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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Auckland plan

There's good news and there's two lots of bad news. The good news is I was told about the submission before it closed.

The first bad news is that it said I only had a minute left. And the second bad news is that the message was posted half a minute ago. So thanks for the nano-heads up, Nikki. It won't be very detailed then, this submission on Auckland Council's Spatial Plan.1. Council to appoint a cable commissioner to make a multi-pipe conduit via footpath renewal programme. Force utilities underground via rating overhead lines - to rent space in conduit. Long term project 30+ years to cover whole city. Utility rents to pay for footpaths/conduit and street lighting, traffic signals etc. The UFB roll-out the govt. is subsidising has all gone to Telecom - a CCO should have got that contract - like Christchurch did - what a wasted opportunity.

2. If Council must widen any major roadway, esp. Dominion Rd, then FFS take 6m at least, pref. 10m or more not just 2m or 3m - the width of a single lane - that is never enough.

3. Put in the rail loop from Britomart to wherever on the Western line is best and start it ASAP. We all know where it leaves from, so start digging already.

4. Appoint a transit commissioner to cost the entire completed urban rail network and draft legislation to split the mass transit rail system off from the 'Auckland Transport' CCO so that the network stands alone (with its own sources of funding incl. it's own rate) to focus on delivering and expanding rather than being forever sacrificed as the poor cousin to motorways on the transport agenda. The first work for the commissioner is to have in one year studied and costed options ready for how to get rail across the Harbour bridge to the Shore and across the Mangere bridge to the airport and to Wiri.

5. Start work on a city charter for whatever will replace the Auckland Council.

- That took way longer than half a minute.

Whatever, they never listen, if it's anything like past experiences.

All the elected Councillors care about is how much of an increase in the rates you'll be able to stomach... Well, fuck'n heaps, I rent. ?! I could also stomach a huge decrease too. That's not why I go to plan submissions - I don't want to quibble about their forced choice 4.3% option or the 5.2% option. There's no clocks at the suburban rail stations because the service is so bad they resort to trying to hide things from the patrons. At the core of that issue is under-funding and divided administration, weak leadership. Is 5.2% going to put clocks in?

Funny no matter how many hundreds of millions they spend on transport they can't even spend a few thousand on some clocks. So many poor decisions, so often you'd swear they were deliberate. The street corners and footpaths and seats and things they have to pull out and put back, and they have about three goes to get right. The junkets. The endlessly spiralling IT costs. The systemic problems and tolerance of the sort of mismanagement and outright sabotage that results in freaky breaks for inside players and inertia and death for projects not on their stacked lists. Can these issues the new Council inherits - these misbehaviours and rorts - be stemmed and rooted out? I hope so.

What I'm interested in is getting some value for money and fixing some of the problems the council makes for itself. They are still only looking short term, long term is more like 100 years than 30 years.

And speaking of local loops:
Is Bill Ralston whored off totally to the Nats now or what? Or the road lobby? Has he ever asked himself why undergrounding half of a motorway under Victoria Park and demolishing and then rebuilding an almost identical motorway viaduct above Newmarket at a cost of about half a billion was deserving of central government funding? Wouldn't that have been better spent on the rail loop tunnel - it'd be well underway now at least if the Transit (now NZTA) board hadn't over the last five years used all those resources on those dubious motorway projects.

Citizen A - ONLINE NOW!

Citizen A this week with Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye and Deputy Mayor of the Auckland SuperCity, Penny Hulse

Issue one: What does the budget mean for Aucklanders and what does Labour's suggested policies from their conference last weekend mean for Auckland as well?

Issue two: We have a massive private prison sitting next to the Auckland motorway, Bill English in his budget notes says the get tough on crime prison policy has been a moral and fiscal failure. How will introducing a profit motive to lock up more NZers make that moral and fiscal failure any better?

Issue three: John Banks of all people has attacked the Super City as a disaster and that it lacks leadership, is the Super City failing and if it is, who is to blame?.

Citizen A now plays 7.30pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89 Fridays


Tai Tokerau by-election Candidates

RNZ reporting there are four people running against Hone:

The by-election to be held on 25 June was caused by the resignation of MP Hone Harawira.

Radio New Zealand understands that by late Tuesday morning five candidates had put their names forward.

The frontrunners are considered to be Mr Harawira, the Maori Party's candidate Solomon Tipene and Labour's Kelvin Davis.

Maori Party leaders and MPs arrived in Northland on Tuesday to launch their campaign for the seat, by erecting billboards in Whangarei.

Solomon Tipene, the King of Tonga look alike - right down to the befuddlement - is doing the kamikaze act for the Maori Party. The President will be happy that 64 year old Tipene will carry the flag for the party that he said was not interested in the votes of the young.
Kelvin Davis is a personable and sincere Labour candidate, but he has no killer instinct - he is a whimp compared to Hone. However Davis is why this will not be a total walk-over for him and Labour's machine and deploying of the parliamentary-paid MPs and staff will put a dent in the massive majority most expect.

I think I gave Hone about $1.20 as far as odds goes and I'll stick to that - after the Native Affairs poll comes out and the debate on 13 June it may change, but right now Hone Harawira has to be the hot favourite. He has been leading the agenda on policy as well as demonstrating leadership by putting his political arse back on the line so the momentum will be with him for some time yet.

The latest polls have the Mana Party registering for the first time, the next polls will start to tell how much of that is from the Maori Party. The choice of Solomon Tipene will reflect in the polls as the focus will be on his performance for the duration of the by-election campaign. Oh dear.

The Crippling of the Welfare State

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well housed, well warmed and well fed."
Herman Melville

Sweeping benefit changes 'horrifying'
Proposed welfare reforms that aim to push people into work are "vile" and the punitive sanctions on beneficiaries will only put further strain on community organisations, advocates say.

Eight Cabinet ministers have been appointed to the ministerial group that will consider the Welfare Working Group's 43 recommendations.

Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that National would campaign on any changes the ministerial group decided on.

The Welfare Working Group aimed to cut the number of people on a benefit from 360,000 to 100,000 by 2021. It suggested the creation of a single Jobseeker Support benefit to replace the dole, domestic purposes, sickness and other benefits. All but the seriously ill and disabled would be required to find work.

Why are the media talking about John Key's son planking on the Herald Front Page and not the crippling of the welfare state? Can we expect Key to leak pxt's he's taken of his penis when National announce full State Asset Privatization? Crosby and Textor you herd sleepy hobbits like no one else.

I can just imagine the press conference: "Hi all. Having a good day? I had a sausage for lunch. It was yum. Now I'm afraid we have to fuck the poor and the sick and the mentally unwell and the solo mothers up by forcing them all back to work in a 6%+ unemployment labour force because our raising GST to subsidize a tax cut for our rich mates didn't turbo charge the economy like we said and in fact left a billion dollar deficit in revenue we need to fill with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of an entire class of New Zealanders. Here's a picture of my son planking".

In a tactic that National have used again and again, the ideologically stacked welfare razor gang gave the Government the radical policy they needed and managed to add an element so fascist that it made Genghis Khan wince with their 'back to work after 14 weeks' for a second child which allowed John Key to reject it creating the perception that he's moderated what is still a radical attack on society's most vulnerable and weak.

National did it with the mining of conservation land, they put up Great Barrier when they never had any intention of mining Great Barrier so they could remove it from the list to make them look like they had 'listened' and create the perception of moderation.

Key had the audacity to describe the forcing of mothers back after 14 weeks as making him 'queasy' which is funny because his comments that poor people who take food parcels are to blame for their own poverty alongside his claim that if he cut welfare to all beneficiaries then bugger all would starve made me pretty queasy.

National's tactic of proposing 100% crazy and selling 80% crazy as compromise is like getting the National Front to write immigration policy and then look aghast at what they come up with while implementing most of it.

