Screaming taxes

There’s a lot of screaming about taxes on the union left. Here’s an example from Mike Treen in Too Little, too late? at The Daily Blog:

I remember watching a televised debate in despair between John Key and David Cunliffe in the 2014 election where Key baited Cunliffe over wanting to increase taxes and the then Labour Party leader David Cunliffe had no answer. I wanted to scream at the TV screen.

“Just tell the people you will reduce taxes on ordinary kiwis and hit the rich who pay little or no tax today. Tell the people that John Key is a liar because he increased taxes and charges on most people when he had run on a promise to reduce taxes for everyone. The only people to actually get a tax cut were his rich mates.”

That in depth understanding of tax comes from National Director of Unite Union and spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

And his take on the current political situation:

The only thing going for Labour at the moment is the high likelihood that we will have a deep recession before the next election. National’s self-cultivated image of being competent economic managers will be dealt a significant blow. Whether it is enough to see them defeated is another question.

For that to happen Labour needs to significantly lift its game. We need less of Andrew Little the shifty lawyer and more of the Andrew Little I remember when he was a union leader speaking to mass rallies of workers with force, directness, clarity and vision. I assume he is still there somewhere.

He wants Labour and the country run like a union.



Kelsey and Coates on protests

Chris Trotter has also posted Making It Stop: Taking stock of 4 February 2016, with some thoughts about the way forward at The Daily Blog.

In that he thanked anti-TPPA organisers Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates:

SOME TRIBUTES FIRST, then an apology. To Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates I can only say thank you. Demonstrations like the one I marched in yesterday don’t just happen. They are the product of hours and days and years of hard work, during which people fight not only against loneliness and fatigue, but against the insidious thought that their unceasing efforts might all be in vain.

Observing the glowing faces of Jane and Barry, as they rode down Queen Street yesterday afternoon, it was their selfless commitment to battling on, heedless of setbacks and against all odds, that brought tears to my eyes. Once again, thank you.

Both Kelsey and Coates have responded.

Barry Coates:

Thanks for the article, Chris and to TDB for the great coverage.

It’s Our Future is planning the next stages in the campaign, and we need to do it soon, because Todd McClay says their ‘selling’ of the TPPA is underway, the National Interest Statement will go into Parliament soon and their ‘roadshow’ is happening in February and March.

We have some plans underway, but would welcome ideas and debate in TDB, FB pages (TPPA Action Group, It’s Our Future, TPPA I’m Ready for Action) etc.

Our aim is to defeat the TPPA, either by not allowing it to be ratified or if that’s not possible, exiting asap. Comments also welcome to

Andrew Little said yesterday Labour would not pull out of the TPPA:

Pulling out would would be um is way more difficult than it is to kind of roll off the tongue and lets pull out.

So no, we won’t pull out, but what we will do is fight tooth and nail to stop those things that are undermining New Zealanders’ democratic rights. Cause we have too. Cause we stood for that for decades and we’ll continue to do that.

Jane Kelsey:

Thanks Chris, but also we also need to recognise the great work from team Auckland, who have been tireless for several years of organising and especially Chantelle who has tried to balance work, kiddies and coordination, to the hikoi from up north, especially Reuben, and those who came from around the country who have been doing great work there.

It’s the breadth of people and places that have really hit home in opposition to the TPPA and which must serve to get unequivocal statements from Labour, NZ First and Maori Party that they will not bring the agreement into force if they are part of the government if and when that time comes.

Ben pointed out: “Have you not seen Little’s equivocal statement?”

Little’s latest statement:   Little: “we won’t pull out” of TPPA


TDB Current Affairs

Martyn Bradbury has been hinting at a new media venture for a while and today he revealed what it would be – a current affairs thing going up against TV One’s Seven Sharp and Three’s Story.

TDB will announce next week a new 7.01pm Current Affairs show to go head to head with Story and 7 Sharp. It starts at 7.01pm so you as the viewer can look at the right wing shit served up on Seven Sharp and the right wing crap served up on Story and quickly realise there is NOTHING intellectual going on there and you can swap over to watch us at 7.01pm.

The 4th estate have abdicated their obligations to democracy, it’s time for the 5th estate to step up and do what they can’t.

We can either blame the media or be the media.

Details next week.

I’m not sure what the thinking is behind trying to compete with two existing sort of current affairs shows. There’s more affairs in another 7 o’clock show, Shortland Street, and more viewers.

