Open Forum – Wednesday

1 February 2017

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

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72 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  February 1, 2017

    Good news – for today anyway! My telco has given me 2 days of unlimited data so I will be able to link my phone and laptop tonight when I get home and give an update on the Commons debate on Article 50. 😎

  2. Missy

     /  February 1, 2017

    Today marks the first day of the debate on the Government’s Article 50 Bill. The debate is continuing, and expected to last until about midnight, Conservative MPs have been told to remain close to Westminster in case the Pro EU lobby call an unexpected vote on the Bill in an attempt to derail the bill.

    Before I start on the debate, a quick look at what is expected.
    SNP and LibDems are all expected to vote against the Bill with up to 100 Labour MPs, including approximately 6 Front Benchers. There has been no indication of how many Conservative MPs are expected to rebel, though last count it was only expected to be a handful.

    Corbyn is enforcing a 3 line whip to vote in favour of the Bill, but it is expected that if too many Labour MPs – especially those on the front benches – vote against the whip then his position may become untenable as Leader. Though we have heard that before, so I am not going to make too much of those predictions. I have seen no reporting on whether the Conservatives are enforcing a whip.

    The Bill is expected to pass the second reading with a large majority in spite of the hardline Europhiles.

    In general the MPs that have spoken have not said anything too unexpected, but a few of the highlights from the debate so far:

    David Davis (Minister for Brexit): David Davis asked if the MPs trusted the people or not. He said this debate is not about whether the UK are leaving the EU (they are), it is just about Parliament empowering the Government to make the decision already made.

    Matthew Pennycook (Labour & a Remainer – he is also my local MP) said in an earlier Blog: He will vote for the Bill, as he believes voting it down will do nothing to secure the UK’s place in the EU, or chasten the hardline Brexiters, but rather will almost certainly trigger a snap election fought exclusively on Brexit that will almost certainly return the Conservatives with a larger majority.

    Keir Starmer (Shadow Brexit Secretary): He said that had the result been Remain Labour would expect the result to be respected – and that cuts both ways.

    Ken Clarke: Compared the PM to Alice in Wonderland.

    Hilary Benn (a Remain MP): Said the democratic thing to do is to vote for the Bill.

    Kate Hoey (a Brexit MP): Said that it was patronising to suggest the British people did not know what they were voting for. She said that it was part of the reason why so many people voted to leave, that they were fed up being treated as if they knew nothing, that those in power knew more than them.

    Sammy Wilson (DUP MP): Said that it would be detrimental to the Union if they had a situation where the devolved parliaments could veto what the rest of the UK voted for.

    Julian Lewis (Conservative): Simply said that the people have decided and he would vote accordingly.

    Emma Reynolds (Labour): Said that to vote against triggering Article 50 or the final deal it would be devastating for he UK.

    George Freeman (Remain MP): Echoed Kate Hoey in saying it was patronising to say the British people didn’t know what they were voting for. He said that proper Democrats cannot say those that voted Leave were ignorant, and they need to respect them. He went on to say that they have a responsibility to restore trust in politics, not score easy points.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative): Said that the absolute right of the people of the UK is to determine how they are Governed. He accused pro Remain MPs of hypocrisy by crying Parliamentary Sovereignty to obstruct the will of the British People, but had no interest in the same thing when power was being dragged from Britain to Brussels.

  3. Zedd

     /  February 1, 2017

    I saw a doco on AlJz, about the Iraq war deceptions.. BUT I dont expect to see: GWB, TonyB, DickC, DonR, or the other neo-CONS before any tribunals, any time soon ?

    They said it was just plain LIES, that they had real evidence of S Husseins WMDs.. the only thing it stands for is ‘weapons of mass deception’. He had NO chemical, biological or nuke bombs & they all knew it. 15 years on & many 1000s dead… a power vacuum filled by Al-Q & ISIL 😦

    “Whose responsible ????”

    • ending it is the priority now zedd

      • Weeeeell, if you take beginning, prosecuting and prolonging it as indications, that may not be true traveller?

