Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The smart thing to do

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  • Angus Robertson,

    The Chinese factory owners do it for zip? Maybe Angus can point me in the direction of these benevolent folks? I need....

    ...no don't tell me let me guess.

    You have a small ceramics workshop and want to do a large plate run. Do the design and have them Made in China for 20% of the price. You'll fire your staff, recieve carbon credits by shutting your NZ kiln, airfreight the plates back, discount 25% off, double your profit and (here is the best bit) blame the dirty f*%king Chinese for polluting the planet.

    PS - we are discussing Kyoto here, an agreement Chinese have no obligations under and based on a framework they will never join, because of its inherent unfairness (see above).

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Are Rodney & Roger happy now? The British airline surtax sounds like an ominous portent. If North America, Japan, Australia and the rest of the EU follow suit, it'll likely have a bigger impact than Britain joining the EEC in 1973. "Carbon pariah", anybody?

    And you think Gordon Brown gives a bio-degradable shit about domestic politics literally on the other side of the world? Sorry to say this, but I don't think we're really that important.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It was reasonable of National to want to conclude negotiations on support agreements in time for John Key to undertake an important round of official foreign engagements.

    Please excuse my ignorance, but, could someone please explain to me why these official rounds are so important? I mean all I got so far was any help Key got from this end, was tossed in the rubbish for his own thoughts on telling visiting dignitaries(?) that they should mean what they say. doh! Then next visit, Pomgolia to tell Brown he knows better than him, how to run his country! What am I missing here? Wouldn't it have been prudent to stay home and organise his party and those in coalition?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    What am I missing here? Wouldn't it have been prudent to stay home and organise his party and those in coalition?

    Believe it or not, Sofie, APEC is about a bit more than "I went to Lima and all I got was this shit-coloured poncho"; and Gordon Brown happens to be the head of government of a major trading partner and ally of this country. It's a wee bit fucking patronising, pardon my French, to say he went to London to "tell Brown he knows better than him, how to run his country". Or I guess Helen Clark and Phil Goff spent the last nine years annually being equally arseholish to John Howard and Kevin Rudd?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    It's nice that there are at least some local journalists willing to critique ACT, but, God, I feel like they're getting a free ride from a lot of quarters. I had the misfortune to catch Close Up on Tuesday night, and Rodney had Mark Sainsbury eating out of his hand as he promised to 'get stuck into' the RMA and radically restructure local government. It didn't help that Hide kept swaying like a particularly odious and sweaty boxing opponent, but I had trouble not punching the screen.

    If Key doesn't start trying to neutralize ACT, his careful re-branding of National is going to get utterly trashed by association, and quickly. They are complete, barking loons. I'd feel more comfortable right now if the Nats were in formal coalition with the Church of Scientology.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sofie:

    OK, I should partially retract that. It's an entirely honourable school of thought that the Prime Minister of New Zealand should never, ever express any disquiet about any policy that potentially could have a catastrophic impact on a major industry in New Zealand. Stuff that independent foreign policy and "real friends talk straight to each other" nonsense the current Labour leader and foreign affairs spokeswoman used to chunter on about.

    Hell of a long way to go for a cup of tea and a chat about the rugby though... not to mention the carbon footprint. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    ...no don't tell me let me guess.

    You have a small ceramics workshop and want to do a large plate run. Do the design and have them Made in China for 20% of the price. You'll fire your staff, recieve carbon credits by shutting your NZ kiln, airfreight the plates back, discount 25% off, double your profit and (here is the best bit) blame the dirty f*%king Chinese for polluting the planet.

    Steady Angus...my response was simply to your inaccurate statement that the profits go to Holland. It was, and remains nonsense. There is a profit derived by all parties from the transaction.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    a bit more than "I went to Lima and all I got was this shit-coloured poncho";

    Alpaca daarling :)

    I guess Helen Clark and Phil Goff spent the last nine years annually being equally arseholish to John Howard and Kevin Rudd?

    I'm guessing now that is what I am missing, yes? I think it would be nice if the media following him around were able to inform us about what happens at APEC , then at least I wouldn't always feel in the dark about Naaational .

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    and Rodney had Mark Sainsbury eating out of his hand as he promised to 'get stuck into' the RMA and radically restructure local government.

