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Monday, December 31, 2012

For his services to middle class racism - arise Sir Paul Holmes

For his services to middle class racism - arise Sir Paul Holmes - one very short knight after decades of cheeky darkies


Friday, December 28, 2012

Dargaville party diverts attention from new Police spy drone

Yawn. So the attack on Police in Dargaville by people at a party is the latest excuse to arm the Police is it?

Really? Let's have a run down of what happened again before we start handing out the glocks...

The violence began after a nearby Brethren Church complained that members had been threatened by youths who yelled abuse and then smashed letterboxes and signs on Gordon St, around the corner from where the police were attacked.

A policeman tracked the youths to the house and when he tried to arrest one, party-goers became aggressive.

He called for help and was joined by a colleague, who helped subdue the crowd with pepper spray.

But a 9-year-old child was hit by the spray and the furious people began to beat and kick the officers.

...right. So the Exclusive Brethren who run Dargaville like the head scarfed mafia complain to the local constabulary that dem kids from across the tracks are playing up, leading to the Police going onto the private property of the party to arrest someone they claim has annoyed the Exclusive Brethren. The crowd turn nasty at this, in response to that, one officer pepper sprays the crowd hitting a 9 year old child and the incensed crowd kick the snot out of the Police.

R-i-g-h-t, and guns would have helped this how? Would the officer have pulled his gun out and shot wildly into the crowd hitting the 9 year old and a couple of others as well? Instead of screaming 'give them guns' why isn't anyone asking if there could have been a better way of policing this? Did they really need to go into a party to arrest someone based on what the Exclusive Brethren, a group with immense power in Dargaville, was bitching about?

Why isn't this an example of really poor policing and suddenly a reason to arm the cops? As Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment points out, the rate of assault per sworn police officer has barely changed over the last decade.

Why are we even talking about this when an issue vastly more important is being utterly ignored?

TV3 did some amazing investigative journalism and revealed last weekend that the NZ Police now have a spy drone and are looking to use it asap.

Folks - I would have argued that seeing as the NZ Police got caught out illegally spying on NZers this year that the last bloody thing in the world we would want to give them is a fucking drone.

The Police have managed to pass the largest erosion to our civil rights since the Waterfront lockout with the search & Surveillance Bill why on earth have they suddenly gained a military technology and are using it on the civilian population without so much as a 'by the way'.

The NZ Police are out of control and have no checks and balances left. The first thing a change of Government in 2014 has to do is reign the bloody cops in. We live in a democracy brothers and sister, not a Police State

How soon will it be before Police Association Grand Cyclops Greg O'Connor starts arguing to arm his new drone?


Citizen A 2013 prediction show with Chris Trotter & Phoebe Fletcher

Citizen A 2013 prediction show with Chris Trotter & Phoebe Fletcher

Issue 1: What predictions for the political parties next year?

Issue 2: What happens to the economy in 2013?

and Issue 3: What will be the big news stories in the upcoming year?

Citizen A is back 17th January 2013: Citizen A will also transmit on Sky TV on their new public broadcasting style channel 'FACE Television' February 1st 2013.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Xmas to the 270 000 NZ kids living in poverty

Merry Xmas to the 270 000 NZ kids living in poverty, the 7.3% who are unemployed and those on the negative end of the highest inequality ever recorded in our country.

While our multi-millionaire Prime Minister holidays in Hawaii, let's resolve to ask harder questions in 2013.

Meanwhile, Dali Claus is making my xmas tree melt and drip...


Monday, December 24, 2012

Tumeke Political Review 2012 & 2013 Predictions

National Party 2012:
The National Party must be thanking their bloody stars. Despite the meltdown in education, Key's handling of the GCSB and Kim Dotcom fiasco, 7.3% unemployment, 270 000 children in poverty, the highest level of inequality ever recorded, a Police force out of control, the largest erosion of civil liberties since the Waterfront lockout and a deeply unpopular asset sale program, despite all that, National are still riding so high in the Polls they have barely shifted since the election last year.
Why? A number of reasons. The first is the methodology of the flawed land line polls which the mainstream media's repeated use of convince everyone else that almost half the country love Key. This demented manipulation of public opinion will take to new highs with Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner's latest current affairs scam called 'The Voice' where issues of the day will be debated and 99cent text messaging will 'decide' the outcome. With the cost of these types of text decision ruling out the 7.3% unemployed from having a voice, expect outcomes to the right of Genghis Khan. They may as well get Christina Aguilera on as a judge for all the credibility it will bring to current affairs.
The second reason why National have done so well is the total lack of a credible opposition (I'll get to that in a minute) and the third is the brilliant depoliticization of the role of Prime Minister. National can't win the economic argument for their free market dogma because the reality is all it does is enrich those already wealthy. Rather than explain what his Government will do to actually lift 1 in 5 children out of poverty, Key will tell Maori cannibal jokes, gay red shirt jokes, marry a rock DJ in a mock Gay wedding, camp mincing down run way walks, discuss how often he uses the c word and dance Gangnam styles on radio.
Key's ability to appeal to the anti-intellectualism of his supporters by dismantling the responsibilities of the Prime Ministership down to a pop culture youtube clip could come unstuck if we had a Jon Stewart type who could highlight this, sadly satire in this country is as dead as investigative journalism.
National are supported by small business people, but National's interests are large corporate monopolies and the Party's balancing act is to appeal to small business social morality while ignoring small business economic interests. Expect a lot more bennie bashing in 2013.
National Party 2013 Predictions:
1: Sian Elias has a family illness which may to force her to step down from the Maori Council water case, meaning Key could win and storm off with asset sales in 2013. If Elias stays on and Key loses the case, he may well consider a snap election by the end of the year to seek a political mandate, or step down altogether. The ruling will be crucial for the Government and if goes against them expect a Maori bashing season that will make Don Brash look like a paid up member of MANA.
2: Hekia Parata is the Anti-Midas, everything she touches turns to shit. Someone with the unique talent of causing everything around her to combust should be sent to Afghanistan, but the reality is National are trying to ram through massive free market reforms in Education and don't care who the Minister is. Stepping Parata down would be an admission of defeat and National won't want that.
3: No mates National will hold onto the coat tailing element of MMP because it will forever keep Epsom in play for the right. To camouflage the self interest of that decision, National will magnanimously lower the threshold to 3% to make them look more democratic. That decision will be the trick because lowering the threshold to 3% would give the Conservative Party and the newly formed rural party a chance to gain representation and become National Party allies. This has already been mooted to National by the Rural Party.
4: The weird desire for a sadist to run the country will see Judith Collins stock continue to rise. The idea that a politician with the nickname 'crusher' would ever be considered appropriate as leader suggests a voting base of masochists. Cameron Slater is Collins favorite pet so watch his blog for hints of when she will go for the leadership and who she wants eliminated from the leadership race. That love affair may turn Kiwiblog against Whaleoil because while Farrar is hard right masquerading as diet right, Farrar's history in Don Brash's office when the emails were leaked suggest his default setting isn't outright evil the way Slater's is and Farrar may be as terrified of a Collins leadership as the rest of us are.
5: National can rely on the mainstream media to not ask hard questions regarding the economy (which will continue to falter in 2013), the quid pro quo for that will be the sudden need to regulate bloggers and the internet.
6: The TPPA has to be signed in October, this could be tough for the Government. What most sleepy hobbits don't get is the majority of the deal is about deregulating NZs economy so that American corporations can do what they bloody well like. The domestic law changes to meet these new deregulated lows will need to be rammed through Parliament in the election year. If NZers realize that Key is about to make the entire economy as deregulated as Pike River Mine they will go ballistic, but with the second installment of the Hobbit also due for the end of next year, you can trust the media to focus on dragons instead.

