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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cameron Slater 1 - Labour Party 0

You know how much it pains me to blog this, especially when you consider the sheer animosity I feel towards a far right hate merchant like Slater, but sweet Zombie Jesus Labour don't make it easy for themselves do they?

Slater's blog critiquing Labour's slack social media standards is devastating when seen in the light of Labour's stated desires to be a 21st Century online Political Party.

The Labour leadership see blogs and social media now as hostile environments they can no longer have a one way discussion through making them a source of scorn...

“The blogs dont get to vote in the labour party, so we dont pay much consideration to it” - Andrew Little.

“Blogs,who cares about blogs” - Clayton Cosgrove

"I don't read blogs" they are "nonsense" - David Shearer.

The madness of generating a civil war with The Standard is such a self mutilation you genuinely wonder who the hell is running Labour's strategy. My guess is that it must be Steven Joyce. I'm serious. I'm sure Steven sneaks into the Labour Caucus meeting where Shearer doesn't note that he's actually a Minister of the Crown from another political Party and Steven's only advice throughout the meeting is "You guys should attack the Standard more'.

The right get how much influence the blogs have on the underfunded news rooms of NZ - Labour and the left seem utterly unable to connect the two together. If I was running Labour's strategy I would be on the phone once a week with every major left wing blogger in the country. The left are never going to get fair coverage in the mainstream media, so go and influence the one source the mainstream media are addicted to - the blogs. Why Labour don't reach out to this resource says more about Labour's lack of an actual left wing policy platform to promote than anything else does.

Meanwhile 270 000 kids are in poverty, 7.3% are unemployed and we have the highest level of inequality ever recorded.

Wake me when Labour have stopped ripping its own throat out.


Parata & Karma

Hekia Parata's ability to self combust is better suited for the Afghan front line than the Ministry of Education.

Ministry pay glitch is karma, quips Parata
Education Ministry staff received little sympathy from their minister, Hekia Parata, after their pay did not arrive as expected yesterday morning. The glitch gave an unwanted taste of what teachers have been going through with Novopay - and the minister quipped that it was ‘‘karma’’.

She's priceless isn't she? Educations got 99 problems and Hekia Parata is 98 of them. How on earth does pissing on her own staff make her one of National's smoothest communicators?

She's a joke looking for a punchline.

I suppose if I was the Education Minister who had just had information released under the Official Information Act that showed her Government had ignored Treasury and MoE advice not to give more public money to private education because it would hurt public schools, I suppose I would be wanting to make as many bullshit quips to remove media attention as could tumble out of my mouth.

"It's Karma".
"Ha ha, sucks to be them".
"Isn't it ironic. Don't ya think? It's like rain on your wedding day. It's a free ride when you've already paid. It's the good advice that you just didn't take".

What the OIA information shows is that National are prepared to shovel more public cash into private education even if it is at the direct detriment to public schools. This should be headline leading stuff, that would be true karma. Instead with have Hekia's 'quip' dominating attention.


Will Key's corporate gulags breach ILO convention on forced labour?

While no one in the mainstream media seems to think implementing forced labour camps for corporate gulags is any problem at all, the reality is that Key's plan to privatize the prisons may run foul of the ILO convention NZ ratified in 1938.

The convention bans forced labour in prisons and it defines what can be excluded as forced labour...

2. (c) any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations.

We cant wait for the msm to critique the privatization of prisons so the blogs once again need to do all the heavy lifting here. Key's corporate gulags are forced labour camps, prisoners who don't agree to work 40 hours for 20cents per hour are not eligible for parole, that's forced labour. Under the convention Key can't simply hand this over to a private individual, company or association without it being deemed as forced labour.

In an Australian case it was decided that visits from officials didn't satisfy 'supervision and control of a public authority' meaning Key is going to have to try and use public outrage that we can't force prisoners to work in private prisons to justify ramming through some legislation that will have us contravene the ILO convention.

That ACC is a major shareholder in this NZ private prison experiment is the truly sick part. They will generate earnings from public investment into locking people up. The more people locked up, the more profit. See how the profit margin warps every value here? Suddenly throwing many more prisoners into prison has a commercial benefit, not just for the private company, but for the public companies that then invest in them.

This has all the morality of our Hospitals investing in blood diamond mines.

The worst part of the private prison experiment is that the contract hasn't been before Parliament so that it can be scrutinized. We have no idea what we are signing ourselves up to for 25 years, SERCO are telling the London Stock Exchange more than they are telling us.

In September of last year, SERCO told the LSE they would be making $29m per year from their private prisons in NZ, over 25 years that's $725m. Please tell me that's included in the $900 million dollar cost to build Wiri?

How is it that we have $29m per year to pay for private prisons but we don't have money to feed children in school before they end up in that private prison? It seems the only jobs the 270 000 children in poverty and 7.3% unemployed can look forward to from John Key are the 40 hours they will be forced to work inside a private prison.

The argument that this will save us $170m over the life of the contract is optimistic beyond credibility.

Another feature of the deal seems to be that we will pay for 960 beds at Wiri even if the prison isn't full. The incentives built into this deal favour SERCOs profit margin, they don't favor the social responsibilities to the wider community.

When you consider the percentage of prisoners SECRO will have under their direct control by 2014 when the Wiri prison opens, NZ will have the highest proportion of our prisoners in private prisons than any other country on the planet. Key has privatized our prison service without a whimper from anyone and this has all been allowed to quietly happen with pitiful mainstream media focus.

I don't see Seven Sharp covering this.

Once private prisons multiplied in the 1980s, America's prison population exploded. Expect the exact same thing to occur in NZ. Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.


Why isn't Kordia getting blamed for killing public broadcasting?

As FACE Television looks to launch tomorrow, there are grumbles about it not being available on Freeview. The reason it isn't on Freeview is because Kordia - the state owned enterprise frequency mafia, sold the channel that was supposed to be set aside for regional TV once the signal is switched off at the end of this year to Chinese media.

That's right. Kordia sold the channels supposed to be set aside for public broadcasting to Chinese broadcasting interests. Why Kordia haven't been held to account for this surprises the hell out of me.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage are supposed to be in charge of this and yet seem utterly at a loss to explain why Kordia don't have a signal available. We would all I think love to know why NZ frequencies are being hogged by another country's cultural interests and why one of our own SoEs is making money selling those frequencies to those other cultural interests.

Maybe someone in the msm might want to pick that one up if they aren't too busy surfing Kiwiblog for story ideas today?

Don't worry if you don't, I'm almost 1000% sure Seven Sharp will do an investigative piece delving deeply into the death of public broadcasting on their first episode.


Thank goodness, it was just National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander secretly visiting

NSA director General Keith Alexander flying into Wellington last year

Mystery spook's identity confirmed
The identity of a United States spy who mysteriously landed in Wellington last year can be revealed as National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander.

The visit by the senior spook was so top secret that Prime Minister John Key repeatedly refused to name him. The four-star general sparked intrigue when his US army jet landed at the capital's airport late in November.

Mr Key, the minister in charge of intelligence services, initially denied knowledge of the plane, and, despite pledging to find out more, later refused to reveal the identity of the visitor.

Sources say General Alexander visits New Zealand up to four times a year, and Mr Key would have approved the visits.

