The Daily Blog Watch Tuesday 2 July





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

NZ Left Blogosphere

I love Robertyguyton’s micro blogposts. They make Twitter look like War and Peace… His latest is an accolade for Russel Norman – for being forthright at the spying hearing.

Tim Selwyn pulls no punches on Tumeke when he blogs on the Succession of the Maori Party’s leadership,

In probably the least successful succession strategy in political history Te Ururoa’s undermining and ambition – aided by President Pem Bird – has finally reaped the bitter dividend: Pita Sharples is to step down. Are they happy now? They became apologists for the Nats in order to keep their baubles, they got rid of Hone because he was the obvious alternative leader, and their candidate just came in third to Mana’s second place in a by-election in a safe Labour seat. ”

Danyl on The Dim Post presents A series of riddles, each more fiendish and difficult than the last, except for the very last which is easy.

TDB Recommends

Rats. I can’t even do crosswords.

More insightful blogging from one of the country’s bestest (and often under-rated) bloggers, The Jackal. This time, Jackal takes on New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s  Shamubeel Eaqub, who made a really, really, fucking-really d-u-m-b statement in the media recently. So  Thanks for the two-minute noodles John, sadly we have no cake to eat.

And following on from TV’s Third Degree, now it’s multi-millionaire Bob Jones who is pontificating how the poor are so bloody well off. He wanks on about pear trees…

Christ on a fricken stick, Bob, get your fucking hand of it. Fruit doesn’t grow in winter! And as The Jackal pointed out, they take years to mature – by which time the tenants of rental houses have moved on. Or been evicted. No wonder Jackal calls this senile old git, Bob Jones fruit loop.

Y’know, the more I hear this kind of crap from New Zealand’s affluent class, the more I understand why the Bolsheviks shot counter-revolutionaries and the bourgeoisie

Screw it. Pass me a rifle!

Despite the attempt by Climate Change Deniers, the fossil fuel industry, and their political vassals to sneer away climate change, the weather continues to exhibit more energetic and violent events. On Hot Topic, Gareth writes about  Planet waves, and the big heat,

It’s certainly hot in the southwestern USA at the moment — a dome of heat has established itself under a persistent high pressure ridge, and temperatures are pushing up towards all-time highs. Wildfires are running out of control. One caused the tragic death of 19 firefighters at Yarnell Hill in Arizona yesterday. One more extreme weather event to add to this year’s growing list, and as with most of the others, there’s a clear sign of a link with rapid climate change

Our own recent weather event in Wellington – now being labelled a “super storm” – should be clear enough warning what the human race is faced with.

If you own a beach front property, my advice to you is simple. Find a climate change denier; sell him your property; and get the fuck out now.

Gordon Campbell writes On Kim Dotcom’s appearance at Parliament tomorrow,

Ironic that in the same week that Kim Dotcom will appear before a Parliamentary committee to defend the right of New Zealanders to live free from surveillance from the GCSB, Edward Snowden is seeking asylum in Russia. (Reportedly, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said that Snowden is welcome to asylum, so long as he stops his revelations about the surveillance activities of the Obama administration.)

I suspect that Parliament TV will be a ratings winner tomorrow! Who said that politics is boring! They could sell tickets to tomorrow’s events!

Hmmmm, there’s a good idea!

Phillip on Whoar points out “..How algorithms rule the world..”  Reports  on the chap who sold bebo for us$850…and he bought it back for $1 million.. and the latest march of the human race to become Borg/Cyberman-like – “..Contact lenses – now with zoom!..”

And more shenanigans with whistleblowers –  “..Julian Assange and Ecuador relations at crisis point – as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden breaks his silence with letter of thanks to Quito condemning US ‘persecution’..” plus the latest shenanigans from the  New Zealand Parliament – List of questions for oral answer – Tuesday – 2 July 2013..

On Socialist Aotearoa, blogger ABC asks,  Alain Badiou: Friend or fad?