        One needn’t be a Looney Leftie conspiracy theorist to entertain ideas there’s more going on here than meets the eye …

        Follow the money … Who benefits?

  4. Gezza

     /  February 1, 2017

    It’s 18 degrees Celsius & raining lightly yet again again in North Welly, but at least the wind has eased to a gentle sea breeze. I wouldn’t say it was gusty earlier but all 13 of the emptied recycling wheelie bins I passed on the way to New World were lying on their side, yellow lid facing South.

    Also, a white chihuahua I met there deserves to become a labrador when he gets to heaven.

    That is all. 1341 hours.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 1, 2017

      So hot here we are taking a Siesta after a trip to Keri and bringing in all the washing dry. Ground is baked hard. Beaches packed. Waited for wife under a big tree down by Waipapa Landing before lunch. Lovely spot and dogs had a good ramble.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 1, 2017

        I tried to pull some weeds the other day and had to give up, it was like pulling them out of concrete and half the time I was just pulling their heads off.Even the hoe was struggling.

        The washing’s dry almost before you’ve finished hanging it out.

        Oh dear, it’s very, very humid. The dog cuddles up to mother and when this is too hot, he becomes a stardog on the tiles.

  5. 23 September 2017. Batten down the hatches for a MMP election!
    Trump choses the youngest Supreme Court Judge in 25 years:Neil Gorsuch. Amazing names?

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 1, 2017

    Surely the Republicans are going to have to rewrite the Senate rulebook to put an end to this sort of nonsense?:

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  February 1, 2017

      Considering they played the same game since last March with the Supreme Court appointment why would they want to?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 1, 2017

        A country can’t run with a dysfunctional government.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 1, 2017

          It’s been dysfunctional for quite some time now.
          Considering Republicans have got the trifecta it should be running smoother than ever.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 1, 2017

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html

        Congress approval ratings have been abysmal for a long time.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 1, 2017

          It’s been controlled by the Republicans for a few years now so no wonder really.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 1, 2017

            It suited them for it to be dysfunctional for Obama. Now it won’t. I can’t imagine Trump letting this nonsense continue.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              So it’s all right when your guys do it but not when the others do, eh?
              Classic du-AL-ity.
              Let’s not forget that this is the country that invented filibustering, it’s in the DNA. It won’t change.
              Trump can’t stop the Democrats from doing anything can he?

              Wiki sez “The president also has the power to nominate federal judges, including members of the United States Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. However, these nominations do require Senate confirmation, and this can provide a major stumbling block for presidents who wish to shape their federal judiciary in a particular ideological stance.”

              Just history repeating.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              That’s not a duality that involves or will concern Trump. He’s there to get stuff done, not to decorate the White House. And if it involves a fight so much the better.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              “That’s not a duality that involves or will concern Trump.”
              You’re not reading what I write again AL.
              I said “So it’s all right when your guys do it but not when the others do, eh?
              Classic du-AL-ity.” (see what I did there?)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              Where did I say it was all right when the Republicans did it? If they change the rules it will apply to them in the future too.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              “It suited them for it to be dysfunctional for Obama. Now it won’t. ”
              It was heavily implied in this.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              Nonsense.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              Not in the context of the conversation from your original post up to that reply. You were saying the rules had to be changed because democrats, but that it was Ok the republicans did it cos it suited them at the time.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              Oh rubbish. I was describing what the Republicans were likely to do, not that what they had previously done was ok.

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              Al seems to arguing Trump has the virtue, drive, & persuasive powers to persuade some potentially opposing Republicans to make the changes?

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              It reads like you approved.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              Only if you put that into it. There is no sense or wording that supports that in my comments on the history.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              There is also your long history of taking anything the left does to be bad and anything the right does to be good that comes into play.
              Moving on.

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              How did you embed that graphic-link to the NYT article, Al?

