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Archive for 10 June 2013

10 June – Issues of Interest

10 June 2013 1 comment

A look at issues that’ve hit the headlines (or not)…

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Looking at the pieces

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Beware of Think Tanks bearing “solutions”

Ex-politician and right wing ‘pundit’ Michael Bassett appeared on TVNZ’s Q+A on 9 June 2013, promoting something called the ” Priced Out” study (see: TVNZ – Q+A –  Dr Michael Bassett on housing affordability)

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New Zealand Initiative - Business Roundtable

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The report blamed local government bodies for being part of something called  the “compact cities cult” and supposedly being unduly restrictive in zoning policies that would free up land for development to build more housing.

Having compact, dense inner cities is fine but often that is prioritised at the expense of urban development. Most people want to live in suburbs.”

Sourse: New Zealand Initiative – Priced Out

One of the report authors, Luke Malpass, stated,

Malpass also notes that the peak of new homes in the 1970s was fuelled by government welfare policies after World War II that subsidised and promoted house construction.

“The New Zealand Government basically printed money for about 50 years to pay for those policies, which is why no-one is really considering them now.”

Acknowledgement: Fairfax Media –  Cult of compact living blamed for high prices

Interesting comments… And they sounded strangely familiar. The ‘tut-tutting’ of State investment in housing; criticism of local body regulation;  the promotion of free market “solutions”…

Who/what is the “New Zealand Initiative” I wondered?

Why, it’s no less than a reincarnation of the right-wing NZ Business Roundtable, merged with the right-wing ‘think tank’, the  New Zealand Institute. (see:  Roundtable and NZ Institute morph into new libertarian think tank)

Well that explains where Bassett and Malpass are coming from – a far-right “think tank” that advocates more lunatic “reforms” that would benefit the top 1% in this country.

Yes, we have a housing shortage in this country.

But as per usual, right-wing fanatics find others to blame for the failure of the marketplace to meet social needs. The New Right steadfastly  refuse to take any responsibility for the failure of their screwy policies – the ones that have been in place since 1984.

It’s funny how the Q+A programme and Fairfax report both neglected to inform the viewer/reader that this was a product of the Business Roundtable.

And by the way, why did the BRT change it’s name?

Perhaps because the “Business Roundtable  brand” is somewhat tarnished?!

See also:

Evening Post: Poor better off than before: Kerr (7 Nov 1996)

Otago Daily Times:  Poor not poorer, Kerr (12 June 1999)

NZPA – Kiwis urged to take responsibility – 12 August 1999

National cares? Whodathunk it???

From the Dominion Post on 28 May, 2013,

Mr Key told the National Party’s northern conference  at the weekend that it was a “myth” that the party did not care about the less-well-off.

Acknowledgment: Dominion Post – Scheme may see kids clothed as well as fed

Also not myths, according to Dear Leader,  are  the Loch Ness monster, flying saucers, and Sasquatch.

Of course, it’s only a sheer coincidence that the Nats have been  engaged in wide-spread beneficiary-bashing at a time of high unemployment caused by the Global Financial Crisis.

The same GFC that Dear Leader automically falls back on to excuse National’s poor performace with the economy;

We did inherit a pretty bad situation with the global financial crisis. We have had three terrible earthquakes in Christchurch. We have had the collapse of finance companies. We have had to bail out what is, in terms of the earthquakes, the single biggest economic impact on a developed economy as the result of a disaster. The public don’t agree with every decision… but I think they believe on balance it’s been a tough three years and we’ve handled most things well. The second thing is it’s all relative. Yes, our unemployment went to 7 per cent and now it’s 6.5, but in America it’s 9 per cent officially and 14 per cent unofficially and in Spain it’s 20 per cent... ”  – John Key, 11 September 2011

National using the GFC as an excuse for poor economic performance: ok.

Unemployed, solo-mums, and other beneficiaries doing likewise: not ok.

Abusing animals for drug-heads

Green Party MP, Mojo Mathers sez,

A pack of gorgeous beagles and their human companions helped deliver to me a 60,000 strong petition calling for the ruling out of animal testing in legal high regulations. I’m sure many of you signed this petition so thank you.

Some of these beagles were rescued from an animal testing facility and I have been working hard to make sure their voices are heard by MPs who are making decisions on the safety testing regulations for legal highs.

If we don’t specifically rule it out, animals will be used to test the safety of legal highs, even though those tests are cruel and unnecessary. I have been meeting with other parties to gather support for my amendment to the Bill to rule out animal testing. “

As demanded by law, if retailers of synthetic cannabis want to peddle their ‘wares’, like this crap,

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k2_synthetic_marijuana_legal_high__N2

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– they need to test their products on animals like these,

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beagles

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– to prove their safety.

Now, I have difficulty at the best of times with the knowledge that we already test products like shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and other stuff we humans “need” to hide our natural body odours.

