Tuesday night was a rare occasion that I caught the mainstream media on 3 Nightline. They were talking about how Variety have started up a child sponsorship programme for New Zealanders.
The need for this is disgraceful. Typically you hear of child sponsorship programmes for the third world. For $30 a month you can feed and educate a child in Africa. Things are so bad in New Zealand that we now require this service.
What's more disgraceful is Paula Bennett's reaction. She said something along the lines of "I am happy that there are people out there willing to help."
Paula Bennett, this response is disgraceful.
It is the role of the government to care for the vulnerable and needy. If New Zealand school children now need a private sponsor to get things for school etc then the government is clearly failing to meet its social obligations.
Are they happy that families are so poor that they are failing to bring up kids without a private sponsor?
Are they happy that unemployment is so high and many kiwi families can't find work?
Are they happy that even if they find work their incomes will be 20%+ lower than Australians.
If the answer is no, why aren't they doing something about this?
This is not McDonalds John. Tourists don't spend $5 to come here, they spend thousands. In part because they think we're so clean, green and beautiful. The reality is we're not, but many think we are. It is therefore in our best interest to maintain this reputation and put in a decent effort to maintain our environment. This government has largely failed, but so did Halen Clark's Labour government.
If you don't care about the environment, you may care about the economy. 1/10 of the working population is employed in tourism related industries. Keeping numbers up by doing a little for the environment would be a good thing.
It is curious how National got in when 70% of respondents to a survey done last election said that the environment was one of the most important issues. Anybody who seriously cares about the environment would run a million miles away from National with all their mining, drilling, fracking, gutting of environmental obligations. I guess the environment is important to New Zealanders on an extremely superficial, non-serious level. Sure, there are other factors for voting, but National is a crap choice for them as well. There is another few possibilities, people are misinformed about National and the environment. Alternatively they view Labour as the same, which isn't really that far off when you consider the Clark Labour government. If you're willing to entertain these possibilities then you must accept that the environment is important to New Zealanders too.
So let sum up, the environment is apparently important to most New Zealanders. it's definitely important for tourism. Yet our Prime Minister equates the 100% Pure thing to a slogan by McDonalds, nice. Someone should tell him we deserve better than being compared to a $5 burgers and fries marketing slogan.
OK I think everybody gets it, I don't like Shearer. I like him even less now that he vanished Cunliffe to the back benches. My vote will almost certainly go green in 2014, however for now I am holding on to my Labour membership despite having absolutely no intentions of voting for them in 2014.
Despite this, I am giving some friendly advice to the Shearer crowd.
Shearer has a problem, aside from what I have mentioned previously. Actually it's not just a problem with Shearer, but the entire Labour Party. The problem is that Shearer is a magnet for negative media attention, and this extends to the wider Labour Party. They can get bad media coverage very easily, but good media coverage is rare. From Chris Carter last election to Sua William Sio to Trevor Mallard scalping tickets. These are certainly stupid counter productive stories and certainly Shearer's actions over the past three days certainly brought again the famous Labour media soap oprah.
Cunliffe also played it badly, he should have shut the leadership talk down promptly. He failed, but Shearer fanned the flames by calling a vote and vanishing Cunliffe.
There was NO challenge of leadership, if you think otherwise please find me a transcript and prove me wrong. Perhaps it's with Shearer's tape of John Key that he has been unable to produce.
You made a fantastic speech Shearer, but it doesn't fix the underline problems that turn people off, anybody who think it does is entirely delusional and may as well campaign for the moronic republican party of absolute clowns.
So fix them! Your #1 priority should be to get extensive media training and fast! People are noticing that you're bad at interviews, bad at debating. Your absolute first priority should be to fix your flaws in these areas. If you can't then it's almost certainly a third term for National. I am not comforted by a single speech.
Issue #2 quit the media soap oprah and tell that to all MPs. Tell your MPs. to behave or get out. Whines to the media and person dramas do not help your party, at all. This message clearly isn't sinking in. Shout it at Hipkins especially!
#3 listen to your members and affiliates, after all they're probably be voting for you.
You've lost me, don't lose anybody else.
So, do I have faith that he will drastically improve? No. His actions won't fend off a leadership challenge if he continues to under perform. If I am wrong and he has made no improvement, he'd get slaughtered by John Key in the election. If in the unlikely event that he makes drastic improvements, which I am not ruling out. I can't say I'm terribly enthused given his attempts of policies before the conference. First though he and Labour need to work on the issues I have outlined. I also have little doubt that Labour will continue to be an embarrassing circus freak show in the media. Do prove me wrong.