Labour Party 2012:
The decision by the Labour coven to appoint Shearer over Cunliffe never looked sound as Shearer stumbled from media interview to media interview. The horror at how awful he was shocked and surprised everyone. It wasn't just his total lack of institutional knowledge of the Labour Party that concerned everyone, it was also his inability to articulate a left wing political vision. This latter issue was driven by the Pagani doctrine and showed how far apart the members were from the leadership in terms of idealogical leanings. These tensions were explored and vocalized on the left blogs and led to the Labour Party conference spill over that saw the members and unions demanding more democracy. The mainstream media manufactured that into a leadership coup and the crucifixion of Cunliffe cemented Labour to the right of center. They only suggested 100 000 'affordable' homes for middle class kids when they realized how hungry the rank and file were for change, the original number was far lower than 100 000. Labour gained a spike in ratings because house affordability is such a pressing issue, it had nothing to do with Shearer looking butch on the manufactured leadership issue.
Labour Party 2013 Predictions:
1: The same problems with Shearer's ineffectiveness in the media will resurface. Labour will need a new strategy when they realize Shearer can't do it, they could rely on the team strategy to look competent but with one of their best performers banished to the backbenchers that won't work leaving policy as the drawcard. Problem is Labour aren't shifting as far to the left as their members want leaving Labour with the hope that the electorate will be sick of Key and win by default. Not exactly visionary politics is it?
2: Labour have no idea the bad blood they have created at The Standard. Expect a long and vicious guerrilla war to break out constantly attacking Labour from the left in 2013. Cunliffe's supposed disloyalty is the least of Labour's worries when you consider how much damage The Standard can cause once Shearer starts tripping up in the media again.
3: Chris Hipkins will get special targeted treatment on the blogs in 2013.
4: A bewildered party machine will decide to punish Hipkins as the LEC complaint about his defamatory comments against Cunliffe go through the complaints process.
5: This in turn could cause Jacinda Ardern all sorts of strife with many in her electorate supporters of Cunliffe.
6: Grant Robertson will be the king maker in any leadership challenge in February.
7: Unless better strategic minds cut a deal for Cunliffe's redemption back to the front bench after February, the Party will collapse into civil war once the wobbles come back on Shearer's media performances.
8: John Tamihere will run for Labour against Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau.
9: Shane Jones will be jettisoned without mercy once the full range of allegations against him are appreciated.

Greens 2012:
There was no way I thought the Greens extraordinary election night result of 11% would hold up, but then I didn't factor in the meltdown of Labour. The Greens understand social media better than anyone else in the game and their ability to communicate directly with their membership and keep them involved is the future of political party membership and helps explain why they are attracting higher and higher results. They are the future, simple as that.
Greens 2013 Predictions
1: Labour's inner demons and inability to share their toys will allow Shane Jones more rope to attack the Greens.
2: Expect some rumbles about new changes to how much say members have in the Party.
3: The Greens will need to realize that Labour have no interest in having a Green Cabinet and that Labour will use NZ First to erode their aspirations once again.
4: It is entirely possible if Labour keep drifting to the right that the Greens will hit 15% by the end of 2013.

NZ First 2012:
The old fox Winston showed again how an opposition maestro operates with plenty of blood on the floor of Parliament to prove he's one of the best in the game. That sense of triumphalism turned however with the sacking of Brendan Horan who may end up reminding everyone about the features of MMP they dislike and blame NZ First for those.
NZ First 2013 Predictions:
1: Horan will continue to be a real problem for Winston as his constant presence and lack of concrete evidence of any wrong doing start reflecting poorly on Winston's haste in dumping him.
2: NZ First's constant lack of gaining 5% will continue to make the polls look less complicated than they will be for a left wing Government to win in 2014.
3: If Winston's health takes a turn say goodbye to NZ First.
4: Tracey Martin will continue surprising everyone by how good an MP she actually is.
5: Expect the Rural Party to take a good 1% off NZ First's party vote.

Maori Party 2012
What was the point of sitting at the table when Key has sold the table? The Maori Party end the year in a leadership fight with Tariana criticizing Pita for not standing aside to allow Te Ururoa a shot at leadership. The polls have been ridiculously kind to the Maori Party suggesting how biased the telephone polls really are and how much a dividing line of poverty phone ownership is in the Maori community. Desperation has set in with the Maori Party looking for Party vote support from Pakeha, they have no strategy and little political credibility left.
Maori Party 2013 Predictions:
1: Pita won't step down for Te Ururoa and Tariana will continue to criticize him for not stepping aside. The 2013 divisions in the Maori Party will make Labour look unified.
2: If National win the Maori Council water case, it will reflect badly on the Maori Party, if National lose the case, the Maori Party can't take any credit for its defeat. It's a lose, lose for the Maori Party.

MANA 2012:
MANA's street activism has gained a strong following and their financial transaction tax was one of the few ideas endorsed by the panel at the EPMU manufacturing crisis conference. Hone being arrested at the Glen Innes housing protests and the drawing of MANA's feed the kids bill has ensured media traction. As the newest Political Party in Parliament they offer the left their best chance of policy that is actually left.
MANA 2013 Predictions:
1: MANA will lead the fight for the new Maori electorate and if they start gaining over 2% in the Polls, they will replace the Maori Party as the kingmaker in the next election.

ACT 2012:
After the Kim Dotcom donations fiasco and teapot tape idiocy, John Banks is a bloated political corpse, a zombie politician rotting with zero credibility. Sky City gave him a donation in a Sky City marked envelope and he still claimed it was anonymous.
ACT 2013 Predictions:
1: ACT have to get a new leader, Jordan Williams jumps to mind. They need a fresh faced evil and Jordan fits that mould perfectly. Banks has killed his credibility, allowing him to infect ACT can't please the ACT Party faithful. If the more unsavory elements of Mr Banks life ever found the light of day that decision to replace him could happen a lot sooner than later.