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              “It suited them for it to be dysfunctional for Obama. Now it won’t. I can’t imagine Trump letting this nonsense continue”

              And … so how do you think he is going to stop it?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              I don’t have that at all. I have a history of strongly criticising Bush and anti-abortion actions and conservative views in general as well as supporting equality under the law for all. When occasionally or by accident the Left does something good I say so.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              @G, I just linked the article and WordPress did it.

              I don’t know enough about the Senate’s rules but since it seems a majority vote can remove the filibuster I imagine it can also deal with this nonsense of refusing a quorum. Perhaps simply by replacing the obstructionists on the committee.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              “How did you embed that graphic-link to the NYT article, Al?”

              It’s some jiggery-pokery on their end.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              Filibusters come about when votes need a super majority, 2/3rd vote.

              “The filibuster is a tactic used to defeat bills and motions by prolonging debate indefinitely. A filibuster may entail long speeches, dilatory motions, and an extensive series of proposed amendments. The Senate may end a filibuster by invoking cloture. In most cases, cloture requires the support of three-fifths of the Senate; however, if the matter before the Senate involves changing the rules of the body – this includes amending provisions regarding the filibuster – a two-thirds majority is required. In current practice, the threat of filibuster is more important than its use; almost any motion that does not have the support of three-fifths of the Senate effectively fails. This means that 41 senators can make a filibuster happen. Historically, cloture has rarely been invoked because bipartisan support is usually necessary to obtain the required supermajority, so a bill that already has bipartisan support is rarely subject to threats of filibuster. However, motions for cloture have increased significantly in recent years.”

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 1, 2017

              Democrats have 46, Rep 52 and 2 independents.

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              Dems probably effectively have 48 – according to Wiki, Bernie Sanders & Angus King are the independents, and both caucus with the Dems. King seems to be a liberal lefty.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 1, 2017

      They’re simply continuing the tradition established by the Republicans when Scalia died and Obama nominated Merrick Garland. Sauce for the goose and all that…

      I don’t recall you being so worked up about the Republicam ‘nonsense’….

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 1, 2017

        The point is it doesn’t matter what I think. It only matters what Trump thinks. And given what the American public thinks most will likely support him.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 1, 2017

          Americans do have some odd sounding names-one can’t do much about a surname, but they seem to go for the oddest first names. Peabody Q Sackblaster.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  February 1, 2017

    It DOESN’T only matter what Trump thinks. Other people supposedly have the right to have their voices heard in a democracy, otherwise it’s a dictatorship. It’s obvious that not everyone can have what they want, but in theory the majority should. Trump appears not to know or care about this.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 1, 2017

      The right to be heard is not a right to veto.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 1, 2017

        That is obvious-as I said. But Trump seems to think that only he has any rights and that what he wants is paramount-now he’s trying to ban the word ‘ban’ when the current fiasco is being reported. He appears not to have read the First Amendment. .

  8. patupaiarehe

     /  February 1, 2017

    Whilst all the malarchy continues over in ‘murka, back here, submissions close tomorrow, on the ‘Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill’. This piece of legislation should be attracting far more controversy than it is. Consider the following (my emphasis):

    General policy statement

    The Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Bill amends Part 2A of the Health Act 1956 by inserting a power for DHBs to make decisions and give directions about the fluoridation of local government drinking water supplies in their areas.

    This power replaces territorial local authorities’ decision-making responsibilities about fluoridation of drinking water. Transferring decision-making to DHBs is expected to enable extended fluoridation coverage, which would improve the status of oral health in New Zealand.

    In deciding whether to make a direction, DHBs will be required to consider scientific evidence and whether the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh the financial costs, taking into account local oral health status, population numbers, and financial cost and savings.

    The Bill also provides 2 offence provisions, which make it an offence for a local government drinking water supplier not to comply with DHB directions on whether a water supply should be fluoridated, and for a local government drinking water supplier to discontinue fluoridating their water where they are already doing so, unless directed not to by the relevant DHB.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 1, 2017

      That’s pretty outrageous legislation on two counts, first enabling a DHB to force costs onto a community and second ignoring the community’s wishes completely.