Bradbury’s Twitter profile sounds a bit manic and a bit optimistuic,

Martyn Bradbury

Martyn Bradbury


Editor- The 5th estate has an obligation & responsibility to overthrow the 4th estate for dereliction of duty. If you can’t join them, beat them.

Improving the 4th estate by overthrowing it seems like a novel idea. Just imagine getting all our news of Bradbury because all the alternatives have been overthrown.

Having a media that understands how great they are is one way the fanatics think that suddenly everyone will vote for their politics so we will get a proper government.

I thought The Daily Blog was supposed to be the next big thing but that was going to win the 2014 election for Internet-Mana wasn’t it? Perhaps Bradbury has learnt from what went wrong there.

Martyn Media, Whale Oil Media, I guess they could be marvellous but I’ll save judgement until I have tuned in at 7.01 pm next week. I wonder what day it will be, there’s cricket on Monday.

Bradbury does hysterical

Martyn Bradbury sounds hysterical in Key U-Turn on Waitangi Day.

Key has played all of this very poorly.

Telling NZers they would get a say on the TPPA in Parliament.

Deny the deal is being signed in Auckland.

Deny the deal is being signed at SkyCity.

Start a fight with Maori over the TPPA by signing days before Waitangi Day.

Threaten to not turn up at Waiting Day.

Then having to u-turn on that decision because not turning up would be so damaging.

All Key has done is ensure the protest is massive, and that’s what National are trying for now, knowing they can rally redneck support if events turn ugly.

Key going to Waitangi Day will be based on how Police treat protestors tomorrow. If it’s heavy handed and there is anger at the way Police behave, Waitangi could erupt.

That post isn’t well supported by comments.

Dreams and screams of riots and revolutions over the last few days seem to be addling his judgement. Not for the first time.

Also at The Daily Blog Chris Trotter is hoping on the revolution.

If protecting our national sovereignty and defending our democracy become the battle-cries of the 2017 General Election, then the entire neoliberal project will be threatened.

So, march tomorrow/today as if your independence and your freedom depends on it – because they do.

For Independence and Freedom: March against the TPPA! Or something.

There are a number of signs that the TPPA is being used as a means of winning the election next year with a left wing revolution.

The anti-asset sales strategy didn’t work out very well last term.

It didn’t just happen

A misleading Martyn Bradbury headline: That thing Key promised was unlikely to happen with the TPPA just happened

Beyond the spin that NZers would have a say about the TPPA, beyond the lies of how much money it will make us, beyond the fact it’s an American geopolitical strategy to counter China in the pacific – is the terrifying reality that the TPPA opens NZ up to foreign corporations suing us if domestic law costs them money.

Key say’s it’s unlikely to happen – it just did.

Except that it didn’t just happen under the TPPA.

The thing that is happening between Canada and the US is under the North American Free Trade Agreement and has nothing to do with the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which hasn’t yet been signed or ratified and hasn’t come into effect yet.

Bradbury goes on to sort of acknowledge this…

…by signing the TPPA and having it ratified by the necessary members John Key is signing away our ability to pass domestic law without costing us millions in legal fees and opening us up to potentially massive damage claims from unscrupulous corporates.

But as we know Bradbury’s frantic ranting is hard to take seriously. He is in the ‘trade deal bad’ and ‘corporation bad’ club.

I wonder how many members of the unions who support The Daily Blog (presumably financially) owe their employment to corporations?

And I wonder how many of them owe their employment to trade deals?

I suspect the jobs of some members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union are at least partly reliant on imports and exports that happen because of trade deals.

TPPA process corrects claims of lying

Some people are jumping up and down prematurely over the claimed planned signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on February 4.

The signing, whenever it happens, is just another step in the process prior to countries ratifying the agreement.

Frank Macskasy has claimed the John Key has lied (again) about consultation over the TPPA.

The Mendacities of Mr Key # 15: John Key lies to NZ on consultation and ratification of TPPA 

At every opportunity, our esteemed Dear Leader and other National MPs and Ministers have been eager to assure New Zealanders that the text of the  TPPA would be submitted to a select committee; scrutinised, and ratified by Parliament before it was signed.

Key’s assurances were seemingly air-tight.  (Though I, for one, am always skeptical of any assertion made by our esteemed Dear Leader.)

Macskasy then quotes a media statement from Chile’s General Directorate of International Economic Relations head and the Mexican financial periodical, El Financiero along with Google translations (that’s risky).

And he also says “according to Bloomberg  the impending signing-ceremony is confirmed by the Peruvians”:

Peru’s Trade and Tourism Ministry (Mincetur) confirmed that Deputy Trade Minister Edgar Vasquez, the country’s TPP negotiator, will be on hand for the signing ceremony in New Zealand.