United Future 2012:
Dunne spent pointless time chasing legal highs all year while giving tobacco and booze a free pass. How a right wing social conservative can be described as 'centre' is one of the great political lies spun by our mainstream media.
United Future 2013 Predictions:
1: Peter needs an issue that actually makes him look centrist, public broadcasting was his one hobby horse but that fell over with the death of TVNZ7. Voting to allow MANA's feed the kids policy to select committee could be his new issue.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Seduction of Toby Manhire and why Key is popular

The Labour Party never managed to live up to their strategy for vengeance against Key this year after this chart failed to get through Caucus because David Cunliffe touched it.

Toby Manhire was brought into the NZ Herald as a new columnist to make the NZ Herald seem less fascist when it relaunched as a tabloid this year. His addition was alongside that of the far right Deborah Hill Cone who has thrilled us all with column after column after column about her divorce. Apparently the Devonport divorcee demographic is terribly important in the newspaper market, (the only joy in Deborah's columns is reading how a once well to do right winger is slowly realizing much of her dogma is false).

So when Toby Manhire has been seduced by John Key in his latest column, you know Mordor is on the march.

What Toby misses is the manufactured nature of Key's attraction.

While our country groans under the weight of 7.3% unemployment with 270 000 children living in poverty the Prime Minster dances Gangnam styles on breakfast morning radio.

John Key's ability to depoliticize himself into a pop culture youtube clip helps deflect any real scrutiny of his policies that punish the 99% while rewarding the 1%.

This year we have continued to see the state of the country get worse, not better as National implement more failed free market dogma to counter the global economic recession caused by the exact same failed free market dogma.

None of that impacts when the Prime Minister is marrying rock DJs live on air while discussing how often he uses the word cunt in jokes. Online news media are ruthless ratings followers now and if the PM dancing Gangnam styles gets 100 000 hits over a serious interview that only gets 5000 views, you know 'heeeeeey sexy lady' becomes the headline.

After watching firsthand the manufactured leadership coup at the Labour Party conference last month, I believe that you the citizen are getting manipulated perceptions as news rather than the facts and this explains in some measure why Key hasn't been dented in his popularity.

John Key is the vacant aspiration of a piece of cheese forever out of reach of the rat.

Key is our first cult of no personality and he ends 2012 smugger than ever. His baseless pop culture popularity while 1 in 5 children rot in poverty is to our collective shame.

Sleepy Hobbits get the leaders they deserve, and we deserve a leader as visionless and full of empty optimisms as John Key.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Citizen A 2012 year in review with Chris Trotter & Phoebe Fletcher

Citizen A 2012 year in review with Chris Trotter & Phoebe Fletcher

Issue 1: Who were the best and worst politicians and political parties for 2012?

Issue 2: What were the biggest political and economic news stories for this year?

and Issue 3: what flew under the news radar?

Citizen A broadcasts 7pm Thursday Triangle TV: Citizen A will move to Sky TV on their new public broadcasting style channel 'Face TV' February 1st 2013.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Skyfall review

It's Home Alone with grenades.

So I'm waiting through the bloody adverts for this movie to play which annoys me because I've paid for a ticket and I don't want adverts with that ticket. I don't mind the usual small business pimping for an after show bite or drink, that I respect, what I can't stand are big business adverts selling me shit (for the record Bic shavers are crap and I wouldn't buy a Kea car).

So I'm sitting through the adverts and a Mum and Dad waltz in with four children all under the age of 7 and sit down in front of me. Now this is concerning for me because it's a violent James Bond action film and not what I would first think of as suitable entertainment for 7 year olds, I check the censorship rating and it's surprisingly 'M' meaning as long as Mum and Dad are with you, you can watch what you like.

I find this terribly unsettling.

So after the first two great movies by Daniel Craig (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace), I was expecting great things. I was a wee bit disappointed.

It starts out with Bond in the middle of some non-judicial assassination that seems to make drone strikes like surgical. I'm sure the collateral damage in the first 15 minutes alone breaks almost every UN convention on the books.

There's a fight, Bond gets accidentally shot and spends the next couple of months recuperating and keeping out of sight.

He also has sex. The 7 year olds giggle.

During his time away Mi6 gets targeted by a terrorist attack and Bond decides he is needed back for Queen & country.

Turns out the attack is blowback from a nasty little betrayal M has been involved in during the Hong Kong handover. Javier Bardem's character, Raul Silva, seems to have every reason to want to screw Mi6. 6 months of being tortured by the Chinese will do that. I like the jaws reference to the old Bond when we see the dentists bill Raul has been left with from faulty cyanide pills.

This makes it difficult because from here on in you are cheering for Raul and his vision for a free market global dirty deeds done dirt cheap franchise. What doesn't help is the appalling speed the movie turns into a Home Alone with grenades.


The 7 year olds didn't seem that impressed either.

3 stars and that's generous.


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Tumeke Media Love/Hate Awards 2012

It's that time of year where Tumeke hands out the hate and the love (but mostly the hate) felt towards the Media for 2012.

The Labour Party loathing of left wing blogs award for worst blogger of the year:
It's been an incredible year in blogging. Newspapers suddenly realized they were dead and rushed online in a desperate land grab with all the subtelty of Israeli settlers moving into Palestinian neighborhoods. The msm attacked bloggers and in turn were spanked rightuously by bloggers and narrative streams started diverging sharply as the corporate media manufacturing of events differed vastly from what bloggers were saying.

The Labour Party showed it's ability to self mutilate themselves beyond belief by attacking left wing blogs and setting in motion a Colonial Viper guerrilla war.

Expect blood, so much blood to be spilled next year.

The worst blogger of 2012 isn't Cameron Slater, he's too evil to be mocked, it had to go to bloody Shelley Bridgeman.

The Herald call her their 'blogger'. That is a vast insult to bloggers, she's a talentless hack who they can't justify printing, hence she is only available online.

I don't use the phrase 'silly cow' often, but those 2 words can sum up the level of intellectual contempt one should righteously feel when reading the works of Shelley Bridgeman.

Her shocker this year is her 'blog' (and I'm using that word as broadly as possible) on whether or not Coke is targeting children with their marketing.

Shelley's argument is that Coke are not targeting children because only 74 per cent of the 100 top girls names and 67 per cent of the 100 top boys names are available for Coke's personalized printed name bottles.

Cue open mouthed shock look now.

Did Coke pay for this? That is the only conclusion I can come to that would justify Shelley's inane assertion. How she has come to her conclusion that the jury is out on whether or not Coke target children because only 74% of the most popular girls names and 67% of the top boys names are used is so breathtaking in its attempt at reasoning that one gags. Actually gags at such logic.

She's the Anti-Spock.

Read her blog and shake your head in disbelief.

Shelley Bridgeman is proof that the only solution to Ponsonby housewives this ignorant is napalm. To be this thin in the thinking when you have so much privilege is just not acceptable in a meritocracy.

