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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The new NZ Flag

After suspending our sovereignty by ramming through defective employment legislation under a misuse of urgency for the interests of a multi national corporation, the lest John could do is give the country a new flag.

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

THE WAR ON NEWS THIS WEEK: 'The blame everything on the Actors Union Special'

Manufactured crises at the Hobbit proves union bashing replaces bennie bashing as one of NZ’s favourite past times

14 000 state houses to be privatized by Minister who charges fast food to tax payer credit card, can I upsize my double standards combo please?

As invisible as a female comedian on 7 Days, 22000 workers rights protestors vanish

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Hobbit manufactured crises adds unionist death threats to corporate welfare and rammed through employment law 'wins'

Death threats fly over Hobbit
Actresses and unionists have received threats, including some against their lives, during the heated row over The Hobbit movie.

Police have been called and private security arranged for some of those targeted.

The worst threats appear to have been aimed at Australian union boss Simon Whipp and Actors' Equity organiser Frances Walsh, although actresses Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Robyn Malcolm have also been abused.

The threats have become so bad the union has hired a guard for its Auckland office.

John Drinnan is doing some good reporting on this Hobbit farce, but the mainstream media's unquestioning regurgitation of hysterical union bashing as a manufactured crises negotiating tactic by Warners to extract more corporate welfare from our Merchant Banking Optimist Prime has now led to death threats against Unionist's, Robyn Malcolm and Helen Kelly who have done nothing more than courageously stand up for the basic human right of collective bargaining. Watching the way they have been denigrated and proclaimed as 'damaged goods' is right out of a Paul Henry supporters character assassination wet dream.

You would need to go back to the 1950's waterfront strike to see an equivalent level of union hysteria in the mainstream media.

What a shameful little additional moment of spite these threats are on the day National rammed employment law through under a misuse of urgency at the bidding of a foreign corporation all because we were so easily manipulated into divide and rule corporate tactics.

The real outcry should be that John Key has handed out more corporate welfare while slashing domestic welfare. The NZ mainstream TV news spent more time on the death of a psychic octopus than any real critical analysis of this manufactured crises negotiating tactic.

Tamihere disqualified from Maori board?

Pita Sharples announced the Auckland Council's new Maori board members today. One of whom is John Tamihere. Who is doing it under protest.Well he might be protesting from the sidelines, because I'm not sure he's even qualified to be there:

Willie Jackson on their Radio Live show makes constant reference to his drink driving record as a wind up. I don't think it's funny myself, it's a bit cruel how he goes on and on about it. Here it is mentioned on Wikipedia:But does John Tamihere's drink driving offences bar him from the Auckland Council's Maori committee?

It all hinges on whether a conviction was for something that had a maximum penalty of 2 years or more. The NZTA says a third drink-driving incident is:The question is what was the penalty back when he was last convicted. If it is 2 years or more he is disqualified. From the Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Act 2010 :In my submission to the select committee I said that the 2 year (or any imprisonment at all) disqualification was unfair because it did not apply to the CCOs - just the Maori board - and that it would disbar some otherwise good candidates as the threshold was just too high. I regard it as a Jim Crow type law designed to keep out anti-establishment people, protest leaders of the past who have crossed paths with the law etc. Meanwhile any shady goings on at the golf club or dodginess at the Scout rooms that the white folks may have copped a conviction for is acceptable - they won't be barred from the other boards for their crimes. One harsher rule for Maori - one lighter rule for others. It is discrimination, the basis racial.

I pointed it out to the MPs at the time and they seemed to have acknowledged it - one saying that the same qualification for an MP ought to apply to the board (ie. past convictions are not relevant only ones incurred when in office if serious enough). I was saddened to see when the final legislation was introduced that they had not done anything about it and that the unfairness was still there. And now - at least from the sources I have referred to above - a question mark hangs over Tamihere's validity to serve on the board. This was the exact sort of situation I warned of.

I'm not trying to be a stirrer here and this isn't personally against him - despite Tamihere being a bit of a rat bag and not completely my cup of tea - he is probably the sort of person the board should have and barring him and people like him who have made mistakes in the past and paid the penalty - is unfair. If Tamihere is disqualified then the law should be changed (but I won't hold my breath - he ain't Peter Jackson and Maori aren't as important to this Tory government as Warner Bros.)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Divide and rule manufactured crises at The Hobbit costs $34million in Corporate Welfare

Govt's Hobbit pact: One deal to rule them all
Up to $34 million in tax breaks and help with marketing costs and an urgent change to labour laws are the price of keeping The Hobbit in New Zealand.

A deal between Warner Bros executives and Government ministers was confirmed last night after two days of negotiations.

As predicted here when this manufactured crises erupted, John Key has written out a massive cheque for more corporate welfare right when he is slashing domestic welfare and he milks this by pretending this was all about the Actors Union.

This was NEVER about the Actors Union, they were a pasty for Warners to create the environment needed to justify Key into more corporate welfare while Peter Jackson earns himself a best supporting actor in a commercial negotiating tactic.

We got played like chumps and the Mainstream media should be ashamed of themselves for their union bashing, they spent more time on the death of a psychic octopus than investigate this as a manufactured crises by Warners.

John Key has decided to be as divisive on the Union movement over the Hobbit as Robert Muldoon was with anti-apartheid protesters over the Springbok tour.

We got played like a pack of hick Hobbits. Warners will be laughing all the way back to the Hollywood bank.

John Armstrong calls it the way it is...

John Armstrong: Mega-money yells, and NZ rolls over
Money doesn't just talk. In the case of outfits the size of Warner Bros, it yells.

The obvious relief that the two Hobbit movies will be made in New Zealand will be somewhat tempered by the fact that the Government has buckled and increased tax write-offs for large-budget films, benefiting Warner Bros by up to $20 million.

On top of that, the company walks away from what insiders say were tough negotiations with another $13.4 million to offset the films' marketing costs.

Far more unseemly, however, is the Government's kowtowing to Warner Bros and agreeing to put legislation before Parliament as soon as today to clarify the distinction between "independent contractors" and "employees" as it relates to the local film industry.

Not only that. The legislation will be passed straight through all its stages, which means no select committee scrutiny.

Sources close to the negotiations say the spectre of industrial disputes stopping production was absolutely bottom-line for Warners.

The Government duly delivered a guarantee that would not happen.

What kind of a country, however, sells its democratic soul for 30 pieces of silver?

..watching so many of my fellow NZers get manipulated so easily to sell their democratic soul for 30 pieces of silver for a manufactured crises is tedious.

It was NEVER about the Actors Union, it was always about the tax rebate for Warners - you got played like chumps.

America realize NZ is the new cold war front with China

Clinton to announce new NZ-US relationship
The 25-year stand-off with the United States over New Zealand's 'no nukes' policy is all but over.

American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make a "significant announcement" about a new, warmer relationship between the two countries, on her visit to New Zealand next month.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department are working on the wording of the announcement, which will be made jointly with Prime Minister John Key. It is expected to include new levels of security cooperation.

With China focused like the eye of Mordor on NZ with attempts to buy our Farm lands, donating $200 000 to the National Party and attempts to set up a new political party in NZ all via 'Natural Dairy NZ', America have woken up and realized China is flexing their muscle into a sphere of influence here in NZ they had always taken for granted, so all of a sudden America wants to be our best friends forever.

