Open Forum – Friday

1 December 2017

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53 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  December 1, 2017

    Has Chris Trotter ever been a MP

    • I don’t think so. He has worked for unions and has been on the New Zealand council of the Labour Party, but I don’t recall him standing for political office.

      He has some interesting things to say at times, but is not particularly politically astute.

      “In February 2008, he said that Helen Clark should stand down before the election and be replaced by Phil Goff, who he thought may have been Labour’s only hope of regaining ground with struggling families. He has since recanted, arguing that Goff should have stood down in his turn before the New Zealand general election, 2011, arguing that David Cunliffe should replace him.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/282462

      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2010/08/leader-labour-needs-to-have.html

      “Jacinda Ardern cannot, therefore, rely upon the overt and covert assistance of a strategically located ruling-class faction convinced that they have seen the future – and that it works. If she is to be swept into power on a mighty wave of change, then its energy will not come from those who scheme and plot upon the heights, but from the anger of those no longer willing to suffer silently in free-market capitalism’s abysmal depths.”

      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/08/friends-in-high-places-will-jacinda-be.html

    • lurcher1948

       /  December 1, 2017

      He was making a big issue on transparency on Radio Live last night” from the left and right” on the Iranian green MPs cv so i checked his Wikipedia bio out and it said Chris Trotter and underneath New Zealand Politician. I would say thats sexing up your importance in the media far worse than the green MPs.Check it out,

      • lurcher1948

         /  December 1, 2017

        I read his bio on my smart phone, so Wikipedia might have thought he was a politician

      • I think it’s just how categories are used on Wikipedia,

        Categories: 1956 births | Living people | New Zealand columnists | New Zealand left-wing activists | New Zealand Labour Party politicians | NewLabour Party (New Zealand) politicians | Bruce Jesson Memorial lecturers | Political people stubs | New Zealand politician stubs | New Zealand writer stubs

  2. lurcher1948

     /  December 1, 2017

    Another day another attack post on Golriz Ghahraman from nationals attack poodle David Farrar, you have to attack her so no one attacks the Chinese communist import in the national party

    • PDB

       /  December 1, 2017

      Too hard for you to argue against Lurch? Great post by Farrar, with facts to back up his claims;

      “Now maybe the mistake happening once or twice could be a genuine mistake. But only the most demented people could look at this and not conclude there was a deliberate effort to leave the impression she was a prosecutor, not defender in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia.”

      • lurcher1948

         /  December 1, 2017

        Shes there to stay and Farrar and the mason clinic imates are yapping at her ankle.9 MORE YEARS FARRAR hahahaha

        • PDB

           /  December 1, 2017

          She is now a discredited MP Lurch – a lame duck entirely of her own making.

      • lurcher1948

         /  December 1, 2017

        WHO CARES, really other than the demented sore loser right WHO CARES,

        • PDB

           /  December 1, 2017

          Well no one will now care about whatever Golriz comes out with next….Phil Quin cares and he is left-wing.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 1, 2017

    Lefties commissioning Lefty reports: Last week Twyford appointed three independent experts – economist Shamubeel Eaqub, University of Otago Professor of Public Health Philippa Howden-Chapman and the Salvation Army’s Alan Johnson – to lead an independent stocktake of the housing crisis.

    Obviously Labour doesn’t want the bureaucrats to offer independent advice, they want their cronies to tell them what they want to hear. Not a good sign following on from Cullen’s appointment. Ideological policy advice is a recipe for trouble.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 1, 2017

      Darn. Left out a slash. Last para should not be in italics.

      • Blazer

         /  December 1, 2017

        when did you acquire this great faith in..bureaucrats Al?

        • Gezza

           /  December 1, 2017

          😄 👍🏼

          • phantom snowflake

             /  December 1, 2017

            Hey Gezza, this is a belated reply to a comment of yours about non-voting. Ironically; I did vote this time but it turned out to be a “wasted vote.” My internal conversation went something like this: “Yeah, none of those parties represent my views, but enough about me, maybe I could vote for the party who might be best for the country?” So it was not you alone who was responsible for giving the Kiss Of Death to the Maori Party. Shit I’ve actually voted twice in a row; previously for the Internet Party. There was no way I could resist a party that had a whole policy specifically about Dolphins!

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              Oh, I never voted for the wrong Party, snowy. It was Corks who posted that I’d destroyed it or whatever silly nonsense it was that made me smile but just ignore it because it didn’t rark me up & didn’t obviously dignify a response.