One of the rising stars of the French philosophical left is Alain Badiou, the communist philosopher and professor of the European Graduate School…

… Yet for those left militants outside the sociology and politics departments of the academy, the work of Badiou, is almost unheard of. His concepts, his philosophy and his methods remain little understood despite one reviewers high praise, ‘Badiou has a rare talent among philosophers for making accessible political interventions in wider society.’ Therefore his growing popularity within academic and campus Marxist currents forces us to grapple with the question; is Alain Badiou a friend of the revolutionary socialist tradition or just the latest in a line of intellectual fads that periodically washes through the lecture halls and tutorial rooms of the university? This article first critically reviews Badiou’s idea of the Event and secondly examines the Maoist/Situationist praxis of Badiou and his followers.

Find out what Scott on Imperator Fish finds Disgusting!

And find out why Scott implores Pita, please don’t go!


On No Right Turn, Idiot Savant sez Key’s behaviour has been  Appalling and asks,

So what was the legal authority for John Key spying on Peter Dunne’s emails? According to answers he gave in Question Time today (link to follow), which were in turn based on answers to Parliamentary written questions, it was basically that “he didn’t object”… ”

Savant has a A thought on Pita Sharple’s resignation as Maori Party co-leader.  In essence, it’s refreshing to see a political leader taking responsibility (re-spon-si-bil-ity – a word foreign to John Key) for his Party doing badly at a by-election.

No clue – that’s what Savant sez when John Key says “he has no sympathy for Peter Dunne having his emails spied on”.  New Zealandf is getting into a bad place when the Prime Minister expresses such views on what might be illegal activity by the Henry investigation.

One-time Families Commissioner Christine Rankin was  Seriously conflicted when  in May, she  took up a position as CEO of the Conservative Party- whilst still working for the Commission. Read what Savant has unearthed on this issue. Whichever way Rankin can spin this – it wasn’t a good look.

QoT offers some further Random recommended reading on Ideologically Impure, sharing her views on Linda Prine’s book,  Abortion is not a bad thing.

Also have a look at the Nats’ latest assault on the poor and powerless,  where QoT writes that  the Government to use private thugs to force sick people into work,

I have a question: where are the jobs???

On Frogblog,  Metiria Turei writes that the Greens mourn Matthew Wootton’s disappearance  – a British  Green Party activist who was aboard the missing Nina schooner, along  with six others,  who have not been seen since May 29.

And  Catherine Delahunty waxed lyrically about her moment of Magical Matariki in Hauraki!

On Bowalley Road, Chris Trotter writes about  Missed Opportunities In Ikaroa-Rawhiti and dissects the results of the by-election.  Chris wonders that  “we’d all benefit by discovering why democracy is so hard to master” and makes a fairly good explanation why.

But then again, why did people who opposed asset sales vote for National??? And where do crop circles come from??? And is Sasquatch really Gerry Brownlee’s long-lost brother?

On The Pundit Josie Pagani writes in a startlingly similar vein to Chris’s piece.  After Ikaroa-Rawhiti – everyone has something to worry about, sez Josie, and it’s a scenario that encapsulates every political party except ACT.

Also on The Pundit, Tim Watkin points out that with Spying – everbody’s doin’ it, doin’ it,

So it seems the GCSB were aware that spying is commonplace and have been taking steps to help our leaders avoid exposure. Presumably for all the outrage out of Germany and France, they must have known the same thing. But I wonder if Sir Geoffrey knew those “foreign people” intercepting his and English’s calls might well have been our allies ?”

What is more to the point – surveillance and spying isn’t relegated simply to our “enemies” (do they even exist anymore, aside from criminal/terrorist groups?) – but on  our supposed friends as well. And it’s all evidently  trade-based.