The real game will be how NZ plays America off against China. China need us to test their lowest cost capitalism out here in NZ, I say we let them. Let's have them rebuild NZ, not just Christchurch, let them into rebuild all our infrastructure, broadband, new public transport, the latest green technology - THE LOT! But how do we do that without them bribing our Political Parties and interfering with the political process, we don't want to be a South Pacific version of Tibet.

When will we see a symbolic American ship visit? Obama wants to come to NZ, how about an invite to the 'white fleet' of the Coast Guard - that way we would know the ships don't have any nuclear powered engines or weapons.

America sees NZ as their sphere of influence and the sudden intense interest by China makes them nervous, as the two battle it out for undisputed global super power, how does NZ play one of against the other?

Forgiveness makes parents real NZ hero's

Fatal crash driver escapes jail sentence after family forgive
A teen motorist who killed a four-year-old boy when his modified car mounted a footpath in suburban Christchurch in May has avoided a jail sentence.

Judge Phillip Moran sentenced Ashley David Austin, 18, who admitted dangerous driving causing the death of Nayan Woods, 4, as well as injury to his brother Jacob, 6, and mother Emma Woods, to six months' community detention, 200 hours' community work and disqualified him from driving for three years.

In a remarkable display of forgiveness, Emma Woods embraced a sobbing Austin outside Christchurch District Court after the sentencing this afternoon.

"It's easy to raise voices in anger and condemn others for their mistakes," Mrs Woods said outside court. "Unfortunately, human nature means mistakes are often made.

"Often what separates one mistake from another is the consequence that results. In this case, the consequence was immense and the devastation that has followed is inescapable.

"Although the effects of this mistake cannot be undone or made right, we recognise that Ash [Ashley Austin] has done everything he can to support us.

"We do not believe he can be punished any more severely than by having the guilt of this accident on his conscience.

"We hope the community can stand in support of him as he seeks atonement," she said.

So often in this country the harsh scream for vengence is replaced by any reasoned debate, and these parents who have lost their beautiful child through the stupid actions of a young man who killed that child have shown us another much more amazing response to this dreadful pain, their forgiveness is an example to the rest of us and we should be following them over and above the Sensible Sentencing Trust's lynch mob backed by the hypercritical ACT party when it comes to social policy on punishment. What would be the point of throwing this young man into a corrupt, under funded, double bunked, violent prison system?

The courage of these parents to forgive is inspiring.

This is what cultural genocide looks like

UN envoy labels West Bank settlement findings 'alarming'
JERUSALEM - The UN's Mideast envoy criticised Israel's renewed building in West Bank settlements in response to an Associated Press investigation.

The report showed that Israel has begun building at least 544 apartments since a 10-month halt on new housing starts in the settlements expired late last month.

So this is what cultural genocide actually looks like, the constant encroachment by Zionist fanatics onto Palestinian land that is not there's to build upon has been allowed to occur without America stopping it. If Obama was real about peace in the Middle East he would threaten Israel with shutting off the military aid they get that enables them to keep the Gaza and West Bank as the largest open aired prisons on the face of the planet, but Obama has failed to threaten Israel and so their brutal occupation and group punishment tactics continue.

Israel is the new Anti-apartheid South Africa, and as such should be shunned diplomatically with the same distaste until their citizens are made aware how unacceptable their land theft and occupation are to the rest of the planet.

And what is our Government doing? Why they allow these occupying passport stealers to set up an embassy here, not surprising when you consider that Murray McCully just set up a Friendly Society with Indonesia in the same week Indonesian forces were caught on tape torturing two priests to death.

Maori Party serving the interests of the Corporate Brown Table

Maori Party must explain deference to Iwi Leaders Group, says lawyer
The Maori Party needs to explain why it is "kowtowing" to the Iwi Leaders Group which has become a de facto power force in national politics, activist Maori lawyer Annette Sykes says.

She is the keynote speaker for the Bruce Jesson Foundation's annual lecture tonight and is using her address to ask the party some hard questions.

An early supporter of the party, Ms Sykes says she's become critical of the influence the Iwi Leaders Group - chosen by the Iwi Leadership Forum and drawn from heads of runanga around the country - has had on policy development around issues such as the foreshore and seabed and emission's trading scheme.

Both laws provide outcomes that don't benefit Maori in any way, shape or form, but which the Iwi Leaders Group had a hand in shaping, Ms Sykes said.

"Why is it that the Maori Party changes its policy on every issue to meet the edicts of the Iwi Leaders Group, why are those MPs except one, Hone Harawira, constantly kowtowing to those policy preferences?"

The group, which included tribal runanga heads such as Tuku Morgan, Api Mahuika, Mark Solomon, Sonny Tau and Naida Glavish, was becoming a "one-stop shop" for policy development on a range of social, political and economic issues even though it had no mandate to do so.

So the suspicions that the Maori Party have merely become a front for Corporate Iwi is finally coming from within Maoridom. Why corporate Iwi interests should outweigh policy for poor Maori is something the Maori Party will have to try and defend in the 2011 election with Labour turning on the heat by having Shane Jones stand against Pita Sharples.

Hone is the only one who walks out of this with any honour, so he will maintain his seat up North but now real concerns are being voiced that the Maori Party are merely there for Corporate Iwi from within Maoridom, those Maori seats look a lot less sure.

Looks like that Mana enhancing relationship is more concerned with enhancing profits for those already doing fine.

Gang Patch Ban was the bullshit we always knew it was

Patch ban backfired, says mayor
Whanganui Mayor Annette Main says banning gang patches has done little to drive gang members away from the city but has blackened its reputation.

Former mayor Michael Laws vigorously campaigned to criminalise gang insignia.

Ms Main said she would have looked for a "quieter" way of removing patches from the streets.

"The gangs have not gone away. We just don't know who they are any more," she told The Dominion Post.

"Yes, we've taken the patches off them, but have we stopped people wanting to join them? Have we stopped them wanting to live in Whanganui and operate here?

"I don't believe we can say yes to that. It's certainly not what I'm seeing."

As predictable as a manufactured crises at the Hobbit, it turns out the Gang Patch Ban that was mindlessly driven through has had the exact opposite effect of banning gangs at all, so says the new Mayor who has managed to replace that racist right wing raw meat law and order clown Michael Laws.

And let's not forget that Political Hypocrisy party ACT in their drive to push for more public floggings social policy betrayed every principle they once had...

Hide defends gang-patch flip-flop
The Act Party has done a complete flip-flop and now supports a proposed ban on gang patches in Wanganui, abandoning its bedrock philosophy of personal freedom in favour of a new hardline law-and-order agenda.

...let's not forget what Rodney originally said about the gang patch ban...

At its first reading in April, Mr Hide told Parliament he would happily vote against the bill because it was against the principles of freedom. "Freedom is about the individual, and the measure of a free society is how we move to protect the minority from the majority. If the majority thinks that people wearing glasses should be locked up, that is not freedom or democracy," he said.

...once again, just like the manufactured crises at the Hobbit, the media helped whip up the uninformed kneejerks to get the public opinion on side and never look back to see if that was justified.

The Gang Ban Patch was never going to work.

Citizen A - 7pm tonight

Citizen A - 7pm tonight Triangle TV, replayed 8pm Sunday Sky 89 & Freeview 21

Tune in to join Bomber and his revolving panel of bloggers and Auckland opinion shapers as they offer an up-to-date half hour review of the political media issues of the current week from a very Auckland perspective.