The shadowy NSA is the US equivalent of the Government Communications Security Bureau. It monitors and analyses foreign communications and protects US government cyber-systems.

Let's put this into context. The Director of the bloody NSA visiting us is the equivalent of the Witch King of the Nazgul coming to the Shire for an Eye of Mordor convention.

NZ's subservience to the US through the Echelon spy program run out of Canada, Australia, the UK and the US has more to do with why Kim Dotcom has been targeted here than any genuine concerns over copyright issues.

Watching the outcome of the Dotcom case will be fascinating. Chief High Court judge Helen Winkelman is forcing the Government to reveal what the GCSB handed over to our intelligence chums, so finding out that the NSA is visiting us on a regular basis shouldn't surprise.

Oh to be a bug on the wall in those meetings.


FACE Television launches tomorrow on Sky 89 & Auckland UHF

NZ's newest public service station, FACE TV launches tomorrow on Sky 89 & Auckland UHF: You can expect the best in international news with Euronews, Aljazeera News, PBS News Hour, DW Journal, Korean News, Dutch News, French News, German News, Bloomberg, NHK Newsline, Euromaxx and Australia News

PLUS locally made current affairs Citizen A, The Beatson Interview, Gay Talk TV, Pacific Viewpoint & Know Your Rights.

Why watch Seven Sharp when you can watch something sharp at seven?

FACE Television Facebook
FACE Television Twitter

Hone Harawira's opening speech in Parliament

Are you a progressive voter wanting the next Government to take social justice and the economic reform to generate that social justice seriously? Enter stage left - MANA.

I want to begin by expressing my gratitude for the broad support for MANA’s Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill or the Feed the Kids Bill as it has become known, including the Child Poverty Action Group, Every Child Counts, Unicef NZ, Save the Children, IHC, Poverty Action Waikato, the Methodist and Anglican Churches (Methodist Public Issues and Anglican Action), Te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League), PPTA, NZ Principals’ Federation, CTU Rūnanga, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation, and the Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association.

During election 2011, one of MANA’s main pledges was to fight for government funded meals in poor schools, and in 2012 we drafted the bill to honour that pledge. That was immediately followed by the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty recommending the introduction of a government-funded food programme in low decile schools, and a major policy speech late last year from the leader of the opposition calling on government to provide free meals to children in low decile schools.

At this time I want to thank those political parties who have already indicated their support for the bill, including Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, and the newly independent Brendan Horan who has given me his assurance that if the bill passes he will refrain from singing to the house.

I’m not sure exactly when the bill comes before the house but I am hopeful that there will be enough support for it to get to Select Committee.

During election 2011, MANA also made a commitment to a programme of 20,000 houses in 2 years.

That kaupapa was picked up in 2012 by Labour with their commitment to 100,000 houses in 10 years, and enhanced by the Greens’ own housing proposals announced last week.

In 2013, I expect MANA to continue to provide leadership in the fight for better housing for all New Zealanders, especially those in dire need right now.

We want to see an end to policies which make it harder for poor families to access affordable housing, we want to see a rebuilding of the state housing stock, and we call on the new Minister of Housing, to take a fresh approach to this problem, to talk to and to listen to those people being hurt badly by current policies – people who are being forced out of state houses in communities like Glen Innes, Maraenui and Porirua; people in rural areas like the far north being forced to live in unacceptable conditions with no hope of any help, homeless people in Christchurch, Auckland and elsewhere; as well as those church and community groups working with the homeless and families on low incomes.

On another housing related matter, I wish to invite all my parliamentary colleagues to the court case arising from my arrest at a housing action in Glen Innes last year. The case has been set down for hearing on March 19 but may have to be moved to another date to accommodate the growing list of witnesses who have offered to speak in my defence. I fully intend defending the case myself with the assistance of a number of lawyers who have offered their help at no cost.

The third plank in MANA’s election 2011 campaign has yet to be picked up by anyone else here, though I expect it to be adopted a lot sooner than people might have thought some 15 months ago, and that is of course the Hone Heke Tax or the Financial Transaction Tax as it is known elsewhere in the world – a proposal that had most political parties and political commentators sniggering during the campaign 2011, but which is quickly becoming recognised in other OECD countries as the only sane way to increase government revenue without stealing it from the poor, by making the banks pay for the financial crisis they created.

A few days ago the European Commission approved a proposal to implement exactly such a tax on all transactions between financial institutions within those 11 member states that have approved it, without it affecting citizens or businesses – a tax that would raise a minimum of 57 billion dollars a year.

The Hone Heke Tax is clearly an idea whose time has come. I look forward to opposition parties coming out more openly in support of it over the next 12 months.

On behalf of MANA and the people of New Zealand I would like to thank the New Zealand Maori Council for their efforts to stop National’s plans to sell off our state assets, by instigating a court action over the Maori interests in water. In particular I would like to thank MANA president Annette Sykes who was a critical player in the Tribunal hearings last year and remains a key player in the high court hearings due to start later this week.

The efforts of the Council and those hapu and iwi who have supported their case, have forced the government to delay its asset sales programme, giving the rest of the country time to push the petition for a referendum on asset sales. The challenge now is to complete the petition, and for all parties and organisations opposed to the sale of state assets, to pressure the government to hold a referendum on asset sales to test their argument that that’s what New Zealanders want. It isn’t of course, and MANA stands ready to do its bit to help put an end to the madness, of selling our kitchen to somebody else, and then having to rent it back for the rest of our lives.

And as we move towards an end to the Treaty Settlement cycle, I wish to remind the house that the Treaty lives forever, and that anyone thinking the Treaty will become null and void after treaty settlements have ended, is sadly mistaken. The Treaty is a taonga to Maori, and the foundation of all constitutional arrangements in this country, and all attempts to write it out of legislation will be resisted mightily.

Much has been made of the Maori Party capturing the headlines with a messy leadership challenge these last few weeks, and calls from Maori Party members for me to come back and take over the leadership of the party. So let me make this clear. I have no aspirations to lead the Maori Party - those calls have come from Maori Party members themselves.

I am comfortable and proud to lead MANA – a vibrant and active political force with a clearly identified constituency, te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed, and policies aimed specifically at addressing their needs first, because people matter more than profit.

But as I did right after election 2011, I want to again extend the hand of friendship and whanaungatanga to my colleagues in the Maori Party, and to remind them that there has to be a link between the fact that their membership has gone from 24,000 when I was there to just 600 last year, and their continued commitment to a government and its policies that have destroyed Maori families, and Maori hopes and aspirations.

I call on the Maori Party to walk away from that relationship and return to their roots, and I stand willing to take up the offer by the Ratana Movement to host any discussions which might lead to unity and a MANA MAORI alliance.

MANA clearly has the vibrant and energetic membership and the strong and positive leadership … the only question is whether the Maori Party is open to unity.


A picture says a thousand words.

This one says about 20, mostly starting with f.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Post post age

NZ Post is intent on slashing services, which their PR describes as "flexibility".

--The current Deed was last significantly updated in 1998, some 14 years ago, at a time which pre-dated the digital revolution. That revolution has resulted in the rapid expansion of internet-based products and services which have fundamentally changed the way people communicate, do business and shop.
The last decade has seen an unprecedented drop in mail volumes.