The Civilian continues to be a Cheeky Little Darling with his satirical blogging,

Media struggles to not use ‘pita wraps’ pun in describing Sharples resignation

Television and written news media are working hard this afternoon to put together a series of news stories on the resignation of Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples without using some variation on the headline ‘Pita wraps it up.’ The headline, which was simultaneously coined by every news outlet late last night... ”

Owen Glenn changes mind, decides to support violence against women

Millionaire philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn has withdrawn his bid to be an ambassador for the White Ribbon campaign to stop violence against women, saying he has had a profound change of heart and can no longer in good conscience support their cause.

“It has been a personal ambition of mine for some time now to become an advocate for the White Ribbon cause,” said Glenn in a statement. “But in recent months, I must confess that I have had a personal awakening on the issue of violence against women, and I can no longer say, with honesty, that I am against it”.”

Oh man you are so going to get sued – by a Billionaire this time! (That should be worth another 1 million hits on your blogsite, Civy! Onya, mate!)

On the Auckland Transport Blog, a guest post  by Albert Eden Local Board Member and CBT committee member Graeme Easte asks Can we meet the targets set for CRL patronage?

I have serious doubts that we can literally reach the PMs target of 20 million trips (more or less double the current level) before we build the CRL. Surely a key driver of the CRL is that the Britomart bottleneck will prevent us increasing frequencies much beyond present settings. So if that number is taken too literally we have a major problem – unless government can be persuaded that we have increased patronage as far as possible within the constraints.”

And on The Standard,

Smarmy Brownlee on urgency writes that Gerry Brownlee said in Parliament today,

This Government is conscious to not abuse urgency, and only rarely and with good reason opts to pass bills through all stages under urgency. ”

Which is absolute rubbish. In fact, this government has used Urgency more than any other in living memory.  Gerry Brownlee: lying prick of the week.

Focused on what matters

Food to see that Key is so keenly focused on what matters:

Weekly press conferences will show PM in new light

Prime Minister John Key is buffing up his television image with a not-so-subtle revamp of the ”look” of his weekly press conferences.”

Post Key leadership struggle goes mainstream

The simmering leadership struggle in the National party doesn’t get a lot of attention in the mainstream media, but here’s an exception:

Deputy PM more popular than heirs apparent

Steven Joyce and Judith Collins may be involved in an unofficial leadership contest within National to take over when John Key finally leaves politics, but neither is seen as the best replacement were it to happen tomorrow, according to a New Zealand Herald DigiPoll survey.”

Spying against the law? Whatever…  writes,

Key’s enquiry into the GCSB report leak appears to have broken the law. He doesn’t give a damn. What a clear and timely example of exactly why Key and the GCSB can’t be trusted with further powers. “Nothing to hide nothing to fear” my arse.

Key’s enquiry raided Peter Dunne’s emails without his permission.

Key’s enquiry tracked Andrea Vance without her permission (Key claims innocence of course).

These actions appear to be illegal, and the Green Party has lodged a complaint with the Ombudsmen.”

Sharples packs it in writes,

Sharples has resigned as Maori Party co-leader. He’s leaving politics next year. Flavell will become co-leader, I guess. But who really cares about internal Maori Party stuff? That party’s dead. Rightly so for betraying its people.

Simon Bridges’ ongoing struggle with the truth –  writes,

What is it about Simon Bridges and the truth? If he’s not lying about employment law, or fibbing about talking to the ILO, he’s misleading select committee over what he was told by forestry workers when he went out to talk health and safety. ”

It appears, Eddie, that Mr Bridges is learning from Dear Leader himself. After all, which politician has a rep for bending the truth on a regular basis?


From the Daily Blog

On Julia, John, Judith and Joan Crawford –  Simon Prast  writes,

A senior National MP, speaking to me on the grounds of anonymity, says that John Key has just two months to cobble together a credible coalition, come up with a single original idea that doesn’t involve the wholesale theft of opposition policy... ”

Funny stuff! Well done, Simon – some well written one-liner assessments of political happenings!

