" after all, that doesn't sound like final - it sounds like the one just after the start. And what a start:
Phase 1, which came in last September, allowed Police to take DNA at the time of arrest, as opposed to after conviction. [...] Under phase 2, DNA will be able to be collected from adult offenders for any offence punishable by a term of imprisonment.
Seeing as how - in the real world - people are only arrested for imprisonable offences of which there are legion - that means everyone arrested is to have their DNA taken. And the racial profiling survey the NZ Police have initiated and have been running for some years now will also accompany that no doubt so that they can continue to build upon their pseudo-scientific racist nonsense as a basis for analysis (as opposed to any other aspect of a person's biology such as height, build, eye colour etc.). Oh, you didn't know they are doing that, that they are using it to specifically create a racial profiling database? I filled out the paperwork just so I had some rights to investigate it and have access to what they were doing. When that comes out it may cast the questionable NZ Police motivations in an even dimmer light than it is already.
NZ Herald today on the NZ Police bleating over their illegal covert surveillence policy: The NZ Police deliberately, knowingly, actively, go about breaking the law so that they may then go to the government and demand that because they have broken the law the law should be changed to make their illegal law-breaking legal. Anyone else would be prosecuted, the conspiracy to breach the law investigated and the offenders committed for trial. In this country the ruling politicians run scared of their own police force, excuse any - if not all - of their spectacular incompetencies and wave the magic wand of parliament over their mess and hey presto! - all their crimes are retrospectively validated. The law is the law, unless you are the NZ Police, in which case the law is what they tell the Cabinet it ought to be.
The NZ Police is constituted under the law that the NZ Police themselves drafted and which was dutifully enacted on the NZ Police's own timetable by the previous Labour government. It maintains that the PM appoints the Commissioner directly, that there is no board or body to which they are accountable except the PM and Police Minister themselves.
Are these conditions not an inaccurate description of a 'police state'?
Meanwhile Simon Power's other monument to his erosion of civil liberties has now gained the support of the increasingly parasitical National-aligned micro-parties and is threatened to be rammed through the House next week. While some aspects are technical and do respond to the need to improve on the time delays of criminal proceedings it is being used to wantonly tear at the fabric of the system's traditional safeguards. Under the guise of efficiency jury trials will now only apply to offences of two years or more, meaning a judge alone will determine their fate. Added to the closed-circuit camera appearances allowed under previous legislation, the expansion of search and surveillence authority and the never ending stream of new imprisonable offences - petty and otherwise - the justice system as we have known it is under attack from within.
The theme with these laws is to remove judicial and independent oversight and consent procedures so that they empower the NZ Police and other government agencies to act, unchecked, as a law unto themselves. The great fallacy is that this move to judge-jury-executioner powers for the enforcement and monitoring officials will result in a more efficient system that brings offenders immediately to the point of punishment and consequently also is a deterent to the commission of offences generally. While it may do the former - at the expense of the determination of whether a person is actually guilty of an offence - it will never achieve the awe of deterrence. Indeed the effects of this harsh and arbitrary enforcement regime is the contempt for officials and the undermining of the system of law and state justice as a whole.
Fear is a poor substitute for respect - it is the method of a bully and a cause of many a righteous rebellion.
Citizen A this week with the editor of scoop.co.nz, Selwyn Manning and NBR columnist Matthew Hooton.
Issue 1: RWC transport fiasco - who is to blame for decades of infrastructure underfunding and why didn't the Government see this coming?
Issue 2: CPAG have put out their latest report, more children in poverty and things are getting worse. How do Military bootcamps that don't work and sending mothers out to work when the child turns one solve that?
Issue 3: The Private prison at Wiri now costs more than a publicly funded prison - despite Crusher Collins claim that this prison would generate income, has Auckland been sold a private prison lemon?
Citizen A now plays 8pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89 Fridays
Back it up here - the response to the fact the Police illegally spied on NZers is to ram through law making that spying legal? That isn't a democracy, that's the foundations of a functioning Police State!