“We are seeking an agreement that gives us the flexibility and certainty to be able to plan for that future. Without that flexibility, standard letter mail and postal outlet services will incur significant losses.
“The public submission process over the next six weeks will further inform the decision on the final nature of the agreement with the Government.
Lots about "flexibility" nothing at all about the human consequences: they are contemplating the largest mass redundancy since the days of Rogernomics. And there's Mickey fucking Cullen at the head of it all.

Doing a back of the envelope exercise: the halving of delivery equating roughly to halving the delivery workforce means they will have to sack 3,500 staff. This comes after a series of aggressive price rises for letters.

They don't want to boast about the extent of the rip off, so I've had to compile this from their own press releases:

Medium letter standard postage price | date of change
40c | ??/??/1991
45c | 05/04/2004
50c | 01/05/2007
60c | 01/10/2010
70c | 01/07/2012

At worse the % inflation change from 1991 to 2012Q4 would mean 40c would be now 64c and at best from the last time it was 40c in 2004Q2 means it would be 50c. The price has out-stripped inflation over the last 20 years and over the last few years has rocketed away (from 09/2010 @50c to 07/2012 @70c the rise represents a 40% price rise whilst inflation over the period was only 5.4%.  These rises are driving customers away, making a bad situation worse. The strong signals NZPost is sending to customers in this market is to stop using the mail service! Is it really any surpise if they do? Anyone else been hit with a 40% rise in a product cost over the last two years and not found an alternative? The problem is for many regular mail items there is no viable alternative to delivery via post and so the pricing exercise is a form of monopoly exploitation.

The corporate strategy follows a typically textbook response of steeply ratcheting up the price of core products (where the demand is relatively inelastic) and reducing the core costs of product (labour costs) by cutting the quality of the product.  The result, as in most industries where they act defensively and institute austerity instead of a growth concept, is an accelerated slide downhill. You pay more, but get much less. Basically you're being ripped off. And I note that the other leg of the big 'ole textbook of corporate austerity survival is the firesale of assets - and the press releases would indicate they are rapidly divesting themselves of their overseas and domestic positions. They are circling the wagons.

NZ Post is justifying it all in terms of mitigating reduced mail volume - a reduction which they squarely blame on electronic communications. Certainly, undeniably this is the main reason, but it has been exacerbated and sent into a terminal spin by the relentless price rises, driving their bread and butter business away. They have lost confidence in themselves. Allowing the arse to drop out of the mail system would be a management - and ultimately - a governance failure.

UPDATE 31/01/2013:
Forgot to mention the third leg of the defensive monopoly's corporate playbook: government and regulatory activism and litigation against competitors based on the regulations. This is what the renegotiation of the Deed with the government is all about. Whinging about the other postal services is a precursor to litigating them into a stasis. Think Telecom and what their behaviour has been since privatisation.

... and just found this graph from Te Ara on the history of NZ mail volumes:

John Key's forced labour private prison corporate gulags

John Key is trying to build a prison - for you and me

One of the most chilling aspects of John Key's state of the nation is his desire to vastly expand his private prison corporate gulags. Thanks to earlier changes by this Government, any prisoner not willing to work 40 hours per week for private prisons will not be eligible for parole. This isn't about job training or rehabilitation, these are forced labour camps.

Have we gotten to such an insane position thanks to Garth McVicar, the Sensible Sentencing Trust and a mainstream media who myopically focus on crime porn to boost ratings that we will all willingly allow forced labour camps to happen on our watch? Is this the worst example of hate and anger belong allowed to warp social policy?

By 2014 NZ will have the highest percentage of prisoners in private prisons than any other country on the planet. These prisoners will be forced to work for the profit margins of private prisons.

It seems the only employment the 270 000 children in poverty and the 7.3% unemployed can look forward to is the 40 hours they will be forced to work in John Key's corporate gulags. We have the 6th worst incarceration rate in the world, now there is a profit motive for forced labour from these private prisons, expect our incarceration rate to rocket up even higher.

Forced labour private prison corporate gulags are an abomination, and it's an abomination we are allowing on our watch. This is evil, it's as simple as that.

Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Paul Holmes interview

The infamous Dennis Conner interview - not as unmanufactured as we had believed.

I suppose it's only fair that when you have made so much money for TVNZ over the years you get a special 30minute interview on the eve of your passing.

My last criticism of Holmes ruffled many middle class feathers, so I'm expecting this column to draw the same level of tedious screams of how hateful I am from the more leafy burbs of the blogosphere as well.

I watched the interview with Paul on Sunday night out of curiosity. What does a man say at the end of his life after living so much of it in the glare of the media? There were times I was engaged, and there were other times I was sad to see my low opinion of Holmes met.

On his personal life, Paul seemed to have made some type of peace. Personally I never judged Holmes for the personal issues in his life, his private life is his and his alone to grapple with, it's none of our business who he slept with.

What was interesting to me was his admission that the extra media attention into his personal life and the walk off with Dennis Conner were manufactured. This lines up with what I have heard was his real desire behind his racist Waitangi Day column, to boost his media profile before going back on Q&A.

This represents the worst of Holmes, the blatant race baiting for ratings that he never could help himself from itching. It comes back to my point that throughout his career when it came to race relations that he played to the garden variety bigotry of NZ rather than challenge it.

The interview was good in that it reminded us of the solid broadcasting Holmes did achieve - his amazing work at making AIDs less demonized, his sharp questions to those in power, his humanizing of issues but his position to nurture NZs sacred cows on race relations rather than slaughter them limits his historical importance.

As we pass to lite infotainment at 7pm with Seven Sharp we will probably see Holmes through very rose tinted glasses, and perhaps that is for the best. Better to gloss over Paul's race baiting until the country is mature enough to confront it within ourselves than damn him for reflecting it so brightly.


NZs dirty milk secret Shhhhhhhhhhh

NZ Milk - yum, yum.

Fonterra moves to reassure customers
Traces of a toxic agricultural substance detected in some Fonterra milk powders has international dairy customers asking for answers.

Testing of 100 samples from products last September revealed low levels of dicyandiamide (DCD) residues in 10 samples of whole milk powder, skim milk powder and buttermilk powder made with milk from the North and South Islands.

The finding has caused concern among international customers of dairy giant Fonterra.

The farming industry mafia is simply too powerful in NZ for any real discussion of their latest cock up to occur in our media. The fact that Fonterra managed to get away with almost zero criticism for their insane handling of the melamine scandal in China hints at the level of power they have over corporate media, but they can't shut up media in other country's who have a vested interest in damning NZs milk quality.

The reason this is a scandal is not because of the toxicity of dicyandiamide, it is because of what dicyandiamide represents. It is an attempt to mitigate the vast intensification of these dirty water stealing dairy farmers who continue to poison our rivers with their filth. Dicyandiamide turning up in milk shows how intensive the dairy farming industry have been allowed to grow.

Dairy Farmers and the National Party are destroying our clean green brand for short term gain rather than attempting to maximize a premium price for our dairy products.

Intensification of dairy farming comes at a massive cost to our environment while empowering a tiny fragment of the country who back the National Party to the hilt. The symbiotic relationship between Dairy farmers and the political powers of the right mean that our environment will always come second whilst these clowns are in power.

