The Daily Blog Watch Tuesday 14 April





Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers…




NZ Left Blogosphere

The blogosphere is on the verge of a digital meltdown, as a multiplicity of issues hits the public attention,

TDB Recommends
  • Aaron Gilmore
  • the National/Skycity deal
  • Child poverty
  • the coming budget
  • National’s ddecision to do nothing about the MMP review

Chris Trotter, on Bowalley Road, profers his thoughts on the merits of Playing It Cool: Reflections On Aaron Gilmore’s Fall From Gracelessness. Chris dissects what it takes to be a successful backbencher, and what not to do. It’s a salient lesson and should be Required Reading for all new MPs, whether right wing ACToids or left wing Greenies.

On Frogblog, Jan Logie laments the passing of Starfish clothing, which is closing down.  She points out that as well as making good clothing and paid their staff well, they were a local producer. It’s a shame, she laments, that National couldn’t support them as they do with, oh, I dunno… Skycity??

Holly Walker says it’s  A big week for students, and reveals that graduating students at Auckland Uni will be mounting a subtle vusual protest at National’s policies. Stay tuned for events this coming Friday.

This ties in well with Chris on Bowalley Road (again), looking at tertiary education and why foreign students are using fake, ghost-written assignments to gain qualifications. Are they  Getting What They’ve Paid For he asks? More importantly, he asks,  are we getting what was an inevitability of a commercialised system?  Chris remind us of what tertiary education once was – and what it has become now, and suggests that corruption was an inevitable consequence.

Back to the Frogblog. It’s a  Black milestone in climate change reached,  writes Kennedy Graham. No, humans have not cured poverty, cancer, or landed people on Mars. Kennedy is referring to humanity’s “grand achievement”,

“Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the key ingredient in global warming, hit 400 parts per million of the air in our atmosphere, up from 280 ppm in the mid-18th century when the Industrial Revolution kicked in.  Internationally, we are rushing headlong towards disaster – 450 ppm being generally regarded as the threshold of ‘dangerous’ climate change.”

Aren’t we a clever bunch. Like rats in a cage foulling their own nest, Earth is becoming the sewer of the solar system. Not to worry folks, the Free Market will rescue us… *vomit*

QoT gives her  Random recommended reading on Ideologically Impure. She also offers the  Top 10 best things about Family First’s deregistration notice. Some might think that QoT is unfairly targetting Family Fist.

Not this writer.

Personally, we should ask gays, lesbians, trans-gendered, etc, if they think Fascist First is being unfairly treated. Personally, I think  it’s high-time religious nutcases were treated precisely as they treat others. “Do unto others, etc, etc.”




Gordon Campbell on university essays for hire, and Allie Brosh’s take on depression, and makes a similar point about fake assignments to gain qualifications as does Chris Trotter. Gordon points out,

At that point, any sympathy for Joyce runs out. The New Zealand tertiary education system is coming under intense pressure to recruit foreign students and fulfil the government’s ambitious earnings targets from international education. In addition, the relatively high tuition fees paid by foreign students take some of the funding pressure off our tertiary education system. (When questioned on RNZ this morning after an academic made this point, Joyce replied that universities had got a funding boost and anyone who couldn’t make a positive contribution on this subject “should get back in their box.” What a charmless bully the man is.)

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with two inter-connecting neuron-cells that where money is involved, corruption and cheating is not far way. Only a neo-liberalist could be possibly be  surprised that corruption is now involved in our tertiary education.

Check out  Red Alert’s Clare Curran, who blogs about Parliament reviewing patent laws surrounding computer programmes, When David Beat Goliath. Clare writes,

“Craig Foss had given in to patent lawyers and multinational software players and sought to impose a software patents system on our IT sector. He over-rode the advice of the Commerce Select Committee that patenting software would smother innovation.

It caused an uproar in our innovative IT industry, that knew it would be stifled by constant threats of law suits from multinationals.”

Clare’s story outlines the measures taken to overturn Foss’s corporate-friendly amendment to the Select Committee’s recommendations. It shows not only the power of Select Committees, but that MMP does work. A good read.

On the Pundit,

  •   Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, writes  Andrew Geddis, and points to several instances where Parliament – being sovereign – could overturn previous agreements. When you think about it, if a government can lock future Parliaments into an agreement – what is the point of elections? We might as well have a single-party state and a government-in-perpetuity.
  • Josie Pagani writes that  Housing affordability is about inequality and points out why a lack of Capital Gains Tax is contributing to a housing price-bubble and lack of availability. Josie makes suggests solutions to the problem – let’s hope that a Labour-Green-Mana(-NZ First ?) coalation in 2014 is up to the task.

The MMP Review is dead writes Idiot Savant on No Right Turn. He says – with considerable justification I might add – that “the government set up the review to fail all along“. Collins’ short, sharp “no” response to Green MP Holly Walker, and the Justice Minister’s subsequent dribbling from the corners of her sub-intelligent mouth was an illustration of the kind of arrogance that Aaron Gilmore made so very public in the last couple of weeks.

The National Party are every bit as arrogant as Gilmore. They just know how to hide and disguise it better.

Collin’s “no” to MMP reforms was basically sending this message to the people of New Zealand;


fuck you  Kiwi peasants!


And of course, there’s the Constitutional Review now being undertaken…

Not much point to that, also, I guess.

Also on No Right Turn is the startling – and disturbing – revelations that Scientology clap-trap is now in our schools, courtesy of the taxpayer. Government funded quackeryaka a Church of Scientology drug-awareness programme, is is being spread throughout our school.

This is not just some kinda “new agey” stuff – this is dangerous shit, peeps. Scientology is nasty business, dealing in pseudo-science, violence, and general weirdness that the Human Race is descended from aliens from another planet. B-grade Hollywood movie stuff. Which is hardly a coincidence, as the late founder, L Ron Hubbard, was a b-grade SF writer.