STOP WHINING ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE. BY WHINING ABOUT HOW WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE AND NOT TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES, YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES. IF YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE GAY MARRIAGE, YOU'RE PATHETIC! YOU SHOULD GO HOME! YOU'RE USELESS! ALL YOU'RE DOING IS CONTINUING THE CONSTANT MEDIA LABOUR SOAP OPERA!
HERE'S HOW YOU TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES, YOU TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES! IT ISN'T THAT DIFFICULT! UNEMPLOYMENT IS RISING, POVERTY IS INCREASING! SEE HOW EASY TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES IS!
Alternatively you can be like Sua William Sio. Saying we should talk about other things while actively rallying against gay marriage. Don't ask me how that works.
I've got news for you; gay marriage IS an issue. While it may not be the most important issue, it is an issue. Sure there's much more important issues but the fact is that we can't do anything about them, because we're not in power. Duh! This is one area that we can do some good in. We can't put up an economic bill because it almost certainly will be voted down. We can still criticize the government and provide vision at the same time. Those who can't are simply incompetent.
To be honest I was not that impressed when David Shearer was appointed leader of the Labour party because I knew that he was a crap speaker and wanted Cunliffe. Despite this I was willing to give him a go.
OK he had his go, now it's time for him to literally go. The sole reason is the general public simply do not like him. If he cannot get the support of the public, particularly people on the left. Then he simply cannot win.
People have noticed the way he speaks, and it turns them off. I have been making this criticism all along. Now it looks like my instincts were correct. I know that he can't help this but the fact is this is not going to win elections, if the opposition cannot win elections then it needs to go home, it's useless. Ironically the only change it will be capable of making is things like equal marriage, a change that some people call pointless. Well get used to making "pointless" contributions to society if you insist on keeping an unpopular leader. How did keeping Phil Goff work out for you? Not very well.
In addition he seems poor at attacking this government, I stopped watching mainstream news a few months ago but this is another common criticism of him.
The fact is that Key is a publicity clown, we need to counter that with a strong figure, that's not Shearer, that's Cunliffe. If the Anybody But Cunliffe brigade don't get their head out of the sand if we lose in 2014, they have nobody to blame but themselves, I certainly will direct blame at them.
At Topical.co.nz we of course support equal marriage, but not everyone is so positive about it.
In a 3 News story they were interviewing MPs. Some National and they said that they hadn't given it any thought, in fairness. It's National, I'd be surprised if they gave anything any thought, at all. Even worse, some said that they would have to take a look at the bill for them to make a decision. Really? Are we meant to believe they can't figure out what's in a gay marriage bill? How stupid are they? This country is being run by idiots.
New Zealand First refuses to vote on the issue and says that a referendum should be held. My view is NO! Why does the majority get to vote on minority rights? Particularly as some like to harass the homosexual community. Why should we give them the satisfaction of saying no? I am sure that equal marriage will pass if it come down to it but I am uncomfortable taking such a risk. Equal marriage wouldn't effect 90% of people voting on it so why on earth should they?
Finally Sua William Sio said in the media that Labour should dump the bill. I find this absolutely appalling. Firstly his claim of Labour losing support does not make one scrap of sense when you consider John Key supports it and National's support is rising. Secondly if Sua had a problem with one of Labour's bill then he should take it up with the leader, not whine in the press. his over the top comments only adds to the constant stream of bad press that Labour has a a habit of getting due to their own dysfunctional members. If his intention was to send a message to his electric that he won't be voting for the bill then he could have said so without saying that Labour should dump the bill entirely. It was such bad form.
Colin Craig: I can't be bothered writing about. All I will say is many many anti gay politicians have a habit of being in gay sex scandals...
Oh Tariana Turia, I'm not sure if your anti smoking crusade amuses or bores me. You say that we can't continue to sell a product that kills people however the same logic can be applied to alcohol, cars, knives, even water. Granted these things are not addictive substancesthat kills nearly a third of its users through their own purpose.
New Zealand heavily relies on tourism. If tourists couldn't light up of the cigarettes were too expensive than would probably have an impact. I know this is not a particularly good argument.
I was actually for banning smoking until a friend pointed out that it will just create a black market. He's right. While it is legal and they constantly raise the price you will only see an influx of illegally imported cigarettes. We'll lose the tax dollars from the imports and have to spend money policing it. Banning it outright would probably never happen due to tobacco lobbyists etc. I'm not saying don't tax it; governments should reasonably tax it to recover costs to the hearth system etc.
Bottom line: I'm a very strong advocate for drug legalization. If I advocate for banning cigarettes, I'd be a hypocrite, which I don't necessarily mind. There's just other arguments against banning cigarettes that I agree with.
Dear Winston Peters, stop embarrassing yourselves by questioning the death statistics from cigarettes. You sound like a quack.
