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
We begin with No Right Turn blogging about the real bludgers in society – corporate tax evasion. Idiot/Savant points out why Aussie tax cheats are also relevent to out country. Savant writes,
“This should be a concern to us because Australia’s top companies are our top companies. Westfield, Goodman, AMP, Toll and Fairfax all do business here – and if they’re ripping off the Australian government, you can bet they’re ripping off ours. And in the process, they’re ripping off you and me, robbing us of the money we need to pay for schools and hospitals.”
Which puts National’s part-privatisation of our state powercos – “to pay for schools and hospitals” – into a whole new perspective. In essence we’re privatising our state assets – mostly to corporate investors – because corporations are not paying their fair share of tax.
The GCSB has been spying on all of us – makes this a critical problem that has gone beyond Left-Right arguments and posturing. A growing surveillance society affrects us all and threatens our way of life.
On this issue, both Labour (Terrorism Suppression Act) and National (Search & Surveillance Act, and extending the powers of the GCSB) have much to answer for.
If this is freaking you out, Do Not Panic. That suggests you are still sane . Only those who are blase about the growth of the surveillance state need their heads read.
And also on No Right Turn, The expected over-reaction to the murder of Lee Rigby has begun. The UK government is already trying,
“…to grab more power, pushing for bans on non-violent political groups, widespread political web censorship, and of course their old favourite of recording everyone’s phone and web traffic “just in case” they’re a “terrorist” (a shifting definition which now seems to include people who expose how MI5 harassment may have contributed to one of the suspects’ radicalisation). One murder, and Britain seems to be rushing headlong into becoming a police state.”
Explain to me again why Britain fought nazism in 1939???
On Waitakere News, Mickey Savage asks Can Nick Smith override the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act? Mickey outlines Minister Nick Smith’s heavy-handed approach to Auckland’s housing problems with this succinct assessment,
“It appears that the Government, concerned at rising disquiet about the affordability of housing, decided to blame Auckland. In an astounding outburst Nick Smith said in March that his intention was to break the “stranglehold” of Auckland Council’s policy of containing urban sprawl, a policy he says is “killing the dreams of Aucklanders” by driving up house prices.
This appeared to be calculated. To continue the belligerence Bll English has recently come out with the line that the Government cannot allow 20 Auckland planners to wreck the country’s economy. I hope this comment has been met with a strong response from Auckland Council protective of people who are with integrity doing their job.”
The height of irony is that the Tories branded Clark’s Labour government as “Helengrad”, and yet National’s centralised planning is straight out of a Soviet-style regime.
AlisonM on The Hand Mirror blogs that Mother and Baby Support: A Long Time Coming, and says,
“It’s been a long time coming, but finally the North Island is to get a unit geared toward helping new mothers who face post-natal depression or distress.
Health Minister Tony Ryall announced today an $18.2 million commitment to providing both acute in-patient beds as well as residential beds where the mother and baby can remain together, and Martin Johnston in the Herald did some good reporting on the news in today’s paper.”
On Maui Street, blogger Jack Tautokai McDonald writes about fellow-blogger and social campaigner, Marama Davidson standing for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti as the Green candidate in the by-election. This writer wishes her well.
Brian Edward’s Media blog carries an excellent piece On Shane Taurima and why we don’t want political eunuchs as interviewers and suggests that it is possible to hold political opinions and still work as an unbiased journo in the msm. Brian refers specifically on Shane Taurima’s (unsuccesful) bid for the Labour candidate Rawhiti-Ikaroa. Brian makes a good argument – but not sure if I agree fully with his conclusions. Read and make up your own mind.
Bryce Edwards on Liberation also touches on the issue of journos getting entering politics by asking Is our Parliament too dominated by media? Bryce asks,
“… it does reflect the likelihood that the public could become increasingly cynical about political journalists and wonder if they’re using their jobs simply as stepping stones to better paid careers.”
Strangely, no one asks if a farmer from Dipton “used his job simply as a stepping stone to a better paid career”?
The sub-text seems to be that teachers, greenies, and now media journos are criticised as somehow ethically unsuitable for a political career, and only those with a business background are permissable.
Blogger Frank Macskasy has added to his blog Frankly Speaking with a “sister-blog”, Frankly Speaking: Crony Watch. This may become a must-use resource for journos as well as bloggers.
Frogblog has Jan Logie writing about Individual responsibility vs structural responsibility – specifically the inequalities of Pasifika people compared with the rest of New Zealand society. Jan refers to National’s wholly inadequate cliched response,
“When challenged on Pasifika unemployment rates in Parliament this year the Government responded by talking about efforts in improve Pasifika higher educational outcomes.”