The Police say this puts at risk 50 other cases. So what you are saying is that the Police are currently illegally spying on 50 other NZers and because the Police break the law so often, we should just ram through retrospective legislation to let them spy on us legally???
Where does John Key get off with this shit?
The Search and Surveillance Bill is deeply controversial. It will allow the Police to spy on anyone they define as a 'gang'. The word conjours up Mongrel Mob, Headhunters, Black Power, however the definition of a 'gang' is actually just 3 people who know each other. It will be Greenpeace members, Amnesty International press people, Oxfam supporters and anyone else our paranoid cop force decides to lash out against.
If the Police have evidence of a crime then they present that to a Judge and get judicial oversight for a warrant, this Bill allows the Police to go on bloody fishing expeditions into the private lives of us, their citizens. A State should not have that type of power, how on earth can a society that jumped up and down about bloody power saving lightbulbs and water saving showerheads and not smacking your kid as the Nanny State Monster coming to take away your coke cola and McDonalds, yet not a whimper when the State grants its Police force unparalleled spying powers?
Why aren't we asking for an immediate review of the existing 50 cases of where the Police are currently illegally spying? If they want this power, why not an immediate review of the current cases to see who they are using these powers against?
No one wants organized crime 'winning' in any sense, and we should do all we can to stomp the evil they do out, but this legislation doesn't do that, this legislation gives vast new powers to spy on all of us.
I joined the Auckland Council of Civil Liberties because of this Search and Surveillance Bill, so concerned was I by the vast and unchecked expansion of Police power. Tumeke has noted this Bill from its birth and have recorded over the years our growing horror that none of it has been watered down.
To allow this largest erosion of civil liberties in NZ history to be forced through under urgency using the Police illegally spying on people as the justification is just an insult too far.
Gen Xers need to over throw the age of the Baby Boomers
Everytime I hear someone do the shake and bake dance over lifting the Retirement age from 65 to 67, I always think one thing - 'Fucking Baby Boomers'.
That's right, this is the 'I hate Baby Boomers' blog, and it's been coming for sometime.
By lifting the age of retirement, we not only make it more unfair to Maori (who have a shorter life expectancy) we also allow these greedy Baby Boomers to cling onto the job market denying Gen Xers from rising through the ranks for another bloody two years.
On top of getting their education for free, their health care for free and their retirement for free all funded by their vast speculation on property (which makes it more difficult for Gen Xers to buy their own home), these greedy no good Baby Boomers are living off the backs of Gen Xers who have to pay for boomer lifestyles while paying the debt from their own education.
I call time on these bloody boomers. They have sold out every principle they fought for as the first youth culture and now simply hold on with all the energy greed gives them to continue to support their precious lifestyles while blocking Gen Xers from forging ahead.
Throughout industry after industry, I hear from my Gen X friends that they are forced to deal with Baby Boomer sales managers who have managed to slip into positions of authority with zero ability. These beige brigade that make up the gate keepers of NZ have zero interest in the future of the country and every interest in their cushy little fiefdoms.
Never before has one Generation taken so much and given so little, it's time Gen Xers across NZ started a quiet revolution to other throw the beige brigade of aging boomers and seize the power away from this selfish wasted clique.
The age of the Boomer is over, Gen X has inherited the shit Boomers have refused to deal with, we are the next Generation who will be running this country and it's time Gen Xers started making that changing of the guard a reality.
I'm not the only one calling time on baby boomers, so to is bloomberg...
Generation X Stymied by Boomers ...a typical member of the relatively small group called Generation X, 46 million Americans born between 1965 and 1978: They’re ambitious, squeezed by debt and frustrated by people who aren’t retiring on schedule.
It's not so much 'death to the baby boomers' as it is 'get lost and retire now you blood sucking sell outs', the next Generation need to take over now.
There was a flash mob haka in the main street of Whakatane on Saturday - so something was up - and thankfully it wasn't anything to do with the rugby.