Christ only knows how the hell Shelley has managed to gain a column in the Herald. Here is my theory, she's the friend of someone who owns the newspaper and she has chewed their ear off a thousand times at a thousand different plush leafed BBQs about why she should have a column.

Or she's blackmailing the editor for a war crime he's committed.

Her blog is so bewildering vacant that I honestly thought at first she didn't exist and that it was a brilliant parody by the Herald, but people swear to me that they've seen her so I have to accept that not only is Shelley Bridgeman a real person, but that she believes and delights in her sophistry.

If her column is actually popular, it flies in the face of over 2 centuries worth of Adam Smith's rational man.

John Key stand up comedy routine best TV Comedy 2012:
Whilst nobody can compete with John Key's 'you are gay for wearing a big red shirt' style of comedy...

...there was much to praise in 2012 comedy wise. Despite the terrible timeslots, there were gems that made it to the small screen this year. A Night At The Classic (TVOne) was brilliant, Brendan Lovegrove is an unsung genius. Every episode is gut wrenchingly funny and ANATC must be considered one of the best comedies this country has ever screened! Aotearoa Social Club (TV2) is Thane Kirby at his funniest. It is the most clever take on race relations in this country since Billy T James. Moon TV's Olympic Special was worth buying Comedy Central for. The Big Late Night Breakfast Show is gloriously awkward TV, and Jeremey Wells inclusion was inspired.

The iPod killed the radio star award for Best Radio 2012:
Remember when Rock radio was cool? It's a very long time ago sure, but finally it has happened again with Matt Heath and Mikey Havoc on Hauraki. They are so effortlessly talented it hurts. They are both worth buying a radio for, it's that good.

Worst mouthpiece for evil masquerading as Journalism 2012:

Vernon Small, John Armstrong and Patrick Gower all win this years worst mouthpiece for evil masquerading as Journalism award. Each in their own way have manufactured events into a narrative that bears little resemblance to reality and their collective coverage of the Labour Party conference has to go down in history as the worst rendering of facts to myth since Judith Collins asked 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all'.

The Roman Mackerel crimes against humor satirist of the year Award:
Steve Braunias. So. Fucking. Funny. The man is a giant walking amongst microscopic insects. Pebbles Hooper on twitter is a hysterical tsunami of Gen Y cynicism and derision that makes me feel like an optimist. She is hilarious and if there is a god she will get a TV show.

Worst Fox News Democrat Commentator 2012:
Jane Clifton almost had this, but Josie Pagani is the left wing commentator of choice when you want the appearance of balance. Josie somehow always manages to make the other person sound like a raving socialist in comparison. The amount of New Zealanders who consider themselves left wing who bang their head against objects upon hearing that Josie is the upcoming 'left' option in any chosen medium is surely a large contributor to our accident and emergency wards.

ACC should pay her not to appear in any media just to bring costs down.

Tumeke Best TV News Shows 2012:
There are 3 mentions this year.

Thank God for John Campbell and Campbell Live!

Campbell Live has done such an incredible job highlighting real social issues this year. Their unending focus on child poverty. The constant attention on the mounting problems Christchurch confronts from school closures to insurance payment delays to lack of basic services to the erosion of local democracy. Their ongoing commitment to holding Novopay to account.

John Campbell's advocacy journalism has set such a high bench mark that only Gerry Brownlee running into a burning Beehive and climbing all 10 floors to save a touring bus load of school children would deny Campbell of the title of NZer of the Year.

Campbell Live has refused to simply entertain, they have challenged and pushed and prodded, and for their efforts they have been attacked by the NZ Herald.

It is not easy to convince a media company to ignore the easy ratings fodder that deadens the mind and compounds the problems, and Campbell Live's tireless work must be viewed within the harsh constraints they must fight each week to get those issues to screen.

Kudos also to Native Affairs who are quite simply the best current affairs show in the country. They manage to discuss politics intelligently, passionately and with dignity. Native Affairs is an example to the entire industry of what excellence looks like and Julian Wilcox should be declared a national treasure.

If more New Zealanders watched Native Affairs, this country would be a better place.

The third show that deserves respects is Media 3. I wasn't certain that the show would be better when it left TVNZ7, but it has become appointment watching with vastly more critical thinking going on in its timeslot than most stations manage in a week.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit movie NZ review - what most foreigners don't appreciate

What most foreigners don't appreciate about The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy is that they aren't fantasy movies. They are real life documentaries set in modern day New Zealand.

The greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the movie going audiences of the planet is that Weta Workshop is some magical cinematic monster making factory akin to a Dungeons & Dragons Willy Wonka. It's a lie. Peter Jackson jumps on the back of a ute and waves a camera around and just films real life as it happens with no special effects required.

Hobbits are from Wellington, An Elf comes from Auckland, Dwarves are anyone living in the South Island and the Orcs are Australians on vacation.

100% Middle Earth isn't a tourism slogan, it's a literal rendering of the facts for tourism insurance purposes.

The Hobbit and the killing of Smaug the dragon all happened last year and you'd know this if Fox News wasn't constantly suppressing the fact that Mordor has fallen to Aragon years ago. Apparently Sauron is a major share holder in 20th Century Fox, and news of the destruction of the ring in Mt Doom would hurt his stock price.

The worst thing about the Nazgul are their smell. It's awful if they sit next to you on the bus.

So the Hobbit opens with nonunionized dwarven miners being roasted to death by a corporate dragon who has no issue with exploitation. This leads to worker resentment and a scheme to retake their capital investment with an independent contract arrangement that ropes Bilbo Baggins into it.

Like every stoner Hobbit who thinks the grass is greener in West Australia, Bilbo joins the collective agreement and they all set off with a gay pot smoking Wizard from Parliamentary services.

Trolls, bunny rabbit powered sleds and giant spiders pretty much spells out a normal Tuesday afternoon for most New Zealanders but here Peter Jackson manages to take the everyday and make it last so very much longer.

Friends are tested, adventures had and protagonists find themselves challenged and overcoming of trials and tribulations.

I think there were 2 stone giants too many for my liking.

3 and a half stars


Friday, December 14, 2012

Labour are wrong - Youth Boot Camps a screaming National Party success

Half of boot camp youths continue to offend - report
More than half of the youth offenders who have been through a Government boot camp in an effort to curb their offending have continued to get in trouble with the law, a report shows.

Ten of 19 youths who reoffended after going through the Military-Style Activity Camps (MAC) committed 126 offences between them within six months of leaving the camp.

So exactly what was predicted to happen with these pointless boot camps has happened - all they've managed to produce are fitter criminals with better weapons training.

Boot camps don't work. Most of the academic research shows they don't work and Tumeke pointed this out when they were announced by Paula Bennett in 2009...

$35million for a programme that no academic literature backs up – what a waste of $35million when we are desperate for every cent we can get! BOOT CAMPS DON’T WORK, it’s as simple as that, but in a country were youth are either vilified as boy racers, taggers or yuff gang members, the thirst to see them suffer and get a boot up the arse is so strong that nACTional are willing to throw raw meat policy to the electorate even when they know it won’t do a bloody thing.