THIS WEEK: New Deputy Mayor of the Supercity Penny Hulse and blogger Tim Selwyn from Tumeke to talk about the manufactured crises at the Hobbit, attacks on the SuperCity by Rodney Hide and Matt McCarten launches an attack on Mana

Join Citizen A Facebook group

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Act surprised

The twitstream is a surge of sycophancy this evening following the announcement that an obsessed small island nation has caved to Hollywood non-threats over not making a couple of films about short people with big hairy feet. If the sum involved wasn't half a billion dollars it would be only slightly less absurd.
And if those Tory fucking stooges weren't selling off our labour rights as part of the deal it would be only slightly less pathetic. And those pricks are going to rush laws through - starting tomorrow - to screw over workers by pretending they are "contractors" to suit Hollywood. It is just sickening. Whoring ourselves off to ten suits from Warner Bros. Reminds me a lot of the stooges of the previous Labour government that rolled over and granted Hollywood all manner of rights in this country against our interests; like banning parallel imports of their schlock for a year so they can extort us and delay releases, and the criminalisation of civil disputes (copyright) so they make our government and law enforcement do their job for them.

We just keep taking it from behind for these shysters, no matter which bunch of stooges are on the Treasury benches. That sort of overawed compliance is peasant behaviour. Hicks, straight out of the fucking Shire. They might as well shoot the damn films in Matamata itself - or any NZ town or suburb - there's no need for the elaborate sets, it's the characters they are after. And they will find more than enough backward and naive prols bumbling around to cast four million fucking Hobbits.

Manufactured crises at the Hobbit costs $15million more in corporate welfare

John Key has just announced the Hobbit will stay, but has agreed to pass new labour legislation for Warners and he has caved into giving them the larger tax rebate they wanted! An extra $15 million in corporate welfare on top of the $60 million in corporate welfare we were already giving them.

It's hilarious that John Key is handing out more corporate welfare while slashing domestic welfare and the mainstream media union bashed rather than challenge the underlying assumptions behind this right from the beginning.

It was never about the actors unions, and this will back fire on the Government now, it was sold to the public as all the fault of the actors unions when the reality was that was a divide and rule tactic by Warners that just saved them $15 million, NZer's will feel they've been conned and played like chumps.

It was all so predictable.

NZ Police 'watch dog' really a police lapdog

Shamed cop given plum London job
A senior policeman was rewarded with a prestigious posting to London, despite a secret report saying he acted unlawfully and totally mismanaged a complaint about the unlawful arrest of a justice of the peace.

Superintendent Gary Smith was one of several officers criticised by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. But 11 months after the findings, he was appointed as the police liaison officer to Britain.

The wrongly arrested Tokoroa JP, Mii Teokotai, lost her job as a result of the botched police investigation. She was charged with conspiracy to commit arson but the charge was later dismissed for lack of evidence.

The IPCA report also criticised current Southern district commander Bob Burns and former Bay of Plenty police professional standards head Garth Bryan, since appointed to a senior job at police national headquarters.

The Dominion Post has a copy of the secret September 2009 IPCA report into a string of complaints laid by former policeman Dave White about the 2005 arrest of Mrs Teokotai, his mother-in-law.

The IPCA did not make public its findings because the authority deemed them not of sufficient public interest. It found:

The Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority explained that they didn't release details concerning Police abusing their powers to try and weakly frame an innocent woman for arson because the Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority didn't think there was sufficient public interest?

A clear cut case of Police abusing their powers and Police Bosses turning a blind eye to that abuse who then go on to be awarded top over seas liaison roles isn't deemed to breach the sufficient public interest threshold set by the Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority? What on earth would the Police need to do to breach that threshold, start posting all their planted evidence cases up on You Tube with a direct link to the Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority's on-line complaints department email address?

The Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority is supposed to be our watchdog, not a lap dog, what else haven't they deemed to tell us about Police abusing their powers corruptly? Is it any surprise that Richard Woods, the former head of the Secret Intelligence Service who wrongly held Ahmed Zaoui in solitary confinement for 10months has just been appointed to the Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority proving the entry requirements seem to be a high mix of incompetence and ignorance.

If the Independent (and I use that word as broadly as I possibly can) Police Conduct Authority is censoring cases of Police abuse because of a public interest threshold they deem never to be satisfied, how do we know they are looking after our best interests and not the best interests of the Police?

Labour just lost Mana: Matt McCarten standing

McCarten to run in Mana by-election
Union leader Matt McCarten is standing as a candidate in the Mana by-election as an independent.

The by-election will be held on November 20th.

The Labour party are standing former TVNZ reporter Kris Faafoi. Hekia Parata, a list MP, is National's candidate.

Genius play Mr McCarten, Labour just lost Mana, but in a great way. Matt will make an excellent member of Parliament and he knows the issues of working people better than any other candidate.

Master stroke by one of the best political players in the game.

Of limits

ODT via NZPA reporting Hone is off the committee and the whip, Te Ururoa is on. His mind is no more open to the new foreshore and seabed bill than Hone's. Both would prefer Harawira's idea for a catch-all iwi/hapu title, but that is not what the Nats have forced the Maori Party into agreeing and so the loyal whip has been installed to do the dirty work. He faces opposition from Harawira - who may now want to make a submission himself - and from within his own party and electorate. From Te Karere last week:

The select committee submissions still have three weeks to go, but the Nats have pre-determined the outcome to a very great extent, so the process of everyone supposedly having an open mind on the issue is a farce. I will make a submission however, but will probably put in some different options in the hope the Nats can come further in than they are at the moment with what is essentially a re-statement of the 2004 confiscation Act.

Meanwhile any property rights that Maori have - even if they are based in the Crown system the same as every other freehold title - still attracts adverse media attention. The underlying concept behind highlighting everyday disputes only if Maori are on one side and Pakeha on the other is to deem potential racial animosity (no matter how ill-founded or irrelevant or latent or supposed) as newsworthy. It isn't. Today's NZ Herald story of an ongoing dispute in Northland is an example:

Also hyperbolic, but not quite accurate is the UK Daily Mail's story on those troughing Windsors:It is a notional 15% that they are taking from general Crown residual assets in lieu of the old funding from what I can make out - I don't believe the British royal family actually have title to the whole of Britain's foreshore and seabed. But I note the map that comes with it indicates that most of the planned off-shore wind turbine farms are beyond the territorial limits and so outside of the various local authorities - and the grasp of the Windsors! However once NZ's land-based turbine areas are maxed out we may have to turn to the seabed to put them on and then the issue will be live here. The Kaipara tidal turbine idea is a harbinger of the arguments to come when the commercial exploitation and privatisation of the marine space will conflict with Maori territorial rights.

Peter Jackson wins nomination for best supporting actor in a commercial negotiating tactic

Well, well, well - aren't some NZers feeling like sheep today? The first formal admission that Warners Bros is asking for a higher tax rebate...

Hobbit used to push through law changes - CTU
LATEST: The Government has been accused of using the row over The Hobbit films to push through employment law changes which union leaders claim will see thousands of workers stripped of sick leave, holidays and other rights.