              I voted for the correct party for good reasons. It just happened that not enough other people did so. I also voted for Labour via my Candidate vote. I’m waiting to see whether that was a good choice or not. Voting’s always a punt. Not voting’s a cop out or laziness, imo.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  December 1, 2017

              Gezza the parties on offer here in Aotearoa/New Zealand represent only a very narrow portion of the political spectrum; roughly from centre-left to centre-right. In my view those sitting in the “middle” with a Centrist perspective are particularly prone to being oblivious of this fact. It’s absolutely untrue that communists, anarchists of many types, fascists, neo-nazis for example may not vote because they are “lazy” or “copping out.” They have no-one to vote for!

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              They have no-one to vote for!
              Well, they should be happy then & stop whinging. The no one, that they apparently like, was elected.

              Other options I guess include that they can find a candidate whose political philosophy they like, or they can even be a candidate themselves, & start campaigning early to get the numbers & funding needed to register to stand for the next election.

              Or they can try to persuade people that the entire electoral system, education system, financial system, welfare system, business system, governance arrangements etc should all be bent into a form that allows a tiny minority of persons holding viewpoints not held by the great majority of others to get an equal say to everybody else in a Parliament composed of parties that represent more widely held shared viewpoints.

              Or they can occupy an Island or territory somewhere, secede, & go it alone.

              Their best bet, I would have thought, is to convince enough others they have a better way to gain enough supporters to stand a chance of getting elected. If they can’t, whining about not having anyone to represent them, or that the world is not working the way they want it to, doesn’t usually cut much ice with me. Because what use would such a representative be if they can’t persuade others they’re worth a vote?

              Alternatively they can join another party closer to their perspective & change its policies through their persuasive abilities.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  December 1, 2017

              I honestly can’t tell if you are serious or taking the piss. In case you are serious, you obviously have no conception of what it might be like to live outside your Centrist bubble. Try using some imagination man!

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              I did. You didn’t like it. Don’t vote for me. And I won’t vote for you. Sorted.

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              Also, I don’t think I’m actually a “centrist”. I think there’s a better way of running the world but until something happens to persuade every nation to change from the current models for something that works better for everyone’s AGREED best interests, I go with whatever I think is the best of what’s available as rational choices at the current time. And good luck with getting everyone to agree on what’s in their best interests. This is where utopian ideas always fall over.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  December 1, 2017

              What you have described as “whinging” and “whining” is merely daring to express an opinion that is outside the mainstream. To me, dissent is a wondrous thing; if nothing else it adds colour, shape and texture.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 1, 2017

              “Yet a State can be imagined that would satisfy the most stringent demands of ethics” – Frank E Warner

              But we won’t attempt to bring this about until the whole world has agreed to do it. And we agree to letting them agree at an international forum like the United Nations …

              And we won’t leave our comfort zones no matter how uncomfortable they become …

              I like your style phantom snowflake …

            • phantom snowflake

               /  December 1, 2017

              Cheers PZ. “Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.” (Jacob Bronowski)

            • Gezza

               /  December 2, 2017

              I’ve got no problem with anyone expressing dissent snowflake. Dissent without a workable alternative solution to a perceived problem is also ok, though it smacks of whining & wanting someone else to solve the dissenter’s problem. The problem I see quite often though is dissenters whom a helluva lot more others dissent with. Each dissenter naturally considers their own dissent more pertinent. Pretty much the same in any society. The primitive cooperative village deciding where to build the new long house collectively decides to build it near the river. One dissenter wants it built near his jungle crop. Where will it be built?

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 2, 2017

              Nice quote phantom snowflake …

              “But just as they did in Philadelphia when they were writing the constitution, sooner or later, you’ve got to compromise. You’ve got to start making the compromises that arrive at a consensus and move the country forward” – Colin Powell

              Here’s me quoting a militarist hypocrite who believes he’s authored his very own doctrine of life … “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence” … Oh well …

              Nonetheless, there is something in his quote about compromise and consensus, and I honestly see the people we loosely call ‘Righties’ – fiercest keepers of cultural insanity, along with plenty of Lefties – as being the ones unwilling to compromise …

              Heck, they seem unwilling to even come to the table and engage in a collaborative search for consensus …

            • phantom snowflake

               /  December 2, 2017

              Gezza: “Each dissenter naturally considers their own dissent more pertinent” Well, not necessarily. Dissent, and its expression are very important to me, but I certainly don’t consider my opinions to be more pertinent/important than those of others.I have found, in a team environment that honest and open expressions of dissent can actually be part of a process of reaching consensus, a consensus that is much more rock solid than one built on conformity.