The depoliticization of motherhood on Essential Mums –  Martyn Bradbury writes,

I would have thought Jody’s position on being a solo mum would include a political dimension, what with all the restrictions and negative policy thrown at solo mothers.

Apparently Essential Mums don’t think so.When Jody tried to put in her blog ‘Fun for Free’, she noted it didn’t publish. She contacted the editor of Essential Mums and was told to take the politics out of her blog.

Jody asked if the editor understood what it was to be a solo mother these days but was told by the editor that they didn’t want any politics.

“You don’t want me to ever mention John Key again?, Jody asked.

“That would be great”, was the reply. ”

Strange how Al Nisbet’s crappy racist cartoons were published because, well, that’s freedom of speech for you.

But it seems that freedom of speech doesn’t extend to a solo-mum writing of her experiences…

National MP admits collusion with bosses to set up strike-breaking law!! – Frank Macskasy  writes,

Have you discussed this Bill with Ports of Auckland [Ltd]?”

A fairly simple question, and man oh man, did Ross squirm and try to avoid answering it.

It seems that National MP, Jami-Lee Ross has been taking lessons from the Simon Lusk book on how to work for employers to draft union-bashing legislation.
Essentially non-essential –   Coley Tangerina writes,

My partner, an amazing father who was the primary carer of his son when “Essential Mothers” was launched, was immediately excluded from a site that’s positioning itself as the parenting site for New Zealanders. Apparently, he’s non-essential.

I don’t think that mothers are “essential”. I think loving parents and guardians are essential. I think diverse representation is essential. I think the many intelligent women of New Zealand should be able to, at the very least, not be completely ignored because apparently we should only want to read about juice diets and decoding our husbands.

At the risk of sounding sexist… why is it that the female bloggers on The Daily Blog – Coley Tangerina, QoT, Burnt out Teacher, et al – are amongst the best goddamn writers in the Known Universe???

Coley’s piece on the media, sexism, parenting, etc, strikes a real chord. You can tell it comes from deep within her soul.

Yeah, I guess you can tell. I like it.

Did Key Spy on Dunne? –  Martyn Bradbury  writes,

Prime Ministers aren’t given the power to just spy on politicians emails for a reason. This isn’t a good look for democracy or due process.

It is becoming more apparent with each passing day that Key knows exactly what was in the emails. Does anyone really believe – even all you butt-kissing right-wing National sycophants – that the GCSB hasn’t advised Key in one of their briefings??

Get fucking real, peeps! If the Yanks can spy on their European allies, you can bet your last frilly-girl panties, David Farrar, that your mates in the Beehive know exactly what was in Dunne’s emails.

TRAINSPOTTING: National: the new champions of Auckland rail? –  Julie Anne Genter  writes,

This is clearly a vote-winning exercise, done to placate the big Auckland business interests who will benefit from the project. Unfortunately, they still haven’t grasped the critical paradigm shift – spending billions on new highway capacity isn’t going to help congestion or reduce transport costs. It will make things worse.

Today at an Auckland Mayoral Conversation event, Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economist (not known for being left wing or an environmental extremist) made exactly this point. The fundamental law of road congestion is that if you build more highway lanes, people drive more. This incurs all sorts of additional costs, including but not limited to: congestion, forced vehicle ownership, need for parking, high fuel use, associated environmental costs and crashes.

The Nats are playing silly buggers here. Labour and the Greens will have to call Key on this one. We need to see firm start-dates and costs – otherwise it will become apparent that National is game-playing on this issue. As Julie write, “New Zealanders will almost certainly need to vote in a new government next year”.

Damn right!

Pita Sharples Pays For Maori Party Coming 3rd In By-Election –  Martyn Bradbury writes,

The Maori Party may have formed from the seeds of indigenous politics, but the interests it has tried to represent and further at the table with Key have been Corporate Iwi brandishing a capitalism as empty as Pakeha capitalism.”