Why should the most vulnerable; the solo mums, the sick, the mentally unwell, the disabled, why should they be forced to do with less because of an economic global crises caused by corporate greed that they had no hand in making?

How many solo mothers were on the phone to their Wall St Stockbrokers in 2007/2008 buying lite crude in Euros and speculating on Goldman Sack derivatives?

In the words of Scribe. Not many if any.

It is this Government's economic turbo charged incompetence that has led to the crippling of the welfare state aided by John Key's out of touch bubble world millionaire lifestyle which concludes for him that poor people needing food parcels choose to be poor and that if he cut benefits, bugger all beneficiaries would starve.

All stick and no play makes little Wiremu a prison statistic.

This crippling of the Welfare State is evil. It's evil to treat the weakest and most vulnerable in Society during a recession as steep as this with such 'work sets you free' contempt, and it's time for people of conscience to call NZ on it.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Stuff also add David Farrar as a blogger - more unbalanced bias from corporate media

UPDATE: The Stuff.co.nz on-line editor has just announced they are now seeking a counter left wing opinion to Farrar in the wake of my criticism. I applaud Stuff for accepting balance is important, and hope that the NZ Herald follows their lead on this issue as we go into the most ideological election in modern political history. Again whom a Newspaper select as their columnist is their right that we must protect in a free media, but allowing a hard right Government pollster unchallenged space to present what is effectively spin lines for the Government is something that no citizen wants from their media.

In a shocking move, Stuff.co.nz have followed The NZ Herald's definition of 'balance' by appointing propagandist and National Party on-line mouthpiece, David Farrar as their on-line political columnist.

This after Farrar was outed by Stuff's own Sunday Star Times as being part of a plot to over throw MMP!

I have already blogged my complaints about NZ Herald appointing a Pollster and apologist for the Government and restate it isn't an issue of who the free press appoints, but an issue of balance.

Why can't any number of brilliant left wing bloggers share a space for a counter opinion against someone so in the pocket of the Government? The talented Julie Fairey over at Hand Mirror, Brown at Public Address, Trotter at Bowalley Rd, Idiot-Savant at No Right Turn - any of them could front foot it with the Head of Slitherin House, but it seems the Corporate Media in this election have zero interest at balance.

It is surprising that Labour have managed to record over 30% in the latest opinion polls when the bias from the corporate media is as intense and as one sided as this.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

How David Farrar, Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk spike MMP by attacking Mana

The campaign of black ops that David Farrar, Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk will most likely pursue is a disinfomation scare mongering on-line attack against Hone and the Mana Party to demonize them as radicals that will be deeply divisive.

It will serve two agendas. One to destroy MMP and replace it with a system less likely to be representative, thus cementing National into a position of power.

And Two the heat generated from the attack on Hone will be a rallying call to Don Brash's ACT Party.

The scare mongering will use the example of the Nazi's entering power via proportional representation and then attempt to compare the Nazi's radicalism to Hone using the Bin Laden misquote, Titewhai's Marae appearance, out of context quotes from Annette Sykes and John Minto, etc etc.

We can already see these spin lines being played out, spoon feed to the media and regurgitated on cue.

Since when did a right wing blogger, a National Party pollster and a corporate political mercenary get to dictate spin lines directly to the mainstream media and have those spin lines uncritically repeated?

This election is for the idealogical heart and soul of New Zealand and will be the most dirty ever because the stakes are so high and the opportunity for radical reform provided by the global economic meltdown so large.

Buckle up.

Cameron Slater will appear on Citizen A 7.30pm, Friday, Stratos Freeview 21 and Sky 89


The evil Cameron Slater and David Farrar are planning to rob you of MMP

The NZ Herald has appointed Government pollster (he polls on the Friday and presents to Caucus on the Tuesday), propagandist and on-line National Party mouthpiece, David Farrar as their weekly online political commentator minus ANY right of return from any number of left wing bloggers (Chris Trotter, Russell Brown, Idiot Savant or the brilliant Julie Fairey over at The Hand Mirror) and this despite the shocking revelations that he, Cameron Slater and the man behind the corporate coup take over of the ACT Party by Don Brash (courtesy of Alan Gibbs), Simon Lusk are preparing a smear campaign to attack MMP in the hopes First Past the Post can be re-implemented to ensure hard right Government from now on back in NZ.

Anti-MMP plan leaked
A group of National and Act Party activists is preparing to launch a campaign against MMP.

Details of the campaign, to be launched soon in the lead-up to the referendum on MMP on election day in November, have been leaked to the Sunday Star-Times.

Among the campaign's key players is Simon Lusk, who played a major role in Don Brash's leadership coup against Act leader Rodney Hide.

Jordan Williams, the young Wellington lawyer who accompanied Brash on the day he deposed Hide, is being considered for the role of frontman of the campaign.

David Farrar, National's pollster and a well-known right-wing blogger and columnist, is providing strategic advice. Also involved is right-wing blogger Cameron Slater, known as Whale Oil.

Dumping MMP helps straight white rich old men take power in this country, and I just don't think they need any more help than they currently get! MMP allows our diverse country to have better representation and that provides for a better democracy. The whinging old white man voice you get croaking on about how evil MMP is seems more a cultural backlash against being forced to share power with other cultures, genders, ages and sexual orientation. Remember, MMP has only been around for a decade, in the bad old days of First Past The Post, Parliament was a rich white straight old boys club and white men saw themselves as the essence of power, being forced to share that power has caused a cultural backlash by that group towards all the perceived evils of MMP.

Farrar, Slater and company want to drag NZ back into the dark ages, and the mainstream media by constantly providing them unchallenged platforms is playing along with that agenda.

Thank God for Anthony Hubbard's outing of this underhanded black ops campaign. Slater will appear on Citizen A, 7.30pm Stratos Freeview 21 and Sky 89 this week to answer the charges to see if he should stand trial for treason.

Long live MMP!


Why do the Greens hate Auckland?

Why oh why do the Greens hate Auckland when Auckland provides them with so much Party vote for so little political representation? The first Aucklander outside the existing MP's list (and there's only one amongst that group - Clendon at number 8!) is Denise Roche at a belittling 11 place ranking!

Full list:
1. Metiria Turei
2. Russel Norman
3. Kevin Hague
4. Catherine Delahunty
5. Kennedy Graham
6. Eugenie Sage
7. Gareth Hughes
8. David Clendon
9. Jan Logie
10. Steffan Browning
11. Denise Roche
12. Holly Walker
13. Julie Anne Genter
14. Mojo Mathers
15. James Shaw
16. David Hay
17. Richard Leckinger
18. Aaryn Barlow
19. Jeanette Elley
20. Sea Rotmann
21. Michael Gilchrist
22. Dora Langsbury
23. David Kennedy
24. Tane Woodley
25. Joseph Burston
26. Mikaere Curtis
27. Shane Gallagher
28. Saffron Toms
29. Steve Tollestrup
30. Jack McDonald

Has Auckland not given the Greens the love? Has Auckland not provided them with the bulk of their Party vote that enables them to be the third largest party yet the first actual Aucklander is relegated to 11???

When put into the context of Russell Norman's savage attack on Mana as a party of last century battling the issues of last century maybe the Greens consider Auckland last century?

Perhaps Aucklanders with a liberal political value should consider a Party vote to a party that will represent them and their interests better than an 8th and 11th ranked position?

I understand the Mana Party will be announcing some interesting Aucklanders as candidates if the fine people of Te Tai Tokerau give Hone a mandate to launch the Mana Party.

Some organic vegan food for thought?


American pharmaceutical companies are trying to kill Pharmac (shhhh don't wake the sleepy Hobbits)

Attempts by America into forcing us to dump Pharmac so the American pharmaceutical companies can implement their brutal form of medicine for the rich into this country is more proof of how far Key's smile and wave political capital has blinded the sleepy Hobbits of NZ.