Macskasy then claims:

The fourth of February is five days before Parliament resumes sitting, on 9 February.

Which makes a lie out of Key’s promises that the TPPA would be put before the House for Select Committee scrutiny and Parliamentary over-sight. By the time Parliament resumes, the TPPA will have been ratified by all participants according to the Chileans, Mexicans,  and Peruvians.

It is clear that National was planning on “pulling a swiftie” by keeping the ratification date secret from the public.

National has (again)  been caught attempting to deceive the public.

It beggars belief that they really thought no one would notice.

Any government that has to employ deception to enact policy is afraid of it’s own people. National is not fit to govern.

But Jane Kelsey explains in comments that the signing, whenever it happens (it sounds like some countries have confirmed they are ok for February but not all have confirmed yet so it can’t be officially announced), is a step prior to the TPPA being considered by New Zealand’s Parliament and possible at least parts of it being voted on.

OK, it is REALLY important that people start to understand the process here. If you can’t spend the time to read the 28 page version on here is the ABC

  1. The 12 countries have AGREED THE CONTENT of the deal (although there are still arguments about it especially in the US Congress and they want changes).
  2. Obama had to give 90 days NOTICE BEFORE HE COULD SIGN the TPPA.
  3. That notice expires on 3 February 2016 and they will SIGN the deal.
  4. After it is signed each country will begin its PROCESS FOR RATIFICATION. In NZ THE EXECUTIVE (CABINET) HAS THE POWER TO RATIFY, ie make it binding on NZ.
  5.  Here that involves TABLING THE TPPA and National Interest analysis in the House.
  6. They will be REFERRED TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE for submissions but even if the select committee recommended changes the Cabinet could ignore them.
  7. The HOUSE MAY OR MAY NOT GET TO VOTE on the agreement; that will depend on whether the government thinks Labour will support it. but it can make it a confidence vote if it needs to. And even if the House voted against it the Executive (Cabinet) can still ratify it.
  8. The only thing the Parliament really has a say on is PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION THAT IS NEEDED FOR NZ TO MEET ITS OBLIGATIONS.
  9. Proposed legislation WILL GO TO A SELECT COMMITTEE. it is likely to involve only 4 things: tariffs, trade remedies, copyright and maybe patents, and foreign investment threshold.
  10. PARLIAMENT WILL GET TO VOTE AND CAN REJECT THE LEGISLATION. But government can make it a confidence vote to make sure it passes.
  11. Even IF THE BILL FAILS IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE TPPA. It just means if the government ratifies it NZ will be in breach.
  12. The US CONGRESS & PRESIDENT CAN REQUIRE NZ to do more or it won’t bring the TPPA into force.

There is a much more detailed explanation please read

That’s quite a Government-skeptical view but at least it details the processes involved.

Riots and “a sub state, not a nation”

Martyn Bradbury is hitting the new year with a bang – or is it another whimper of hot air?

He claims that if the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is signed there will be “no point voting in any election after it”as New Zealand “will effectively be a sub state, not a nation”.

Perhaps this illustrates that Bradbury is a sub activist who is giving up on democracy because few vote for what he wants.

If he wasn’t generally impotent there could be some concern about him trying to talk up riots – TPPA to be signed SkyCity 4th Feb – is it time to riot or protest?

Our resistance to date has been focused on protest. If we are serious about protecting NZs economic sovereignty, maybe we need to recognise protest now must become civil disobedience if we are to shut this down.

And shut it down we must.

It is most likely going to be signed at SkyCity – now is the time it plan, plot and organise to shut this down. If this deal gets signed there is no point voting in any election after it as we will effectively be a sub state, not a nation.

Waitangi Day 2016 will be worthless if the TPPA is signed – every single believer in our sovereignty must converge on Auckland on the 4th to shut this down.

The time for confrontation is now.

Bradbury and other activists have been protesting and campaigning against the TPPA for years without success.

Now he seems to want to escalate protest to confrontation, civil disobedience and rioting.

This might be concerning if it wasn’t for the likelihood this rant for riot is a dud that will bomb. It’s not the first time that Bradbury has posted about rioting.

February 2015: Will ‘Social Housing’ evictions be the riot spark in NZ?

Thousands of State House tenants the Government deem as too rich will be evicted. That’s Police and Bailiffs having to drag tenants out. Social media will make these evictions flash points.