Spot the difference

One is a rabid pro farming lobby nut and the other is the President of Federated Farmers


270 000 children in poverty don't need charity, they need to be fed

Sponsorship programme for Kiwi kids
A sponsorship programme used to feed starving children in Third World countries is now being used to help poor Kiwi kids.

Children's charity Variety has launched a scheme that allows people to sponsor an individual Kiwi child living below the poverty line for $35 a month, or about $1.15 a day.

The money will pay for things such as school trips, stationery, doctor's visits, books and prescriptions.

The Kiwi Kid sponsorship initiative has been widely applauded, but opposition parties say it should serve as a "massive red flag" to the Government that it is not doing enough for financially disadvantaged children.

The 270 000 children living in poverty at a time when the inequality is at its highest ever don't need charity, they need direct Government intervention.

Allowing Charity groups pick up the slack of poverty lets Paula Bennett and this disastrous Government off the hook. MANA's feed the kids bill is being debated on the 13th of February and the list of groups who came out last week and supported the Government directly funding a universal food program in schools is the who's who of the child poverty world. Child Poverty Action Group, Every Child Counts, Save the Children, Plunket, IHC, PPTA, the NZ Principals’ Federation, the Methodist Church, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation, the CTU Rūnanga, and Te Ora – the Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association.

Those NZ children locked into poverty by a Government focused only on the needs of the top 1% wealth class deserve better than a third world poverty charity program.

Let's just start by bloody feeding these kids first and allow charity to pick up the extras rather than the basics.

We need to build a social floor in NZ and that is the Government's responsibility, leaving it up to Charity groups is an abdication of responsibility as insidious as blaming the parents. When there is an actual solution on the table in the form of the Feed the Kids Bill, pointing to Charity involvement as a means of looking like the Government are doing something is disingenuous in the extreme.

Our 270 000 kids living in poverty deserve better than $1.15 per day.


Can Greens get 15%? Not if Picnic for the Planet is an indicator

I bitched about not getting an invite to last years Picnic for the Planet so was delighted to get one this year.

I think the Greens are one of the very few who have actual solutions to NZs current and future issues and specifically have smart answers for Auckland, which is what makes the terribly low turn out at the Picnic for the Planet on Sunday that much more hurtful.

Luckily the event was covered by Damien Christie who wasn't in the mood to be that perceptive, but if the Greens can't get a park full on a beautiful day in Summer with free music then alarm bells should be ringing.

Metiria's speech was to launch the 'I'm in' campaign. It must be a realization that the Party needs more body than soul right now. Campaigns are won on the day and the Greens lack enough party faithful who are prepared to do that making them an aspirational vote rather than an inspirational vote.

I've always felt that the Greens have never had a particularly strong focus on Auckland and don't have as much support as they should. Auckland is a big personality kind of city and the Greens (who ask their candidates to rate their modesty and humbleness) are ones who shy away from big personalities. With Denise Roche at number 10 being their first Auckland MP (Dave Clendon barely counts), the Greens don't seem to be taking Auckland all that seriously in terms of Auckland representation.

So what was the 2011 result for the Greens in the Auckland electorates? Nation wide they managed an impressive 11.06%, in Auckland's 18 electorates however they only scored a percentage higher than the national result in 4 of those electorates.

East Coast Bays - 8.7%
North Shore - 10.8%
Northcote - 10.9%
Auckland Central - 22.7%
Mt Albert - 17.1%
Te Atatu - 7.2%
Waitakere - 10.6%
New Lynn - 12.1%
Mt Roskill - 7.2%
Epsom - 12%
Tamaki - 8.7%
Maungakiekie - 9.5%
Pakuranga - 6.2%
Botany - 4.4%
Manukau East - 3.3%
Mangere - 3.8%
Manurewa - 3.9%
Papakura - 5.4%

Based on these results the Greens should consider changing their name to the Whites. The lack of diversity in poll results highlights where the Greens need to be targeting hence Met's repetition that the Greens are the party for the new diverse NZ.

I think the Greens can get to 15% but they need to work Auckland better than this and a park with free music on a stunning day that was 80% empty suggests they have a lot of work ahead of them.

I'm not sure scheduling an event on the Sunday of anniversary weekend showed much insight into the minds of most Aucklanders who had fled the city for the weekend. That in itself speaks volumes.


Monday, January 28, 2013

The Labour Party brought to you by the words 'Hands-on' and the number '550 000'

Labour's new affordable housing policy has been gleefully adopted by some.

It says something about the speed with which the Shearer camp threw together the affordable 100 000 homes in the wake of the manufactured leadership coup that the numbers are as wonky as they are on their KiwiBuild policy.

A 5-story apartment complex in Massey, Papakura or Manurewa doesn't seem nearly as wondrous as it did at the Labour Party conference. Labour should be talking about 4 bedroom apartments in the central city and a mass build up of 3-story density on roads that already have a built up infrastructure like Dominion Road, but they aren't. They are talking about homes on the fringe of Auckland. That is a large let down from what was promised and gives National the edge when pointing out Labour haven't done their costings properly.

The problem for National is far larger than point scoring Labour's haste in launching their housing policy. John Key has told NZers for 4 years what Government can't do, but by 2014 voters will want to hear what Government can do.

In speech notes that could have come from Cunliffe, Shearer set the tone for bigger Government by pointing out that the free market hasn't worked and needs realigning by the active hand of Government as opposed to the vagaries of a failed free market that is locking Generation X and Y out from ever owning their home.

The lack of policy detail is probably a realization from the haste of the previous one that Labour need to do their homework first. Shearer is acknowledging that this economic crisis requires a different approach than the neoliberal one, the question still remains why it has taken him so long to articulate this.

How far David Parker will be allowed to transform the economy to one that doesn't slavishly worship free market principles still remains the main issue for progressive voters leading into 2014.

That Bill English has been left to attack Shearer shows that they don't want to give the issue of house affordability any oxygen and they certainly don't want to have a philosophical debate about the role of Government post a free market crash. What we can expect from National is not a defense of their record because their record shows more poverty while the rich got richer, what we can expect is attacks on Labour, the Greens and MANA.

Expect Key's fear mongering use of 'Labour, the Greens and MANA' to jump 457% this year.


FACE Television launches this Friday

The fact that Triangle TV has managed to morph into FACE Television is a small miracle. The Government have not put aside any channels on Freeview for any of the regional TV stations post the switch off this year, meaning the entire regional TV station market is about to be wiped out in a single move.

This Government don't really care about broadcasting and I suspect the demise of regional TV is about as important to Cabinet priorities as funding for a 20 foot statue of Helen Clark.

Having watched TVNZ7 get killed off, it's bloody gratifying to have FACE Television launch this Friday on Auckland UHF 41, 42, 52 and Sky 89. The station will continue to broadcast in Auckland for free on UHF until the Government cut off the signal sometime at the end of this year.

FACE TV will screen the best public service news programs made here and overseas. Euromaxx, DW Journal, Aljazeera News Hour and PBS Newshour will join local shows In conversation, Pacific Viewpoint, Beatson Interview, Know Your Rights and Citizen A.

Why watch Seven Sharp when you can watch something sharp at seven? As critical media and intelligent get degraded to lite entertainment on the mainstream media, it's more important than ever to gave a counter weight of opinion and FACE can provide that.