It's all part of the free trade deal that Joh Key wants to secretly sign us up to before the election.

This oxymoronically named 'free trade' will do the following...

More expensive medicines

No local content in broadcasting

Weaker controls on overseas investment in NZ

Foreign investors suing the Government for millions in offshore tribunals

Weaker regulation of the financial services

Undermining action on climate change

Delays and restrictions on agricultural market access to the US

John Key breathlessly told a complaint mainstream media that we would make billions and billions from this free trade deal with America and the complaint mainstream media breathlessly repeated those claims with no critical analysis whatsoever.

How humiliating then for our compliant mainstream uncritical media when wikileaks revealed the "billions and billions" claims is utter nonsense and an out right lie. It turns out our negotiator for the free trade deal privately complained to the American's that we get nothing out of this free trade deal and trying to con you NZers into accepting it would be difficult.

Close Up couldn't do a story about this issue this week as they were too busy interviewing alleged vampires, but John Key is lying to us about this 'free trade' deal making us "billions and billions" in the exact same way Gerry Brownlee lied to us about billions and billions to be made from mining on conservation land.

It is extraordinary how far NZers are prepared to stretch John Key's smile and wave political capital to justify policy so contrary to our national interests as dismantling Pharmac for American corporate gain.

Wake up sleepy Hobbits.


Q+A, The Nation Review

Last weeks ratings
Q+A: 179 890
The Nation: 53 260

The Nation
After last weeks awful show, it must get better this week. Funny point about Lindsey Perigo is now the ACT Party communications spin dr - a libertarian on the state pay roll - oh the irony.

Duncan is having a go at the Hollow Brian, Steven Joyce over this gift he's given Telecom. I love how Joyce is holding up MED advice to defend his argument, yet wasn't holding up MED advice when it came to them advising against giving Mediaworks a $43 million loan at a rate IronBridge could not have gained on the open market.

Tumeke Editor Tim Selwyn has already pointed out why this internet deal is such a lame duck and just another freebie to bloody Telecom.

This Government is all about Corporate deals done dirt cheap and Steven Joyce is the Grand Old Cyclops of those deals.

Seeing as Joyce handed Mediaworks so much money, it's a patsy interview followed up by a patsy competition where Steven Joyce is the answer. Unbelievable.

I officially refuse to be shocked by the bias on The Nation any longer, they are becoming as fair and balanced as the NZ Herald.

Next story about one of our mandarins leaving for a cushy job at the World Bank. Surprisingly John Whitehead won't be prosecuted for crimes against the poor.

Sean corners him on Treasury's position against Joyce's claims that the Telecom deal is as sweet as he is pretending.

John Whitehead claims that Treasury cares which is the loudest and longest laugh I've had for years.

Gareth Morgan is attacking this Free Trade Deal bullshit attempting to kill off Pharmac. I still don't understand how the sleepy Hobbits of NZ don't see the danger that is looming from this free trade deal.

The Dark Lord of the Sith from the Pharmucetical industry here to destroy Pharmac makes the soothing noises that keeps the sleepy Hobbits from waking.

Good to see Noelle McCarthy on, pretense at balance makes The Nation feel slightly less like a National Party political broadcast.

How does Damien Christie write to Holme's presentation style? How? He deserves a special award for media monologue writing for a media monolith. Brilliant joke re Tau's writing abilities, great biting attack on Paula Bennett's bullshit handing over of an untendered public contract which will be the first of many corporate contracts in social services.

The new Wellington Mayor Celia Wade Brown is on the panel, she's good. Joined by Canterbury University Vice Chancellor Rod Carr and of course Dr Jon Johansson.

They all bitch about the stupidity of Wellywood sign (come on Wellington, you can do better than that).

Mandarin Whitehead gets another salute, at least Guyon kicks his shins in over the bullshit Treasury growth predictions (FINALLY!) and challenges him on the170 000 jobs creation bullshit (bloody English cut and paste the same number of jobs).

Look, the bloody Treasury are out with their predictions because we face a unique crises of capitalism akin to the 1929 stock market collapse and Treasury hasn't been able to adapt.

Great to see Guyon challenge him on Treasury's promotion of privatization while pretending to care about the poor.

Compare this interview with what was on The Nation and you understand why Q+A out rates The Nation by such a massive margin. Excellent interview.

Panel notes that Treasury acceptance of inequality as a measure for social benefits is welcome, but how much of a pretense that is needs to be examined.

Sam Morgan, fundy free marketeer who boasts about not having to pay any Tax is on promoting his next attempt at mega profits minus paying any tax.



Saturday, May 28, 2011

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

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

The double dipper from Dipton double dips employment numbers by cut and pasting the same 170 000 jobs from the last budget into this years one.

John Key defends Treasury predictions of the rapture

Boot camps make criminals fitter

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos 10pm Thursday Freeview 21 & simulcast on Sky 89. Posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

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

Gil Scott-Heron has died 1949-2011 - The revolution will not be televised

I am terribly, terribly grieved today - Gil Scott-Heron has just died. His sharp wit attacking mainstream media in 'The Revolution will not be televised'...

...and the passion of his disgust at the military industrial complex in my favorite Gil Scott-Heron song, 'work for peace'.

The planet has lost an amazing and wise soul. His death is a terrible loss. Rest in Peace Gil, you were a beauty and strength we seldom see in artists today.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Attack Paul Quinn for what he does not what he misheard

MP says sorry after rape debate confusion
National MP Paul Quinn last night offered an apology after saying on a televised discussion about rape that "there is a real issue with young ladies getting drunk".

Mr Quinn came under fire for apparently suggesting during the TVNZ7 Back Benches programme on Wednesday that short skirts and drunkenness contributed to rape.

He said last night that he misunderstood the question put to him after a presentation by a member of the "Slut Walk" movement, and thought he was answering a question about drunkenness.

I've been on backbenchers a couple of times and it is very loud so I'm not at all surprised that Paul misheard a question and replied with an answer that suggested he was insinuating that drunk women ask for rape, so I think the heat applied to Paul over this is very unfair, he clearly wasn't suggesting that drunk women ask to be raped.

If we want to rip this despicable right wing hardliner to pieces, let's attack him for what he does, not what he misheard.

So what has he done? This right wing maggot has personally set NZ human rights back a century by pushing his private members bill through to strip Prisoners serving less than 3 years their human right to vote, a move that puts us at odds with most of the developed world and offside with EU Human Rights.

Bill English described the hard on crime bullshit that Paul Quinn revels like a pig in shit over as a 'moral and fiscal failure' in last weeks budget notes. This utterly spiteful law Quinn has pushed to deny prisoners their right to vote is the final nail in the coffin to alienate prisoners even further from the franchise of democracy and serves no other master than hate, the very hate that Bill has described as a moral and fiscal failure.

No one has injected more spite and hate against our human rights record than the National Party and now they are reaping the moral and fiscal failure of allowing the Sensible Sentencing Trust to replace reason with warped anger, a blame that must be partially shared with the Labour Party who in their 9 years merely managed rednecks rather than challenge them when it comes to crime and punishment and has led us to becoming the second most incarcerated nation on the face of the planet.

As the ever brilliant Gordon Campbell points out in his work on denying Prisoners the right to vote...

The main argument against prisoners being allowed to vote is that their crime has cancelled out their right to be considered part of society. That argument, Sauve points out, lacks any value as a deterrent. “When people are committing a crime, most people are not thinking about the rights that they’re going to lose. They’re thinking about how they can avoid getting caught. If people already feel they don’t fit into society and that they’re rebelling against society – well, the better way of trying to encourage them to take part in society again is to encourage them actively, to vote – and to have a say within society.’