In a shop I overheard some kids with 'Ngapuhi' t-shirts on saying something about a flash mob so I was lucky enough to get a pic when it happened. It's a joy to see a real haka performed by people who know what they are doing. It wasn't "THE haka" - the Ka Mate haka - it was their haka, and for a 30 second spectacle (over before it even had time to block the traffic) it was wonderful. I do share the thoughts of others who say THE haka as performed by random people for no particularly important purpose at any occasion or non-occasion is a lessening of this display and it is for that reason - cultural credibility - that I have never felt comfortable joining in that sort of thing. Maybe a street haka by the youth would be considered similarly inappropriate by the elders, but I thought they did a good job.
The crowds were there for the opening - or re-opening - of the massive Mataatua wharenui of Ngati Awa - located at the far end of the CBD. It's the biggest one I've ever been inside anyway. It has many amazing carvings and for that reason the NZ government - soon after it was erected in 1875 - took it. Without kaumatua to accompany it - the NZ government refused even that request - it went on a journey around the world which at each stage resulted in further desecration to the meeting house embodying the tipuna (ancestors) of the Mataatua people (the waka from which Whakatohea, Tuhoe and Ngati Awa tribes of the Bay of Plenty descend). In Australia it was reassembled with all the carvings facing outwards, damaging the wood, in another it was chopped short to fit it inside the museum - unthinkable mishandling in today's terms, but a function of the normal colonial presumption of European dominance over the indigenous at that time: controlling, cutting up and asserting ownership over their possessions.
After more than a century it has returned and the European contribution of recessed lighting, central heating, electrical sockets and neutral-toned carpeting is at least some sort of recompense for the inter-generational loss of this magnificent taonga.Everyone from Maoridom seemed to be there. Tame Iti listening to the ukes and singing of what I think were a Cook Island group:There was royalty and rebels from all over the country and from the Pacific. Talk about a flash mob! That's Kingi Tuheitia in the hat and I think, Wira Gardiner, to one side in the portico. Now that is a walking stick!I saw several black suited men with ear pieces standing around the perimeter of the block so I expected Ministerial cars nearby. Nothing. I joked to someone that they were Destiny bouncers. Well actually... later on in the midst of ten or so black suited men (no women around it must be noted) next to the whare kai waiting for the dinner was the unmistakable grey greased-back hair of Bishop/Pope/Saint Brian Tamaki. Flash mobsters. Must be the most insecure male in NZ to have to hide behind a retinue of goons like that. No-one else - not Ministers, not the Maori King, not the foreign dignitaries - felt the need to be huddled in a scrum of their own flunkies like that. And it's the poor of his own parishes paying for that ego trip - sad. If he is from Mataatua though there's nothing stopping him from attending I suppose. I missed the speeches but I doubt he would have been invited to address them.
And talking about feeling insecure and sad, I also saw Te Ururoa Flavell there too. He came over and gave the small group I was with a courtesy hongi and left. It's not like a handshake because you are literally in each other's face and you can't help but feel the intensity. The last time we met - at that hui in February where we got stuck into him - was similar. Later I saw him wandering about, by himself, in front of the Whare for several minutes pacing backwards and forth, looking around, stressed, not knowing where to go or what to do while everyone else was at ease and socialising. Indicative of his party I thought; and although it was tempting to take a photo and make something of it I didn't. I almost, almost mind you, felt sorry for him.
Later on when shopping on the other side of the river I took this picture of the biggest rainbow I've seen in ages. I couldn't fit it all into frame. It was right over the town. Some Maori regard the rainbow as an ill omen - for me I imagined it directly over his electorate office.
National end legal right of jury trials while RWC has Nation's attention
You've got to hand it to National, who else has the audacity to rob NZers of one of their fundamental legal rights while the country is mesmerised by the RWC and flash mob hakas?
Beneath all the crap of how Simon Power has backed down over robbing NZers of their legal right to silence (which of itself is a shock when you consider how close we were to losing it minus any real debate by a mainstream media more focused on Happy bloody Feet than the Government pissing on fundamental civil rights), beyond all the pretense of a backdown is the fact that National - and shockingly Labour - have quietly dumped something as sacrosanct as your right to be judged by a jury.
