Chris Trotter sends a warning to Little Angry Andy

Chris Trotter thinks that Andrew Little has had a great week.

We disagreed as we shared a short conversation in the offices of Radio Live yesterday, but I have just read his column where he sends a veiled a warning to Andrew Little.

The message to the man he defeated by a single percentage point could not be clearer.

Little expects a lot more from his future Finance Minister than the standard neoliberal commitment to keeping the books in the black. He will not be judging the worth of Labour’s economic policies by the level of praise emanating from the business community. For Little, looking after the One Percent’s funds cannot be Labour’s first priority. The critical challenge confronting Labour’s next Finance Minister will be funding the changes so desperately needed by the other Ninety-Nine Percent.

In other words: how does Labour make sure that a rising tide of economic growth lifts more than just the luxury yachts?

Little has strongly hinted that the answer to that question does not lie in the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax, or raising the age of eligibility for superannuation from 65 to 67. New policies, based on the electorate’s most urgent needs, is what Little has asked for, and his promise to review the Shadow Cabinet’s performance in 12 months’ time strongly suggests that he means to get them. Little’s colleagues would be wise to assume that his threshold for failure is set a lot lower than his predecessors’.  Read more »

Mental Health Break

The Queen v Banks: the highlights

The full judgement can be found at the bottom, but here are the highlights.

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Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


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Warrantless surveillance: Hook, line, sinker

The media and opposition appear to have fallen for the standard civil liberties play.

Here is how it goes.

Any reduction of civil liberties will be met by strong opposition.  That’s a given.   So, if you want to achieve something, make sure you actually make it sound worse.

After some time, “you’ve listened to the people of New Zealand”, and you withdraw the most contentious issue.

The civil liberty campaigners will see it as a victory, and… voila!  What you really wanted through … is through.

A classic master class in this was the introduction of “ID card” driving licenses.   At the time, they pushed the idea it would become a “national identity card”, and “mandatory photo ID”.

Cue the civil liberty campaigners…   after “listening”, the government stepped away from pushing it as far as they originally proposed, and… voila!   They achieved a photo-id database that was unprecedented at the time.  Not even passports were that “digitised” at the time.

Incidentally, all these civil liberties people were Missing In Action when all my private data was being intercepted and passed around without a search warrant – but I digress…

With that strategy of deliberately overexciting the numpties with a fake bit of policy in mind, I’ve been observing the current outcry about the “Terror” Bill.   The most contentious of it appears to be the 48 hours of surveillance without a search warrant. Read more »

Once again Len’s council tells us we should shut up, they know best

You know Auckland Council thinks it can do things better than anyone else when it diversifies away from its core responsibilities to indulge in a particular activity that is best conducted by private enterprise. the supremacy and arrogance of the Council has been a bad smell for some time but is about to get stinkier.

It’s urban compact city plans are not happening and its frustrated and desperate to make it happen.

And its usually at times like this that stupid decisions are made.

Len Brown has now announced that Auckland Council will form an Urban development agency to improve the city’s ability to address some of its’ pressing urban development needs. In short – it is going to jump right on into the very high risk game of property development.

Auckland Council’s Governing Body today agreed to support the establishment of an urban development agency to improve the city’s ability to address some of its pressing urban development needs.

The new entity, called Development Auckland, will have a key role in helping deliver the council priority of quality urban living and will have the mandate to deal with the challenge of Auckland’s rapid growth through regeneration and investment.  The agency will have the capability to deliver public and private development and infrastructure, including housing, across the region.

The new entity is a result of the realignment of Auckland Council’s council-controlled organisations (CCOs).

Mayor Len Brown said: “Meeting Auckland’s development needs over the next 10 to 20 years requires a transformational shift in the council’s approach to urban development and regeneration

“Central government, the council, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector will be able to work together in a way that does not burden ratepayers further with the costs of growth, but rather sees them realise the benefits of it.

“The CCO review has provided Auckland Council with an opportunity to address this.”    Read more »

This makes me angry

My opponents have successfully created a number of public perceptions about me.   One of them is that I laugh at dead babies.   Apart from showing what lengths my opponents will go through to undermine my reputation, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

This story, from Marty Sharpe, has got me seething with anger.

A computer gaming addict has admitted causing grievous injuries to his baby son while downloading and playing a game.

When the 5-week-old boy was taken to hospital, it was found he had 13 fractures to his ribs, and fractures to his skull, pelvis, both arms and legs, and a lacerated spleen.

Devon Bird, 21, was woken by his partner in their Waipukurau home at 6.30am on November 1 last year. She had been up with their newborn son for much of the night, and asked Bird to care for him while she slept. The baby was asleep in a bassinet.

Phone records showed that Bird – who, according to a summary of facts, describes himself as a “game freak” – downloaded a game called The Walking Dead shortly before 7am. Text messages he sent showed he texted a friend about his performance in the game about 7.30am.

At 10am he rang his mother-in-law and asked her to care for the baby while he went to class. The woman immediately noticed bruising beneath both the baby’s eyes and on the bridge of his nose, and pink spots on his cheeks.

Fearing he might have meningitis, she rang Healthline, which advised her to take him to a doctor.

The doctor suspected meningitis or septicaemia, and an ambulance took the baby to Hawke’s Bay Hospital. He was later flown to the intensive care unit at Starship hospital.

So far so good.  Then things started to cave in.  And the lies kept on coming.   Read more »

Oh “Yay”, the Murdering Pedo is on his way back

Photo Of The Day

Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images. A photo titled 'Me As Al Jolson', from an album belonging to Hitler's companion Eva Braun (1912 - 1945), depicting her in blackface as American actor Al Jolson in 'The Jazz Singer', Munich, Germany, 1937. Braun, enjoyed private parties with friends and liked to watch American films such as 'Gone with the Wind'.

Photo by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images.
A photo titled ‘Me As Al Jolson’, from an album belonging to Hitler’s companion Eva Braun (1912 – 1945), depicting her in blackface as American actor Al Jolson in ‘The Jazz Singer’, Munich, Germany, 1937. Braun, enjoyed private parties with friends and liked to watch American films such as ‘Gone with the Wind’.

Eva Braun

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BREAKING: John Banks’ conviction quashed

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Court of Appeal set aside his conviction and ordered a retrial.

This is what the original judge wrote:

Judge found Crown witnesses Kim Dotcom, Mona Dotcom & former employee were “clear, consistent and credible” in their evidence

Except they lied.

I doubt Dotcom will be too worried about a perjury charge being added, but Mona might be in trouble.  As far as I know Tempero left before the other visitors turned up, so he will be in the clear.

UPDATE:  John Banks has said that he will talk to the press at 3 pm today.