Continuing on from my last post Friday; the government has made another announcement regarding beneficiaries. It is considering making beneficiaries vaccinate their kids.
The first criticism is the same as my argument in my last post. Why target the beneficiaries? Beneficiaries make good headlines. The New Zealand population just hate beneficiaries who don't work. This is extremely cheap politics. It also enforces the belief that beneficiaries can't look after their kids.
They accused Labour of being a "nanny state" but this government is contemplating interfering with a parents' medical decision.
To be clear, I'm very strongly pro vaccination. I think that everyone should get vaccinations. I get a flu shot every year, because I don't want the flu, duh! There are people who say that vaccinations causes autism but the research into this has been discredited along with the person who conducted the research. Frankly many people who I have heard argue against vaccinations have been lunatics. "The government is trying to poison you" etc. I strongly believe that vaccinations are beneficial but requiring a group of society to vacc their kids is wrong, it's discrimination and should not be tolerated.
I was originally going to blog about this issue a few days ago but ended up agreeing with Mr Key's policy, for a while at least. I believe that free contraception should be given to beneficiaries, as long as it is completely voluntary. However as people point out free contraception should be available to everybody, not just beneficiaries. Targeting beneficiaries stirs up "bennie bashers" so I have problems with this policy. It does appear politically convenient to target beneficiaries.
Another thing I will point out is if the goal is to stop unwanted pregnancies, this simply does not go far enough. What about women who are in a steady relationship, get pregnant and their partner leaves? (or dies?) What if a woman gets pregnant and is made redundant. Life is more complicated than just targeting the beneficiaries.
So, what I am hearing is if you lose your job you automatically get free contraception so it's safe to have sex and not reproduce. Yeah sorry, this just seems completely morbid on multiple levels.
Free contraception for everybody is the only way to go. Condoms should be free too, and encourage. Condoms help prevent getting STIs which will save money on the treatment side of things. Sex is fun but safe sex is also a cost saver.
Personally I don't really care if taxes go to supporting solo mums. Sorry about that if that offends you! Actually no, I am not!
Before I get started I would like to announce that I have joined the Labour Party. I have done this for a specific purpose. My political coverage and views will remain unaffected. I have been critical of Labour in the past. Frankly I have no desires to suck up to the party I'm now a member of.
To prove my point let's start with the Trevor Mallard story. He was caught scalping tickets, what on earth was he thinking? He's a senior MP, he simply can't be doing this kind of thing, it reflects badly on the party. Obviously the party is continuing its scandal scandal scandal circus, I was not amused last year and I am even less amused this year. OK so it's just one scandal this year, so far at least. One other point: It was described by a radio commentator as "The story of the week". I just had to laugh! Really? A MP scalping tickets is the story of the week? As stupid as scalping tickets is; it's hardly important news concerning the country, there's much more important stuff going on! It's his own private business after all. It was good for a laugh, sure but it's hardly headline news. Then again with the state of the pathetic mainstream media which regularly makes want to scream at how completely irrelevant the news stories are in comparison with what's really going on in society, perhaps it is...
David Shearer was kicked off Breakfast. This happens when it's not election year. Unlike some on the Left, I do not pointlessly cry censorship.
Hey John Key is cracking down on beneficiaries! Pity he's also letting the government partly pay for the prosecution of Kim Dotcom at the whim of US government and corporations. So it's OK to spend our taxpayer money when it benefits rich hollywood corporations, but we must crack down on beneficiaries. This is entirely hypocritical and makes no sense! Why aren't the US corporations taking Kim Dotcom to court themselves? Unlike beneficiaries, THEY HAVE MONEY!!! Also I don't know if people are stupid but the economy is not doing very well, while the economy is not doing very well there are less jobs, asking people to find jobs when there aren't any is entirely pointless! I am sick to death of beneficiary bashing idiots! So National want people to look for work, that's fine. What's National going to do to increase work? Lowering wages? How ridiculous! People are struggling to pay their bills as it is, National is not going to improve things by lowering wages for new worker's, this will not exactly increase consumer demand, it will if it create new jobs but it will probably do no such thing. So we now have a group of people struggling even more because of their lower wages. How is this a good solution?
People are proposing a citizens referendum on asset sales, uh why? John Key doesn't listen to referendums. Remember the smacking referendum? 80% support and John Key did NOTHING! It's hilarious that people are more than happy to blame Labour and the Greens taking away the right to smack their kids yet John Key completely ignored a referendum on the subject. Furthermore John Key used the smacking law as an example of the Greens implementing unpopular policy, bit rich considering he didn't take it away when the nation overwhelmingly asked. At least that law was designed primarily to protect kids, I still don't think that it was the perfect solution but that's not the point. Back on topic, any referendum is a pointless waste of money, sorry folks. John Key just disregards referendums and does not care about the will of the people. If you think otherwise you're an idiot. All this exercise will achieve is the ability to shame John Key when he inevitably sells the assets, it's a rather expensive way to do that.