Jan says that “the flaw with the analysis though is Pasifika are attending university at about the same rates as other New Zealanders” – and inequality and high unemployment still persists.
Also on Frogblog, Russell Norman tells us that Private money ‘printing’ takes off again. Russell committed fiscal heresy last October when he called for quantitative easing to drive down our high Dollar, and breathe life back into our export sector. The political right and business community reacted with shrill hysterical moral outrage – as if Russell had walked nude into the Parliamentary debating chamber.
What right wing simpletons forget is this (from Russell),
“In the debate around monetary policy, it is often forgotten that the default position is that the private banks create most of the money and lead the increase in the monetary supply. They then charge interest to the users of the money that they have created.
The public authorities create very little money. The notes and coins created by the Reserve Bank are only a small fraction of the ‘money’. See this interesting Seven Sharp story if you want to see a MSM story about how this works – essentially banks can lend out far more money than they have as deposits.”
Read Russell’s blogpost – it’s interesting stuff. And one wonders; when the hell did we hand our money supply over to private banks???
To which National responded with a further bout of hysteria, according to Gordon Campbell on the government’s latest bout of hippie punching, when he writes,
“On the weekend at one of those gatherings of the National party faithful that seem to occur every other week – as a party the Nats sure do know how to party – Prime Minister John Key unmasked the arch fiend who threatens the New Zealand that we know and love: namely, Russel Norman, Co-Leader of the Greens by day, sleeper agent of the Soviet Internationale by night. Here’s Key’s version of the threat that Dr. Norman poses to the nation:
Normally elections are fought between the centre left and the centre right. That is not what’s going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman. “But that now becomes an election between the centre right and the far left.”
And the telling evidence that the far left has taken over the role of Her Majesty’s Opposition?
[Key] cited the Green Party’s policy proposal to increase the money supply and the two parties’ plan to regulate wholesale power prices as examples of their shared “far left” policies.
Wow. Increasing the money supply aka one form of quantitative easing policies (QE). In other words, the QE policies advocated by the International Monetary Fund in 2009 as a way of re-igniting demand in a stricken and stalled global economy, and pursued subsequently by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke in two major installments…”
You can tell when the Nats are scared witless by the results of their own internal polling – they target the Greens.
There is no doubt; the election campaign has gone past the “Phoney War” phase, and is well under way.
Meanwhile, on Red Alert, Phil Twyford campaigns for Building a better Auckland, and has thrown down the gauntlet to the Tories,
“Which is why our Healthy Homes Guarantee will make it compulsory for rental homes to be properly insulated and have an efficient source of heating. We will amend the Residential Tenancies Act. End of story. National announced they will consider the development of a warrant of fitness they will trial in Housing NZ homes. They are going to trial this policy in the very houses – Housing NZ homes – that don’t need it. Houses that have all been retrofitted and insulated. But they won’t do a damn thing for the tenants of private rentals where hundreds of thousands of the poorest Kiwi families live in uninsulated damp and cold houses.”
Another look at the Auckland vs Central Government power-struggle is a post on the Auckland Transport Blog on a Radio NZ Insight into relationship between Council and Govt.
As our current account deficit worsens to Greek-like, Olympian proportions, Scott on Imperator Fish looks at the funnier side of A day in the life of the Current Account Deficit. As always, Scott takes the proverbial in a way that is humourous and thought-provoking.
The Pundit provides more excellent analysis and commentary from it’s stable of … well, pundits.
Andrew Geddis follows up with his much-viewed previous piece – I think National just broke our constitution – with his new blogpost, It’s just the vibe of the thing. Andrew looks at the powers of government; the Courts; and how the powers of both inter-act. Andrew asks,
“Do we want a system whereby a majority of elected representatives can, whenever they think it best to do so, free the Government from any effective judicial oversight of its actions so as to give it maximum freedom to make whatever decision it believes is necessary? Or do we think that the principle that individuals should have access to judicial remedies for any wrongs done to them so as to ensure that governments operate within the requirements of the law is so important that Parliament should not act against it, no matter the inconvenience caused to a particular Government.”
S59: Was the popular will thwarted? asks ex Children’s Commissioner, Ian Hassall. Ian deconstructs the history and subsequent events of the Repeal of Section 59 – and arrives at a conclusion very different to that of common mythology. Worth a read to put everything into some sort of meaningful context.
Phillip Ure on Whoar tells us what we suspected all along; Mighty River’s ‘mum and dad’ investors included companies – Business – NZ Herald News. Key’s assertion that “mums and dads” would be given first preference in the IPO has turned out to be like most of his utterance; lies. See also Mighty River’s ‘mum and dad’ investors included companies.