In a tactic National do again and again, they suggest something so 100% crazy and right wing that it would make Genghis Khan blush so when they implement 80% crazy it looks like a better deal.
They did it with mining by suggesting Great Barrier when they never seriously were going to mine Great Barrier, they did it with forcing Mothers back to work months after the birth of a child and they have done it here by removing Jury trials for sentences of 2 years from their original 3 years.
This is still evil and will result in justice for the rich at the expense of the poor, as it will be the poor who will be frogmarched through Simon Powers streamlined conveyor belt of cheap justice with hang em Judges who will rubber stamp guilty sentences for our ever growing prison population.
So what National have done, is rob the poorest of their right to be judged by their peers in favour of a judge, jury and executioner rolled into one, who will process with vicious efficiency the endless dumping of NZers into private prisons like a festering cancer endlessly feeding upon the misery of incarceration for corporate profit.
We are building an empire of suffering at the expense of those too poor to say otherwise while the media are blinded by the manufactured chatter of the RWC.
Julie Fairey is one of the best female bloggers in NZ, her insights and arguments towards a society that doesn't treat women as second class citizens are right and righteous. I've known Julie since University days and hold her in the highest of regards.
Julie has every right to express her opinion about predictions, what makes her public predictions on her excellent site Hand Mirror a little embarrassing however is that she is the wife of Labour Party candidate Michael Wood - who it must be said was a much better candidate with a very strong showing in the forgotten Botany by-election.
Beyond the basic rule of politics which is 'you're in it to win it' - I just think that Julie's calls aren't taking into account several factors which open her predictions up.
For Auckland Central, what matters is that vast wasted chunk of electoral Green vote, they will decide if a vote for Denise Roche the Green Central candidate is valid if it means allowing Nikki Kaye back in. The candidate who can argue directly to that core group in Auckland Central will win and National's track record on environmental protection will be the focus for those voters.
I've seen polling for Hamilton West and what is most striking is the large number of don't knows. It will be the election campaign that shapes the final decision, and if the economy continues to tighten that plays to Labour's strengths.
I don't believe in the Labour Meltdown theory that is circulating amongst the right wing meme-o-sphere, that Labour collapse and dip to the low 20's. Goff's position as the underdog going into the debates will surprise viewers when he performs much better than they perceive of him and I don't think predictions handing out wins to National appreciate that this election has a long way to play out yet.
That said, if Goff fails to fire in the debates and Labour can't connect the economic pain to decisions made by John Key that benefit the wealthy, then all bets are off and expect Greens and MANA to pick up a massive protest vote.
#2 (+3) Gotcha! : www.gotcha.co.nz
11/2005+ "Whale Oil Beef Hooked"
Whaleoil/Cameron Slater Right - National : Auckland
GMan Right - ? : NZ
Fried Sushi Right - ? : NZ
Lisa Lewis ? - ? : NZ
Fiscally Conservative Kiwi Right - ? : NZ
The Baptist Right - ? : NZ
#3 (-1) The Standard : www.thestandard.org.nz 08/2007+ "The New Zealand labour movement newspaper digitally reborn"
all_your_base : Left - Labour : NZ
Iprent : Left - Labour : NZ
John A : Left - Labour : NZ
Eddie : Left - Labour : NZ
Steve Pierson : Left - Labour/Green : Wellington
Tane : Left - Labour/Green : NZ
IrishBill : Left - Labour/Green : NZ
Dancer : Left - ? : NZ
Jasper : Left - ? : NZ
Natwatch : Left - ? : NZ
Ralph Malcolm : Left - ? : NZ
Sam Cash : Left - ? : NZ
Tillerman : Left - ? : NZ
ZK Muggletinspofin : Left - ? : NZ
whenua : Left - ? : NZ
#5 (-1) Not PC : www.pc.blogspot.com 04/2005+ "Promoting capitalist acts between consenting adults"
Peter Cresswell : Right - Libertarian : Auckland
Susan Ryder : Right - Libertarian : Franklin
Dr Richard McGrath : Right - Libertarian : Wairarapa
Bernard Darnton : Right - Libertarian : Christchurch
#8 (-) No Minister : www.nominister.blogspot.com 06/2007+ "Sir Humphrey's... [acid reflux]"
Gooner : Right - Act : Auckland
Adolf Fiinkensein : Right - National : Auckland
Psycho Milt : Left - ? : Palmerston North
Lou Taylor : Right - ? : Auckland
Grant : Right - ? : Auckland
Barnsley Bill : Right - ? : Northland
The Veteran : Right - ? : NZ
Sagenz : Right - ? : NZ
#9 (-) Public Address : www.publicaddress.net
09/2002+ "Community of New Zealand-centric weblogs"
Hard News Russell Brown : Left - ? : Auckland
Cracker Damian Christie : Other - ? : Wellington
Busytown Jolisa Gracewood ? - ? : Connecticut, USA
Radiation Fiona Rae ? - ? : Auckland
Random Play Graham Reid ? - ? : Auckland
Fielf Theory Hadyn Green ? - ? : ?