I am amazed at the sort of trash allowed on our online news sites. Last year I read about "dangerous greenies" murdering people through abortion. This year I've read a maori bashing piece, and more recently an article on why transgender people shouldn't have babies. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, that's fine, but I'm not sure there's a place for these crazy and biggoted people in big corporate news, and if there is one has to ask is it really worth supporting these organizations? These opinions are damaging, they encourage ignorance and hate. I really can't say I'm going to stop supporting these organizations as I have had a hatred of corporate news for a long time but if these kinds of biggoted views are unacceptable to you, I suggest stop buying the newspapers that publish such trash.
One has to ask why the Auckland Council is demanding higher profits from the port at the expenses of its workforce. Does it not realize it's not a private corporation and should not be treating workers this way. To the idiots who like to bash unions: how would you feel if you couldn't plan your weeks because your boss could call you up at a moment's notice? This is what it's all about. EARTH TO LEN BROWN: GET A CLUE. His non action appears to be alienating the same people who elected him, he could suffer in the next election. He needed to side with the union weeks ago, now people are frustrated and angry. I am not sure what he could have done, all I know is people think he hasn't done enough.
New Zealand went to the polls and it turns out they want a banker with a history of broken promises with unpopular policies as their leader! While people around the world are protesting bankers, we elect a banker as our leader. Congratulations New Zealand, you're idiots! Now watch the country go further down the toilet with rubbish policies that won't help the country, they will do the opposite. You truly only have yourselves to blame for our upcoming decline.
This time about a third of the electoral roll didn't vote. This is appalling. While I don't believe that it should be compulsory to vote; I believe that everyone should. Well maybe not the highly ignorant. Otherwise we'll end up with National running the company. Oh did I say that? YES! So the question is: Why didn't people vote? One reason could be people thought that National were going to get in so didn't bother. Another is that some people may not care about politics. People should care. Politics has massive impacts on health, education, policing and general living standards. Also perhaps people are ignorant of the issues, for this they have to take some of the blame but also people need to blame the media since instead of reporting on the issues, it reports on penguins, psychic octopuses and a royal wedding.
So let's do the numbers: About a third didn't vote and less than half of the people who did voted for National. So National therefore got a third of the total possible vote and will probably have a very slim majority once special votes are counted. This is still a victory for National of course. National can basically do what they want with only 33% of the total possible vote. This is hardly a shining example of democracy.
In its first few days back in office National broke a mining promise. Obviously it was too much to ask that National waited before the government is officially formed to go back on its word. Nice going New Zealand!
National didn't get the majority some were hoping for so they need to make deals. United Future are gloating about signing an agreement to get National limiting asset sales, not a big win as National already said that it was going to limit asset sales. Act has only one MP now, not the original leader who has resigned. The new leader is John Banks who wants to inflict charter schools on us and gut ACC. John Key's response was "Well that's MMP for you". This is absolute nonsense; Act weren't going to side with Labour were they? NO! There are other parties to make deals with. This is down to National, not MMP! There is little reason why National has to give Act anything. Charter schools won't improve the education system, it will do the opposite! Most charter schools are not better than the regular public schools, or they are worse! Just like National Standards; overseas research largely concludes this is a failed concept.
Our growth forecast has been recently slashed which is no surprise at all considering that Treasury has been consistently wrong in the past. The ideas National have for the economy simply will not be very beneficial. I definitely don't predict us to grow at a great rate and I predict we'll have less rights and increasingly ineffective services from the government. Tough times are about to get worse.
This is my input into the Labour leadership contest. Firstly I object that we're calling it a contest like some hideous reality TV show; it's a major political party (well at least it was three years ago) It's still the second largest political party in New Zealand and the main opposition party. Let's not be trivial about this. The successor to Phil Goff may be the Prime Minister in 2014. This should be treated as a serious role, the best person should be chosen. I really don't like the rushed media circus this has turned into. Labour should slow down and take a few months to make its decision to ensure it's the right one. There is no rush, I say keep Phil on and make the decision in June. The new leader would still have plenty of time to build a relationship with the public.
Of course Labour should have had a new leader two years ago when it was apparent that the public didn't like Phil Goff. To his credit he ran a very good campaign but failed to impress me the rest of the time he was the leader of the opposition. I still think it was a mistake to focus so much on opposing asset sales when there was so much he could have brought to the table.