Prime Minister John Key said on Monday that the Government would almost certainly have to change the legal test for deciding whether a worker was an employee or a contractor after United States studio Warner Bros cited the present law as a major reason for it considering moving the two films from New Zealand.

The studio has also asked for bigger taxpayer subsidies for staying in New Zealand after it was offered more generous breaks for going to other countries.

...the NZ mainstream media have given the death of a psychic octopus more coverage than the fact that this 'crises' over the Hobbit has been manufactured, and like a bunch of stoned Hobbits the majority of NZers have followed the lead of the mainstream media and blamed all of this on the the dreaded actors union which in a week has become a pinker shade of communism with Helen Kelly portrayed about as socially acceptable as child cancer.

Peter Jackson has been played, the Actors Union has been played, and NZers have been played all so Warners Bros could hard ball the Government into lifting the corporate welfare while John Key slashes domestic welfare. Key found $1.7 billion to bail out Mr Magoo at South Canterbury Finance, he sure as fuck will find a measly $40 million to pay Warners!

This is the part of the game that is most dangerous for the National Party, already there is a backlash in public opinion and in some parts of the media who watched those 10 Warners Bros executives sweep into town in their luxury cars to hard ball the Government into the obvious lift in tax rebates and the bad taste of having John Key act as divisively over the Unions in the Hobbit as Robert Muldoon was with anti-apartheid protesters in the Spring Bok tour is starting to look way too obvious now.

This was NEVER about the Actors Union and was ALWAYS about Warners setting the environment of panic to suggest a pull out to hard ball the Hobbit and so many of my fellow NZers fell for it, Jesus you lot are slow and easy to manipulate sometimes!

So how does this predictable script end now? Key 'cuts a deal' (how many times will we have to put up with every commentator in the mainstream media proclaiming Key as 'the deal maker'?) to 'save the Hobbit' by writing out a huge corporate welfare cheque to Warners, and to make that corporate welfare payment look less important, John Key will change the bloody labour laws to pretend it was always about the Unions, all the while endlessly kicking Helen Kelly.

If we are blaming everything on the Actors Unions, I would also like to blame them for the following; the high price of milk, road accidents that occur during a full moon, premature ejaculation, the lack of progress in Afghanistan and Cross eyed babies

Blaming the Actors Union for what are really negotiating tactics by Warners Brothers is as believable as Oliver Driver fronting a smoke free campaign

How Journalists can report John Key’s, Gerry Brownlee’s and Peter Jacksons hysterical rants about Helen Kelly as fact without questioning the role of Warner Brothers to get a higher tax rebate in all of this is made even more astounding when you consider Peter Jackson himself told the Government in his report on the Film Industry that the biggest hurdle for corporations making films here was our globally low 15% tax rebate. Isn’t it extraordinary that all of a sudden that tax rebate has nothing to do with this manufactured crises?

Warners will be laughing all the way to the bloody bank

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

As invisible as a female comedian on 7 Days, 22 000 workers rights protesters vanish.

Other than announce the privatization of 14 000 state houses with zero criticism from anyone, the manufactured crises at the Hobbit killed off any discussion whatsoever of the 22 000 workers rights protesters who took to the streets in protest at John Key’s 90 day right to sack law that was extended by crazy right wing oompa loompa Rodney Hide against the advice of National’s own Minister of Labour, Kate ‘no one in the boys club listens to me anyway’ Wilkenson.

The largest Union rights march since the early 1990’s was strangled away from any real discourse in the media by the sudden eruption of Peter ‘Mt Doom’ Jackson and his manufactured crises with the fanged Actor’s Unions.

The 90 day right to sack shuts down any mobility within the work force, if you have mortgages to pay and children to feed, you aren’t going to in a 6.7% Unemployment environment risk on going financial obligations with a new job you could be fired from without reason in the first 3 months. That’s why 22 000 NZers protested, but the debate that National is not doing anything other more than punish beneficiaries and give the wealthy larger tax cuts whilst providing no jobs whatsoever got eclipsed by Warner Brothers manufactured crises, and all of a sudden Actor’s Unions became, to paraphrase Peter Jackson, “the most evil force on the face of the planet, and they must be chased from this dimension and any property once owned by an Actors Unions member be ploughed with salt”.

I believe that was one of the more calmer quotes from Peter Jackson, I hope he gets a nomination this year for best supporting actor in a commercial negotiating tactic.

I just hope as the cherry on the top of this shitcake , that the National Party spin machine hold their ‘look at how easy it was to manipulate the national debate’ celebration drinks at the Matterhorn. Just for the irony.

14 000 state houses to be privatized by Minister who charges fast food to tax payer credit card, can I upsize my double standards combo please?

'State house for life' axed in review plan
State house tenants would face eviction if a review decided they no longer needed public housing, under a plan proposed by Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

Taking a page out of the UK Conservatives’ orgy of social spending amputations where scorched earth policy has replaced the actual welfare state and where David Cameron has managed to make Margaret Thatcher look reasonable, the Government used the cover of the manufactured Hobbit crises to quietly whisper a new policy to privatize 14 000 state houses in an attempt to off-set anger at the closing of a tax loop hole for rental properties earlier this year. Nothing annoys middle class property speculators around election time more than closed tax loopholes, so by throwing 20% of State houses out to the private sector at low prices, the National Government manage to privatize state assets right when increased numbers of people in poverty are needing more help than ever before.

The ultimate irony is that this mean spirited penny pinching attack on the poor is being implemented by a Minister who was such a tightwad, he charged fast food to his tax payer funded credit card. Phil Heatly aka Unca Scrouge has even managed to make his eviction order for privatization policy sound like a gentle prod, it’s called ‘reviewable tenancy’ as in, Unca Scrouge will review you to a new set of qualifying standards that you’ve had no role in shaping which are designed to throw you out onto the street so he can sell the house off as quickly and as cheaply as possible to large commercial slum lords.

Now, if this all goes horribly wrong and the social disaster of throwing the poor onto the streets for short term financial gain from a Government claiming poverty because they spent all the money on tax cuts that benefit the wealthy turns out to have a negative social impact on the poor, well we can’t blame John Key for that -because it’ll be the Actors Unions fault.

Another decade of corrupt elections in Afghanistan (will John Key rotate SAS with Actors Union?)

So, what exactly are we all doing in Afghanistan again brothers and sisters? Other than hand over civilians to documented torture units within the Afghan army, wasn’t we all up in their grill for that democracy and freedom thing? I ask because last week an investigation found that almost a quarter of all votes cast in the latest corrupt Afghan elections were all fraudulent and that news came out at the same time the Australian Prime Minister told her country that Australia was looking at another 10 years in Afghanistan.

Whanau, if the Australians are there for another decade, you know we are, so shouldn’t we ask why we are there again and exactly what the hell is it that we are doing because call me crazy brothers and sisters, but isn’t none ending war with no actual moral or ethical mandate, how do I put this without alarming the BSA – EVIL.

Isn’t none-ending war with no moral or ethical mandate evil brothers and sisters? Shouldn’t we stop bombing these people back into the stone age and quit occupying their land before John Key replaces the SAS with his secret weapon of mass destruction, the Actors Unions.

John Key's mantra of 'give war a chance' still remains the only justification for our continued occupation of Afghanistan, a war we are never going to win.