And our taxes are going toward this cult-shit?

This has to be National’s “twilight golf” moment!

In Good riddance, Christine Rankin has finally left the Families Commission, and Idiot Savant sheds not one tear. Neither does this writer. The woman is clueless.

National acts on child poverty? writes I/S? But will they? I have doubts. National doesn’t do social services without a hook in the deal somewhere. What will the ‘hook’ be, I wonder?

No Right Turn also reports on a disturbing abuse of State power, in  A bureaucratic lynching,

The Sunday Star-Times reported yesterday on the extraordinary case of Craig Lebamoff, a Fulbright scholar whose sabbatical with New Zealand customs to write a thesis on border security went very sour:

In an extraordinary series of allegations, he says he was threatened with an investigation by the Security Intelligence Service, locked out of his office at NZ Customs, had his computer hard drive and research materials seized while colleagues reported his rubbish bins being searched – he believes by the SIS.

The Police State has arrived peeps.

Obey. Consume. Respect Authority. Or else.

And what’s going on with The corruption of high-country tenure reviews? Something very dodgy is happening with State land being privatised – and a short time later onsold for a massive profit.  Read Idiot Savant’s blogpost and ask yourself; WTF??? And speaking of corruption and dodgy dealings, check out why we should  Follow the money.

Frankly Speaking has been a busy bunny today,

Also about the dodgy Skycity deal is The Dim Post, where Danyl writes Or your money back. He posits a couple of scenarios where,

“…How about stringent pro-worker labour laws where trade unions get paid massive compensations if a subsequent government changes them? Or environmental policies with multi-billion dollar pay-outs to Greenpeace if a future National government wants to open new coal mines or offshore oil platforms?”


And watch them Tighty Righties squirm!! Do it, Labour, do it! Wipe the smirk of those RWNJ faces with a 35 year deal with the CTU!!!

Danyl also blogs on the odd story of Craig Lebamoff, a US border security expert who won a Fulbright and decided to write his thesis on New Zealand’s border security,  Burn after reading.

“But the New Zealand sabbatical quickly turned sour after seven months and his thesis was never published after the New Zealand Government refused to clear its release.


The government is cutting funding for biosecurity while expanding the funding and powers of our intelligence agencies, so it’s not too surprising someone saw red over such a finding.”

Weird shit. WTF is going on with the Tories?? Is someone spiking their Evian water on the Ninth Floor cabinet room??

The Civilian indulges in a bit of black humour when tells us that  Gilmore: ‘I am dead’. On a lighter note, there a warning that  Meteorologists are concerned about a large offshore H. I kid you not (well, maybe a bit) – there’s a large offshore ‘H’ on a met office map!

Sound Hsunami alert, Mr Sulu!  Bullshit defelectors up – National-klingon warship of our starboard bow!

And read why The Civilian sez that  John Key, Steven Joyce play pokies to raise money for convention centre. Really, it makes for perfect sense!

The Jackal also writes about Craig Lebamoff in  Privacy rights vs security interests. It’s a curious situation – and one that is taxing the interests of bloggers who smell a decidedly ‘off’ rat…

And check out Jackal’s piece, and assertion that  Hauiti is hardly progressive,

Hasn’t National done well to spin the Aaron Gilmore scandal to their advantage? Not only has John Key been able to pretend he’s a leader by taking the moral high ground, one of the right wings main propagandists, Cameron Slater, got his face on the news to complain about bullying. That might seem ironic, but the real irony is that such bullyboy tactics are commonplace within the right wing, which makes their supposed outrage rather trite.

Yeah, I wondered about that as well…



About bullying.

Can we next have a representative from the Syrian government or Khmer Rouge advising us on human rights, please?

It must be  The season for apologies, writes Imperator Fish. No idea what he’s referring to.

Furthermore, writes Fish, John Key has made the Ultimate Deal of the History of the Human Race (or at least since Dorean Gray commissioned a little piece of art to hang on the wall of his flat);  Devil to take PM’s soul in convention centre deal.

On the Standard, today,

  • Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy – 

  • This is what corporate dictatorship looks like, writes karol, on the Skycity deal – and likens it to what the TPPA will be dumping on our doorsteps. She has a point; if  a corporate entity can (a) buy legislative change (b) gains benefits no one else can (c) and can lock their benefits for 35 years – then if that’s not a dictatorship, then what the f–k is?
  • Eddie makes an interesting point about Aaron Gilmore’s replace, Claudette Hauiti. There’s something about that woman that I think is going to raise headlines in the months to come…
  • And Zetetic makes an interesting observation about Key’s no-shows – protecting Brand Key.

Without doubt, this has to be one of the most politically charged months of National’s current term.

If the next National politician to ‘burn out’ is an electorate MP, in a marginal seat, then watch the real fun begin!



Blogpost of the Day #1

LudditeJourno writes on The Hand MirrorBreaking news: Stuffed Rape Culture.

When you think about it, Fairfax Media is advocating a kind of neo-Talibanesque style of “solving” rape: woman are not to be out alone,  un-escorted, from their homes. Though that won’t help much either, as LJ explains…

Things haven’t changed much from the 1970s (1980s ?) when a Palmerston North judge told a jury that a raped woman was “a solo mother and therefore no good” (recalling the wording from memory). The neanderthal’s comments raised howls of outrage back then… but I guess not much has changed…

Blogpost of the Day #2

Stare decisis on The Pundit, by Andrew Geddis, which takes National’s Skycity deal and re-paints it with a definite ‘green flavour’… I can see influences of The Civilian and Imperator Fish with this funny little vignette.


Thought for the Day


John Key - Skycity employee of the year