Politics

The most important problem facing America

In the midst of an article about the media obsession with Trump and Russia, there was this table of the results of the latest Gallup poll asking Americans the question, “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?”

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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

We want what they’ve got

Hundreds of teachers, parents and students gathered at the Church Steps on Trafalgar St, Nelson, during the national teacher strike. Image Stuff.

The problem with all the strikes lately is that different sectors of public employees are making mileage off the back of previous striking groups.

Nurses called off their planned strike on 5 July after the government put an improved offer on the table.

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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

Pike River CEO Peter Whittall says he is guilt-free

Pike River has hit the news again, with Chief Executive Peter Whittall claiming to be guilt free, while Andrew Little threatens further action without having any new evidence.  Quote: 

Unrepentant former Pike River boss Peter Whittall has horrified the dead men’s families by dismissing a looming manslaughter prosecution, saying he has nothing to be ashamed of.
“Do I feel guilt? No,” Peter Whittall told Stuff. “It is human nature to blame someone.”[…] End of quote.

We feel guilt when we believe, rightly or wrongly, that our conduct has not met a moral standard. When we perhaps think we could have done more, or acted differently which might have resulted in a different outcome. To be guilt-free, Peter Whittall must feel very confident. He must feel certain that he made no bad judgement calls, and in every decision he made, that the safety and well being of his staff was given the highest priority. Ahead of profit. With no compromises made to appease shareholders in order to speed up production and to make the mine profitable.  Quote:

[…] A lengthy Royal Commission inquiry concluded Pike River had a culture of production over safety and ignored warnings of dangerous gas levels in the days before the deaths.[…]  End of quote.

As I have covered previously, Pike River Mine was a disaster waiting to happen.  There were so many failures that each contributed to the disaster, and Peter Whittall was involved at some level in many of them.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Jacinda really can do it all

Credit-Luke
PM Jacinda Ardern

She’s graced the cover of Vogue magazine. She has boosted the sales of Allbirds tenfold. She wrote the forward for Helen Clark’s new book. She has had a baby, took only 6 weeks off, and manages to juggle work and motherhood at the same time. She has scolded the Australians on their attitude towards refugees. She has has a wonderful trip to Europe, meeting foreign heads of state, and even attending a dinner at Buckingham Palace and now she is writing for The NZ Herald. quote:

Prime Minister  Jacinda Ardern will be the guest editor of the New Zealand Herald‘s 125th Suffrage edition, to be published on September 19.

The commemorative edition will mark the anniversary of New Zealand women winning the right to vote on September 19, 1893, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

“It’s a huge honour to be asked to guest edit the Suffrage 125 anniversary edition of the New Zealand Herald. It’s an assignment I’m approaching with a great sense of responsibility,” Ardern said.

“To try and summarise 125 years of women’s experience in one issue of the newspaper is an impossible task, but I’m planning at least to ensure that the edition covers where we’ve been, where we are right now, and where we’re going.”

Herald Premium Content Editor Miriyana Alexander said the Prime Minister was a fitting guest editor for the occasion. The pair have started planning and Alexander said Ardern was full of great story ideas.

“The Prime Minister is going to roll her sleeves up and write some pieces, and is pursuing some great interview subjects. She will also be in the Herald newsroom on the night to join our team in putting the paper to bed. end quote.

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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

Digital image of the day: Green party

Digital image credit: Boondecker
Green Party

A contribution from Whaleoil staff and interns.

The problems of being all things to all people

Under John Key, Steve Joyce and Bill English National tried to be all things to all people in an attempt to get more than 50% of the vote. They never succeeded.

In Australia Malcolm Turnbull is also trying to be all things to all people and it is failing.  Joe Hildebrand explains: Quote:

Why are the Prime Minister and his government in crisis?

The truth is that despite his record-breaking effort at losing Newspolls, Turnbull has not been a bad prime minister — and certainly not a monstrous one.

Indeed, virtually everything he’s done has previously been actively championed by the two main forces out to destroy him, namely the Labor Party and Tony Abbott. He has fully funded and committed to the ALP’s two main signature policies of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Gonski education reforms and he has held fast on Abbott’s key promises of stopping the boats and axing the carbon tax.