...so you would think blowing $35million on boot camps that don't work would be an embarrassing failure. Sadly it is not.

It's been a screaming success. This Government is not about empirical evidence, it's about raw meat reactionary ignorance for their rump voter base. National's voter base hate young criminals and especially hate young brown criminals, as far as National's rump are concerned the fact these crims can still walk and breath is too good for them. The idea of running them ragged through a boot camp pleases National Party spite, and that's all that matters.

The course doesn't need to actually work, and it doesn't really matter that it doesn't, what's important is the perception that young crims are being disciplined and given a hard time in a military boot camp.

Rehabilitation is considered a weak cop out by National rump voters, they want to see these teens in chain ganged orange jumpsuits, breaking rocks on the side of the road singing Old Man River.

This pointless boot camp crap could cost us $70 million and it would still be considered by National as a success in cementing the perception that they are tough on crime.

Just another window dressing piece of crap policy that will be kept for all the wrong reasons.


Citizen A TPP special with Professor Jane Kelsey & Selwyn Manning

Citizen A TPP special with Professor Jane Kelsey & Selwyn Manning

Issue 1 - what was most disappointing about the protest on Saturday - the way the mainstream media covered it or the abusive Police actions?

Issue 2 - which political parties are aiding the TPP and which ones are fighting it?

and Issue 3 - What is future of the Trans Pacific Partnership now it leaves town?

Citizen A broadcasts 7pm Thursday Triangle TV: Citizen A will move to Sky TV on their new public broadcasting style channel 'Face TV' February 1st 2013.


The political schizophrenia of Key's Pike River Mine apology

Pike River: PM's apology 'far too late'
Prime Minister John Key today fronted an at times angry group of Pike River Mine families in Greymouth to apologise - and pledge funding of about $10 million to recover the main tunnel.

Mr Key said afterwards it was important to apologise face to face on behalf of the Government, but he stuck to his view that recovering the 29 bodies from the main workings of the mine remained unlikely.

Out of the 29 chapters of the TPP, only 5 deal with trade, the remaining chapters are all about deregulating the way NZ domestically runs it's economy.

Key has visited the families of the Pike River Mining tragedy to apologize for the despicable lack of regulation that led to their deaths, yet he is also pushing to sign this TPP which would deregulate the entire economy.

How long can this political schizophrenia hold before anyone questions it?

America wants this free trade deal to boost their corporates hegemony as a balwurk against Chinese expansion into the Pacific - which means they will be ruthless in its application because it's been elevated to a national security threshold.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the largest threat to our political and economic sovereignty our generation has ever faced.

America is using this suffocation of our ability to pass domestic laws so that their corporations have a constant edge over China in the Pacific. Key's claims of us making $3billion from this democratic noose are as vacant as his aspiration.

If we sign this, our medicines will increase in cost, our ability to pass laws for NZs interests are eroded and American corporations will be able to prosecute any Government who threaten their profit dominance.

The latest Roy Morgan Poll staggeringly has National at 45.5% - sleepy hobbits will reap what they sow and if this free trade deal is passed, my bet is they will be the first to scream 'what's happening'. By then it will be far too late to stop these corporations and Key's gentle promises of making billions will be tomorrows fish and chip wrappings.

Key's apology to the families impacted by the lack of regulation is a hypocrisy because he;s about to let the Pike River Mine standard of regulation to be expanded across the country.

Expect a lot more apologies if he signs the TPP.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Parliament over

Another year of parliament over. The most heat was probably over the free votes - the big ones this session were the alcohol reforms (the drinking age votes) and the marriage amendment.

The government bill generating the most heat was probably the asset privatisation bill, the so-called "mixed-ownership model" (MOM) Act to amend the SOE statute. The Nats have a clear majority, even when they have to play their three support partners off each other to achieve it, so none of their bills had any serious prospect of failing. As far as debates go - and debaters go - nothing seems to stand out to me this year. It was all a bit colourless - helped in no small part by the National and Labour leaders bidding to out-bland each other with Shearer winning that comp. Winston was firing - literally firing caucus members. The Greens coast along in a smug, comfy, self-satisfied bubble with Russel Norman achieving critical acclaim without improving any (still a high-pitched Aussie whine I'm afraid). Hone was staunch, but a one-man show can only spread so far and he makes more impact on the ground in the communities than in the House. Banks' non-answers and selective amnesia were hilarious, but meant he kept a low profile this year. And Dunne's bouffant remained stable with an outlook for further growth.

Will the msm pay as much attention to TPP Police boasting to US Embassy as they did to so called protestor violence?

Well, well, well. What do we have here then?

Remember how the underfunded news media of NZ couldn't find a journalist to cover the TPP protest on Saturday and only turned up once the Police had called in reinforcements so the only images the msm had were the supposed 'violence' caused by the protestors?

Remember how none of the media caught the beginning of the violence when it was the Police who started attacking protestors?

Remember how the msm ignored all that to paint the protestors out as the initiators of violence on Saturday?

Well, I wonder if our msm will pay as much attention to this - an overheard, recorded conversation where a NZ senior police officer boasts how happy the US Embassy was with their actions...

Press Release: 
Global Peace and Justice Auckland has obtained a recording of a senior police officer reporting by phone to a superior after last Saturday’s TPP protest –

“In terms of the feedback on the ground from those involved at the American Embassy and the guy who was in charge of the negotiations (inaudible) and so on they were all extremely happy with the police at the time and so there is no issue with comeback”

...as Global Peace and Justice Auckland point out...

The recording was made early Saturday evening in the public waiting area at the Auckland police watch house after the protest against the TPP negotiations that afternoon. The senior sergeant was in an adjoining room speaking loudly on the phone.

The recording was started after the officer was overheard boasting that an officer had hit John Minto in the eye during the protest. (We have witnesses who heard this although it’s not on the attached recording)

However the tape raises serious questions about the police role at the TPP –

• Why do police see themselves as particularly accountable to the US embassy?
• Why are the police dealing directly with the US Embassy rather than via Foreign Affairs for example?

...I wonder if the msm who were so quick to swallow the Police story of protestor violence on Saturday will exert the same media pressure to ask why the NZ Police are making themselves accountable to the US embassy?

It seems the TPP won't just rob us of political sovereignty, it also looks like it means the NZ Police will also answer to Washington.

Perhaps the Dotcom farce is just a taste of what being on the American leash under TPP will mean.


Educations got 99 problems and Hekia Parata is 98 of them

Sweet Zombie Jesus - is there anything Hekia Parata can touch in education that doesn't explode into a massive fire ball that incinerates any credibility she once had?