            • Gezza

               /  December 2, 2017

              Tautoko that, except for your last few lines.

              You don’t know me from a bar of soap, snowflake, nor what my political views are, nor what my values are – & I don’t know you, or yours, so perhaps if you don’t, quite incorrectly, accuse me again of “conformity” & of being a “centrist”, we could end this discussion here & never have to have another one along the same same lines.

              Have a think. Don’t get back to me. I’ve said all I need to say on this.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  December 2, 2017

              My mention of “conformity” was not at all aimed at you. I was thinking about the subject of reaching consensus, and contrasting different styles of achieving this. One that involved dissenting views being expressed and considered, the other that involved group members quickly agreeing to mainstream, majority views.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 1, 2017

          When I saw the slanted advisers Labour is choosing, B.

          • PartisanZ

             /  December 1, 2017

            National or Labour (or anyone else now, with the possible exception of TOP), it doesn’t matter, an independent public service is a way long gone-burger …

            A Labour-led government simply can’t trust the current crop of bureaucrats, installed by National, not to be Rightie implants embedded in the system to counter their “Long March” paranoia …

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              Well, that’s incorrect. The Public Service owes allegiance to the government of the day. The relationship is that direct. And it gets it. CEO’s, whose fat salaries are more than ever dependent on grovelling to their Ministers, switch allegiance immediately. Their only obligation – for self-preservation as much as anything else – is to make sure somewhere in their reports or Cabinet Papers to Ministers is mention of any risks to the Government. That way if it’s a disaster their hands are clean.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 1, 2017

              I don’t mind them not trusting bureaucrats, PZ. But I do mind them choosing such a ridiculously one-dimensional advisory group.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 1, 2017

              Meantime business is sponsoring Think Tank sophistry, Lobbyists and who knows what else to give governments impartial advice, right Alan?

              I’d take some convincing of your assertion Gezza … I think you are talking post-1984 …

              Convince me otherwise …

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              I don’t give a toss whether you believe me or not PZ. Nor am I going to indulge you in trying to correct your erroneous belief. I worked in the Government Head Office environment close enough to the action & interactions between CEO’s and senior officials of my own & other departments charged with developing, operationalising, reviewing, & implementing policy changes for 30 of my 33 years. We were all required to work in compliance with the State Services & Official Secrets Acts & SSC codes of conduct which were very specific & very clear about who we were ultimately employed by, responsible to, & expected to obey.

              The Goverment employee at any level is no different from any other employee in that respect. Fuck with the boss at your peril.

              The only difference I could ever see is that if the Government or Minister stuff things up for the Department administering their portfolio, they might replace the Minister, the CEO, or some other poor devil lower down the food chain, but their Department as a business business will never go bankrupt because they sometimes don’t give a bugger about customer / client feedback, whether their customer / client likes their “product”, & whether they’re making a profit or loss – because the money come from taxpayers, not private owners, shareholders & investors.

          • PartisanZ

             /  December 1, 2017

            I understand you have personal experience …

            So about when did government departments become “business units”?

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              It was an evolutionary process driven by the SSC that followed the Douglas administration. I’d have to check my CV to see from some job descriptions when it evolved fully into a business model. From the Bolger/Richardson administration on we had a rolling succession of 3-5 yearly business-derived MBA type strategies that came with every new CEO or one of their infernal regular restructurings.

              Talking to other Government employees you got to know waiting at the station or on the train over the years it was ” Oh, you’ve got that one – we had that one two years ago!”

              They weren’t all bad, or bullshit though. I still remember the first one – derived from an American company business model called Management By Objectives – cosmetically tweaked in our department to be called Objective Based Management (OBM) and called unaffectionately by us Old Black Magic!

              It came with a whole heap of slidesows & diagrams & PR-speak & totally unnecessary technobabble & minute analysis that made perfectly ordinary concepts sound as confusing as hell, all the staff & half the managers didn’t understand it or see the point of it – but in a nutshell the novel approach it demanded was that you looked at every policy, and criteria, and process, and asked “what is the objective here? What EXACTLY is this activity supposed to achieve? And is this achieving that objective, or is it actually just going on because it started to some years back & nobody ever said its no longer needed.

              I started working for the government in 1973. This first business management model was implemented around 1988 I think. What struck me about it, once I discounted all the tons of burble a consultant got paid to make something so simple sound so complicated, & looked at the guts of it, it became clear that, up until then, nobody from the top to the bottom had actually thought about that. There were people keeping & reporting monthly stats nobody any longer had any use for, for example.