Rodney Hide to create new super, super Council to stop Len Brown

Hide plans new Super City committee
Local Government Minister Rodney Hide wants to set up a new Cabinet Committee to hear the new Auckland Council's pleas and weigh up the Government's responses. It would have the power to reject any requests from Mayor-elect Len Brown and his council.

Everybodys favourite orange oompa loompa of hypocrisy, Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has announced in the wake of Len Browns victory a brand new council to over rule any decision made by Len and the new Auckland Super City Council.

Ummmm, I’m sorry, what? A new Council above the Auckland Super City Council? But, Brothers and Sisters, wasn’t one of the first reasons we just amalgamated all the Councils because we were sick of all the multi-council crap in the first place?

Why only two weeks after Len Brown wins is Rodney Hide now flying a kite to create a new super super council to over rule the one Len Brown just got elected to. Isn’t this Rodney deciding to ignore the voters of Auckland completely to suddenly create a super super council because John Banks didn’t win?

Not content to annex Auckland under a misuse of urgency, deny Maori any representation and appoint Council-controlled organizations minus the promised consultation. Rodney now wants to defy the recent election by creating a new Council to over ride the Auckland Super City Council, brothers and sisters, what the fuck was the point in voting if Rodney Hide was simply going to invent another Council that stops that vote meaning anything?

If you’re not angry yet, you’re not paying attention. This is clearly the Actors Unions fault.

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The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

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FAQ: on what date will the next NZ General Election occur?

The next NZ general election will occur at a time of the Prime Minister's choosing - no later than three years after the last election was declared. By law (like in Australia) it will be on a Saturday. The last election was on 8 November 2008 which gives 7 January as the last possible date for the next election.

It is usual for a government to serve a "full term" and hold office for nearly all of the three years - rather than have an early (or "snap") election. Early elections last occurred in 2002 and 1984 - when the Prime Ministers of the day considered the governing arrangements between or within their parties or coalition of parties had become unstable and concluded that their party's best chance of re-election was to hold an early poll. A public disagreement between the Cabinet and MPs within the governing party or coalition has been the trigger event for the PM to call an early election.

Before the last two elections were announced I have given odds on which date the election will occur. At this point in the cycle giving precise odds is difficult, but here is my assessment:

Before starting it must be acknowledged that the Rugby World Cup will determine the date. Not only does it block out all dates 10 September to 22 October it has other major effects the restrict what the PM can do (more later). Also the undesirability to have an election during the school holidays and on a long weekend (eg. Labour weekend which clashes with the RWC anyway, Queen's Birthday and major provincial anniversary holidays) - when many are away from their home constituencies - will also be factors.
Working backwards from the last possible date: The government services officially close between Christmas and 15 January, so it can't be the last three dates because they are administratively impossible as well as undesirable as many people are away on holiday. It would be seen as unwise to let any post-election government formation drift past Christmas, indeed it would be expected that at the very least the Ministers would be sworn in before Christmas and ideally parliament convened before Christmas, so that means the 17th and 10th of December are also highly unlikely dates.

Because the RWC finishes on 22 October and there will be no campaigning during that period it means there must be at least 4 - usually 5 or 6 - weeks to campaign. So the four Saturdays after the RWC 29 October, 5th, 12th and 19th November are also out. This means any late election will most likely be on the 26th November with 3 December being just possible.

However, if there was to be a late election we will know about it a long time before the traditional surprise announcement that we are used to which gives 5 or 6 weeks of campaigning. The RWC means that there is going to be zero incumbency advantage of the surprise announcement should it be late. And if it is it will be the longest election campaign in the nation's history, because the point at which we know it will be called late will be confirmed officially at least 6 weeks before the RWC begins - in July.

Immediately prior to the RWC (6-9th September) the government will host the South Pacific Forum (40th anniversary) in Auckland. This is a major event for the island nations and the NZ government. Any government will have to be formed and sworn in before that event or else it would be effectively without a host and would look like utter ineptitude and disorganisation on our part - as would not having a PM and Rugby minister to officiate at the various RWC events that begin straight after it. Having a caretaker administration doing that would damage our credibility. So we now have to work backwards from those dates.

Even working as quickly as last election when everything went smoothly it would take at least two weeks to install a government - that means the 3rd September and 27th August are out and the 20th of August will be the last possible date - but that too is marginal - and if coalition talks take longer than expected and recounts come into play then it is cutting it far too close to the wire, so 13 August is a more likely date as the last election date before which a late election may be avoided. But the announcement of that date that will give the usual 5 or 6 week campaign will have to be in early July.

In other words if we don't have an election date announced by the weekend of 9th/10th July we will all know that the election date is going to be either the 26th November or 3rd December. That's a 20 or 21 week election campaign!

Parliament will be sitting through most of that and there will be a lot of pressure to use that as a campaign platform and I am unsure whether the politicians or the public will be able to handle the RWC and a campaign simultaneously. I doubt that any political cease-fire during the RWC would hold, even if the official campaign launches were in the week after. For the reasons of the PM losing his incumbency advantage and the RWC and SPF clashes (and the probability that the All Blacks will again not win) it seems to me that both possible late dates are untenable. If the PM hasn't announced the election date on the 11th July then the game is up.

And because we will be anticipating a 6th or 13th August date then the likelihood of him calling it even earlier builds. None of which is good for the party workers or voters because it is winter. A miserable NZ winter. It's not the best time to be door knocking and canvassing and going to the polling station; but legend has it that the uncommitted voters and the lefties are a lot less likely to turn out and so the Tories might think it a good idea.

So now I've convinced myself that under the circumstances it will be - has to be - an early election the question is: how early?

As I stated at the start of this post they need a force majeure relating to coalition instability in order to invoke an early election. Hone Harawira alone isn't going to cause it on the Maori Party side, Peter Dunne is too irrelevant for anyone to take seriously as a reason for doing or not doing anything, and so it may be Act that will have to be used as the excuse to go early.

Act have been highly combustible without any assistance from anyone else and there are many scenarios which could give the PM his publicly plausible reason for going early. Sir Roger pulling the pin and resigning would cause Rodney's nemesis Peter Tashkoff to come in and that would be an immediate caucus implosion. Standing a strong Nat candidate against Rodney in Epsom might make him throw his toys out of the cot as he sees his career going under. Act can already be painted as unstable, so a little bit of weight applied in the right place may tip them over the edge. And as soon as Act looks like its going under then the PM can ask: Do we want the existence of this National government to be dependent on/beholden to the Maori Party?

There is always the remote possibility too that an electorate MP with nothing to lose (like Chris Carter) might try a stunt and resign to cause a by-election. If it is in a seat that will upset National if they have a bad showing (arguably this is Carter's Te Atatu seat where the ornery Tau Henare will stand again) then they will want to avoid this by-election, which they can do only if it is within 6 months of a general election - which will force the PM to name the date - which would not be more than 7 weeks out. While this is not unstable to the government it could be sold fairly convincingly to the public as precipitating a general election because it would avoid the cost of a by-election (or multiple by-elections should Hawkins want to abandon his Manurewa seat early too). This could be done anytime before the early July date.

But if we get into July we have to look back to the most important event in the calendar around that time - the budget. The Crown budget is usually in May - late May. And the legislation for that will stretch into June. Whether the Nats want to campaign on their budget or not could be up to the likes of Carter and Hawkins should they force their hand. This means possibly a late June date.