The larger class room size meltdown, the fiasco over Christchurch school closures and a Novopay system that never pays - these would normally be enough to call an end to a Ministers reign of terror, but seeing as Chris Finlayson is too busy trying to prop up the rest of the Government, Hekia doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.

The problem for Key however is can he honestly keep her on in the wake of the judicial review over the closure of Salisbury School...

Salisbury School closure declared unlawful
The Government's move to close a residential girls' school in Nelson was unlawful, a judge has ruled.

Education Minister Hekia Parata proposed shutting Salisbury School and moving the students to a boys' school in Christchurch next year.

But the school sought a judicial review.

It argued sending the girls to a co-ed school will put them at risk and said there were questions around whether legislative tests had been met.

Justice Dobson said the decision disregarded "the prospect of greater risk of sexual or physical abuse" to the girls if they were sent to a co-ed special needs school.

...normally education policy is designed to have a positive effect on the lives of children. To specifically design a situation where special needs female students are sent to another special needs male school to face sexual and physical abuse 7 times greater in risk however seems to be more akin to building a children's playground out of depleted heavy uranium.

How Hekia disregarded the risk to sexual and physical abuse to some of the most vulnerable students we have and still have her job is a mystery.

She is the worst Minister of Education NZ has ever had. There. I said it.

Education's got 99 problems, and Hekia Parata is 98 of them.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Old Mickey Cullen, the socialist saviour... putting the price of postage stamps up as a National appointed board member of NZ Post and now he's sounding like Roger Douglas. That's how he's spending his retirement on the mega-super-plus-airfares parliamentary scheme of yore he enjoys, so why not start lecturing about retirement?  Oh - and chuck in a knighthood too so he can get a decent upgrade at the right places. That and the last term of squander like buying back the railways from the Aussies at twice the price it should have been all starts to overshadow his incremental, tentative acheivements of the NZ Super Fund and Kiwisaver.

Stuff, Vernon Small:
The architect of KiwiSaver, former finance minister Sir Michael Cullen, is proposing a revamp of the scheme to help cut the long-term costs of superannuation to the Government. Under his plan KiwiSaver would be made compulsory in 2016 and contributions would rise to 4 per cent for employees and 4 per cent for employers, followed by further increases to 6 per cent or 8 per cent for employers.
But half of a saver's nest egg would have to be used to buy an annuity.
If that provided an income lower than the current superannuation formula, the state would top it up to the guaranteed retirement income.
Anyone who can tell the difference between what Cullen is saying now and what Roger Douglas has been saying for the last three decades please do so in the comments section.

They are essentially the same position: there's a guaranteed minimum income, individuals are chiefly responsible for their own retirement income through a compulsory savings scheme whereby they have to purchase an annuity and if they can't make it by the time they reach retirement age the state will chip in so they can get the minimum income. That's what Douglas has been pushing as the long-term solution to the unaffordable superannuation demographic bulge since the early 90s - but the principle of compulsory savings goes back to the third Labour government under Kirk, when Douglas was a minister, and the savings scheme that was killed by Muldoon. While many were attracted by the practicality and necessity of Douglas's concept the hard right of Act regarded the scheme as communistic meddling and the party has never been in a position to implement it.

The only other politician to push that boat out was Winston Peters - who took it to a referendum in the term of his doomed tryst with the Nats 1996-98 - and his version of a compulsory savings system capsized spectacularly at a referendum where the voters' short-sighted greed and personal hostility to Winston as the promoter meant it lost heavily.

The problem is the electorate. No-one wants to cut their own super. Everyone 10-15 years before retirement doesn't want to change the system. Those currently retired don't mind changing the system as long as they are grandfathered over and don't have to suffer the consequences. Everyone else aged 18-50 is doomed - and we know it. We ALL know it's unaffordable without major changes to tax levels, elegibility criteria, means testing etc. The alternative is the full-blooded schemes Douglas, Peters and now Cullen have proposed and that involves marginal sacrifices most people can't bring themselves to accept, wrapped up in a blanket of compulsion that makes people suspicious.

One of the ways around the deadlock - or the "accord" as I believe it's called - is to launch the sort of suicidal policy Labour did at the last election and just put an unpalletable plate of it on the table in front of the voter and say "eat this it's all your getting". Which didn't work at all well - in fact it was utterly poisonous. And National's commitment - or at least John Key's personal commitment - to maintain the pyramid scheme of unfunded super paid off electorally. There seems no political advantage at present in creating a compulsory super consensus.

The Alcohol Reform Bill

The Alcohol Reform Bill passed its third and final reading yesterday and will become operational in a year's time. It may not be the complete wowser's charter that the usual array of health and socially conservative interest groups wanted to impose, but it's half way down that path. The lobbyists on the other side - the liquor, hospitality and grocery groups - have helped take the edge off the Law Commission's proposed wind-back to the 1960's. The result is greater restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
NZ Herald: on the changes:
Parents or guardians must give consent for minors to drink. It will be a criminal offence (with $2000 penalty) to supply alcohol without such consent.
A voluntary code to be created by industry. Government will have the power to restrict the sale of RTDs if no code is forthcoming.
Bars, clubs and restaurants to close between 4am and 8am, and stores from 11pm to 7am.
Buying age remains at 18. Alcohol given to 18 and 19-year-olds in a private setting must be supplied responsibly.

A criminal offence for using a fake ID, or lending ID to someone knowing it is for buying alcohol.

Convenience stores banned from selling beer, wine and spirits. Some will be allowed to sell other alcohol.

Alcohol displays and promotions limited to a single, non-prominent area.

Will have power to formulate policies on opening hours, ban alcohol outlets near schools, or impose conditions on licensed venues.

Fees determined by associated "risk" of venue - capacity, opening hours, and record. Bars or managers who sell to drunks and/or those underage three times in three years will lose their licence or manager's certificate.

Further restrictions, including on the promotion of free alcohol outside bars and advertising discounts of 25% or more at off-licence premises.

A minimum price regime is being investigated.


I generally support the powers of councils to set conditions on licences as this is a function of local democracy. Shutting off the corner dairy from selling booze will probably put a small dent in underage purchases and in places where there is a proliferation of these it may have a localised effect so may have some value. The age and consent issues seem sensible.

The ID issue seems unnecessary if other laws cover it, but as long as the penalty is lower then this is a positive thing as the only people offending in this way would be younger teenagers who do not merit full-on forgery and uttering charges for their best efforts at impersonating an adult.

The three strikes policy on licenses seem quite harsh and the third strike will bring out the lawyers. To me three incidents in one year would be a trigger point in identifying problem shops rather than one per year. The odd rogue part-timer in the course of a few weekends making a mistake could end up closing a whole business. This gives a huge incentive for management to maintain 100% compliance, but is a very high threshold - maybe too high.

The supermarket display rules won't do much if anything and the advertising discount ban seems of similarly low marginal value in changing behaviour. The Ready-to-drink code is a cop-out and a win for the liquor industry, but moving to ban on percentages is a recipe for killing off other drink (as what happened when Jim Anderton upped the tax on fortified wines and killed the port and sherry industry) so it is good they didn't opt for that.