‘ The one thing I noticed after we got the right to vote was when every election came about, guys in the dining hall or the ranges were actually talking about politics. And not necessarily talking about the beefs they were in, or stuff like that.” Not everyone in prison does exercise their vote, he adds, just as not everyone does in the community at large – but in his experience, prisoners do talk about the elections.

Even so, getting sent to prison means that people lose their right to a whole range of rights and freedoms. Why should the right to vote be held up as something sacrosanct? “You go to prison for a punishment,” Sauve replies. “ That is your punishment : the loss of freedom of movement. It really is severe. When you’re locked in your cell at night and you are all alone, that’s when you realize you’re really doing time. That’s also when you think about how you want to fit back into the community. I wanted to be able to fit back in. I wanted to show that I could make it, that I could be something other than my crime…”

By contrast, the removal of the right to vote is – he agrees – a way of saying to the prisoner that he or she is literally, a non-person. Given that most prisoners will one day be returning to society, how could it possibly be in society’s self interest to promote such an attitude? “I don’t think it is,” Sauve replies. “ I know that a lot of people want revenge. They don’t necessarily want justice. ‘

So very ugly and so very petty.

Let's attack Quinn for the hateful shit he does, not what he misheard


Citizen A - 7.30pm tonight

Citizen A - 7.30pm tonight Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89

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: Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye and Deputy Mayor of the Auckland Super City, Penny Hulse...

Issue 1: What does the budget mean for Aucklanders and what does Labour's suggested policies from their conference last weekend mean for Auckland as well?

Issue 2: We have a massive private prison sitting next to the Auckland motorway, Bill English in his budget notes says the get tough on crime prison policy has been a moral and fiscal failure. How will introducing a profit motive to lock up more NZers make that moral and fiscal failure any better?

Issue 3: John Banks of all people has attacked the Super City as a disaster and that it lacks leadership, is the Super City failing and if it is, who is to blame?

Join Citizen A Facebook group

Radio NZ 4pm today

I'm on the Panel on Radio NZ this afternoon at 4pm

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The NZ Herald-Digi poll can kiss my arse

Ohhhhh, the latest Herald-Digi Poll is out proclaiming that National has 10 billion% support again, blah blah blah. The NZ Herald has become the most biased newsmedia outlet in NZ. 3 anti-Hone editorials in two weeks is unprecedented and their decision to appoint online mouthpiece for the Government David Farrar as their online political commentator makes the NZ Herald as fair balanced as Fox News. David polls on Friday, collates over the weekend so he can present the information to Caucus on the Tuesday, he has nothing to add other than massaged message points he self tests on the National Party Research Unit!

The bias from mainstream media has been unprecedented recently and their utter lack of balance must be challenged before the election.

Stuff.co.nz misquoted Hone Harawira claiming 'Hone celebrates Osama Bin Laden's life', when challenged on the misquote they edited their online version to 'Hone celebrates life'. (The Press Council will be reviewing my complaint July 1st)

Last month the NZ Herald appointed Government propagandist David Farrar as their weekly political columnist. It is unacceptable in the most ideological election we have seen in recent political history that the pillars of our mainstream media are devoid of left wing counter opinions.

The issue isn't who the NZ Herald appoints, that is their right as a free press, but in terms of balance in our largest daily Newspaper, it is as jaw dropping to appoint a propagandist like Farrar minus any comment from the other political side as it would be to appoint Kyle Chapman as the new Race Relations Conciliator or Paul Henry as the new head of the Broadcasting Complaints Authority.

Who the media ask to commentate for them is not the issue, but they must acknowledge they have a role to be balanced. Despite what the corporate media might like us to believe, 'the sound of one hand clapping' can't be a legitimate editorial position.

Here is why the Herald-Digi Poll can kiss my arse, it is so far off, it claimed that Len Brown and John Banks were 'neck and neck' - why don't any of you remember this?

Poll shock: It's neck and neck
Len Brown: 29.6 per cent
John Banks: 28.7 per cent
The race for the Super City mayoralty is going down to the wire - Manukau Mayor Len Brown and Auckland City Mayor John Banks are almost tied in the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey.

And remind me how that election turned out? Oh yeah, that's right, it was a FUCKING LANDSLIDE to Len Brown. These bullshit cheap brainfart polls are missing vast chunks of the electorate as the recession has made the poor more and more difficult to measure.

We don't know what the call back ratio is (it is supposed to be 6 times), we don't know if only landlines were used, were cell phones used (in a recession where the poor are avoiding debt collectors and can't afford land lines their opinions are simply not registered) and MOST importantly we are never shown the weighting. What is weighting? Each poll has to equate to the percentage make up of the population, so let's say there are 10% Maori, the Poll has to have 10% Maori, problem is that most of the time the Pollsters never get 10% Maori opinion, so what they do is they weight whatever opinions they do get from Maori to fill up the necessary 10%, now if you are only getting conservative opinion when you call during dinner time, then that is the opinion that will get magnified, the danger is these brainfarts become self fulfilling prophecy.

To paraphrase one researcher from Janet Hoek and Phillip Gendall's 'Public Opinion Polling: Supporter or Subverter of Democracy', attempts to correct biased samples by using age-gender weights is like embalming a corpse in the hope of its resurrection.

The only polls worth real examination are deliberative polls, but because they cost so much money to run we get these cheap brainfart polls.

The right wing political radar is off kilter and has led to the hubris within Caucus that they will win the election with an outright majority.

The Herald Digi-Poll is bullshit and should be shown the contempt it deserves.


Te Tai Tokerau by-election strategy and General Election ramifications

The ramifications of this by-election will be felt through to the General Election and has the potential to swing the result to the left so the importance of Te Tai Tokerau can not be underestimated for those with a genuine interest in New Zealand politics. The slow speed of the corporate mainstream media to appreciate what Mana could do to the balance of power in this country suggests recent cutbacks in news rooms around the country have given proof that the recent news room cut backs really have gone too deep.

Hone can not simply 'win' the by-election, Labour don't really want to win the by-election and the Maori Party must lose well.

For Hone, this is his opportunity to platform the leader he is becoming and wants to be. The spotlight of National media attention will give Mana a platform to present itself as a genuine political representation for the electorate of poverty who are now angry at the depth of pain and length of time of this recession. As tough as the global financial collapse has been for the middle classes, the added weight of economic recession has become unbearable for those on the bottom of the heap. When the doors of power close and the elites divvy up the capital of society amongst themselves, the poor will want advocates in their corner arguing for their aspirations that they know won't sell them out. Say what you will about Hone Harawira, Annette Sykes, John Minto and Sue Bradford, but they don't sell out.

The by-election is an opportunity for Hone to give NZers a reason to support Mana and it gives the people of Te Tai Tokerau the chance to start a new political path for Maori and left wing pakeha that could with a 3.5% result hold the balance of power. For those with a genuine passion to reduce the distance between the haves and the have nots, this is a possibility for social justice that only presents itself once a generation.

But Hone can't just scrape in, he has to win by a large majority, it's not just a mandate for himself that he seeks, he is looking for a mandate for a new political movement and that mandate must be unequivocal.

Do Labour really want to win this by-election? No they don't. Labour need to put in a strong performance and they have an incredible candidate, but the problem for Labour which Mana will employ is that at number 23 on the labour Party list, Kelvin is assured in Parliament anyway, by electing Hone the people of Te Tai Tokerau get two for one. Labour sense they have a massive swing occurring within Maoridom as the disgust at the Maori Party's dead rat swallowing diet has reached a crescendo but beating Hone isn't part of that wider strategy because if Mana win and run candidates in the other Maori electorates, the split vote would see Labour winning up the middle of almost every other Maori electorate, not to mention the changed Parliamentary math a sub 5% Mana would create.