It could be a very early election and that means that Bill English is going to have to deliver an election budget of goodies - rather than anything that stings or anything too radical that may spook the cautious middle classes who will be waking up to the depressing reality of the endlessness of the recession about this time (and feeling the impact of the GST inflation surge). The Nats have intimated at the last election that they will campaign on a privatisation programme and further rightward policy at the 2011 election, but I'm not sure they will have the space to do it, or the inclination to raise it as a point of difference when public opinion seems to be shifting more towards Labour's re-found economic nationalism. My pick is that whether they have planned it or not the 2011 budget will be the Nat's take-it-or-leave-it manifesto and will be what the election is fought on.

UPDATE | 1PM: The Dim Post opts for 19th or 26th November based on:

* The RWC will provide immediate economic benefits to the country, possibly it will be the only economic ray of light in the government’s entire term
*It will suck up any oxygen for the opposition’s pre-campaign campaigning
*If we win there will be national elation which will surely favor the government, but if we lose then I really don’t think people will punish the government by voting for the Labour Party – the only way that would happen is if the RWC is a logistical disaster that embarrasses the country.
*Key will want to maximise the amount of time he has with his current governing arrangement in which he gets to play ACT and the MP off against each other. His post-election governing arrangement is highly uncertain: he could have enough seats to govern alone, but he could also have a Maori Party-United Future-New Zealand First coalition.
*The whole year will (basically) be an election year and the National Party can easily outspend Labour over time, so the later the election is held the greater the advantage to the government.

The later they go the more risks that accrue, the more random events might get ahead of them - not to mention the potential disaster of a RWC defeat. That will make the cautious thing to do to go early. I'm not sure the longer the Nats wait the weaker Labour will become either.

The by-election scenario is also a factor that must be added. If Labour stage manage Hawkins and whoever else (incl. Carter) to hold by-elections that they will win and that National may perform poorly at it will create a rolling maul of public rejection of the government. The Nats would want to avoid this. Also going early is a decisive Prime Ministerial decision that would disrupt Opposition plans and would give the momentum to National. The two parties always close the polling gap the further it gets to the election and 2002 proved that catching the other party napping maintains the advantage to the incumbent. I'm not convinced that the chance for the PM to be Prime Ministerial at the SPF and the RWC is enough of a boon for them since the longer they go the more the polls will narrow.

The other issue is the Maori Party's agreements, firstly to get the replacement Foreshore and seabed bill into law and secondly the constitutional review. The Nats may not wish to progress these if they are seen as divisive and the MP too might prefer to have them left unfinished so that they can campaign on "finishing the job" rather than being seen as having completed their tasks and so of less relevance to their electorate.

Oh, and speaking of the looming Act implosion. From today's NZ Herald:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Citizen A - ONLINE NOW!

THIS WEEK: Bloggers Selwyn Manning and Phoebe Fletcher

Is the John Key Lone Ranger smile and wave dance review crowding out the total eclipse of the Caucus glee club support act?

Labour announce they are suddenly a left wing political party again, Will Marx, Che Guevara and Mickey Savage all roll in their graves and start raffling tickets for Labour Party fund raising meat packs?

Anne Tolley vs the PPTA – who is going to get an apple for teacher and who is going to get detention and Last word

Citizen A plays on screen 7pm Thursday on Triangle and 8pm Sunday Sky 89 & Freeview 21
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Citizen A plays on screen 7pm Thursday on Triangle and 8pm Sunday Sky 89 & Freeview 21
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Nation and Q+A review

The Nation is doing so well in the ratings that TVNZ have stopped releasing the polished numbers for both shows, leaving only the raw numbers so that The Nation's constant increase in ratings can be minimized.

The Nation
Hone is on getting grilled by Duncan. Hone really is a fantastic MP, articulate, brilliant and says things with such a raw truth it can grate. He makes a great point of how the right wing blogs are using Paul Henry's comment to attack him again when asked by Duncan if pakeha were racist (how often have we all heard that Paul didn't say something as controversial as Hone as a defence for Paul?), sure he said white mofos raped and pillaged the land (which is true) and he said he was uncomfortable when his daughter dated outside of his race (the only comment I always found totally unacceptable), but as a voice for Maoridom he has to be at the table when decisions are getting made.

Duncan asks if he will be a new co-leader (he says he has no ambitions, he isn't tactful, nice or diplomatic - which is very honest) but he did say he wanted to go into coalition with the Greens (the Maori Party and the Greens vote more often alike than any other political party). I would have preferred hearing Hone give his views on the wider issues of the day, not enough time was spent on the foreshore and seabed issue or what the Maori Party intend to do next election.

A very long and annoying piece on the Museum and then the SFO spooked Neville Gibson so that's a story - thank Christ Matt Nippett is on the Panel, that awful John Roughan is also on. Nice suit Matt, I want a watch like that. Matt's pissy that he was threatened by the SFO to hand over information on the SCF deal because they don't do much of their own research, both seem to think that Journalists have a legal privilege that doesn't actually exist.

Next story is about architecture. I'm falling asleep. How come a story on architecture did not actually include anything about the recent chicken pens being sold as the new state housing?

In a week where the only story was the Hobbit, or that Murray McCully formed a friendly society with Indonesia when they are caught torturing priests, or the report that National Standards had been rushed, or that Rodney Hide is trying to create a new council that can stop anything Len Brown wants - oh no, none of that.

This mornings 'The Nation' was a snooze fest.

Matt makes a brilliant point about how slow everyone was to respond to SCF, and that if they had done their job well he wouldn't be getting dragged over the coals. Duncan points out that the real difficulty of the Maori Party will be in 2011 when they are forced to choose between Labour and National. The panel predicts that tax breaks will be offered by Key and the Hobbit WILL stay in NZ and John Key will declare to the country that he has 'saved' the Hobbit from the evil Union - surprise, surprise.

q+a is all over it, state housing special, the Hobbit issue and US foreign policy.

Clare Robinson, Phil O'reilly and Sue Bradford are on the panel.

Holmes bangs the drums of Mordor over The Hobbit, blames the Actors. YAWN. The Government have offered to change Labour laws and are now looking to increase the tax rebate (which is what this has always been about, it's never been about the bloody actors).

Barnett and Helen Kelly are on debating issues. Helen points out resolution was started weeks ago, Paul claims that NZers perceive it was the actors fault (Why is that? Because the mainstream media have been played like little lap dogs for Warners Bros that's why!!!!)

Paul relishes putting the boot into the Union, and starts foaming, he screams it's the actors fault, he screams its the Union's fault. He bashes, he attacks and may as well end with pissing on a photo of Helen Kelly.

This is a public execution masquerading as current affairs. Not once is Warners Bros and the tax rebate mentioned. This is a farce. I can't wait to have a go at this manufactured crises on the War on News this week.

Barnett launches into Helen, it's a tag team match. It's as if Peter Jackson's comments when looking into the film industry that the biggest issue was NZs low tax rebate, it's all now the Unions fault and their thug tactics and because Helen was asked in to facilitate the issue at the last moment, she knows nothing.

I hope Paul Holmes gets a credit mention in The Hobbit for all his work to ensure the panic and anger at the Union so Warners Bros can get that extra tax rebate that they wanted all along. My prediction is that it gets filmed here, Key 'cuts a deal' as the deal maker giving more corporate welfare claiming all the while to have 'saved the Hobbit despite the awful union'. I hope the actual movie won't be as predictable as this manufactured crises.