FACE Television Facebook
FACE Television Twitter


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Citizen A with David Slack & Dr Wayne Hope

Citizen A with David Slack & Dr Wayne Hope

Issue 1: National Party cabinet reshuffle - rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic or the boldest political move of the 21st Century?

Issue 2: First Political Poll of 2013 - National up and Labour down - what does David Shearer need to do?

and Issue 3: Ratana this weekend - has Maori political influence peaked - what is happening in the Maori Party?

Citizen A broadcasts on Auckland UHF and will start transmitting on Sky TV on their new public service broadcasting channel 'FACE Television' February 7th February 2013.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why Paula Bennett needs to drug test beneficiaries

Welfare drug tests may break privacy law
Forcing beneficiaries to take drug tests under tough new welfare rules is potentially illegal, the Privacy Commissioner says.

In a submission to the Government's latest round of welfare reforms, commissioner Marie Shroff says making beneficiaries take pre-employment drug tests could violate their privacy.

It could also leave beneficiaries in a "catch-22" situation, caught between an unlawful drug test and the threat of losing their benefit, she said.

This is not good news for Paula. She needs this law, not because it's shaped to help beneficiaries get jobs, the point of the law is to disqualify beneficiaries from welfare in the first place.

As the most widely used illegal drug, cannabis is perfect as the target drug to test for. The beauty of disqualification is that the beneficiaries become utterly invisible to statistics. This allows for what Paula did last week, and that is to trumpet a drop in beneficiary numbers without actually explaining where they have gone to.

What NZers need to appreciate is that drug testing beneficiaries has nothing to do with finding beneficiaries jobs, it is a means to disqualify them. With vast new third party involvement about to descend upon 'managing' beneficiaries, these private companies get a bonus each time they remove a beneficiary from the list, either by finding them a job or by disqualifying them. Drug testing is the easiest means of disqualification hence Paula's desperate push to gain these powers.

If this sort of thing were being aimed at nice white middle class NZers there would be an uproar, but in NZ I get the I get this creepy feeling that if Gareth Morgan had called for the culling of beneficiaries instead of cats that there would be less fuss.

We should drug test beneficiaries the same day we breath test Politicians for being drunk in Parliament.


Gareth Morgan's cat

Ohhhhh. I finally get the Toyota Corolla advert now... ...it's an advert about Gareth Morgan's cat.


MANA-Maori Party - Political Hybrid Vigor?

hybrid vigor

Increased vigor or other superior qualities arising from the crossbreeding of genetically different plants or animals. Also called heterosis.

Pita Sharples was thinking about standing down as leader of the Maori Party as the pressure to make a change builds beyond his ability to hold on, but even the MP leadership must know that Te Ururoa represents little more than a fresh slap of paint onto a damaged political brand.

The decision to sit at the table with John Key after he has sold the table shows the vast separation between the Party leadership and its members. The Party knows it is falling to pieces and has lost much credibility hence the unseemly scramble on display now. That so many former and current members have reached out to Hone to retake the leadership shows how rudderless the Maori Party have become.

What Hone is offering however is a political hybrid vigor. His statement shows he isn't interested in leading a Maori Party, he is interested in leading a MANA-Maori Party, a political movement that focuses on those who are losing out from free market ideology.

The problem is that the Maori Party leadership are wedded to National and the right wing policy that comes with that marriage of inconvenience. They either decide to recast the die and reform by walking away from National with Hone calling the shots as leader or they become swept away by the flow of history come 2014.

Forgiveness and unity are strong themes that run deep within Maoridom, whether it is enough to create a new political force remains to be seen. My gut feeling is that the MP leadership can't swallow their pride to allow Hone in to save them. It will be interesting to see how voters react to their stubbornness.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NZ Herald and their joke polls

The NZ Herald doesn't even bother to hide their right wing bias these days. Todays political poll has to be the worst most recent example.

The joke poll today asks - How would you rate John key's Cabinet changes?

A: A brave and bold step into the future.
B: Apart from one or two positions, it's solid and dependable.
C: Average. I was hoping for better.

...those are the options? WTF? They may as well ask...

Do you think that John Key is

A: Fucking amazing
B: Incredible
C: okay

The NZ Herald - it isn't a newspaper, it's a leash. Only Cameron Slater and people who exclusively watch Fox News consider the NZ Herald 'left wing'.


Oh, the madness

How can a caucus of three be so dysfunctional?

NZ Herald:
--Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has confirmed he is being challenged for the position by Te Ururoa Flavell.
Maori Party president Pem Bird will lead a meeting with the party this afternoon over the leadership challenge.
Dr Sharples reportedly said in his arrival speech at the annual Ratana celebrations near Wanganui he would stand down if asked to by the party.
A replacement for outgoing co-leader Tariana Turia is likely to be announced this week during the Ratana celebrations.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira issued a statement this morning saying he would be open to the idea of working with the party to reinvigorate its leadership, which he said was ``old and tired''.

Te Ururoa and Pem are at it again! Don and Sancho off on another tilt at the windmill - their coup plotting is getting ridiculous as it is public.

As Morgan Godfery put it today:
 In his quest for the leadership he and Pem Bird have driven Hone out of the party and, according to Patrick Gower, are attempting to mount another leadership challenge against Pita. The change needs to happen, but on Pita’s terms. Te Ururoa’s reckless ambition already led to the creation of the Mana Party, he must be careful not to let it lead to a death warrant for the Maori Party.

Te Ururoa's fixation on the leadership is disunity and as such is at the expense of the Maori Party as a whole, but he - and the President (also from the same electorate, which makes the conspiring a bit easier) - seem to think it a worthwhile sacrifice.

Enter stage left:

Hone Harawira:
“It’s nice to be wanted but being the leader of the Maori Party right now is like being the captain of the Titanic just before it smacks into the iceberg” said MANA Movement Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, following requests from Maori Party members that he come back to lead the party.“I’ve been asked by various kaumatua and kuia to come back because of the divisions within the leadership and the fact that the Maori Party seems to be dying” said Harawira “but there would need to be some clear baselines to any discussions”.
“The MANA Movement has a very clear focus of standing up for the poor and the dispossessed while the Maori Party seems happy to be ministers in a National government. Their role as National Party devotees would have to end”.

Carefully avoiding any mention of Te Ururoa!  He provoked a crisis with Hone to cut him out of the party because that is the only way he could gain the leadership (as Hone would have won that contest).  However a large number a Mana members - and probably a few Maori Party members too - would prefer a combined party, but there are two distinct policies and styles developed (eg. the inclusion of many Pakeha in Mana) and add the personalities to that and they are now politically (if not ideologically) incompatible.

“I think a MANA MAORI union is what Maori people want. I have made the offer in the past and I happily make that offer again in the best interests of the people”.
“I am going to Ratana this week and if the opportunity arises to further these discussions, I would welcome them”.
“The ball is in the Maori Party’s court …”

The Maori Party is toast. There's stuff all over twitter today incl. that Rahui Katene will replace Tariana as female leader and stand in her seat.

7 sharp

Difficult as it is to write a preview of something upon which nothing is available, this has not stopped others from making predictions - and it won't stop me either. Having seen the inevitably try-hard promos the conclusion is not going to be favourable.