The Maori Party have the most to lose in all of this. As Duncan Garner pointed out on Firstline on TV3 this morning, their candidate Solomon Tipene's confusion over the most basic of questions does not bode well. The Maori Party will lose, no question, but if the loss is a damning one then they will be a spent political force come the General Election. How on earth Solomon Tipene will defend Pita Sharple's position that the Maori Party can work with Don Brash (expect that line to be repeated a thousand times during the by-election) will remind all Maori voters that a vote for the Maori Party could be a vote for ACT.

A by-election with these types of ramifications for the general election rarely occur, it's going to be a fascinating month for NZ politics.


Duncan Garner on Firstline TV3

I wrote Garner off in the weekend over the appalling naked display of right wing bias on a NZ on Air funded show like The Nation, so wasn't expecting much from him on TV3's Firstline this morning.

Firstline is the best source for Australian news. Pity this is NZ (I don't care about the former yellow wiggles property bubble popping), but when the chatty bullshit with those inane regional reporters who are still playing the Paul Henry lite routine drives me around the bend, I leave Petra and Corin to check out Firstline (while remote grazing BBC/CNN/AL JAZEERA - I never watch Fox News in the morning, it gives me a migraine).

Petra and Corin have saved TVNZ in terms of providing a thin veneer of public broadcasting, both are intelligent Gen Xers and it's the only time I ever see John Key sweat interviews is when Corin grills him (Key positively glows when being interviewed by Mark Sainsbury, an aggressive interview by the walrus of news is like being mauled by a labrador). Petra is the new Judy Bailey and is possibly one of the few asset's TVNZ has if it was to get privatized to Rupert Murdoch.

Firstline is the exact news program I suggested that TV3 adopt right when they first launched Sunrise with James Coleman and Carly Flynn. A smart news show that is critical and news focused with a strong journalistic approach and Firstline get's there.

Garner was a real surprise, he was far better on Firstline than he is on The Nation, he made interesting insights about Mana and pointed out that it will be those on-line who will be creating the electoral friction this time around (interesting to note arch-libertarian and Ayn Rand fantascist Lindsey Perigo is now the ACT Party communications spin dr). Duncan's most interesting point was regarding the budget, and that once middle NZ realized how worse off they were by Key's budget then National would drop in support. Duncan has a point, the sleepy hobbits of NZ haven't woken up to the rammifications of the budget yet, but when they realize what they are losing and add that to the dubious arguments justifying stte asset privatization, then they will strt looking at political alternatives for their vote.

I think the mainstream news media have reworked their limited knowledge of how little a sub 5% Party needs to gain a large chunk of MP's and have clicked that the Parliamentary math may radically reverse what has been written off as a sleep walk to victory by John Key. Garner was good, and very worthwhile watching on Firstline, Tivo or Mysky him.

Rachel Smalley asked Bryce Edwards from Otago University intelligent questions and he identified how the by-election would be a platform for Hone to win support from the wider electorate and that this election personality wouldn't trump policy because the economic environment had tightened so significantly.

Smile and Wave political capital when you are feeling nervous simply looks like vacant optimism when the problems looming in the future have no chance of being solved by what's being offered under those smiles and waves.


Business NZ lie about raising minimum wage causing unemployment

Lifting minimum wage 'would cost 6000 jobs'
Employers and the Government have hit back at Labour's plan to raise the minimum wage to $15, claiming it would cost 6000 jobs.

With the Greens and Labour wanting to lift the minimum wage to $15 (Mana wants to lift it to the Australian minimum wage of $18.40), the bosses have told the corporate mainstream media to protect their interests and go on the attack, and on the attack the corporate mainstream media have gone with claims that any change would result in thousands made unemployed.


As the CTU points out, raising the minimum wage DOES NOT lead to an increase in unemployment...

Minimum Wage and Jobs – CTU Releases Research Summary
Bill Rosenberg said “a major study by Dean Hyslop and Steve Stillman looking at the effect of increases of between 41 percent and 69 percent in the youth minimum wage in New Zealand was done in 2007. It found ‘no robust evidence of adverse effects on youth employment or hours worked’ and in fact, showed there was an increase in hours worked for 16 and 17 year old workers.”

“Before those increases came into effect Business NZ warned that for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, there could be up to 4 percent fall in employment. But this was shown to be completely wrong.”

Bill Rosenberg said “employment growth appears to be much more strongly related to overall economic conditions than to a particular issue such as the minimum wage. This is what the evidence shows and it would help this debate if the Government and business lobbyists acknowledged that.”

...according to the bossman, raising the minimum wage so that the poorest workers in NZ can meet the basic costs of living would see the four horsemen of the apocalypse destroy NZ.


That money would directly help over quarter of a million NZers in real terms while injecting a large economic boom in their direct communities because minimum wage money is shared much further and has many more demands on it.

Putting money into the hands of people who are most burnt by the economic meltdown makes economic sense by spending at the coalface of poverty and it will be something we will demand as Unemployment doubles as each minimum wage dollar will have to carry so many other unemployed members in the household. Bernard Hickey makes more sense.

Freeze public-sector wages and lift the minimum wage
People on the minimum wage are struggling and spend a higher proportion of their disposable incomes than those on higher wages. If the logic of encouraging consumers to spend to defeat the “Paradox of Thrift” is correct, then increasing the wages of the poorest makes sense. For those looking to rectify the imbalance between the rich and the poor then this is one way to do it, although to be fair, an inflation-sized increase will do little to redress the imbalance, but it may stop it widening much. It also has the benefit of not increasing the budget deficit.

Raising our minimum wage would also take us a step closer to our little brother holy grail of catching up with Australia, the difference isn’t tax, the difference is that they pay people more and we will never match that and attract people here if we don’t move in that direction. How come we only ever try and match the Australian tax rate and not the pay rate? Employers have predictably declared we can’t afford a minimum wage increase, I respond that we can’t afford not to.


Bomber's Blog - The War on News - TONIGHT 10pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89

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

It’s just like the Jono Project except funny.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Citizen A - ONLINE NOW!

Citizen A this week Selwyn Manning & Cam Slater

Issue one: It's the Citizen A Budget special - what does it all mean politically?

Issue two: We look at the impact of the budget on you the punter

Issue three: We break from the budget to look at comments from The Deputy mayor of the Auckland Super City that the Auckland Super City isn't working. Surprise surprise.

Citizen A now plays 7.30pm Stratos Freeview 21 & Sky 89 Fridays


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

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

Pass the dutchie to the left hand side - Optimistic growth forecasts are proof that Treasury are staffed by hard core stoners.

After all his leaked emails, Don Brash sends John Key a Dear John letter, it was either that or a telegraph in morse code.

Father of all budgets dressed up in drag so it looks moderate the way a meth addict looks moderate

The War on News 2010 – NZ News Satire on Stratos 10pm Thursday Freeview 21 & simulcast on Sky 89. Posted online at Scoop.co.nz as their Weekend Watch.

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John Key believes Treasury's rapture predictions

So everyone is looking at Treasuries predictions of growth with the same skepticism we all viewed Harold Camping's predictions of the rapture on his Family Radio network. Harold's predictions may have had more veracity if Family Radio hadn't followed up his claim the world would end tomorrow with a 5 day weather forecast.

Whanau, the budget only looks good if we believe the 4% growth forecast from Treasury so let's compare their predictions from 2008. They claimed we would get 1.5% growth, 2.3% growth and then 3.2% growth. We actually got -1.1% growth, -.4% growth and -.1% growth. Treasury have been out by as much as 3.1% of GDP as little as last year and we are supposed to believe 4% growth next year based on a Rugby World Cup which is still only half sold and the ChristChurch rebuild which still keeps suffering from aftershocks.

Who the bloody hell would be so vacant as to believe this bullshit. Enter stage Right, Optimist Prime, John Key.