Phil Heatley is on talking about forcing state home owners out of their home after 3 years to sell state hoses, apparently an opportunity to bash unions over a manufactured crises at the Hobbit was more important than forcing state house tenants onto the street. That's current affairs on TVNZ for you.

Phil has been told to fly the kite for throwing the poor onto the streets to see if there is any backlash so National can scurry away. The euphemism is 'reviewable tenancy', it's used as a term to throw the poor onto the street.

I love how a man who charged fast food to the Government accounts is now allowed to lecture the poor in state homes on whether they are worthy of state support. Hilarious.

He is looking to drop the 70 000 state houses to force them into private corporation social housing, he is now revealing almost 8 minutes into the fucking interview that he is going to decimate the 70 000 state homes by about 20% That's 14 000 homes he is about to privatize.

No headlines for 14 000 state homes about to be privatized? Better to block that debate by accusing the actors union of being a pinker shade of communism so that the manufactured crises at the Hobbit can suck oxygen away from privatizing state homes as quickly as it did when smothering the fact 15000-22000 workers marched for better rights last week.

Interesting piece with bloke from the US (James Clad) about borders. NZ will be the new cold war front between the US and China, he points out that we aren't safe in the Shire.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Warners Bros caught out lying about Union - the spin starts to unravel

Emails undermine studio's claims about Hobbit strikes
Warner Bros and actors' unions were ready to bury the hatchet at the beginning of this week but the studio was today still talking about its fear of industrial action derailing The Hobbit movies, a series of emails shows.

The films' backers are Warner Bros, MGM and New Line Cinema, which have been at odds with the unions NZ Actors' Equity, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) over actors' contracts for the US$500 million ($669m) production.

Warner Bros representatives will be in New Zealand next week "to make arrangements to move the production offshore", the movies' director Sir Peter Jackson said today.

The backers were "now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their investment", as the dispute between the actors and the studio dragged out.

However, a series of emails between Warner Bros and the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG), sighted by NZPA, showed the two parties were discussing the wording of a press release announcing the settlement of the dispute from as early as Monday, US time.

Yet this morning, New Line Cinema said in a statement that reports the boycott of The Hobbit was lifted by unions a number of days ago and that Warner Bros asked to delay this announcement were false.

Well, well, well. What do we have here, emails clearly pointing out that Warner Bros had their assurance from the Actors, but they are still claiming they don't despite the emails showing they did. Why is that? Because this has NEVER been about the bloody Actors and it has had EVERYTHING to do with Warner Bros muscling the Government for a higher Tax Rebate.

Those NZers who have been so easily manipulated into jumping up and down screaming it's all the Actor's fault/Unions fault/Helen Kelly's fault, have been played like stoned Hobbits in the Shire.

It's embarrassing.

Let me write the script for the rest of the Hobbit now. There's a bullshit John Key arse kissing pretending to be a 'positivity' march next week, to coincide with Warner Bros arriving, John Key gives them the higher rebate, he 'saves' the Hobbit, looks like the great 'deal maker' all the while damning the Unions. Simple minded NZers lap it up and the real issues of working people highlighted by the 15000-22000 protesters at the beginning of the week are totally eclipsed by Union bashing hysteria.

This was NEVER about the Actor's, it was ALWAYS about the tax rebate.

NZers are so easily manipulated and led in this country when it comes to a good old fashioned Union lynching, I wonder if Peter Jackson will add most of reactionary NZ into the Cast credits at the end of the movie?

Oh and so we get the fucking timetable straight as so much spin has muddied this debate - FOR THE RECORD the Actors had asked for a collective agreement before the boycott has been issued, the lie spread so far is that it was the Actor's opening gambit and 'what else did they expect'...

Last month, Actors Equity arranged an international boycott of the movies when Sir Peter refused to hold talks on a union-negotiated collective agreement on wages and conditions for local actors.

Sir Peter said a collective agreement would expose his company Wingnut to unfair liabilities and sanctions under New Zealand law.

The studios backing the film said the actors would be employed as independent contractors, with pay and conditions based on the local industry's standard working conditions.

The Screen Actors Guild and British actors joined the work blacklist of The Hobbit, which is expected to include Sir Ian McKellen reprising the role of the wizard Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings movies.

In a statement posted on Wednesday on its website, the Screen Actors Guild advised members it had lifted its blacklist on The Hobbit after advice from the New Zealand union and that members were free to work on the film.

...and that Wednesday statement was after the Monday agreement between Warner Bros and the Union.

The angering thing is that if John Key had simply made the argument for a higher tax rebate for The Hobbit, he could have convinced most NZers, sure it would be more corporate welfare when he is slashing domestic welfare, but we all luuuuuuuuuuurve the Hobbit, so he could have made the case on pretty strong interventionist grounds, but instead John Key has decided to be as divisive on the Union movement as Robert Muldoon was with the Springbok tour.

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

THE WAR ON NEWS THIS WEEK: Coming to a karaoke near you, The John Key Lone Ranger smile and wave Dance review starring John Key with support from the total eclipse of the caucus glee club.

Marx, Che Guevara and Mickey Savage all roll in their graves and start raffling tickets for fund raising meat packs after Labour announce they are suddenly a left wing political party again.

Tampon in a Te Papa tea cup?

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos Sky 89 10.30pm Tuesday & simulcast on Freeview 21. Replayed on Triangle TV 9.45pm Wednesday and posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

It’s just like 7 days on TV3 but with fewer dick jokes.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Here's how Crosby/Textor would write the Hobbit script

15 000 protesters just vanished, pretty nifty huh? Labour move to the left and the Unions put more protesters on the street than they ever have in almost 2 decades and they suddenly disappear because of the manufactured crises over the Hobbit.

Now while Russel Brown rightly points out the more feckless machinations of the Actors Union at the centre of this, even he acknowledges a 'swifty'...

Exactly what happened with respect to the boycott supposedly being lifted on Thursday, that's murky. The union claims to have agreed to the alert being rescinded, but consented to Warners' request to announce it itself. The producers insist the ban was never lifted. It may be that someone has pulled a swifty on the union here.

Nothing convinced me more that this is a manufactured crises than Peter Jacksons hysterical performance on Campbell Live last night, his constant personal attacks on Helen Kelly and the fear mongering he was driving (for a production that is still building sets and has the main Actors plane tickets booked) should earn him an Academy Award for best supporting Actor.

EVEN if The Hobbit is taken offshore, it certainly wasn't the bloody Actors who drove this crises, it's about the Tax rebate, it's always been about the tax rebate and this is classic strong arm tactics the like NZ simply has never seen.

Here's how Crosby/Textor would write this Hobbit script...

John Key comes riding in on his white horse and saves the day next week by giving Warner Bros exactly what they always wanted, a much higher tax rebate. Key basks in the glory of 'saving the Hobbit' while selling his 'deal maker' persona and slams Helen Kelly in one of the most obvious public muggings in recent political history and takes over the news agenda while alienating and splintering the Union movement.

Watching Robyn Malcolm being crucified and attacked at dinner Wednesday night (Police had to escort her out of Matterhorn)* for simply asking for the right to meet and discuss workers conditions is astonishing.