David Parker is out of the race apparently partly due to his private life which I found weird because he said on Q&A that skeletons wouldn't be a problem. Now I have no interest in his personal life. In interviews I have found he laughs frequently, I kind of like that, I find him quite charming. Irrelevant now since he's not going for the leadership.
I think David Shearer would have more personal appeal than Cunliffe. I mean he's a humanitarian, who doesn't like a humanitarian? Also I have read on a blog that he's good under pressure. However his lack of parliamentary experience is a concern but then again John Key was only in parliament for four years before becoming leader of National. One other stand out thing is the way Shearer stutters in interviews, it is very noticeable. Then again he probably can't help it so I don't know if this is a good reason to deny him the leadership. However when you go up against publicly clown Key you kind of need a top performer. Shearer is simply not this. If he is selected he should work on his interview skills.
David Cunliffe is my personal favourite simply because he is much more known to me and I think that he is an excellent performer. He knows his stuff when it comes to finance and the country would need that after National inevitably flushes the economy down the toilet. (How come people didn't know this when they voted them back in???) Cunliffe seems to be the strong type. I simply like the guy. However Shearer has a better look about him that would appeal to the common man. Also Cunliffe has a "call a spade a spade" attitude; this could possibly backfire on Labour if he says the wrong thing. Then again insensitivity doesn't appear to effect John Key's popularity when he made a joke about cannibalism for example.
In conclusion both candidates have their strengths and weaknesses. I personally prefer Cunliffe but Shearer would be OK too. It's essential that the new leader can excite the public, has new ideas and can compete against Key. I hope that the right decision is made.
A MP left because it was revealed that he stole the identity of a dead child.
The former leader was rolled by a former leader of the National party.
They couldn't agree on cannibas policy.
The new leader (Don Brash) supposed to boost support instead it declined.
Their Epsom candidate (John Banks) couldn't even poll above his former biographer.
This is what our prime minister calls stable? Compared to what? A meth addict?
Who on earth makes Don Brash their leader?
Oh John Banks seems to make racist comments.
This is who the prime minister had tea with. He endorsed the man and wants him back in parliament.
Hilarious that the tea party went so horribly wrong.
OK so a reporter accidentally left it tape recorder on while the two Johns were talking and recorded some secret conversation. Key said that he wasn't bothered in the slightest, then called the police. Very consistent and not at all a complete overreaction!
Oh if you want something even more ridiculous he compared it to the News Of The World phone hacking scandal. How on earth is an accidental recording of a conversation at an event the press has been invited to anything like hacking dead people's phone? How? The recording wasn't even released! This comparison is not only ludicrous! Oh but he's also standing up for a couple with a suicidal teenager, only the couple doesn't actually exist. Again this is completely different; nobody is at a risk of suicide. Unless he meant political suicide?
Should he release the conversation? Yes! It's the Barbra Streisand effect! Me thinks he protests too much! Ironically the calling the police, walking out on the media and canceling interviews is doing the most damage to his reputation, and if the comments were more damaging you have to wonder what they were and why he said them in a public place with media that he invited meters away? Even if the tape was that damaging, he should have just played it cool and had a quiet word to the people involved. His actions makes it looks like he has something to hide. Hopefully this will take a toll on his public image.
This has backfired massively. Polls are still showing that Banksie is toast in Epsom. (not that I believe polls)
As a political satirist; this is gold! John Key is making a complete idiot of himself and I am just loving it!
If this is your only reason, please don't vote! Voting for somebody just because he smiles and waves a lot is an extremely stupid thing.
"National is good with money"
Based on what? Their last tax switch cost the country over a billion dollars. Furthermore historically the economy has grown more with a Labour government than a National government. National being good with money is a complete myth.
"John Key is good with money"
See answer to previous question. Additionally I really have to question why the people elected a currency trader when traders and bankers crashed the economy. Doesn't this seem weird to anyone else?
"Labour are socialists"
No they aren't. People who say this don't actually know what socialism is. Starting a bank and buying a few FAILED previously privatized companies does not equal socialism.
"Phil Goff was part of the Roger Douglas government"
So was Helen Clark and she turned out OK. National is much closer to the ideology of Roger Douglas than Labour. Labour is against what National is proposing. Why on earth would you vote for a party that is publicly much closer to the ideology of Roger Douglas? Roger Douglas was part of the current National government! Also Don Brash would be possibly part of the next National government, and many people consider him worse than Roger Douglas.
"Labour spend spend spend and give money to beneficiaries"
Firstly National have given well over a billion dollars in bailouts and corporate welfare; I'd rather see my taxes go to people who actually need it. Secondly if National were competent in stimulating jobs there wouldn't be as many beneficiaries to pay for. Thirdly not giving people what they need can result in these people committing crimes or suicide. Fourthly you or somebody you know might need the state's help too one day.