The legislation concerning the local alcohol bans continues to be wide enough to drive a paddy wagon through. The Bill says a constable does not need a warrant to search or seize - including in a vehicle - that is just too far without restrictions on police to counter-balance the rights of the public to go about their lawful business. And some of the wording still looks crook (was it changed by an SOP later on?)

(3) Alcohol or a container seized under subsection (2)(b) is forfeited to the Crown if the person from whom the alcohol or container is seized pays the infringement fee.
So you pay the infringement fee (not fine, but "fee" as if it were for a money-making purpose) and then that means it is forfeited. Which is the opposite of what anyone would expect - you pay a fee you get it back, not pay a fee and that means it gets seized! By corollary, if you don't pay the fee then it must not - or hasn't deemed to be - seized and the police should return it. A lawyer's field day here.

The licensing hours are the most profound reform. There were ideas about a one-way door policy of restricting access after a certain hour (either 2 or 3 am) whereby the punters inside a bar could stay on after the doors closed and could only exit (but not re-enter). Trying to find the wording on the Bill is difficult as it still in a million pieces like a broken jigsaw, but that one-way idea didn't make it - there is no sale of liquor after 4am. So closing hours will be 4am. The casinos however still keep their exemption from the rules! They only have to shut for a few hours on Christmas, Good Friday and ANZAC Day morning. One rule for them... All the punters in Auckland City after the magical hour of 4am who want a drink will all have to go where? Sky City. Ka-fucking-ching the House wins AGAIN!

Every time I hear "closing hours" I think of two things: 1. The legendarily backward, prohibitionist "6 o'clock closing" that ended in the late 1960s, and 2. When do they open?

Bars can open again at 8am. The liquor shops at 7am. This is surely the problem. Is the sort of person turning up at 8am outside a bar going to be a responsible drinker? Is the sort of person waiting around for the booze shop to open at 7 in the morning a responsible drinker? Aren't they more likely to be the problem?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Planet Key there is no child poverty

On Planet Key there is no child poverty because all the children are forced to have jobs.

The impact of this poverty on those at the bottom is starting to permanently mutilate their futures now.

Key can't preach a hands off Government on the economy if he's being active in Welfare, so it's his usual shrug and I don't really care routine...

Crown cold on $2b plan to cut child poverty
A $2 billion Government overhaul, including more state homes and universal child support, is needed to fight child poverty, a report from the children's commissioner says.

Russell Wills' final report into child poverty has thrown the ball back to the Government, recommending 78 changes, including enshrining child welfare in law.

However, the Government has already poured cold water on the report, rejecting one big-ticket recommendation and emphasising tight finances.

The report paints a bleak picture of the 270,000 children living in poverty, many of whom regularly go hungry, get sick and live in overcrowded homes.

It says the first step is to create a strategy to monitor child poverty and set ambitious targets for improvement.

Without series implementation of something like MANAs feed the kids bill, and more state housing, we will not end child poverty in this county.

The 1% accept child poverty as a fair trade off and Key accepts it as a means to keep the working poor blaming the beneficiary poor.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Seeing red at thin blue line

The incident that ought to generate concern at the weekend's protests against the TPP was not a single incident where a couple of police officers got a sudden taste of the sort of gang thuggery they are used to dishing out - it was the people they called when they couldn't handle the jandal.
NZ Herald:
A handful of police and SkyCity security staff were overwhelmed by more than 150 protesters, forcing the on-the-ground commander to call in reinforcements from around Auckland.
"Police staff moved in to prevent escalation and two officers were separated, attacked and kicked numerous times. Fire appliances were called to the scene to help," police said in a statement.
  The cops rang the fire brigade. I hope this was just to put out the cardboard boxes out and nothing more than that.  They aren't supposed to be the police or their proxies. Putting them in harms way during a protest would be an irresponsible policy.   ----- ZB: Police Association president Greg O'Connor says protest leaders need to be taken to task. "If they were at all responsible, would have stopped the violence and certainly would not now be condoning it. Their actions really need to be looked at."
Greg O'Connor says there were initially just five officers at SkyCity who had to call for back up.


5 v 150+ Those are pretty good odds for any protester to have a go. The organisers can only do so much to restrain a demonstration. The actions that really need to be looked at is how the Auckland police could have so badly underestimated the numbers of protesters. Sure people in Auckland are generally politically apathetic, but you can't expect just 2 or 3 to turn out - any intelligence on the matter would have indicated a bit more interest than that.

A police spokesperson, Kerry Watson, says a fire was started in the middle of the street by protesters, who tried to feed the flames with cardboard boxes, and officers were attacked as they helped clear a path for the Fire Service.

Mr Minto says the protesters were preparing to leave SkyCity when the most senior police officer present intervened to stop the symbolic act of burning a number of cardboard petition boxes.

"With tensions running high after the refusal of TPP organisers to accept the 750,000 international petition against the negotiations, the police action added insult to injury," Mr Minto says.
"It was unnecessary, highly provocative and it was inevitable a scuffle would break out with several people injured."
Mr Minto says the same officer "repeated the stupidity" with the provocative arrest of a young woman in Aotea Square a short time later.

The police could not put out a fire from a few cardboard boxes themselves? They needed fire appliances? What a mess from the police perspective.

They should have let someone in to present the petition - that may have diffused things.

Meanwhile the TPP juggernaught continues:
TPP Digest (academic critiques hosted by University of Auckland)

Police have no one to blame but themselves for TPP protest violence

The one sided view of what happened last Saturday at the TPP protest is just another bloody example this year of how manipulated the media version of events can be.

The media weren't even at the protest, most of the footage you've seen are from the protestors themselves because the media outlets are too underfunded to provide journalists anymore. TV3 only turned up at the last minute because they were monitoring the Police frequency and noticed the panicked call for every possible Police Officer available in Auckland to turn up.

So what do we see from the msm? Only all the events that took place after the Police had assaulted protesters.

How convenient!

The Police have no one but themselves to blame for the violence that broke out on Saturday. The decision to lock out of the conference every NGO, Union, Academic and community group who are impacted by the TPP sowed the seeds for that violence. The decision by the Police on the day to not accept the hundreds of thousands of signatures fertilized those seeds for that violence and the Officer who started throwing punches as the protest was winding up and ending was what provoked the immediate response.

Police bosses must look at the actions of their own dickhead cops who decided as the protest was ending to start assaulting protestors. The incompetent cops left on charge panicked and rather than allow the event to pass, decided as the protest was packing up to start throwing their weight around.

The cops are lucky the protestors were so restrained.

We must not let the violence provoked by the Police to remove our focus on what was going on inside this conference.