The core problem for this format will almost certainly be the constraints imposed by the lite/humour angle and the breezy, fast tempo envisaged. The 7pm slot following the main news is entrenched as current affairs time in the minds of the viewers since Holmes started in 1989. Reducing that element to a secondary function, or to have it replaced with pure entertainment (as they threaten to do) will create an uneasy tension. Many lead stories - the ones the nation talks about and the ones they presumably will have to feature or mention - are tragedy and death. How on earth will a frivilous show (like Seven Sharp is promoted as being) possibly deal with that somber content matter? It can't and they won't.

They cannot maintain the playful vibe they are after with these stories so the result will be they just won't be featured or dealt with at all. There will be days when there is a major tragedy - something unavoidable with wall-to-wall coverage - and it will be awkward because they can't touch it. There will be days when death and suffering and woe are occupying everyone's attention and what are the Seven Sharp team supposed to do? Make some jokes about it? It won't be possible. Avoid saying anything about it at all, like it never happened? That's just not possible either. The limitations will show up fairly early. Going with a more orthodox show format like Holmes or Campbell Live gives a flexibility to deal with anything - funny, sad, flippant, serious. Seven Sharp will never be able to manage that based on the little I've seen.

The other negative is that it is TVNZ. They have an establishment, institutional, bureacratic method and many shows have withered under that fatal, fetid breath of conformism and interference that kills the creative talent. Making anything on TV One "sharp" in a 7pm slot will be impossible. They are not capable of it. They can't be cutting and edgy because of the time it airs and the management will militate against pushing things too far.

So it is going to be bland as a matter of course; therefore the measure of success for the show for me will be to what extent the presenters are allowed to express their personalities. If the three of them can be themselves and even more importantly gel together then it could be something, but this will be against all the odds. John Campbell is kicking arse at the moment so they will need plenty of breaks - good luck to those poor bastards, they'll be needing it.

The faux surprise by Key's 'bold' Cabinet reshuffle

Can someone please calm the NZ Herald down? The Cabinet reshuffle is a cheap paint job at best, the editorial thinks it's the second coming. If you believe the mainstream media, Key 'boldly' dumping 2 inept Ministers from Cabinet means unicorns, rainbows & money are about to fall from the sky

Our political punditry are either idiots or the most easily impressed set of clowns ever birthed. The joke level of shock and surprise so many have excitedly blurted out by Key's reshuffle is part of the spin job that always puts Key in the best possible light.

All we have here is a new paint job with really poor quality paint. The claim that no one saw Kate Wilkinson and Phil Heatley being dumped suggests an utter lack of imagination, who else were National going to cull to make the reshuffle look like it's meaningful?

I've already explained why Nick Smith and Hekia Parata are safe, but the hoopla and faux shock over Key's announcement is the excitement of a supportive media rather than any actual focus on the issues.

The only reason Slater is pissy about Hekia is because of his relationship with Judith Collins. What a lot of people don't understand is that Slater and Collins are in daily phone contact, when Slater starts attacking possible rivals of Collins it is because she is directing it. Slater's hatred of David Fisher at the Herald is because of Fisher's amazing investigative work in the Dotcom case and the Government are very sensitive to what Dotcom's legal case will throw up, hence Slater's constant attacks on Dotcom and Fisher. You know who Collins wants hurt by checking out who Slater is attacking.

We have 7.3% unemployment, 270 000 kids in poverty and the highest inequality levels ever recorded in NZ - dumping Kate Wilkinson and Phil Heatley won't do a thing to lower any of those stats.

The punditry and msm may think this is bold and exciting, but that only shows us how limited their intellectual curiosity really is. Nothing in this reshuffle will provide the new ideas that will rescue NZ from the failed right wing free market ideology that is driving National.

Focusing on the new paint job and being excited by that is the sort of lite weight examination of the facts I expect from Seven Sharp.


A cat, an economist and a big slice of don't give a damn walk into a bar

I'm sorry but I just can't take this cat culling issue seriously at all.

I've got nothing against cats, but sweet Jesus I wish we could be as concerned about the 270 000 kids in poverty, 7.3% unemployment & the highest inequality rate ever recorded in our country as much as we care about bloody cats.

The country is having our assets flogged off to rich investors while most NZers can't even buy a home in their own country as a right wing Government slash public services, but the issue we want to fire up about is about cats?

I expect Seven Sharp will do an entire month on this one issue which will culminate in a flashmob of 10 000 cats and their owners descending upon Parliament where John Key and Ali Mau will personally do a special Gangnam styles dance for all of them.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The horror of Seven Sharp (Dear Mr Sainsbury - I am so very sorry)

Allowing the Marketing Department at TVNZ to take over from News at 7pm was never going to produce anything pretty, and so it comes to pass. The promo for Seven Sharp is out and it is god awful...

Seven Sharp cuts through the headline clutter to bring you the day's stories with razor sharp wit and insight.

...and that razor sharp wit was on display in 'Jesse's first day' - check out the comments section on Facebook for a feel of the venom Seven Sharp is already generating.

As I posted, I don't think TVNZ appreciates the animosity viewers feel about dumbed down news. Seven Sharp represents all that intelligent people hate about the new age of lite entertainment replacing critical thinking media. When we have 270 000 children in poverty, 7.3% unemployment and the highest level of inequality ever recorded, you want to play silly buggers?

The demise of critical media at a time when NZ needs it more than ever is simply another slap in the face to public broadcasting. Poor Jesse Mulligan, who knew paying a mortgage in Arch Hill could be so detrimental?

God knows why poor Greg Boyed is being tied to this sinking boat. The only winner here is John Campbell.


What's more dangerous to NZ society? Gay marriage or Garth McVicar and the Sensible Sentencing Trust?

This bunny is pink, making him gay and obviously a criminal.

There is glitter all over my house, the place has been tidied and redecorated and my wine selection mocked, thanks to Garth McVicar, I now know that I've been robbed by the gays!

Who woulda thunk that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was really a crime ring for gay burglars? Where will the gay crime wave strike next?

If gay marriage increases child abuse, domestic violence & the prison population in the manner in which McVicar insinuates, what the hell has straight marriage been doing for the last 20 centuries?

In the tiny little world according to Garth McVicar, if those gays get the right to marry, they'll be leaving burning rainbows on people's front lawns. I'm waiting for Garth to call for a war on rainbows to tackle the deadly pink crime wave.

Gay marriage is not dangerous to NZ society. Garth McVicars and the Sensible sentencing Trust is. It should be a national source of cringe worthy shame that McVicars has the sort of political and media clout that he does. No other group has done more to degrade the dialogue about crime and punishment than McVicar and his Sensible Sentencing Trust.

They have injected anger, fear and hysteria into the debate so that our social policy has been warped by hate. Our staggeringly high incarceration rates have McVicar and his ability to manipulate victim grief to thank for, that and a political spectrum who seem hell bent on rewarding private prison profit margins rather than the responsible guardianship of justice.

By 2014, NZ will have the largest percentage of prisoners in private prisons than anywhere else on the planet. This has happened under the roar of McVicar's lynch mob and its constant scream for more punishment.

For a man who has such a malignant impact on society to claim gay marriage of all things will lead to more prisoners is simply so disconnected from reality it's difficult to respond with anything less than contempt.