              I realised that the who,e Department was sometimes just “doing stuff” that had no real practical purpose – stopping it saved wasted time, resource & money. It also meant people developing policy had to start working out in specfic terms when developing & operationalising policy, exactly what the objectives were. Crazy as it seems now – this was novel.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 1, 2017

              So you went from doing stuff not knowing why … to not knowing why you were doing stuff …? Nah, kidding … thanks for sharing Gezza.

              I’ve always believed, but seldom say, because of my PartisanZ position here, that neoliberalism has its good and bad aspects, or more correctly healthy and unhealthy aspects … useful and injurious …

              This doesn’t change my opinion that what we instigated post-1984 qualified as throwing the baby out with the bathwater …

              Or change my overall opinion that neoliberalism as an ideology is essentially like a capitalist blockade against the freedom of thought and ‘being’ that emerged in the 60s and early 70s … AND, I hazard a guess, many a commentator here was a pro-active agent in?

              So what role does personal disillusionment play in accepting the tenets of Rogerednomics, Ruthanasia, the FIIRE economy and so forth? “If I can’t have it, damned if anyone else will!”

              The very harshest neoliberalism has been ameliorated somewhat – down to the austerity model – largely because of its own self-induced disasters –
              and will have to be unraveled a whole lot more to achieve anything approaching a “fair & equitable” society.

              When we write “fair and equitable” on our new provisional Constitution, who on here is going to disagree with the use of those words?

            • Gezza

               /  December 1, 2017

              Oh there’s no question they threw the baby out with the bathwater. At least two of our major restucturings were straight downsizing, due to reduced government funding. Each was presented as the result of an organisational review to identify core functions & responsibilities, introduce efiiciences & contract out jobs that theoretically would be more cost-effectively done by contractors.

              But actually I very much doubt they saved any money. Contractors – especially for out IT – robbed the department blind & were barely competent, often incompetent, in my opinion. We had to pay megabucks to fix their stuff-ups because our contracts had holes in them you could drive a bus through, & that was after vetting by legal.

              A few staff had to be rehired (after having been paid redundancy) because the top-down restructuring carried out by external consultants, with only input from the new raft of professional managers we had with no working experience in the areas they were in charge of, was inept, and was only carried out to achieve the downsizing.

              Some parts of my department ran ok, others were gutted, & it cost lives eventually.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 1, 2017

              Confirms my own and many other peoples’ opinion that ‘deregulation’ was little more than ‘re-regulation’, which, as it turned out, favoured those at the top …

              To minds disconnected from hearts, mired in economic greed, lives don’t matter.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 1, 2017

      Probably not the only man who does, Lurch.

  4. Zedd

     /  December 1, 2017

    watching parliament yesterday; I heard an MP mention the 6000+ questions in a month & realised its the symbol of Natz in opposition.. they cant just ask a question with a few supplementary, they have to question EVERY possible scenario around the issue.. even if you do ask it about 5 times over with a slightly different slant. BUT all i can wonder is; Why.. are they ‘never satisfied’ ?

    then I remember the quote ‘they know the COST of everything.. but the value of nothing’

    a Labour MP added ‘we intend to make everyone into a person, not just a liability on the balance sheet’

    I think many are, still in denial 🙂

    • PDB

       /  December 1, 2017

      Your nonsense doesn’t mention the fact Labour MP’s have not being answering questions as they say they are too ‘broad’ and requesting very specific supplementary questions instead. This has led to the opposition having to break down 1 question into lots of smaller ones.

      So in effect the 6000+ questions are largely due to the new govts own making and arrogance.

  5. Patzcuaro

     /  December 1, 2017
    • PDB

       /  December 1, 2017

      Pretty well sums it up……..hardly going to get Auckland Council to finally live within their means is it?

      • phantom snowflake

         /  December 1, 2017

        If only your Celebrity Chef buddy had won the mayoralty!

        • PDB

           /  December 1, 2017

          You assume too much.

          • phantom snowflake

             /  December 1, 2017

            Sorry, it was wrong of me to identify you with the Slater/Lusk faction simply because you sang from the same songsheet as them. (re Len Brown) But I guess that from way over here in the distance, one National Party stooge looks very much like another lol.

  6. lurcher1948

     /  December 1, 2017

    How much is this foreign import getting paid, isn’t it a $1000 an hour…not earning the national debt,i dont think…
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/99427767/fonterra-calls-trading-halt-as-it-awaits-danone-damages-claim-decision

  7. An interesting and seemingly unbiased post at The Standard re what the new government has been up to:
    https://thestandard.org.nz/progress-from-the-labour-led-government/