This manufactured crises to greenlight another corporate welfare bail out is political. The argument to increase the rebate could be made on economic reasons alone, but that's not what this Government want, they want a full character assassination of the Union.

John 'I saved the Hobbit' Key will be laughing at how easy this was.

*I've been informed by a mate present that this did not happen, and that Police did not escourt Robyn from the Matterhorn, until I hear otherwise, I have to take this mate at his word.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Murray McCully makes friends with torture states - you wanker Muzza!

Let me get this straight, on Monday, the head of Slitherin House, Murry McCully goes to set up a NZ-Indonesia 'friendly society', he does this right when footage of Indonesian soldiers torturing priests is released, he MUST have been aware of this, a letter was sent to his office to demand why he was forming this society when Government troops are torturing priests, yet his Office now claim, they never received the letter and they never briefed Murray.

What a load of bullshit. His office is fully aware of the footage, it's been in the international media for crying out loud and throughout the Australian newspapers, [and a You Tube clip of the torture from an Al Jazeera report has been in the sidebar of this blog since the start of the week —TS.] what the fuck are MFAT doing? Googling their own homes on Google map?

Scoop got the scoop on this, it is unbelievable that the mainstream media haven't picked this up yet.

Murray McCully has no comment on the footage or why we are setting up a friendly society with a Government that tortures.


Manufacturing the Hobbit crises

Hobbit co-writer: 'We've had it'
The Hobbit is slipping away from New Zealand despite the best efforts of its producers, the film's co-writer Philippa Boyens says.

The producers of the Lord of the Rings prequel overnight issued a statement saying preparations were being made to move the film off-shore.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh said industrial action by NZ Actors' Equity and Australian union Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance had "undermined [Warner Brothers'] confidence in New Zealand as a stable employment environment."

Oh this is utter bullshit now, you would need to be a Paul Henry Supporter to believe that Actors asking for fair rights is what has derailed the Hobbit. This manufactured crises has always stunk to high heaven and seemed cheaply scripted, a film company with a sure fire two movie hit that will generate billions is not going to stop because Actors wanted a better deal, this has EVERYTHING to do with an international corporation muscling the Government to go from a 15% tax rebate to a 30% tax rebate and Peter Jackson has enabled that to be sold as the Actors fault.

Watching the astro-turf 'protest' hurriedly thrown together last night at the Weta Workshop seemed disingenuous in the extreme and horribly manufactured.

Here's how this Hollywood cheese script ends, John Key comes riding in and gives this international corporation the 30% corporate welfare they want - (National do corporate welfare better than anyone, just look at SCF) while blaming the Actors and Unions in general.

It's so obvious it's embarrassing to watch the msm lap it up unquestioningly.

IF the Actors calls for a fair deal is honestly the reason this multi-million dollar deal goes off shore, then all the work Jackson did to show NZ was a creatively skilled and brilliant place to make movies goes down the drain, because the reality they are claiming here means NZers really are just 'Mexicans with cell phones', and we will get under cut for wages every time.

Hardly a highpoint for Jacksons 3 decade long career.

The FACTS about what the Union are actually asking for that 'supposedly' led to the derailing of this multi-million dollar movie,

• The union is seeking basic terms and conditions such as hours, breaks, overtime payments etc.

• The union has always been prepared to agree those conditions as an industry standard rather than a collective agreement.

• The union advised Warners on Sunday (their time) that they had asked the Screen Actors Guild to lift any "don't work" orders in place. A statement has been prepared by Equity but Warners have asked to control the time of the release and have delayed several days. We understand Wingnut were aware of this when they met with Technicians last night but failed to pass on this information.

• MEAA (Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance New Zealand Incorporated) is a registered union in New Zealand. They affiliate to the CTU in New Zealand and are a trans-Tasman organisation. We are used to having hundreds of Trans Tasman businesses in NZ and that appears to be perfectly acceptable. Many of our performers work in both countries so a Trans Tasman union makes sense.

...this has got nothing to do with Actors asking for basic rights and everything to do with demanding more of a tax rebate, this crises at best is manufactured at worst it means NZ will always get undercut for lower wages elsewhere.

PS: That's not to suggest for one second the Union's feckless manner hasn't helped, but the claim that this is to do with Actors and not the tax rebate is ridiculous, I'm interested to see if John Key caves in with a bigger rebate and keeps the Hobbit in NZ and manages to club the Union movement at the same time, as RB points out...

Exactly what happened with respect to the boycott supposedly being lifted on Thursday, that's murky. The union claims to have agreed to the alert being rescinded, but consented to Warners' request to announce it itself. The producers insist the ban was never lifted. It may be that someone has pulled a swifty on the union here.

Red earth strategy

NY Times reporting some worrying trade intelligence:

“The embargo is expanding” beyond Japan, said one of the three rare earth industry officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity for fear of business retaliation by Chinese authorities. They said Chinese customs officials imposed the broader shipment restrictions Monday morning, hours after a top Chinese official had summoned international news media Sunday night to denounce United States trade actions.

China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of diverse products including large wind turbines and guided missiles. Any curtailment of Chinese supplies of rare earths is likely to be greeted with alarm in Western capitals, particularly because Western companies are believed to keep much smaller stockpiles of rare earths than Japanese companies do.

China’s commerce ministry has repeatedly denied that it has imposed an embargo on shipments to Japan, even though Japanese ministers and industry executives say the shipments to their country have been systematically blocked by Chinese customs officials since Sept. 21.

This could develop into the type of trade barrier that went up in the 1930s. The last round of US emargoes on Japan - for example - plunged Asia into WWII.

Currently the supply lines of oil and gas and food and raw materials like wood and iron are fairly secure and open with multilateral agreements and the WTO framework to assist resolution on the political side - all things that did not exist in the 30s and 40s. Embargoes of these basic products unilaterally introduced by one country but not supported by neighbours will have little effect in this day and age. The only areas where these trade weapons can register an effect is in rare commodities such as those Inner Mongolian mines inside the People's Republic of China.The Chinese government was retaliating against Japanese territorial marine skirmishes and now is retaliating against the Americans proposing to punish them for currency manipulation. It is as if they are trying to find reasons to do this. They are flexing their muscles and seeing what the reaction will be: market price movements, hoarding activity, new prospecting etc. they are not risking much in running an unofficial type of embargo and it forces the other countries to show their hand.

Officials at the media relations office of China’s commerce ministry did not respond all day Tuesday to e-mail or to telephone calls, seeking confirmation of the expanded embargo.

A few rare earth shipments to the West had been delayed by customs officials in recent weeks, industry officials said, but the new, broader restrictions on exports appear to have been imposed Monday morning. They said there had been no signal from Beijing of how long rare earth shipments intended for the West would be held at the docks by Chinese customs officials. Nor is it clear if occasional shipments are still being allowed out of the country, or if all shipments have now been suspended.

Word of the blocked shipments emerged from industry executives on Tuesday after, earlier in the day, an official China newspaper reported that Beijing planned further reductions next year to its annual export quota for rare earths.

American trade officials announced last Friday that they would investigate whether China was violating international trade rules by subsidizing its clean energy industries.

The problem with this sort of jostling is it promotes tit-for-tat ad hoc responses that escalate and the result is overall less world trade and in the short term distorted prices and a general insecurity of supply from which NZ will not be likely to be able to benefit and will probably be adversely affected despite our FTA with China.