John Key believes Treasury's rapture predictions and has come out defending these fairytale growth assumptions by pointing to a wide range of forecasters who all agree with him like the ANZ, BNZ, Deutschebank, Goldman Sachs and Westpac.

Key defends budget's growth forecasts
Prime Minister John Key is countering scepticism about the budget's growth forecasts, saying they stack up with other assessments of the economy.

Yeah, all of whom have been wrong in the last 3 years as well, indeed the Westpac chief economist Brendan O'Donovan at the beginning of this year claimed, and I fucking quote, "Personally I think New Zealand could have a ripsnorter of a year and I think we could be on the cusp of a golden decade in terms of economic prosperity".

That's the guy John Key wants to hold up to prove Treasury's bullshit predictions aren't bullshit? O'Donovan is so insanely positive he makes John Key look like a manic depressive on suicide watch.

There seems to be a mentality amongst some that if we just put on a smile and a cheery disposition, this recession will be over and the lambs will be lying down with the lions and world peace will break out. If Westpac's chief economist had been on the Titanic as it was sinking he'd be explaining how great the ocean views are and that now was the best time to buy another ticket.

Whanau, the economy is in free fall because the same tired slash public services more tax cuts bullshit can't deal with the parameters of the 2008 collapse. The Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard points out in his book 'crises' that the Americans had written up a quadrillion dollars in credit default swaps, that's a thousand trillion dollars. Brothers and sisters, we aren't even half way through this recession yet.


WellyWood wank

The only thing more disruptive than Martin Devlin acting like a cock on a domestic flight, is Wellington Airport's decision to branch into out door advertising with their WellyWood sign.

Wellingtonians like the following things. Dubstep, universal membership to Fat Freddy's drop if you've ever visited Lower Hutt, turtle necks, a misplaced sense of superiority over Aucklanders and pretending that playing ukuleles are some how meaningful.

Wellingtonians don't like the following. Large 3 meter lettering that displays their fawning little brother syndrome by sucking up copying an American idea.

Brothers and sisters, there's nothing more militant than a dubstepping Wellingtonian with a ukulele fetish, and already some are planning to burn the WellyWood sign to the ground.

Build it or burn it, I don't care because it's in Wellington, but that won't stop us making fun of it. And here are some alternatives...

If it was political

If it was in Auckland

If it was honest

If it was really honest

If it was really, really honest


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mana 2.9% in New Horizon Poll

Meanwhile, away from the cheap brainfart telephone opinion polls being promoted by David Farrar, (the man who polls on a Friday night so his polling is available for Caucus on Tuesday), the Horizon Poll (with it's accepted faults of being online) continues to tell a different story....

National has 35.5% of voters with a preference who will vote

Labour has 26.6% of committed, intending voters
It is picking up 34.4% of those who now intending to vote after choosing not to vote at the last election. National is picking up 19.2% of the last election’s non-voters.

The Green Party has 9.3% intending voter support, New Zealand First 7.3%, Act 5.1%, Mana 2.9%, Maori Party 1.2%, United Future 0.9%, Jim Anderton’s Progressives 0.8%, other parties 1.2%.

The number of undecided with no current preference is 7.3%.

2.9% would equate to 4 MP's for Mana, Mana is aiming at 3.5%.


Telecom deal: Government sponsored economic sabotage

And Telecom - that hated, bureaucratic, inert, monstrosity says thanks Joycie. And they promise that this time for real they will constitute the network ('Chorus') subsidiary as separate... truly:

As part of the deal, Telecom must split off its network arm, Chorus, into a completely separate company, so that all broadband retailers can compete fairly to on-sell wholesale ultra fast broadband. Chorus will maintain the Kiwishare obligations currently placed on Telecom.

And that's just Telecom's involvement. I don't trust Telecom based on all their previous behaviour. Yeah - 'touches' in a bad way. They are all about games and lawyers, dragging everything out to hold on to legacy advantages because they know they don't have the culture as an organisation that is capable of competing, and so they continue to trick and rip off their own customers. The split companies scenario is an old ruse - one competitive retailer, the other a network operator supposedly not preferring its retail arm. It never works that way - and the fact Telecom haven't sold one of the arms off tells us the value is still in the ability to have both and (mis)use that position.

It's good the government are spending a bit of money on it, but it's not so good the way it's gone to Telecom or how they will deliver it. There are economic and social benefits and conveniences from the investment, but there are opportunity losses and market competition issues too.

As for Telecom's UFB site - that's a timely example of the typical cuntiness of anything connected with Telecom - an annoying pop-up box you have to clear before you even start. That's pure Telecom - Telecom Classic: treating you like an idiot, pissing you off and dicking you around.Like the automated call centre games their customers have to endure. Is that what navigating through this site is going to be like? No thanks. I'm bailing now. As with everything Telecom - let's just save ourselves the disappointment.

As a boost to the economy - to productivity and to the exchange of goods and services - how much can broadband be? Not much more than at present where those who need the speed can get it - at a price. The idea that telecommuting and so on will be commonplace and an employee will normally go through the week without ever being physically present where the management and the other staff are located seems unrealistic. However as a boost to personal communications and the mass media, esp. with internet streamed hi-res TV around the corner - that's where the real gains will be.

Telecom and the other consortia will use the money to put in fibre, although the Minister is not clear whether it will be to-the-door or to-the-cabinet, but does mention pricing:

Wholesale household prices will start at $40 or less per month for an entry level product and $60 per month for the 100 Megabit product. There are no connection charges for households.

No connection charges? So it's not to-the-door(or gate) then is it? We'll still have have copper to the door. And all the retailers still have to use Telecom (as 'Chorus') and so it will never be as competitive as it could be, the prices will always be higher because we will be paying Telecom's ('Chorus'') margins on everything. We would be better served by opening it up in a planned way to everyone prepared to invest in their own line infrastructure. The way the government has gone about this tender prevents that competition from happening. And I mean competition in the network market - not just the retail market relying on a single network. What I am saying is that Telecom is so bad and the copper lines they have so old that it would be a viable proposition - even with a 'Kiwishare'-type obligation, or without subsidy - for other companies to set up their own local lines networks. They can only do so if central and local government can contemplate it. I don't think they ever have, I think they have assumed they are 'natural monopolies' and are stuck inside that box.

It is a mistake to continue a plan to retain such monopolies. The paradigm of 'natural monopolies' on lines is conditional on the councils not allowing other lines on the poles and the expense of laying underground by oneself being prohibitive. Those are conditions that central and local government have a large say over.

It is the creation of a multi-use conduit space in suburban and urban areas that would solve this issue permanently. With the ability to rethread the several pipes of the conduit with cables or wires or tubes (or whatever can fit through it) would mean both the end to digging up the streets every few years and the undergrounding of the overhead wires. The problem is when I tell the Auckland City Council this - and the Deputy Mayor of the new Auckland Council - that Auckland needs a cable commissioner to co-ordinate the undergrounding of the overhead lines with the footpath renewal no-one can be bothered doing anything. I have posted on this issue many times over the years and now we are at the stage where the wasted opportunities and massive inefficiencies will now be realised.

The Councillors seem to be under the illusion that these things are co-ordinated and the footpaths and the undergrounding is taking place - they are not. It's a mess. Wretched overhead wires and telegraph poles left intact while below it the brand new concrete footpath will be there for at least 40 years, meaning they can't have planned for anything to be undergrounded for 40 years! And now Telecom is about to either riddle the overhead lines with added visual nuisance (which no Council would let them do) or dig up or trench every street in Auckland, without any co-ordination - I will bet - at all. Through all the brand new concrete - rip it all up again. Totally avoidable.

Why is there a reluctance? It keeps their monopolies intact because the Councils won't let any more wires onto the overhead lines and so any competitor - at a great deal more expense than if they had to share the costs with the other relevant networks - must underground their network by themselves. This lack of competition and the nuisance and waste of unco-ordinated works at this scale amounts to economic sabotage.