And when it comes to other taxes, let’s not forget that Abbott jacked them up while Turnbull is actually cutting them and somehow this is used as ammunition against him by the right. Funny old world.

Pretty much everything he does is within the bandwidth of reasonableness and almost all his policies are cautiously calibrated compromises. Indeed, the most shocking thing about the $444 million Great Barrier Reef funding scandal is that it appears to be evidence that Turnbull once made a hard and fast decision.

And this, ironically enough, is precisely the problem. In trying to be all things to all people Turnbull has become nothing to no one. He is the nowhere man of Australian politics. End quote.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

Help create the Dear Cicero Debate Forum

Welcome!

I am now in the process of fundraising for an upscale forum to hold in-depth and entertaining debates in Auckland.  New Zealand speakers for a New Zealand audience.

Dear Cicero Debate Forum seeks to become New Zealand’s liveliest platform to debate ideas.  They will be intelligent debates to indulge in our democracy’s gift of freedom of speech and self-expression. A place where people can ride into battle, but only with their wits!

This will be a platform for clear thinkers and strong speakers to engage in classy, civilised debates and discussions on matters which are important to New Zealanders, both culturally and politically. Two or three debaters on each side of a stated motion will be hosted by an objective moderator. Well known speakers will be sourced from New Zealand’s media, political landscape, academia and also from our speaking circuit.   Read more »

I value the principles which became the hallmarks of Western democracy, made possible by the Age of Reason; religious tolerance (a wall between religion and state), a commitment to scientific inquiry, the emancipation of women and children, a free and un-coerced media, and individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These core ideas are the beating heart of our civilisation and what make it a place worth thriving in – and dying for, as so many of our recent forefathers took it upon themselves to do.

Buy Olivia’s book Western Values Defended

Incite Politics

Abolition of Maori seats would spark a civil war

Was there ever a time when the Maori seats could have been abolished safely? It is tempting to suggest the year 1950, when the first National Party prime minister, Sid Holland, abolished New Zealand’s upper house, the Legislative Council. Had he tacked-on the elimination of the Maori seats and presented the whole package as a “modernisation” of the New Zealand constitution, then his government would probably have got away with it.

There would, of course, have been an outcry. Maoridom would have protested strongly, reminding Pakeha New Zealanders of the Maori Battalion’s heroic wartime contributions in North . . .

This is Subscriber Content.

You can access subscriber content, including crosswords, sudoku, polling, commentary and podcasts by subscribing to one of our membership packages.

You get what you bargain for

John Roughan looks at why it is the teachers are tits at industrial relations and as a consequence have tits pay: Quote:

My granddaughter is in Year 2 at her nearest primary school and loving it. For that I thank her teachers. They work hard to make schools happy, lively, friendly, healthy and stimulating for all children. But teachers will never be paid what they deserve until they organise themselves professionally.

I’m not talking about primitive industrial tactics and pathetic placards in the streets, though those are bad enough. I don’t know whether my granddaughter knew why we were looking after her on Wednesday. If she did, she didn’t mention it, for which I was grateful.

How do you reinforce their respect for teachers who want more pay and have refused to work that day to show how angry they are? Children understand that is what a child would do but not adults in their experience. They are too young to understand that the reason teachers are not well paid is that they adhere to bargaining structures designed to protect the weakest in their ranks rather than sell their best work at its market value.   

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

If the Gunts can’t ban something they’ll find a way to tax it

The Green party are looking at taxing rubbish: Quote:

The Government has outlined a proposal to tackle New Zealand’s waste management.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage revealed her plans at the Green Party’s annual conference, but National has been quick to slam it as a “tyre tax”.

While MP Julie Anne Genter cycled to hospital to give birth on Sunday morning, her colleagues were also busy peddling the Green Party brand.

“New Zealand has had a rubbish record on waste over the last decade,” Ms Sage told the conference. “We want to turn that around, reduce the volume of waste going to landfill.”

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.