One of the interesting bits of info that turned up looking at the recent Queen st brawl was that much of the posturing had been done on social media between both factions of the gangs involved, imagine if that transmission turns from organising fights to stopping mates being dragged out of their homes? Hundreds of young people descending on Police dragging people out of their homes from suburbs they regard as home.

Live streaming of evictions and calls to defend them have all the ingredients for a resistance to explode out of control of the Police.

State House evictions could cost the Government far more than they are prepared for.

He appears to be hoping or promoting social media initiated “flash points” and “resistance to explode out of control”.

Rioting doesn’t look like a recent interest of Bradbury’s. Back in 2011 at Tumeke (pre-Daily Blog):  Could a riot happen in NZ?

Seeing that social alienation and poverty create the conditions ripe for riot, shouldn’t we in NZ reflect upon the draconian austerity measures our own Government are adopting?

Canterbury University academic Bronwyn Hayward believes the tensions igniting the UK are simmering here in NZ and Winston Peters goes two steps further and really drives the point home that our staggering youth unemployment rate is a genuine danger and breeding the ground in which these riots erupt.

The Rugby World Cup has all the ingredients of a riot on Queen street brewing.

The promise of democracy is that you can look into the face of your child and know they will get a better deal than you did. When democracy can’t promise that because the economy has been crashed by corporate greed, people riot. It happened throughout the 1930’s post the 1929 collapse and it’s happening now. 

You reap what you sow.

Bradbury sows hot air and hopes of revolution. With hot air there is little that can be reaped.

Prast aghast

I don’t know anything about Simon Prast but can work out his political preferences from his Top 10 politicians of 2015 post at The Daily Blog. From three of his picks.

2. Kelvin Davis: for speaking truth to power, for actually getting off his arse in Wellington and travelling to Christmas Island to determine the plight of NZ detainees, for relentlessly pursuing and exposing Serco’s scandalous incompetence and fraud. He walks his talk. Made me proud to have voted Labour.

5. Marama Davidson: for her courage and compassion, for hitting the ground running, a working mother who actually believes in something. A political superstar in the making.

9. John Key: for being an easy, sleazy, smug rich prick who makes fun of those less fortunate, for using his considerable talents for the betterment of the wealthy at the expense of the poor, for being a royal-name-dropping-All-Black-arse-licking-star-fucker (and these are his good points). Makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander. Should be sent to the shower block on Christmas Island immediately.

Davidson has some potential but she has only been in Parliament for five minutes (ok, she replaced Russel Norman at the end of October). She has been talked up (and has talked herself up) for some time within the Green bubble.

Time will tell whether how she manages the reality of Parliament where people will actually contest her hype.

Prast’s comments about Key are typical of the extreme left (extreme in their attack, not necessarily political leaning).

His reference to “the shower block on Christmas Island” demonstrates an extreme double standard. Key was strongly criticised for being involved in a soap ‘joke’ on radio.

One commenter, David, pointed this out:

I thought when JK was accused of bad judgement when a radio station made fun of prison rape that this was a very bad thing yet I item 9 above it says ” be sent to the shower block on Christmas Island immediately. ”

Pot, meet kettle

To date two have disagreed with this, five have given it a thumb up.

Prast’s tenth pick:

10. Adolf Hitler: for achieving the remarkable distinction of being compared to ISIS and Donald Trump in the same week, for being the politician behind VW and the inspiration for its outrageous marketing propaganda, for enduring more hilariously inappropriate internet memes than any other living politician. Uncredited set and costume designer for the evil baddies in the latest Star Wars. For having one testicle (that’s still one more than John Key).

I’m not sure if that’s trying to be funny or it’s just garbled bile.

Stuart Nash bashes The Standard

Labour’s Napier MP Stuart Nash has a guest post in a monthly series at The Daily Blog – TDB Guest Blog Project – Stuart Nash: ‘The most pressing issue in NZ right now’.

In it he almost promotes and praises Whale Oil, and takes a swipe at The Standard and people on the left who want the freedom to express themselves.

He first says:

Everything Labour does from now until Election Day 2017 must contribute towards a Labour victory.  For every strategic and operational initiative, the question needs to be asked “is this contributing towards a win in 2017?”  If it doesn’t then drop it, don’t say it and keep clear of it.

Then on Whale Oil:

My experience is that our supporters, while just as passionate, are not so disciplined.  We love to hate Whale Oil and yet we give him strength, purpose, relevance and breathe life into every pore of his existence time and time again by publicly throwing metaphorical mud at those with whom we are supposed to have a political affinity.