When I quiz the Councillors on this they just shrug and say it's not their problem. It's quite insulting to be told that the one literally over-arching visual pollution problem that is worse than tagging is none of their business. They say it is Telecom and Vector's problem. I say Telecom and Vector are the ones with the most incentive to keep it like it is and to keep their communications and power reticulation monopolies in the process. It costs them money to underground - I think Vector only has one staff member to liase - and the Council doesn't make them, so they don't. And that suits them no end, but it doesn't suit the public and the people who live in affected neighbourhoods. When I suggest a bylaw to force then to underground where the footpath is being renewed they don't care. When I say the overhead lines should be rated to pressure them into putting it underground they don't care. They really don't think it's any issue at all. I can't understand their toleration of ugliness and their inability to comprehend what ought to be obvious. A council-owned organisation could build most of the conduit via the footpath contractors and lease out the pipes. It ought to be possible to put water and gas lines in the pipes as well as electricity, copper and fibre. There must be more pipes in the conduit than networks currently operating in order to ensure additional services can enter later without any surface disruption. This project will take many years - perhaps more than the demand for broadband will allow - so some trenching may have to be done outside of the footpath renewal, but this must also be aligned so that it fits in when the renewal reaches that area. This would be the most desirable method for Auckland and any urban area to get the most efficiency out of private/public infrastructure spend.

As for the rural roll-out: why? It reads like a $285m gift from the government to Telecom and Vodafone esp. to pay for their mobile businesses. Why the massive subsidy specific to the back blocks? And why are they being done first!? Will Joe Bloggs, Farmer of Waikakamukau get that much out of his broadband? Can't he log into Fonterra on dial-up? How many "creatives" will decamp to the wilderness and why should the taxpayers fund their 100Mbps porn? And why do primary schools - tiny rural primary schools and the like need broadband and why are 48 getting digital microwave radio connections? Where are they FFS - in the Ross Dependency? What happened to books? It's a nice-to-have, it's not really a priority is it? But too late - that money has already been spent.

The smallest itch has been scratched first while the biggest looks set to be a scabbing open wound.

Celebrity debates and comedy nights

I'm MCing the Mike King Comedy fundraiser for Hone's by-election campaign, this Thursday, 7pm at Pull Bar & K Rd ballroom, 214K Rd - tickets $20, and am appearing at Charles Chauvel's celebrity debate fundraiser in June, Annette King's celebrity debate fundraiser in July and David Shearer's celebrity debate fundraiser as well as appearing as a guest panelist at the CTU conference in August.

I do children's parties and bar mitzvah's as well.

Hilarious times assured!


David Farrar and his polls are opinion manipulation masquerading as public opinion

The corporate mainstream media this year will probably be the most biased we will have ever seen in modern political history. 3 anti-Hone editorials in the NZ Herald in 2 weeks is unprecedented, and the fair and balanced Fox News approach the Herald has taken by appointing Government propagandist and National Party pollster David Farrar as their online political columnist is only matched by Stuff.co.nz misquoting Hone and then quietly editing their online story once the Bin Laden misquote was outed.

(NOTE: The Press Council will be assessing my complaint against Stuff.co.nz's Hone misquote and silent edit on July the 1st).

And into this Stuff.co.nz are now using David Farrar, the very same Government propagandist to discuss the latest flawed opinion polls.

I note once again that these Polls are pointless brainfarts that serve only to create the impression of support rather than measure actual support. We don't know what the call back ratio is (it is supposed to be 6 times), we don't know if only landlines were used, were cell phones used (in a recession where the poor are avoiding debt collectors and can't afford land lines their opinions are simply not registered) and MOST importantly we are never shown the weighting. What is weighting? Each poll has to equate to the percentage make up of the population, so let's say there are 10% Maori, the Poll has to have 10% Maori, problem is that most of the time the Pollsters never get 10% Maori opinion, so what they do is they weight whatever opinions they do get from Maori to fill up the necessary 10%, now if you are only getting conservative opinion when you call during dinner time, then that is the opinion that will get magnified, the danger is these brainfarts become self fulfilling prophecy.

To paraphrase one researcher from Janet Hoek and Phillip Gendall's 'Public Opinion Polling: Supporter or Subverter of Democracy', attempts to correct biased samples by using age-gender weights is like embalming a corpse in the hope of its resurrection.

The only polls worth real examination are deliberative polls, but because they cost so much money to run we get these cheap brainfart polls.

Treasury and the boffins are so far out on their economic predictions because the steepness of this recession has bewildered them all, into that steepness runs less people on landlines and less people willing to answer the phone when it calls for fear it is a debt collector. It is these same cheap brainfart opinion polls driving the hubris within National that convince them they will rule an outright majority. These are the same cheap brainfart opinion polls claiming John Banks and Len Brown were neck and neck, and we all know how that turned out.

This isn't public opinion measurement, this is pluralistic ignorance and the corporate mainstream media are turning to the arch mage of manipulation, David Farrar to promote this unbalanced fraud.

Don't believe the hype.



This Government love boot camps and seem to believe that spending over HALF of the $55 million package supposedly aimed at unemployed youth on pointless military boot camps is a great use of money in the steepest recession since the Great Depression.

It isn't and the Government know this and that is why Paula Bennett is hiding the results...

Effectiveness of boot camps 'under wraps'
The effectiveness of Government "boot camps" to straighten out the country's worst child criminals is being kept under wraps.

The eight-week military activity camps, known as Macs, are run near Christchurch and cost about $36,000 for each participant. So far 36 offenders aged 14 to 17 have completed a course as a last resort to turn their lives around.

The Social Development Ministry has refused to disclose the number and nature of offences committed by the participants before and after the camps.

Child, Youth and Family youth justice services general manager Chris Polaschek said he could not provide the details as the complete information was not held on CYF files and had not been collated from police files in a way that allowed suitable reporting at present.

Labour Party social policy spokeswoman Annette King said she suspected the silence was because the camps were failing.

...and that is because BOOT CAMPS DON'T WORK!!!!!!

Boot camps dismissed, by principals
Boot camps for troubled youth are a quick fix that will not stem violence and bullying in schools, experts say. The Principals Federation has called on the Government to reject boot camps. The call follows expert advice given at this week's two-day behaviour summit in Wellington. Federation national president Ernie Buutveld said yesterday the Government should be more considered in its quest to reform the country's troubled youth. "Some of these plans just don't cut the mustard in terms of getting bang for your buck," he said. "In this economic crisis, we need to be careful and listen to the experts. When using public money, it's not wise to rush head-long into anything. "We need to be surer of the end result." Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett agreed "boot camps haven't worked in the past which is why we're not doing them". Bennett said the Government approach was to "take the 40 worst young offenders, give them military-style discipline, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, set them up with a mentor, educate them and order them to take a parenting course if needed".

Military boot camps make conservative folk feel like something is being done to those little shits and that is it. It is counterproductive bullshit and it's costing us millions that we could be spending on better youth employment programs.

Wake up sleepy hobbits, you're being played again.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Our prisons are a "moral and fiscal failure" - Bill English

Well, well, well - what do we have here. After pointing this very FACT out for almost a decade, I'm fairly chuffed that the (former once Brash is in)Finance Minister, Bill English has come to the same conclusion as me over our sensible sentencing trust lynch mob mentality towards prisons and punishment, they are a moral and fiscal failure!

We have a 'if it leads, it bleeds' mainstream media who whip violent crime up into a foam which generates righteous anger in the viewer watching which then gets cynically manipulated by Politicians like Clayton Cosgrove, Simon Power and of course Crusher Collins.

