Open Mike Tuesday 8th October



If we aren’t covering an issue you think needs debating today – go for it. Moderation rules apply, play nicely.


  1. The Canary In The Coal Mine

    Today’s cartoon, shows two canarys saying they are safer “DOWN A DEEP, DARK, HEAVILY SUBSIDISED COAL MINE!” than in a ruined, above ground, environment.

    Last updated 09:02 13/04/2012

    What do the political parties say?

    The National Party and the Government support parties, are obviously for the bailout. (so no need to quote them).

    But what about the opposition parties?

    Green Party Energy spokesperson, Gareth Hughes, says the Government need to “cut their losses” and the coal workers need a just transition, to jobs “that don’t fry the planet”.

    If the government took the Green Party advice to cut their losses“, According to EPMU spokesperson Ged O’Connell, without ” Government financial support for Solid Energy it would be likely to close down.”.

    I don’t think there can be any argument about this. The official statement from the Green Party couldn’t be clearer. The Green Party oppose the bailout, effectively calling for the close down of Solid Energy.

    But what about the Labour Party?

    Where does the Labour Party stand on the bail out of Solid Energy?

    If Labour had of been in government would they have done anything different to National?

    According to (some) Authors and commenters at The Standard, the Labour Party and the Green Party are in agreement on the Bailout because their party policies are the same.
    (Lynn Prentice for example has tried to argue that because these parties avowed policies are the same then their support, or not, for the bail out of Solid Energy must be the same).

    “Even a cursory look at this early phase shows that they seem to have policies that look remarkably the same.”

    Lprent 7 October 2013 at about 5ish

    “My understanding is that both parties have nearly identical positions on coal, which boil down to ‘it’s not good for the environment, but it’s good for jobs in the provinces, so an eventual wind down of the industry is the best long term plan’. Or summat like that.”

    Te Reo Putake 7 October 2013 at 10:15 am

    “Jenny – you were proven yesterday to be a liar regarding Labour’s position and yet you still repeat the same hyperbole ad nauseum today?


    However, others commenters at The Standard, are not so sure that I am “a liar” in thinking that Labour support the bailout.

    “IMO Labour will likely support Solid Energy’s continued existence, and retention as a full SOE. Not only are there many NZ jobs at stake, but also extensive technical and engineering knowledge plus a vital strategic energy source for the nation.

    Colonial Viper

    Clayton Cosgrove for Labour has said that the bailout is, too little, too late.

    If you asked me, this statement on the Labour Party’s, (possibly), alleged, opposition to the bail out of Solid Energy, is not very clear, at all. (well not half as clear as the Green Party statement, anyway). And could easily lead to confusion that Labour support the bail out.

    So are the Labour Party and the Green Party in agreement over the bailout of Solid Energy?

    And if Labour and the Greens, are in agreement. Do they both support the bail out, or do they both oppose it?

    This last question is a vitally important question, and the members and supporters of both the Green Party and the Labour Party need to know the answer. Because it relates directly to how the Green Party and the Labour Party will work together in government.

    The biggest open cast coal mine in this country’s history is about to be excavated on the Denniston Plateau, the Green Party oppose it on climate and environmental grounds, the Labour Party support it on job grounds. (The same divide between the two parties also goes for deep sea oil drilling, and fracking). Will these differences prevent the Green Party going into formal coalition with Labour, and from entering cabinet where they will be bound by collective cabinet responsibility to support the majority decision? (Which could see the Greens supporting Denniston, Deep Sea oil drilling, and fracking over the objections of their members), or do the Greens remain outside cabinet free to continue their opposition to these policies?

    Standard author mickysavage has promised HERE, to publish a post on The Standard, analysing the Solid Energy bail out. Hopefully, micky will be able to tell us clearly where both the Labour Party and the Green Party stand on this issue. Micky explains that the reason for the delay is that

    I can understand micky’s difficulty. There seems to be a lot of confusion (to say the least), on where the different parties stand.

    That this issue has generated some heat is undeniable, hopefully micky’s Post will be able to shed some much needed light. “The figures are chilling”, We need to get this right.

    • And you are quoting individuals again…

      My opinions are not Labour party policy
      Colonial Viper’s opinions are not Labour party policy
      Clayton Cosgrove is the

      Spokesperson for State Owned Enterprises
      Spokesperson for Commerce
      Spokesperson for the Earthquake Commission
      Associate Finance Spokesperson

      As such he is the person who states the Labour parties police on SOE’s like (astonishingly enough) Solid Energy. But you’ll notice that he has nothing to do with either energy policy or climate change policy.

      The point that many people have been making to you is that you are simply lying about Labour’s policies and most of the time about the Green’s policies. You also appear to be too lazy to find out.

      • “My opinions are not Labour party policy
        Colonial Viper’s opinions are not Labour party policy”

        Lynn Prentice

        But you are both respected middle ranked Labour Party activists, and as such, powerful opinion shapers.

        What you say, and advocate counts.

      • Clayton Cosgrove is the

        Spokesperson for State Owned Enterprises
        Spokesperson for Commerce
        Spokesperson for the Earthquake Commission
        Associate Finance Spokesperson

        Lynn Prentice

        Thanks for this Lynn, you have raised a couple of interesting points with your comment.

        Yes, of course I am aware that Clayton Cosgrove is not Labour’s spokesperson for climate change. Moana MacKey is.

        As far as I know Moana MacKey, has made no public statement about the Solid Energy Bailout, (I would love to be proved wrong), yet coal is the single biggest cause of climate change. But Lynn, don’t you think what you are saying, (at least partially), backs my original statement HERE. I might add to this, that it was not me, but others who brought up Clayton Cosgrove. I had not been aware that he had said anything on this issue, until it was pointed out to me by QoT in her inimitable style HERE.

        That Moana MacKey, or indeed Labour Leader David Cunliffe, have got nothing to say about the bail out of Solid Energy, or about the hundreds of workers dumped from Solid Energy with no jobs to go to, or nothing to say about National’s breach, if not of the letter, certainly the intent of the Majuro Declaration. All reinforces my initial assertion that Labour is keeping their silence. Labour and the Greens should be caning the Nats over these connected issues. That they are not, is disappointing and not what you would expect to witness if a Labour led administration is to be more than a BAU government.

        David Cunliffe in particular should have had something to say, he used to be hot on climate change before he was mugged in a back ally by the ABC gang. This is his chance to shine. Why hasn’t he said anything? Has he been intimidated at the hands of the ABC neoliberals and their media cheerleaders? If as you claim Lynn, Labour and the Greens see eye to eye on the bail out of Solid Energy, why the silence?

        If Labour want to become government they should start caning the nats over climate change, it is there weakest portfolio and polls show that there is a large constituency just waiting to see someone take a a lead on this issue.

        Not only that. It is the right thing to do.

    • There have been mines on the Denniston Plateau for years. As long as the area is cleaned up again and native plants from the region are reinstated, there’s no problem. People need jobs, especially on the West Coast.
      Almost everything that we need comes out of the ground in one way or another. Name something that doesn’t.

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