Make no mistake, if TPP is signed our medicines will go up and our ability to support nz culture will be eroded even further than they are. We will be locked into an arrangement that is for US corporate interests, by US corporate interests and in the interests of US corporate interests.

Tim Groser is applying for the WTO meaning he is negotiating this deal for his CV, he is not negotiating for NZ.

On a final note, I am beyond sick and tired at the manner in which events I've witnessed get retold by a media who seem hell bent on lying. There needs to be a new media source in this country to hold those buggers to account and the blogs can be that vehicle.


Absolutely Positively Union Busting

The hatred for the Union movement sits deep in the heart of Wellington now it's the home of Muddle Earth. Wellington's need to worship Peter Jackson's corporate interests are understandable because Wellington finally gets noticed once every 4 years when a movie gets released.

There should be no surprises then that Muddle Earth must at all times repeat the mantra that Actors Equity almost cost us the blessed opportunity to give Warner Bros over $120million in corporate subsidies and that anyone associated with the union must be vilified the way Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm were at the hight of the manufactured crisis at the Hobbit...

Being fired for union membership is disgraceful
The story today that Vice President of Equity Todd Rippon was dismissed by a Lord of the Rings tour guide for being a union official in the union Actors Equity, is something the Prime Minister, including in his capacity as Tourism Minister, needs to take responsibility for, CTU President Helen Kelly said.

“Not only has John Key personally made it clear to employers in the entertainment industry that the Government will back them to undermine the rights of workers to join unions but he and his Ministers have made such derogatory and misleading statements about this union in particular, that the industry and those associated with it, appear to feel free to bully anyone that has a different point of view.”

Helen Kelly, CTU President says that losing your job for being a union member is illegal and unfair, and she is deeply concerned at the involvement of Positively Wellington in the process.

...how charming of Absolutely Positive Wellington, having union members fired for being union members.

How 1950s of Wellington.

Peter Jackson makes great movies and projects a wonderful image of NZs creativity, but the way he has union busted, had our labour law rewritten for foreign corporates and misled the public when his private emails show it wasn't Actors Equity who were the problem means his place in history will be far less shiny than his Academy Awards.

If all the work Jackson and Wellington have done to put NZ on the film making map is dependent on paying lower wages than Ireland, then they've both let the country down and their own aspirations.

There's no point celebrating Middle Earth when you are paid like a hobbit.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

A whole new reason to hate our banks

Put aside the billions the banks suck out of NZ each year with ever engorging profits.

Forget that we could curtail their power by demanding they hold a higher reserve than the paltry 8% they are legally obliged to.

Ignore their role in creating a housing boom that locks so many out of home ownership.

Dump those reasons to detest them, we all have a brand spanking new reason to hate the banks.


Banks unite in silence on giving client details to police
Banks have united to keep mum on how often they give customer details to police without a warrant.

Kiwibank has been the most open about the deal, saying it gets requests on a daily basis. It also admitted using the request as part of its "character assessment" of customers.

But ASB Bank, the ANZ, BNZ and Westpac have refused to provide any information about how often they give customer details to police.

In an industry blackout, the banking lobby group has also refused to supply the agreement it has with the police which outlines the way banks co-operate with police inquiries.

It follows the police refusal to supply details about the amount and frequency of information provided, saying the release of details might lead to a reduction in the supply of financial data.

...thank God Kim Dotcom is so wealthy that he can catch out all these dirty tricks the Police and their mates seem to pull with a blasé formality that screams regularity rather than a few rogue decisions.

Let's get this straight, the banks not only hand our information over to the bloody Police without so much as a timid defense of our privacy as their clients - not only do they nark for the cops, these banks then use that information to cripple your credit record?

How outrageous is this? Not just their complicity to breach our privacy, but to then use the Police fishing expedition as a legitimate reason to bias you is a rotten corruption that has all the ethics of a rigged casino.

We know the Police are vindictive and power crazed so does this extraordinary admission by the Banks and the Police suggest that anyone the cops don't like gets this fishing expedition with the knowledge it cripples their credit rating?

Is this asymmetric social warfare from the boys in blue in their paranoid 'us against them' bunker mentality? We know Keith Lock and Sue Bradford were spied on, did their credit ratings get this type of purposeful denigration?

How can the Police and the Banks defile our privacy and then penalize us for their co-conspiracy?

Incredibly this doesn't seem to be generating much disgust in the populace. New Zealander's are so laid back even our fascism is casual.

Raising a generation that is socially liberal minus any political conscience is the greatest victory neoliberalism perpetrated


Lessons for young people when dealing with Police

Well, well, well, what do we have here then...

Officer's abuse of teen driver on tape
A policeman's expletive-laden tirade at a teenage driver is under investigation by the independent police watchdog after being caught on tape.

The officer called the 16-year-old a "dickhead" and "idiot" and repeatedly used the f-word during the stop, apparently because he believed the boy had pulled the finger at him.

He was so close during the outburst some of his spittle landed on the young man's face.

"I thought he was going to hit me," said Dyllan Vaughan, the driver.

"Every time I see a police officer now I feel nervous."

...you can listen to the abuse and the threat the Police Officer uses with this 16 year old and ask yourself if you think this is appropriate... The officer replies: "Yes you fucking do. Why'd I fucking pull you over, dickhead?"

When Vaughan tells the officer to watch his language, the policeman then calls him an idiot, and accuses him of gesturing towards him.

"I wouldn't do that," Vaughan says.

"Bullshit," the officer says. "I catch you doing that sort of bullshit again and I'll go over your car and I'll find as much trouble as I can for you."

...sadly many NZers will think this is appropriate. They will think it's appropriate that the Police Officer stopped him in the first place. They will think it's appropriate that the Police Officer abused him. They will think it's appropriate the Police Officer threatened him and they will think it's appropriate that the Police Officer threw his license back at him. Our weird authority worship culture means we have a populace who can't and won't see the Police as anything but benevolent. The only time cops get into trouble is when they are stupid enough to beat up one of their own. In the infamous Auckland Central case a few years back, a pack of drunk off duty cops beat the living crap out of a young guy who had apparently given them some lip.

Hilariously the kid they bashed the snot out of was the son of a Detective.

I just wish I had seen the faces of those cops when they were informed of who they had beaten up. God that would have been beautiful.

Normally cops can get away with anything in front of a jury because of our slavish cult of authority, but in a world of smart phones, the garden variety abuse and intimidation cops hand out on a daily bases can be thrown back in their face.

Everyone when confronted by the Police should just press record on their phone and give the Police all the rope in the world, and post it up immediately online.

If you are wanting publicity - Tumeke is always happy to help. One of the most interesting things since publicizing the Police intimidation that led up to Stephen McIntyre's suicide, has been the many others who have stepped forward and contacted me privately to complain about Police behavior.

There seems to be a need for a means to force the Police to be accountable for their actions and social media and the blogs could be that force in the future.

Isn't it amazing what the Police will say when they don't think anyone is listening.