Some interesting analysis of recent polls on The Dim Post by Danyl who looks at an Updated poll chart and the dark backward and abysm of time. Looking back in history may point to where we’re heading for the next election.
The Jackal blogs that New Zealand is Failing to improve workplace safety, and is costing our economy billions. An Independent Taskforce released its report into Workplace Health & Safety, but will not be welcomed by this National government.
Expect more people to be injured.
Expect more people to be maimed.
Expect more people to be killed.
Expect National to do fuck-all-next-to-nothing.
The Civilian gives us a look at the on-coming cold snap – as only the Civilian can as the Nation shuts down waiting for nation to shut down due to snow. (Apologies to anyone living in Palmerston North.)
Climate change deniers look away now: On Open Parachute there is a report on a Collapse of Arctic sea ice being a further indication of how climate change is influencing Arctic temperatures. Climate Change deniers though, offered an alternative view with a spokesperson saying,
“There is no evidence it’s a product of global warming. An equally plausible answer is that 500,000 penguins all decided to jump into the air, simultaneously, thereby breaking off a big chunk of ice. You can’t disprove this theory, so it’s equally valid to yours.”
When it was pointed out that there are no penguins at the North Pole, the spokesperson quickly changed the subject.
On The Standard today,
- Anthony Robins writes about National’s fear mongering about the Greens with an Election narrative that is an accurate appraisal of what is occurring.
When Key complains that,
“But that now becomes an election between the centre right and the far left.”
– well, you know the Nats are panicking and starting to take the Labour-Green-Mana bloc seriously.
- Why the Meridian sale will go ahead regardless of cost and begins with,
“When even the notoriously right-wing NZ Herald Editorial is pleading for Meridian not to be sold (just now), you know that the government’s asset sell-down is in trouble”.
Labour to repeal RMA changes, according to Labour spokesperson, Maryanne Street. So if this rotten government has only 18 months of life left, the Tories’ damage to the environment may be minimal…
- It’s Back to the future with John Key’s Dickensian values, writes Karol. She posits that Key’s announcement tomorrow (Tuesday) about National’s plan to feed hungry children in our low decile schools will be something out of the Victorian era. Karol sez,
“The actual difference is between John Key’s return to destructive and divisive Victorian-era charity that ultimately benefits the wealthy and marginalises the poor. The difference is between the Key-Bennett war on the poor, and Green and Mana’s social justice platforms of a fair go for all. Green and Mana, along with Labour progressives, support policies that will create something closer to a level playing field for those currently socially and economically disadvantaged“.
Expect more viciousness from this decaying government. Injured animals don’t give up without a final roar.
Blogpost of the Day
On Kiwipolitico, Pablo writes on The differences between hate crime and terrorism. He sez,
“After 9/11 “terrorism,” and its subset “Islamic terrorism,” became the favoured terms used to describe most types of politically motivated violence. That serves the purposes of government security agencies, many of which have expanded their powers of arrest and detention without charge, warrantless search and surveillance and legal scope of authority under the rubric of anti-terrorism legislation passed in the wake of 9/11. New Zealand is no exception in this regard, and the current proposal to amend the GCSB ACT 2003 is a continuation of that trend.”
It’s a deep insight and well worth reading so we can better understand how we are being manipulated by the Establishment and it’s Media fan-club (which makes money from big TERRORISM!!!PANIC!!!RUN AROUND!!! headlines).
I strongly encourage the reader to read Pablo’s blogpost. Everything falls into perspective.
Rightwing Foolishness of the Day
Ele Ludemann writes on her Home Paddock blog that While they were marching, anti-GM “protesters aren’t opposed to something specific that has been proven to be unsafe, they’re opposed to GM in general and that opposition is based on emotion and politics, not science“.
Yeah, Ele, you tell’em, girl.
After all, we didn’t ban thalidomide just because a few greenies voiced concerns.
No-siree-bob. We waited for evidence. Like 10,000 to 20,000 babies born with deformities. Now that’s evidence!
Or white asbestos.
Or lead in paint.
What a shame they don’t make coca cola with real cocaine in it anymore…
Action of the Week
“What can we do to get rid of this rotten government and our lying Prime Minister?”
“Do what you’re doing now, but more of it.”
Thought for the Day
Note: Am I missing any blog that readers would like me to cover? Or anything else you want me to cover? Leave a message and I’ll try to accomodate.
~ Joe Blogger
“The Daily Blog Watch” Editor, Imbiber of Fine Sugary Drinks, & Cat Herder