Surely after McVicar's homophobic brainfart, the SST has to drop the word 'sensible' from their name? It's false advertising if they don't.


Monday, January 21, 2013

The Labour Party, David Shearer's leadership and the politics of caution that are failing them both

David Parker to the rescue?

National up, Labour down in new poll
The Roy Morgan poll, conducted in the first weeks of January and released yesterday, shows support for John Key's National Party was up half a per cent to 46 per cent.

Support for David Shearer's Labour Party was down 2 per cent to 31.5 per cent.

Pundits were quick to claim that Labour's nudge up in the polls last year was because of Shearer's butch routine with Cunliffe. The idea that we are all secretly political masochists who love a sadist for leader isn't a new one but I argued at the time that this was a terrible conclusion to draw and that what Shearer had managed to do with his promise of 100 000 'affordable' homes for the children of the middle classes was pierce through the news cycle with actual policy NZers are screaming out for.

Housing affordability is a massive issue for middle and working NZ and what Labour managed to do with his speech is lift genuine interest in the Party, the policy was recording 70% support.

The decline in the first Poll of the year won't be helping with Shearer's confidence issues however. Part of the problem is the methodology of the Polls which by the day become more and more biased as fewer NZers have landlines and part of the problem is Shearer's inability to connect with the 800 000 mainly Labour Party voters who were enrolled last election but didn't bother to vote. For them the Party simply isn't left enough and Shearer's following of Pagani Doctrine to reach out to National voters with beneficiaries on roofs anecdotes (which embarrassingly turned out to not have even happened) were a major turn off that spawned an open revolt on the blogs.

Luckily for Shearer, he gets to restart his flawed first year with a new policy direction speech. Chris Trotter has been publishing some damning blogs of late looking at Shearer's early bromance with private mercenaries and his flirtation with privatization of war. While I don't share all the conclusions Chris reaches, I do think it does show how ideologically malleable Shearer has been in the past and shows how important it will be in the future for him to have far better advisers than he has had. It also means that voters have to force Labour to promote better policy.

While the weight of opinion for a more interventionist Government role is building...

“Over 70 per cent of Kiwis endorse KiwiBuild – our policy to build 100,000 affordable homes in 10 years. Around 60 per cent of New Zealanders support both universal KiwiSaver and our prudent policy of steadily raising the retirement age to 67. And today it’s shown that 55 per cent support a capital gains tax.

...the reality is Labour have to be forced to do anything progressive because their ridiculous caution always holds them back. NZers will be demanding more from Labour and the blogs will be relentless if Shearer doesn't lift his game.

I don't think we can appreciate how spooked many in Labour had been by the loss in 2008. The Politically Correct Nanny State bogeyman created by National in the wake of the repeal of section 59 alongside Labour's refusal to slaughter any of the free market sacred cows left many MPs burnt by the idea of an interventionist Government.

Labour did not comprehend what was happening to the free market's sacred cows in 2007 as the financial markets crashed (but then again neither did those running the response). They didn't understand that the foundations of neoliberalism that had been cemented into NZs economy were open for challenge and so didn't bother to challenge them.

After four years of hearing what Government can't do from John Key, by 2014 NZers will want to hear what Government can do. That's where David Parker steps in.

Parker has an agenda for a far more interventionist Labour than he has been letting on, the question is whether Labour's natural caution will force him to backdown.

The ball is in Shearer's court, he and Parker better be ready to serve.

Now is the time to be bold.


National Party reshuffle - why Hekia Parata is safe and why Nick Smith is back

When Key had his out of body experience at an Italian restaurant last week where he heard voices but couldn't move, he must have thought his Cabinet meetings had started early. The dull boredom of running the country and the headache of implementing policy that only works for rich people is taking its toll on a greying John Key and 2013 doesn't look like it's going to get much easier for our money trader turned Prime Minister turned juggling Gangnam styles dancing jester.

His first set of problems is the Cabinet reshuffle. Hekia Parata is safe but not for the ridiculous reasons Key has claimed. Key tried telling us all last week that Hekia was safe in Education because she is one of National's best communicators. When you consider the larger class room fiasco, the school closures in Christchurch clusterfuck and the Novopay scandal, if Hekia Parata is National's best communicator, I'm John Key's secret gay criminal lover.

Hekia's decision to try and merge a special needs girls school with a special needs boys school was overturned by the courts because of the higher risk of sexual molestation. This is surely a new low point for any Education Minister in NZ. Education policy can't end in the sexual assault of female students, who does Hekia Parata think she's the Eduction Minister for? The Taliban?

Hekia is staying because National are quietly plotting a vast privatization of education via Charter Schools in Christchurch using the Naomi Klein 'Disaster Capitalism' tactic. National intend to use the shock of the Christchurch earthquake and deep poverty in South Auckland to implement Charter Schools as a means to drive teachers wages down in education and thus lower the cost to the State. Replacing Hekia at this crucial lynchpin moment for the destruction of public education could derail the entire plan so Hekia would need to get caught selling meth to school students before Key would replace her.

As for Nick Smith, his return is crucial to Key. The reality is that the National Caucus aren't that bright and Smith is one of the few heavy weight intellectuals National has. Key intends to ram through massive amounts of legislation this year and Smith is the best drafter of complex legislation, National need Smith and he will be brought back.

Smith's affair with Pullar was an open secret in Parliament, someone from Labour would always yell her name during question time when Smith was pissing them off so the only surprise about it coming out was that it came out from National's own side. Smith was friendly fire in a fight between Judith Collins and Michelle Boag, so National need to clean up this home goal ASAP.

The real problem confronting Smith will be to start working on the vast legislation changes Key intends to ram through Parliament if NZ signs up to the TPPA in October. What most of the sleepy hobbits of NZ don't yet appreciate about the TPPA is that it's not a bloody free trade deal at all, it's a paranoid leash for American corporations to deregulate the entire NZ economy to that of Pike River Mine levels. It's been elevated by National Security neurosis because of China's growing influence in the Pacific.

Smith will have to organize the vast deregulation of the entire economy shortly after the TPPA is signed because the domestic realignment with America has to be passed shortly afterwards. This means the legislation will have to pass in the 2014 election year. IF (and it's a big IF) the NZ public realize what the TPPA actually means and what Key is actually signing us up for there will be outrage, luckily for National, current affairs and news has been so ground down to Seven Sharp levels, it is highly unlikely the news media will even be aware of the ramifications of the TPPA.

Claiming the reshuffle is because Lockwood is leaving are just busy words to keep the mainstream corporate news pacified.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dear Garth McVicar - shut up you homophobic fuckwit!

Oh dear Zombie Jesus, what the bloody hell has Garth McVicar said now? Gay Marriage will raise the crime rate??????????

Lobbyist links gay marriage to crime rise in NZ
Sensible Sentencing Trust leader Garth McVicar has submitted to Parliament that changing the law to allow same-sex marriage will be yet another erosion of basic morals and values in society which have led to an escalation of child abuse, domestic violence, and an ever-increasing prison population.

"The marriage amendment bill will not benefit society at all and will ultimately have detremetal (sic) effect on crime at all levels," the submission read.

Dear Garth McVicar - shut up you homophobic fuckwit!