"Labour wants to to pay people more and that will cost jobs"
John Key keeps bringing this point up however he has a document from Treasury saying that it won't cost jobs! The evidence does not support this claim.
"The polls indicate that most people are satisfied with a National government"
If most people jumped off a cliff, would you follow? Frankly most polls are wrong! They don't include people without landlines or swing voters, both favor Labour. Additionally the latest Horizon poll which includes swing voters shows a MUCH smaller gap.
I just want to comment on the first two debates I've seen.
Phil did well in the first, I got sick of John's drunken sailor comment the first time he said it, obviously it will meant to provide light humour but it failed to do that for me. The irony is that this government is spending much more on unemployment due to their mismanagement of the economy by not doing enough to stimulate job growth. Then there is the one billion plus dollars they unnecessarily gave to corporations, and the fact they spend our tax dollars on subsidizing farmers for destroying our environment. Accusing Labour of spending irresponsibly is hypocritical. One other thing about this debate; I liked the way Phil didn't speak over John, at the beginning. By the end both were doing it to each other and the whole thing became incredibly childish.
If John Key is good for something (and not much else) it's humour, kind of like the way George W Bush was. I laughed hysterically when I heard him say "We live in a global world". I am unsure of the point of the phrase. Global world? Is that like a round circle or a triangular triangle? The world is global. Wow riveting revelation there Key. What a ridiculously redundant statement!
To the second debate now; I missed the first twenty minutes. I thought that Phil performed strongly on Christchurch issues but undoubtedly was extremely weak when it came to explaining the costings of Labour's economic policy, he eventually did but it was a poor performance. He should have been more prepared and should have made his points much sooner. Round two went to John.
Most people thought that the second debate was in a better format. Commentators appear to annoy people; telling people what to think etc. I thought that Claire Robinson was a bit harsh on Phil; it turns out she worked in Jenny Shipley's office. Her bias towards the right was obvious to some.
Paul Henry giving commentary on a political debate? Are you kidding me TV3??? Firstly he was a National Party candidate, hardly the most fair and balanced person. Secondly for all the intellectual insight he'll bring you may as well have Elmer Fudd commenting! Henry is a clown and raving redneck, not a political commentator.
To policy now: National's only plan for the economy seems to be; building uneconomical roads and paying people less while expecting jobs to magically appear. These roads are mainly built for the rich to go to their batches, I'm unsure how that is meant to solve mainstream traffic problems, and of course it won't. It also won't help when the oil price inevitably goes sky high. As I understand New Zealand is in a terrible position for this. More debate over this is needed. As for paying people less, I'm unsure how paying people less is going to help the economy. When people get paid less they consume less which damages the local economy. The new jobs argument is weak at best as when youth rates were abolished hardly any jokes were effected. This only provides an incentive for employers to hire people on the new low wages over the regular rate. This will simply move unemployment from one group of people to another. This is not a solution but is simply exploitative.
Quick comments on the three major opening addresses. Labour's served as a history lesson and it also focused on the people inside Labour; a getting to know you type thing. National's was dull in comparison, people picked up on the obviously scripted questions from the audience. Fake and dull. The Greens kept repeating the word rich, one could have confused them with Act, OK not really. Personally I liked them better when they focused on tree hugging. That being said I do completely agree that we need a green economy and need to invest heavily in green technology at a time when the climate is being rapidly destroyed.
So according to Labour, National implemented a funding freeze at Maritime New Zealand. Hmmmm this probably wasn't the best decision considering we are facing one of the biggest environmental crisis New Zealand has ever seen. A crisis that would have probably be avoided if teams were sent to the ship within 24-48 hours after the problems occurred, instead they choose to wait. You can't blame the weather, it was fine for five days, an operation dispatched within 48 hours would have been completed by then. This is very much National's fault. If the government was halfway competent we wouldn't be in this mess!
One of the left wing commentators I follow has been banned from Radio New Zealand apparently for criticizing RadioLive and the Prime Minister. Apparently it violates their standards for being "Fair and balanced" Really? Do they mean like the right wing corporate media that loves John Key. Does the media only complain about being fair and balanced when it's a left wing commentator and not when they are bashing Labour and giving government policies a mere 30 seconds on the news with no critical analysis? I never listened to Bomber on RNZ but do know he's a strongly opinionated guy and if he was anything like how he is on his TV show; RNZ must of well known what he was like. The panel also has Sue Bradford and Matthew Horton as regular guests; are they fair and balanced? NO! Furthermore RNZ also states that possible lawsuits is a reason Bomber was banned, OK so where are they? Answer: nowhere! I highly doubt that any of the parties involved would care enough to launch a lawsuit and any lawsuit would be extremely difficult under New Zealand law. This excuse is absolute nonsense. Satire hardly ever results in lawsuits. It's their loss, Bomber provides a comical outlook on news stories. It is much more entertaining than the mainstream media, and a whole lot more informative, which granted is not hard! In this country you can be more informative than the news simply by reporting the news.