      • patupaiarehe

         /  February 1, 2017

        So I’m guessing that’s the first you’ve heard of it Alan? Consider paragraph 2 vs paragraph 3…..Considering (or pretending to consider) the ‘evidence’, is just an exercise in PR, if the intent of the law has already been made perfectly clear…

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 1, 2017

        I have made a submission online. Submissions close tomorrow so no time to lose.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 1, 2017

          I made the above two points plus adding that the DHB is given a cost-less to itself opportunity to potentially reduce some of its marginal costs for emergency dental work so it is a biased decision-maker from the start.

          Pretty disgusting effort from Peter Dunne.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  February 1, 2017

            I’ve made one too Alan, raising several other points. One in particular being that DHBs answer to the MOH, rather than ratepayers. What’re your thoughts on it G? He’s your representative…..

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 1, 2017

              Here’s something else that is really interesting. The ‘fluoride’ that is added to drinking water, comes from the chimney scrubbers in fertilizer factories…..
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexafluorosilicic_acid
              This isn’t BS! Our ‘feline friend’ may not be entirely happy to know that the fluoride in Hamiltons’ town water, comes from the ‘fert works’ just outside of Morrinsville…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              I kind of covered that point too:

              I oppose this legislation because
              a) it enables a DHB to impose costs on a community without a mandate,
              b) it requires the DHB to ignore the wishes of the community,
              c) The DHB is a biased decision-maker because it will regard forcing fluoridation as potentially saving itself marginal costs for emergency dental work at absolutely no cost to itself.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 1, 2017

              Nice work Alan. I’d paste my own submission here, but it’s a bit lengthy, and I’d rather not ‘dox’ myself. Funny thing is, out of my little tribe of offspring, who were all raised on unfluoridated water, only my eldest has a single filling, which I suspect is due to him buying lollies with his own money, against my advice. We’ve brought our kids up eating well, & brushing twice a day. I object to having medication forced on myself & my family, to mitigate others poor choices.

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              I’m for fluoridation patu.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 1, 2017

              Please explain why G.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 1, 2017

              That’s not the issue here, G. The question is who should decide everyone’s water is fluoridated by someone else.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 1, 2017

              Hmmm, OK, no explanation forthcoming. While I’m waiting, I’ll share a conversation (which was pretty one sided!) that I had with another ‘anti-fluoridation nutter’ a few weeks back…

              “You know Patu, I think that maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps it really is OK to add something to the water that benefits some, and has unfortunate consequences on others. Fluoride allegedly helps the young, but also allegedly makes old peoples bones weaker. Shouldn’t we be catering to the majority, though? There are far more retirees than kids, here in Tauranga, and I reckon that a lot of old men might have a bit more trouble ‘getting UP in the morning’, than they used to… So why not add a ‘therapeutic dose’ of Sildenafil (Viagra) to the water? Anyone who doesn’t want a ‘stiffy’, has the option to buy bottled water. Personally, I can’t understand why they would want to…”

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              Conversations between nutters are usually good fun. I’ve heard a couple of good ones up at dad’s rest home. Like a skit with Ronnie Barker & Ronnie Corbett having a conversation as two deaf yokels in the local village pub. Both constantly agreeing with what the other said, but having two completely different conversations.

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              I’m persuaded that it’s beneficial and not persuaded that it’s harmful patu.

              That said, I think the community via the council should be able to make the decision, not a DHB.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 1, 2017

              Sildenafil or Fluoride G? 😉

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              Fluoride thanks patu.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 1, 2017

              I know G, was just being silly. That said, if you can find a source for ‘the other one’, you should try it 😉 .

            • Gezza

               /  February 1, 2017

              Late enough for me patu. Quick check of Trumpy’s twitter feed then bedtime for me. Ka kite e hoa.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 2, 2017

              Me too, cya 2moro

  9. I see Mr English has announced 23/9.. but in the interim, i read that the Cannabis Party (ALCP) have announced they have confirmed a candidate to stand in the Mt Albert by-election, this month 🙂

  10. Gezza

     /  February 1, 2017