In March 2006, crime made up 22% of the 6pm One News hour and was featured 29% in the headlines, yet by March 2010 crime stories on the 6pm News made up only 14% of the stories in that month, yet was represented a staggering 35% of the time in the headlines. Even though news stories as a whole had slumped to 14% in March 2010 on the 6pm One News, it was represented 35% of the time in the headlines. The impact is that the shock value of crime is vastly over represented in the news headlines so the impression left with viewers is one of a mad max post apocalyptic nightmare requiring Dirty Harry and Garth McVicars to sort out.

Judith couldn't get cameras down to a car crushing site fast enough to show how tough she would be on boy racers while Simon Power has more than any other politician attempted to portray prison as an adult Disneyland with under floor heating, flat screen TVs and landscaping to rival the great gardens of Europe.

The abomination National have now turned Prisons into by privatizing the prison system so Serco (who have an appalling abuse record overseas)can make a profit out of it is the worst warping of social policy for corporate benefit this country has ever embarked upon.

While Greenpeace has had it's charity status stripped, what about the Sensible Sentencing Trust, exactly who funds them?

Does the Sensible Sentencing Trust take money from the private prison industry or not?

We know that The GEO Group who were pitching here in NZ are major finders of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C. think tank that lobbies for tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles such as privatization. These think tanks whip up the public debate to scream pitch and the kneejerk politicians do the rest. In NZ, the Sensible Sentencing Trust refuses to disclose who funds them, GEO fund these groups overseas, do they do it here? Has the Sensible Sentencing Trust been funded by GEO to push for longer sentences because the only people who really benefit from the 3 strikes locked up forever raw meat law and order policy that was hypocritically rammed through by the Sensible Sentencing Trusts David Garrett is the private prisons about to pick up the contracts to our ever increasing incarceration rate.

Into this issue comes the (former once Brash is in)Finance Minister, Bill English's comments in the budget notes that our prisons are a 'moral and fiscal failure'. His Government of course picked up where Labour dropped off in manipulating crime anger for political gain so his crocodile tears at the manner in which rednecks have allowed hate to replace reason as social policy is highly dubious.

Currently National are bleeding votes to the right and losing moderates who are fleeing the possibility of a Brash-Key Government so Judith is out there dog whistling for the right wingers to come back with her calls to limit abortions to teenage girls while Bill is left to try and whistle the moderates back by damning an empire of incarceration and suffering that his Party has done all they can to build in the first place.

Whatever (former once Brash is in)Finance Minister, Bill English's political reasons for attacking the redneck lynch mob National have fostered, the fact still remains that we now finally have someone pointing out our Prison Nation for what it is - a moral and fiscal failure.

It's time to replace hate with reason in social policy, and maybe, just maybe, the turning point against the Sensible Sentencing rednecks who have led the prison bubble may have been found.

Next step - get private prisons out of NZ.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Goff wins and Mana's No sellout, No compromise 6 policies to change NZ

I said in November of last year on TVNZ7's backbenchers that the economic recession would splinter the political spectrum on the right in Epsom and Hone would lead a new sub 5% new left Maori Party anchored in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate and that the election would be far closer than the right wing corporate media pundits like to pretend.

When Chris Carter claimed Phil Goff could not win the election, I disagreed. I argued that Phil could win because the economic recession would get steeper and colder as we got closer to the election and Key's smile and wave political capital would melt once his vacant optimism was seen for what it is when the reality of the budget was presented.

The failure of this budget is due to National's economic incompetence, the economy was already failing before the second earthquake and the so called 'turbo charge' of the economy (Bill English's words) of subsidizing a tax cut for the rich by making us all pay more GST led to a billion dollar hole in our revenue, a hole Bill English is now taking out of public services.

The smoke and mirror Treasury predictions show us how this do nothing Government are merely waiting for Don Brash as Finance Minister should National and ACT win the majority after the election because the 4% growth dependent on the quake rebuild and a Rugby World Cup that still has half the tickets yet to sell is a total joke. In 2008 Treasury said we would have 1.5% growth, followed by 2.3% growth, followed by 3.2% growth, What did we get? -1.1%, -.4% and -.1%. They have been out by as much as 3.1% is little as last year and now we are going to believe we are magically going to gain 4% from selling off our assets?

Who the bloody hell (other than The Nation on TV3) believe this bullshit?

John Key sells aspiration, that is his charm. In a hyper consumer mass marketed culture he sums up the perfect illusion of the rags to riches dream that acts as the forever out of reach cheese on a stick to a rat in a mouse wheel.

A Ministry for Children, R&D Tax credits, first $5000 tax free plus the 15% off fruit and vegetables announced by Labour WILL impact on those kiwi's currently sitting around the kitchen table trying to balance the weeks budget. Add $15 minimum wage increase, add better funded social services to deal with the extra numbers requiring aid and we have some progress.

I'm all for more and for fighting for more, and Mana is proposing further changes but those policy advancements are advancements. John Key's sale of 49% of public assets we already own for the equivalent of 7 months borrowing on the other hand is an intellectually bankrupt cluster fuck that has to be tackled head on.

Sweet Jesus, Standards & Poors are threatening to down grade us because of our PRIVATE DEBT, not the bloody Governments debt. We only spent 1.22% of GDP in Debt-servicing in 2010, the debt bogeyman to justify flogging 49% of our assets off will lead to even MORE money going overseas which will only exacerbate that problem.

Key wants this issue to be discussed around the middle management water cooler with knowing nods and sage 'got-to-make- the-hard-choices' hubris as if that justifies making the same privatization mistakes again at a time when free market theory has imploded. Goff wants to discuss the issue around the kiwi kitchen table to those whom are bearing the brunt of the recession, his challenge is to get that message through to an electorate fed hair dye stories by the content decisions of News Editors more focused on light entertainment than holding the powerful to account.

It's a Kitchen Table vs the Water cooler election.

Phil Goff is a patriotic, decent NZer who sees the ravages of free market dogma run amok and will do all he can to turn that around, but to make the kind of radical structural changes this country needs in the face of the steepest economic recession since the Great Depression caused by venal corporate greed, the Labour Party needs better coalition allies than NZ First. The Greens have sadly been the abused political partner of the left for the last decade, forever frustrated in implementing a new Green economy by Labour's default setting of managing rednecks rather than challenging them. If Mana changed the Parliamentary math, the Greens would finally have the negotiating muscle presented by Mana to see them inside Cabinet.

Without better political allies, Labour will not win and the horror story that is a Key Brash Government will emerge. National are in trouble however, they are bleeding votes to their right and moderates who may have supported the Smile and Wave of Key will flee National to the Greens and Labour, while they in turn will lose some of their more radical vote to Mana.

United, Maori Party and NZ First won't make it at all. Dunne will get clipped by Charles Chauvel, Winston won't get over 5% and the Maori Party will likely face Mana candidates standing in the Maori seats and if not win the electorate's outright will split the vote towards Labour taking them back.

So what policies might the Mana Movement adopt past the by-election from the cross benches in return for a vote of confidence if the people of Te Tai Tokerau empower Hone with a mandate to take a new agenda to the people of New Zealand?

6 Possible Policy for Mana Movement
1: Raise Minimum Wage to Australian Minimum Wage by end of first term ($18.40NZ per hour)
2: Stop borrowing and stop public service cuts by growing revenue with a Hone Heke Financial Transaction Tax, Land Tax and Capital Gains Tax
3: Eliminate child poverty in NZ by introducing living benefits
4: 20% Community Welfare tax on top of corporate tax rates for vice profits from Alcohol, Tobacco, Loan Shark and Gambling Industries for re-investment into those most impacted by those products
5: No more foreign ownership of land, lease only.
6: Our troops out of Afghanistan now!

The Mana Movement - no sellout, no compromise

This election will be for the idealogical heart and soul of New Zealand.