The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday 30th March 2016




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

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.


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  1. “properties were still more affordable on a mortgage-to-income basis than in 2008.

    The AMP 360 index shows that the average individual is spending 86.9 per cent of their income on their mortgage in Auckland – down from a peak of 101.7 per cent in late 2007” (

    Nick Smith spins like a top.

    Considering the rise in prices doesn’t this mean that it is the higher income earners who are buying the houses?

    How else would the ratio change?

  2. A Post I found in a disscssion about Bernie Sanders progress in US.
    Seemed fitting…

    …. yet the governor of MN, who raised taxes on the wealthy, increased the minimum wage, and focused heavily on education, has created 172,000 new jobs and is closing his budget deficit. Unlike his predecessor who created only 6,000 jobs at lower wages and left a gaping deficit, all via “trickle down” and austerity. Why does this need to be proven relentlessly while hoping for a different outcome? Spending is what brought us out of the Great Depression. Spending is what makes cash flow.
    Additionally, ‘free markets’ cannot exist in a corporate oligarchy. And consumers who have no money cannot make cash flow. The velocity of money has come to an abrupt halt. What’s your solution for that?

  3. The flag thing: Where’s the accountability? A principal of government that was ratified in England somewhere around the time of the Glorious Revolution (16something) is that those who are enfranchised to vote, which was limited at the time, have “the right” to hold their representatives to account and to “cashier” them for misconduct.
    I feel quite nauseated by the flag thing. I do believe it was a “psy-ops” political operation from the start, obviously designed as a distraction but also that it was a highly manipulative way to get NZers to experience a psychological affirmation of their “nationality” by defending the flag.
    Is that just? Is it just “real politick” in action, or is that beyond the pale, a deeply cynical manipulation of the populace by a government that has problems with ethical behaviour. As that is 23 million tax payer dollars wasted on a “psy-ops” manipulation, can we call that mis-government and an illegal use of the power of the government to utilise tax dollars?
    I think the media was in on the joke to some extent, witness the immediate slew of MSM columns devoted to “finding ourselves” etc, etc the second the vote was in.
    How do we bring a charge of criminal mismanagement of public funds against the government?
    They have not given sufficient explanation of why this was necessary. The spending of 23 million dollars should have a strong case for necessity attached. How does it, here?
    A very dark day in New Zealand politics. The legitimisation of corrupt expenditure, by spin doctors, an ethically-absent political party, and its various agents in the media.
    Meanwhile, police budgets for specialist forensic crime scene investigators are slashed by 5-6 million$, and housing’s an absolute fucking mess, from mortgages to rentals.
    And the aptly named hollow prime minister has fled the country. Bloody ridiculous.

  4. CrossTalk discussion/debate:

    “Why can’t Europe protect itself from terror attacks – does Brussels have misplaced priorities? Also, Russia as universal bogeyman – when the US and the EU stare failure in the face blaming Russia is the first excuse of convenience.

    And is Trump on to something – should there be a serious re-think about the necessity of NATO?

    And finally Ukraine again – Crimea’s democratic return to Russia two years on….

    CrossTalking with Patrick Henningsen, Dmitry Babich and Xavier Moreau.”

  5. My comment completely disappeared, so I’m going to try again.
    The flag thing: The National government has not shown sufficient, I would say ANY, evidence, that the flag referendum was necessary.
    As it cost the taxpayer $23million, at this level of public expenditure, there should be a requirement that the government prove to the public that the expense is a necessity that outweighs other necessities.
    For example, we should be shown explicitly why the flag referendum money was better spent there than in those areas that are shown to benefit the NZers quality of life, such as health, education, or public housing.
    Around the time of the Glorious Revolution in England, the ideals that a people should be able to choose their representatives and also to “cashier them” for mis-government, either passed into law or became a cornerstone of political philosophy in England, I’m not sure which and this is just a comment so how deep are the research requirements…
    I would think that the flag debacle has been the misspending and misappropriation of tax payer funds by the National government. We should have some vehicle to challenge them on legal grounds for manipulating the citizenry to no good end and misusing public funds for personal political gain.
    This whole thing stinks like a barrel of rotten fish with some rotten eggs thrown in. It seems to me that there was collusion with parts the MSM to “spread the word, fan the flames”, to create an issue where there wasn’t one.
    This did not grow out of a public call for a flag referendum.
    Has there been a more blatant spin/”psy-ops” operation perpetrated on a body of citizens in a supposedly functioning and transparent democracy, in recent times?

    • To clarify – it was still being debated in late 1700s whether or not “the people” had the right to “dismiss rulers” for “misconduct”. Some political writers said yes, some said no.
      Interesting, though. If we could dismiss the Nats on the grounds of political misconduct I would think the flag BS would qualify.
      Isn’t it a failure of good governance? Like a more sophisticated version of an African despot spending 20 million on a parade for himself wearing a leopard’s head for a hat or something. It was profligacy with the public dollar. Just obscene.

  6. @towanda – I’m with you – certainly a misuse of public money! The government, right from the start KNEW, through polls that kiwis were not interested in changing the flag, yet they pushed on with a long winded referendum regardless and wasting our money in the process. There should be some reprimand or something! This is exactly what Hager keeps saying ‘ there are no checks or independent reviews of what those in power get up to – no accountability what so ever’ – and John Key and his government are pushing that fact as far as they can.

    • @Kim Dandy – I know, I’m having one of those “I wish I was a lawyer” moments where I wish I knew what kind of legal avenues there are to actually try to bring a case against the government for misuse of taxpayer dollars, and if “manipulation of the public” could be thrown in as well, that would be nice.
      So, Helen Clark puts her signature on a painting she didn’t paint and we get “paintergate” and “corngate”, the National government creates an unnecessary $23 million dollar flag debacle that, as you say, polls repeatedly showed wasn’t an issue for the public, and they get a few columns saying “it’s over now, everyone” and there’s no critical enquiry at all. Or none that I’ve read or seen, but perhaps Nat Radio has had something, don’t know. Totally ridiculous!

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