But causing harm, pain and eventual death to animals to test “herbal highs” so that a bunch of hedonistic party-goers can turn on, tune out, and  trip Up is a step too far.

There is something terribly wrong with out humanity and so-called compassion when we can even contemplate such an atrocity.  This is evil.

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David Farrar – Challenging Slater for Sultan of Sleaze?

10 June 2013 4 comments

On Kiwiblog, on 4 June, David Farrar posted this curious item,

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Kiwiblog - A Question - Simon Lusk - Martyn Bradbury - David Farrar

Acknowledgment – Kiwiblog – A Question

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In effect, Kiwiblogger, David Farrar – a known contractor, supporter, and apparatchik for the  National Party – accused prominent progressive blogger, Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury of a “shocking breach of ethics” by allegedly not disclosing being on the  “parliamentary payroll for the last 18 months to two years as a parliamentary communications advisor to a political party“.

More on problems with Mr Farrar’s own disclosures here:  Continuous disclosure

Is it true?!   Did Bradbury hide his links to the Mana Party?

Hardly. As Martyn’s own disclosure on The Daily Blog quite clearly states,

“He has appeared at numerous political and union functions over the last few years. He is a political consultant to organisations of the left and centre-left and argued for the creation of the MANA Party as a party to the Left of the Greens as a means for the Left to win back Parliament. Mr Bradbury also hosts the current affairs show ‘Citizen A’ on Face TV and was Editor in Residence at the Wintec School of Journalism. “

Acknowledgment – The Daily Blog – About Martyn Bradbury

So as a ‘Shock! Horror! Probe!’ story – it’s pretty much a non-story.  Anyone with two inter-connecting neuron-cells could’ve found  this info with  three mouse-clicks. (Has Farrar investigated whether David Shearer is a member of the Labour Party? That’d be a real revelation!!)

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is precisely where Farrar sourced his info from; Martyn’s own disclosure at The Daily Blog.

So, if it’s no secret, what was Farrar’s agenda in all this?

Slow news/blog night?

Boredom?

Or… was it a little more devious?

Let’s look behind this event…

Arch right-wing ‘shaker and mover’, Simon Lusk has been in the media lately, with his bizarre plans to move New Zealand politics to the right; capture and politicise  the civil service; “dominate” the media and blogosphere; seeking donations from American neo-conservatives;  and to increase his power-base in the National Party;

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National turns on hard right advisor

Acknowledgment – NZ Herald – National turns on hard right advisor

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Seriously happy to upset the status quo

Acknowledgment – Fairfax Media – Seriously happy to upset the status quo

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PM responds to secret plans to push the Nats to the right

Acknowledgment – NBR – PM responds to secret plans to push the Nats to the right

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So it’s fairly clear – there’s one helluva sh*t-storm going on behind the scenes in the National Party.

Recent headlines  at major blogs such as The Daily Blog, The Standard, and elsewhere,  have also focused on  Lusk and his machinations,

Breaking News: Dark plot about to be exposed within National Party

Lusk & Slater: Dirty Deeds Done Poorly

Will the mainstream media continue to use Cameron Slater as a commentator now he’s been exposed?

What the left can learn from Lusk

Many of the critiques were penned by Martyn Bradbury.

Was  Farrar’s   blogpost on   Martyn a random event?  Or is there a more sinister aspect to this story – especially as Farrar’s blogpost was  backed up by Cameron Slater on the same day – 4 June (see slimy Whalesoil blogpost:  Paid Blogger outed, It’s Martyn Bradbury).

The answer, I submit to the reader, can be found here;

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Acknowledgment – Fairfax Media – Anti-MMP plan leaked

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Lusk. Jordan. Farrar. Cameron Slater. A cabal of four known right-wingers, who are deeply connected with each other, socially and  politically.

And just to drive home the connection;.

Simon Lusk - David Farrar - Cameron Slater

Acknowledgment – Selection Training Weekend – Dates: Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th of january

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The above screen-cap was taken from a document outlining a “training session” from one of Lusk’s private “training camps” for wannabe National Party candidates. (More on those “training camps here:  National turns on hard right advisor)

Those are the the links.

It’s obvious to all that this has been a particularly nasty vendetta against Martyn by a small clique of rabid right-wing activists.

Martyn’s “crime”?

Being highly successful at being one of the best centre-left bloggers in this country and critic of the right wing agenda.

When the Right target you in such a deceptive, spiteful manner, it proves just how effective you are.  And how desperate the Right are becoming as the centre-left gains ascendency.

Well done, Martyn.

Carry on.

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References

Fairfax Media:  Anti-MMP plan leaked (29 May 2011)

Previous Related Blogpost

Power Struggle in the National Party?!

Some thoughts on the anti-MMP campaign

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