Gay Marriage and the crime rate are as connected as masturbation is to the abortion statistics! How on earth could a same sex couple who want to publicly pledge their relationship to their friends and whanau ever lead to an increase in crime? How hateful do you honestly have to be to twist gay marriage into evidence that the fabric of society is about to rip apart birthing more child abuse, domestic violence AND a lift in prison populations????

Shouldn't it embarrass NZers that this clown has so much influence over law and order issues? Garth McVicar is a dangerous individual who has used emotion over reason to generate hysteria, anger and fear to warp our debate on punishment into the scream of the lynch mob.

It is time we had less Garth McVicar on every issue, this relic of the 1800s has no place in civil society, the way TVNZ news at 7 has no place in an intelligent evaluation of the days events.

Less Garth McVicar, more gay marriage.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

First Citizen A for 2013 with Selwyn Manning & Phoebe Fletcher

First Citizen A for 2013 with Selwyn Manning & Phoebe Fletcher

Issue 1: Should the thin blue line be armed after a spate of attacks on Police over the holidays?

Issue 2: What will be the biggest challenge for the Government in 2013? The IPCA Urewera report? The Sky City Casino cronyism report? The Kim Dotcom case or the Supreme Court ruling on Maori water rights?

And Issue 3 tonight: With 7.3% unemployment, 270 000 kids in poverty and the highest inequality ever recorded, what has to happen in the economy for NZ in 2013 for everyone to start prospering?

Citizen A broadcasts on Auckland UHF and will start transmitting on Sky TV on their new public service broadcasting channel 'FACE Television' February 7th February 2013.


Friday, January 18, 2013

As predicted on Tumeke - Parata is safe

Parata's job safe in shuffle Prime Minister John Key says Education Minister Hekia Parata will be safe in an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, despite her troubles last year, because she is hugely talented and one of National's best communicators.

If Hekia Parata is National's best communicator after the larger classroom fiasco, the Christchurch school closure debacle and the Novopay catastrophe, then the rest of the Party are head injury patients who can barely string syllables together.

As predicted on Tumeke...

Hekia Parata is the Anti-Midas, everything she touches turns to shit. Someone with the unique talent of causing everything around her to combust should be sent to Afghanistan, but the reality is National are trying to ram through massive free market reforms in Education and don't care who the Minister is. Stepping Parata down would be an admission of defeat and National won't want that.

...Hekia keeps her job, not because she is in any way vaguely competent but because National are planning to attack public education and a change of Minister just before they launch their Charter School madness could lead to calls for a change of policy as well.

Listening to Key describe Parata as National's best communicator after her appalling communication meltdown in education suggests a credibility gap that parents can't help but notice. While those opposed to dismantling our education system will take some light relief in the farce of Key's comment, it shows that National's desire to degrade our public education service is far larger than the embarrassment of having to describe Parata as 'hugely talented'.

Did I mention her wanting to put intellectually handicapped girls into a school where their chance of being sexually abused was overturned by the Court?

The fact that Key would hold onto this failure of a Minister because of the changes they want to inflict upon public education should keep us all awake at night.

Parata's job security should be our insecurity.


Paula Bennett and her amazing vanishing beneficiaries

Bennett trumpets 5000 fewer on DPB
The number of sole parents on the domestic purposes benefit dropped by 5000 last year - a drop Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is attributing partly to her new policy requiring sole parents to get jobs when their youngest child turns five.

Oh really? Paula has generated 5000 jobs has she for these sole parents to go to work at? That's quite an achievement made even more incredible when you consider we have 7.3% unemployment.

So what actually has happened? The new measures used to disqualify beneficiaries are kicking in and about to become far more vile. Bennett's new range of welfare cutbacks will see private corporations step in to administer the next round of 'work ready' tests. These corporations will get a bonus when they move someone off the benefit, and of course moving a person off the benefit can be done without actually finding someone a job, they can be bonused for just finding a new way to disqualify the beneficiary.

This isn't about finding our most vulnerable members of society employment, this is about finding excuses to disqualify them from claiming welfare.

These people become invisible to employment and benefit stats and slowly rot while Paula Bennett bounces around squealing how well she's doing.

It's an unchallenged narrative promoted by the media. There is no depression in NZ and thanks to Bennett, there's no way to see it now.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The future of RNZ

Radio NZ boss confirms exit, apologises
Radio New Zealand chief executive Peter Cavanagh confirmed today he will be leaving at the end of the year and has apologised for his decision being revealed by New Zealand Herald.

Cavanagh was the chief executive who had me banned from Radio NZ for supposedly defaming the Prime Minister. I had always suspected RNZs gutless self censorship in that case had more to do with Cavanagh's dislike of my idea of RNZ2 than me defaming John Key.

How does RNZ survive under a Government that has zero interest in public broadcasting? We can see by the way TVNZ7 was shut down that National just don't care about broadcasting very much so RNZs position when so many other assets are being chopped up and sold off is pretty precarious.

RNZ has the largest radio audience of any other radio station in the game. They are excluded from the ratings survey meaning their dominance can't generate any revenue, (alongside the fact they don't play adverts).

My solution to this was the creation of RNZ2. The Government don't just have RNZ, they also own Kiwi FM. Kiwi FM was what was left over from the Youth Radio Network that Jenny Shipley first mooted. Rather than a commercial free youth alternative to Radio NZ, Labour gave the 3 frequencies valued at 3million to bloody Mediaworks as Kiwi Fm which was supposed to be 100% NZ Music. The impact of this was to ghettoize NZ music onto a frequency no one ever listened to.

Why Labour just handed over 3 frequencies to Mediaworks minus any plan has never been answered by any Labour Party MP I pester on this issue.

My argument was that the Government take Kiwi FM back, create RNZ2, allow RNZ2 to have adverts and use the money that generates to subsidize RNZ. RNZ2 would be news talkback but from a more progressive stance than the other redneck talkback stations. Seeing as there are no public service talkback stations, the market could sustain an alternative to ZB and RadioLive! while generating competition and desperately needed revenue for RNZ.

Cavanagh was against all of this, let's hope the next Chief Executive has more of an open mind. Finding new ways to fund public broadcasting is the challenge, simply sticking ones head in the sand and hoping for a change of Government to one which is friendlier towards public broadcasting isn't much of a solution.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is the NZ Herald a newspaper or a Police press release?

Check out this ridiculous propaganda piece for the Police on behalf of the NZ Herald. Note how at the end of the article the NZ Herald prints this...

Anyone with still or video footage of the incident is asked to contact police on (097) 858 6200 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

...can you believe that? The NZ Herald aren't asking for the footage themselves so they could show the other side of the story, they are pimping for info to go directly to the Police, who will of course do all they can to suppress that footage ever being seen by the rest of the public.

The NZ Herald should be actively seeking out what actually happened, instead they are printing advice to send any footage directly to the Cops.

Only Seven Sharp has the possibility of being less intellectually curious than the NZ Herald.


Using Family Fist Logic on Gay Marriage

Family Fist merchandise now available

Using Family Fist logic on Gay Marriage, bars gaining the right to decide to let dogs into their bars will lead to horses, tigers & sharks being allowed to roam into any pub and maul patrons.

IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? Tigers eating your uncle while he's having a quiet beer? Because that's what will happen if bars can let dogs into pubs!

This message brought to you by Family Fist - bring back the biff 2014!