The 2 million dollar Tupperwaka is now open to the public. Be quick as it's only open for 11 days! Just don't ask questions about how much it costs. A TVNZ reporter did this and was banned from the opening.
Don Brash thinks cannibas should be decriminalized. I never thought I would agree with Don Brash, on anything! John Key said on TVNZ's Breakfast that it shouldn't be made legal because parents wouldn't want their 18 year olds doing it before school. This is an unbelievably ridiculous argument because 18 year olds are LEGAL ADULTS! Parental consent is entirely irrelevant! Banksie is against it, and Act are practically relying on John Banks to get in with him running in Epsom. Another Act member (Don Nicolson) and a donor has attacked John Banks' comments on the subject. Oh the problems with Act are hilarious! Here's to a long painful death of the party!
The National Party are such good economic managers our credit rating has been downgraded. A few days earlier he was saying that the economy would be fine and is sticking to the Treasury predictions despite the fact they have been wrong many times before by a big amount. Every indicator suggests the global economy is collapsing and it will be down for a long time. John Key really has little reason to be optimistic about the economy but of course this would be bad for his election campaign. The downgrade means that mortgage rates will probably rise, this will be unpleasant news for already struggling families that are already experiencing other price rises.
On John Key's hour long radio show; a second ratings downgrade was announced, opps. Of course he couldn't discuss politics on this show due to an Electoral Commission rule. That's convenient; publicity without fronting up to the issues, exactly his kind of publicity!
Oh but John Key did make an important announcement last week, his pledge to fight the Coronation Street schedule change! So while the economy is tanking, he's focusing on a TV show. Congratulations John Key, you've reached new levels of ridiculousness.
He also made a joke about wanting a coal mine from Australia because they make money. Some people have slammed him at a time when the Pike River enquiry is underway. The Herold of course came to his defense, that paper is sooooo bias it's not even fit for toilet paper. One of the main political writers owns a polling company that does work for the National Party. He uses his media influence to spread propaganda for the National Party, that's not a fair and balanced media.
A second soldier has died in Afghanistan. I am blaming the government because frankly we shouldn't be in this war. This is America's war, not our's. We have no business being in Afghanistan. To put it bluntly our government is allowing our soldiers to die in a war we shouldn't be in, and that is unacceptable.
Turns out the police have been illegally spying on suspected criminals and the response by this government is not to reign in the police that were actually doing the illegal spying but to make the illegal spying legal if a search warrant had been issued. So basically they are trying to modify the legal process to accommodate poor police practices. I'm sorry, how is this a good solution? If police are doing illegal spying, they should be punished not given a helping hand to make their invalid investigation techniques valid for existing cases. If the police screw up it's their own fault. This is the equivalent of the government interfering in criminal trials. Labour will not support the bill, most other parties won't either. However I'm not sure about Act. John Boscawen is resigning, apparently for family reasons, I understand that he is a strong believer of personal rights. This could be just a coincidence. I hope that Act stick with their libertarian principles and refuse to support such a hideous bill.
A new poll suggests 2/3 people support work place drug testing. Question New Zealand: When did you stop believing in the right to privacy? Is it because this government has zero respect for people's rights so you're just going along with it? Seriously, I am asking! I am not suggesting that people should turn up to work high but what people do in the privacy of their own home is their own business as long as they remain competent. It is not the business of their employers or the government for that matter. What's people's obsession with the idea that drugs are bad. People who believe that to the extent of interfering in people's life's probably should do more drugs! Alternatively they should simply mind their own business. Paula Bennet is considering implementing drug testing for Welfare recipients and cutting their benefits accordingly. So as well as managing some people's budgets beneficiaries will be forced to take drug tests. How's Halen Clark's nanny state looking now, didn't the people of New Zealand throw her out because of government's interference in people's lives. So it's OK to interfere in beneficiaries lives only? Oh but New Zealand also supports work place testing. Rrriiiggghhhttt.
Fonterra has announced a record payout to farmer's yet we can't get a reduction in diary prices and are forced to subsidize their pollution with our tax dollars. Thanks farmers, for nothing! Also thanks National for nothing! Any decent government run FOR THE PEOPLE would not force the tax payer to subsidize farmer's pollution, probably eventually costing hundreds of millions of dollars per year and a decent government would regulate the farming industry to stop them using dirty methods.