Somewhere along the road, the Maori Party lost it’s soul.

But that’s ok. Hone found it; picked it up; and ran with it…

Trading prayer for fresh air –  Burnt Out Teacher writes,

If you want to make our primary school kids pray to your god – while schools are private property, run by the Ministry of Education – then you shouldn’t be surprised to find a fight on your hands from teachers; highly educated professionals whose priority is teaching young people how to learn and know, not how to believe.

Are we really going to teach our kids that the Earth is a flat disc, sitting atop four elephants, which in turn stand upon a Cosmic Turtle swimming through space???

Oh, we are?  That’s ok. I thought it wuz going to be somethin’ dumb. Like, y’know, gas/dust accretion clouds forming into proto-planets 4.5 billion years ago…


Blogpost of the Day

On Kiwipolitico, Pablo looks at both the 2003 GCSB Act and 2004 Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act and the so-called justifications for increasing surveillance powers, and sez it’s Better to pause than rush. Pablo makes several good points, including this observation,

In light of past excesses and mistakes it is evident that leaving warrant issuance to the Prime Minister and a retired judge (the Commissioner for Security Warrants) is pure folly even when done in combination. These are the individuals who were on watch during the Dotcom raid and, in the case of the Prime Minister, claimed ignorance after the fact as to how and why the GCSB became unlawfully involved in it. ”

Pablo also points out,

The definition of threat to national security under which the GCSB would act is too nebulous and broad to prevent mission creep into common law enforcement and encroachments on individual and group privacy. For example, under the proposed legislation the GCSB could assist the Department of Primary Industries to spy on environmental activists on behalf of fishing, logging or mining interests if their protests were deemed injurious to the economic well-being of the nation, which can be construed as a threat to national security under current definition of the term.

Insightful analysis!


Free Plug for the Day

Right. Time for you lot to start pulling your weight redux – Danyl on The Dim Post has just released his book. Check out the details of the launch party on this Friday, 5 July, in Wellington.

Danyl's book

This is your chance to mix it with a well known blogger; other bloggers who will be attending to drink Danyl’s booze present to support Danyl; and a lively evening to remember.


Action of the Week#1

Tree planting day at Poets Park alongside the Hutt River / Hutt River Trail, 10am, Saturday 13 July until trees all planted.  All welcome.  Bring your gumboots and a spade if possible (but not essential as a few will be available).  Trees and equipment provided.  Planting for a couple of hours or so, followed by sausage sizzle, hot drink and mingle.  For further information contact George Butters, 027 632 1220.  Organised by Greater Wellington and Friends of the Hutt River.  Poets Park is first left after crossing the Moonshine bridge, see Google Map: Poets Park

Pat van Berkel
Friends of the Hutt River

0211 1459 789

Action of the Week#2

From Frogblog, Holly Walker writes about Electoral reform in the constitutional review;

This week the deadline for submissions on the Constitutional Conversation was extended by a month, so now we’ve got until July 31st to submit.

This is a great chance for all of us to have a say on how we want our country to be run, as well as to share our values and aspirations for Aotearoa New Zealand.

We’ve got a submission guide to help you have your say, which includes Green Party policy on some of the specific areas included in the terms of reference.

Two of the official areas under review that I’m really interested in are electoral matters and Māori representation, which include some pretty important issues like:

  • the size of parliament
  • the size and number of electorates
  • how long our parliamentary term should be
  • whether we should have a fixed election date
  • the Māori Electoral Option
  • Māori seats

I think it’s worth thinking about these issues in the context of our MMP system. MMP has brought fairness, diversity and proportionality to our parliament, and it’s important that these principles are reflected in any further changes to the way parliament and elections work.

Read more here.


Thought for the Day

Fishing Industry - Ross Sea - Environment


~ Joe Blogger,

“The Daily Blog Watch” Editor, Imbiber of Fine Sugary Drinks,  & moa tail-docker