The Daily Blog Open Mic Sunday 5th April 2015




Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

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  1. So today we celebrate the co-option of the rituals of the celtic celebration of spring; Eostre-fest. By the worshippers of a two millenia old zombie, at a time previously held sacred for an act of genocide. All this while the season is now undeniably autumnal and the first frosts imminent in the deep south. With abundance of pumpkins and apples, the rituals of Halloween would be more appropriate at this time of year in Aotearoa.

    So as a break from the Germanic hymns on RNZ, here is a track from the renowned headbanger; Stevie Wonder, in a little-known collaboration:

    When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
    Then you suffer.
    Superstition ain’t the way…
    Sad but true.

  2. With Human Beings, Perception is Everything

    (In the wake of Winston Peters victory in Northland. A cleverly crafted essay by John Armstrong, the NZ Herald’s ‘chief’ political commentator, in which Armstrong uses crudity to try and shape public perception to his view that this does not represent an interruption of the status quo.)

    In addressing the matter of the balance of power John Armstrong writes:

    “The reality is that the influence Dunne and Seymour have been able to wield over National since last September’s general election is akin to that of an ant crawling up an elephant’s backside. The impact of a slight change in the balance of power is likewise negligible.

    The evidence for saying that is that neither leader has gone to John Key to demand concessions and rewrite their confidence and supply agreements accordingly.” JOHN ARMSTRONG

    Firstly, ACT are irrelevant to the equation.
    Being of the extreme Right, ACT fully support the current Government’s legislative program. There is more likely hood that some of the more liberal National Party MPs would cross the floor to vote with the opposition than ACT’s David Seymour ever doing so. Logically, there is no reason, other than to conflate and confuse the issue, that John Armstrong should have mentioned ACT in this context. It is Peter Dunne, who holds in his hands the government’s majority, not David Seymour.

    Armstrong makes mention that Peter Dunne has not (as yet) sought to rewrite his confidence and supply agreement with the government. But he could. It is Peter Dunne himself who has mentioned this, making it a very real possibility. (A fact that Armstrong, could not have been unaware of. But a fact that Armstrong chose to gloss over.)

    NZ Herald Saturday February 28, 2015

    “Peter Dunne wants rethink if Winston Peters wins Northland”
    5:00 AM Saturday Feb 28, 2015

    United Future leader Peter Dunne says he would look at revisiting his post-election concessions from the National Party if New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wins the Northland byelection….

    Mr Dunne pointed to Resource Management reforms as one area which he could have greater influence over if National lost a seat. He said the reforms, which he has expressed concerns about, would “take on quite a different hue” if National relied on his vote to pass.

    Mr Dunne noted that his party signed a confidence and supply agreement when National had an outright majority. National has since lost a seat in the final election count and could lose another in Northland.

    Asked whether he would seek greater concessions from National if it lost another seat, he said: “That’s something I’d want to consider. I don’t have an immediate answer at this point.” ISAAC DAVISON NZ Herald political reporter.

    In my opinion, what John Armstrong’s analysis suffers from; Is that the writer is hindered by wearing narrow insider establishment blinkers, which prevent him glimpsing some things just to the side of his narrow field of establishment vision.

    Though Armstrong does admit that there may be problems for the government in enforcing changes to the RMA. That will be it. (he hopes).

    But the forces in society outside of government (even outside of parliament) that also influence politics, and that are building in size and pressure, could also turn aside or blunten some of the other significant government legislation that Armstrong infers will not suffer in any way.

    The foremost of these, of course is the majority public opposition to the TPPA,* and the large protests against it, which have found expression inside parliament with Fletcher Tabateau’s bill to ban ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlements). All that is required for this bill to succeed is Peter Dunne’s vote. (Another fact that John Armstrong carefully ignores in his essay).

    ‘Gauntlet thrown down’ as support for bill grows

    Politics is all about pressure

    The sort of political pressures in society that saw Mike Minogue and Marilyn Waring cross the floor over nuclear ships in 1984, are now building against the TPPA in 2015.

    Will these forces in society be enough to counter the political pressure that National can exert on Peter Dunne?

    There are many factors in play. Not least of these, Dear Reader are you, and what you do.

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