Southerly David Haywood ? - ? : Christchurch
Legal Beagle Graeme Edgeler : Right - ? : NZ
Up Front Emma Hart : ? - ? : NZ
#10 (+1) Frogblog : www.blog.greens.org.nz 03/2005+ "Political blog Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand"
Green MPs (various) : Left - Green : Wellington/NZ
frog : Left - Green : Wellington
#11 (-1) No Right Turn : www.norightturn.blogspot.com
02/2003+ "Irredeemably Liberal"
Idiot/Savant : Left - ? : Palmerston North
#12 (-) Tumeke! : www.tumeke.blogspot.com 04/2005+ "Aotearoa international - current affairs and culture"
Tim Selwyn : Other - ? : Auckland
Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury : Left - ? : Auckland
Phoebe Fletcher : Left - ? : Auckland
#18 (+2) Kiwipolitico : www.kiwipolitico.com 01/2009+ "Environmentalist, centre-left/left-of-centre, public policy and the political process."
Jafapete : Left - ? : Auckland
Anita : Left - ? : Wellington
Pablo : Left - ? : Auckland
Roger Nome : Left - ? : NZ
#19 (-2) The Hand Mirror: www.thehandmirror.blogspot.com 03/2008+ "Feminism"
Lil'E : Left - ? : NZ
Maia : Left - ? : NZ
The ex-expat : Left - Labour : NZ
Undomestic Goddess : ? - ? : NZ
The Bewildering Case of Ms Enid Tak-Entity : Left - ? : NZ
Julie Fairey : Left - ? : NZ
Deborah : Left - ? : NZ
Anjum Rahman/stargazer : Left - Labour : NZ
Anna : Left - ? : NZ
MANA Party series
Te Karere: Ratana celebrations 2012 [TVNZ]
Hone: Sharing the Mana [ManaMovement]
Tipene performs [Tipene06]
Hone Harawira last speech in session [inthehouse]
MANA Movement AGM: 06/08/2011 PART1 [solidarityjoeboy]
MANA Movement AGM 06/08/2011 PART2 [solidarityjoeboy]
MANA Party launch: First Hui 30-04-2011 - Powhiri [SolidarityJoe]
MANA Party launch: First Hui 30-04-2011 - Haka [SolidarityJoe]
MANA Party launch: First Hui 30-04-2011 - Sue Bradford [SolidarityJoe]
FORESHORE & SEABED/Takutai Moana Bill
Hikoi reaches parliament (NZHerald)
Hone Harawira in parliament on Takutai Moana Bill (intheHouse)
Te Karere: Hikoi begins (TVNZ)
Marae Investigates 13/03/2011: Te Ururoa Flavell i/v with Jodi Ihaka on Takutai Moana bill. (TVNZ)
Te Karere: Te Ururoa Flavell MP on Takutai Moana bill. (TVNZ)
Tariana Turia on Taku Taimoana - foreshore and seabed bill. (MaoriParty)