Labour once had a blog for MPs called Red Alert, and the rumour around at the time was that Cameron Slater wanted this closed down.  Then I found out the opposite was true: it gave him some of his best material due to the occasional ill-disciplined MP.

Red Alert was a self inflicted wound, with Trevor Mallard and Clare Curran wielding the ban swords.

Our supporters have the same impact when they squabble, bitch and back-stab on so-called ‘left-friendly’ sites like The Standard (a dreadful 21st century bastardisation of a once proud Labour broadsheet).

Sounds like some bitterness directed at The Standard there, but the ‘labour left’ blog has probably done more damage than anything to Labour over the past seven years. It’s hard to know how much potential support they have driven away.

Criticising your favourite Labour MP is not the route to victory, no matter what you think of their philosophies, hair or politics.

If you feel so aggrieved by something an MP has said, written or done, then email them personally and you are more likely to get a response and, just perhaps, an explanation.

What will their Labour MP do? Shove some letter box leaflets at them and tell them to shut up?

But ill-disciplined rants typed from an anonymous keyboard will only provide Mr Slater and Mr Farrar with a wealth of information and powerful ammunition to fire back with twice the impact.

So is Nash suggesting The Standard should clamp down on any Labour dissent? That’s one of the things that destroyed the credibility of Red Alert.

If you want to change the government, then get behind the cause and become an advocate for the lines the leader is leading with, because there is a reason why we have taken the stance we have.  95% of the time it’s because it’s what we believe is right; but occasionally, the politics of political pragmatism must rule.  That’s how you win, and that’s why we are here.

Whoa. That sounds like “toe the line and spin the line”. The Party rules, ok!

So Labour want a compliant membership and they want left leaning blogs to devote their efforts to spinning for the leadership.

That’s an awful approach to democracy in social media. And it’s an approach that has failed for seven years.

I don’t know if this is Nash’s own views or if they have the approval of the party hierarchy.

Perhaps he has followed his own advice – “get behind the cause and become an advocate for the lines the leader is leading with”.

He deserves to get blasted back by individuals at The Standard. If Labour still believes that silent obedience is the way back into power then I grieve for the corruption of modern democracy, where wider participation and diverse views should be encouraged and nurtured, and not told to shut up.

The Standard hasn’t done Labour any favours over the last few years but the Labour Caucus has self inflicted more damage and that looks like continuing.

“What we are witnessing in real time is a growing Police State”

Martin ‘Bombastic’ Bradbury posted Why the latest details on the Police harassment of Nicky Hager should lead every news bulletin

The true scope of Police harassment directed at Nicky Hager should send a deep chill through each and every NZer.

What we are witnessing in real time is a growing Police State with all the casual fascism of a book burning around a BBQ.

There’s certainly cause for possible concern and certainly scope for clarification about how banks may hand information over to the Police, but that seems to be a tad over dramatic.

The Police have also understood the deep negative egalitarian anti-intellectualism that infects the NZ psyche. The desire to hold the powerful to account is perceived by this culturally cringed rump of NZ as being a smart arsed stirrer who simply  by their ability to string together a coherent question makes them a target for ‘oh-you-think- you’re-smarter-than-me’ styled resentment.

The cops know this and know that their extraordinary harassment of Hager will be ignored by the mainstream media and will be seen as just desserts by rump NZers who still think the biggest issue with Dirty Politics is that Hager used stolen e-mails.

He ignores the fact that the Herald published  Police got Hager data without court order yesterday, except that he then quotes from it. Radio NZ and Newstalk ZB also reported on it.

…this is clear evidence of the NZ Police bullying and threatening companies with adverse legal ramifications if they don’t hand over information on a  journalist who had embarrassed the aGovernment – note, not one bloody search order or warrant has been signed, this is just the NZ Police using threats.

I haven’t seen any evidence of bullying or threatening, and Bradbury provides none.

This abuse of police power to attempt to arrest a journalist who embarrassed the Government should lead every news bulletin in this country, but because our mainstream media have deteriorated into clickbait entertainment banality, the ramifications of this type of abuse of power aimed at journalists holding the powerful to account isn’t explained to voters.

No wonder National are still polling near 50%.

He also provides a visual link of national to the Police actions.

David Fisher in the Herald article also provided an indirect of National to Westpac releasing information to the Police.

No wonder Internet-Mana polled 1.42% in last year’s election (I think Bradbury was confident of them beating the 5% threshold) and is nowhere to be seen.

The problem with all these conspiracies is that important issues get drowned by dodgy dramatics.


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