Christchurch's seaside areas should beware of rising waters due to global warming. The comment section of the article I read is full of deniers. Apparently they believe that global warming is just a plot by scientists to secure more funding. Of course it isn't and these people are stupid. Climate change is a real danger and people need to stop being stupid, voting in stupid parties that do almost nothing to solve the problem. Failure to do so would have major consequences for our planet and us.
Let me introduce you to the Food Bill, or as I like to call it THE WAR ON SEEDS. Well OK it's not quite as crazy as that but it's pretty crazy. Under the bill the sale of food you grow would be illegal unless you are licensed to do so from the government. This is clearly insane. If I choose to grow food and trade it with a neighbour, it is my business, no government should get involved in such a small harmless act. IT'S PEOPLE TRADING FOOD. They really want to make unlicensed trading of food illegal? How is this not BIGGGG government? This is an attack on people's freedom and privacy. Oh and the police or the private sector can raid your house without a warrant, for food trading! They can bring guns too! I am not making this up. It would be hysterical if I was... This will possibly drive food prices up due to red tape, damage the market share of smaller players and undermine community's abilities to be self efficient. I will leave you with a video of cops raiding oganic foods.
Congratulations National; your train system is so poor nobody wants to use it! Not surprising as 2,000 missed the opening ceremony as transport was so poor. As for Party Central, how come nobody in this government saw the possibility of hundreds of thousands of people coming to Party Central when 250,000 turn up to Christmas In The Park? The government was warned that Auckland public transport wouldn't be able to cope with the influx of RWC visitors 18 months ago. Pretending that nobody could have guessed that they would be problems just shows incompetence.
Good things that Labour has announced: If they get elected they will repeal the national standards.
Bad things that Labour has announced: They will "go along; with National's plan to lessen the Emission Trading Scheme. FFS Labour it's not your job to "go along; with National's plans. You're the opposition, so OPPOSE.! Labour is also supporting National in abolishing jury trials for sentences of up to two years. National originally wanted a three year threshold.
National also wanted to abolish the right to silence in some circumstances but couldn't get support from other parties. Good thing we have MMP.
Finally let me just say WE'RE SCREWED this election; who do we vote for? National and Act are for the rich and if you're voting for them I'm sorry but you're an idiot or a complete sadist. Labour is better but its support some of National's (copyright bill. eliminating juries, emissions) policies is unacceptable. With The Greens you could get The BlueGreens which will probably just result in The Greens just agreeing with National like the Maori Party does. New Zealand First leader is a clown. Half the country incorrectly assumes Mana and Hone are racists and Goff ruled out working with them so if he does work with them that would undermine his leadership and Labour will probably get voted out in 2014. WE'RE SCREWED!
Fear not people on the Independent Youth Benefit, National has the answers! No not a job so you can actually contribute to society. It's a payment card!!! YAY!!! Apparently National doesn't trust you to actually budget your own money so has decided to pay utilities and rent for you and give you a payment card so you can purchase food AND NOT CIGARETTES AND BOOZE!!! What do you say? You already can't buy cigarettes and booze anyway by law? Oh National doesn't care about that, it has got to reve up support amongst rednecks! As a bonus for National, you can't vote yet!
Some people on this benefit could have lost their parents or been abused by them. Yes let's make life worst for them by forcing them to show a payment card at the supermarket so everybody can know that they are on a benefit.
How does making the young feel like the poorest members of society build their confidence? Their self-esteem? Heck, even the basic life skill of budgeting?
It's HILARIOUS that National campaigned on the "nanny state" line whining about not being able to use power wasting lightbulbs and and water wasting shower heads but is doing this.
Which is more nanny state? Not being able to use power wasting lightbulbs and water wasting shower heads, or controlling the budgets of thousands of people? Their hypocrisy is outstanding!
This isn't nanny state, this is abusive controlling father state!
It is simply not acceptable of a state to have control of the spending abilities of people! This is Big Brother in it's worst possible form.
Instead of trying to control less fortunate, how about National works to get them jobs by stimulating the local economy? Labour has plans to do it, why won't National? National has had two years to do it and its only answer is trickle down economics which DOESN'T WORK! Tax cuts for the rich won't stimulate the economy, our economy would have picked up dramatically last year if it did work. So far National's only hope appears to be an one time sports event and rebuilding from a natural disaster. This isn't much of an economic plan. They could go on building roads but the jobs it create is not much of a dent in unemployment. National is basically sitting on their hands and hoping things will get better.
Finally one would have to be some kind of moronic right wing blogger to think that the majority of kids won't bypass this. This can be done via food trading for cash, via a landlord charging an inflated price for rent and giving back the tenant cash, or perhaps a tenant is paying the other tenants in cash while the others make up the rent. Assuming these would be in the minority is incredibly naive.