    I accept that the RMA needs fixing, but if Rodney has his way with it, he could merely be throwing out one problematic 3-letter acronym only to find himself dealing with another - ELF.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Craig:

    And you think Gordon Brown gives a bio-degradable shit about domestic politics literally on the other side of the world? Sorry to say this, but I don't think we're really that important.

    Unless of course, some nutters drag the 'Punch a Pom a Day' campaign out of compulsory retirement. And what's to stop them going further: 'Frag a Frog'... 'Sock an Ocker'... 'Slap a Jap'... 'Clout a Kraut'... 'Spank a Yank'... well, one gets the general picture.

    Starting to sound like a rap recording to me...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OK, I should partially retract that. It's an entirely honourable school of thought that the Prime Minister of New Zealand should never, ever express any disquiet about any policy that potentially could have a catastrophic impact on a major industry in New Zealand.

    I can't quite see what all the fuss is about. In context, his description of the proposal as "not necessarily rational" seems perfectly alright. Steve Pierson was going nuts about it, but I hardly think Gordon Brown will have been upset.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Just watched the Sainsbury handjob. Rodney really does think his tiny share of the vote is an overwhelming mandate for gutting the public sector, doesn't he.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I particularly liked Hide's suggestion that leaky building syndrome was caused by building standards and regulations, rather than the systematic failure to enforce them.

    People need to wake up to the fact that a hard libertarian party -- one of the most extreme in the world -- has just been given a mandate to review a broad range of regulatory regimes across the public sector. And the RMA. And the civil service. And consumer law. The sharks are now officially in charge of the swimming pool.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And to a man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    To be fair, I always understood leaky building syndrome was caused by standards - really lax ones that said it was ok to build houses out of polystyrene and untreated wood. As long as the property developer could keep costs down and profits up, that's the main thing..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • richard thomson,

    What an evening. The southerly died off, the cloud bank in the strait turned the colour and texture of psychedelic crushed velvet and now there's just the sound of waves on the gravel beach through the kitchen window.
    And then you had to remind me about all this.
    I have one question. What were you doing in 1991? I can barely remember, except that it was all pretty depressing what with the recession and benefit cuts and all, but that was the year Sweden introduced a carbon tax.
    Now, 17 years later their carbon emissions are 9 per cent lower than they were in 1990 and their economy is 44 per cent larger.
    Actually, I'd bet that Nick Smith had bugger all say in the Nat-ACT deal, and Key, English & Brownlee figure that with the economy going down the toilet our emissions will actually decline for a year or two anyway.
    Still bloody depressing though.

    owhiro bay • Since Mar 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    In context, his description of the proposal as "not necessarily rational" seems perfectly alright.

    It's a pretty crude policy. But given the legal limits on taxing international aviation fuel, it may be about the best they can do.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Actually, I'd bet that Nick Smith had bugger all say in the Nat-ACT deal, and Key, English & Brownlee figure that with the economy going down the toilet our emissions will actually decline for a year or two anyway.

    We won't know until two years after the fact anyway, but yes, recessions reduce emissions. If you look at the graph of NZ emissions, you can see the disaster of the Jenny Shipley government right there in the figures...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Steve Pierson was going nuts about it, but I hardly think Gordon Brown will have been upset.

    Given that it took an economic disaster to quiet down the wannabe Brutuses in his own caucus (and get Labour's poll numbers out of the crapper), I'm reasonably confident Gordon Brown thought it was a pretty good day at the office. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Steady Angus...my response was simply to your inaccurate statement that the profits go to Holland. It was, and remains nonsense. There is a profit derived by all parties from the transaction.

    Simon,

    The Dutch exploit low poduction costs in China for profit.

    Who is responsible for the emissions? The Kyoto protocol types (european) say it should be the Chinese, the Chinese say it shouldn't. I am in agreement with the Chinese.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    We won't know until two years after the fact anyway, but yes, recessions reduce emissions. If you look at the graph of NZ emissions, you can see the disaster of the Jenny Shipley government right there in the figures...

    Key the neo-Luddite? Couldn't be. Actually, poor old Ned has bad PR; he probably aspired to be leader of the Labour Party too.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm guessing now that is what I am missing, yes? I think it would be nice if the media following him around were able to inform us about what happens at APEC , then at least I wouldn't always feel in the dark about Naaational .

    Sofie: APEC does tend to be something of a security nightmare, which might explain why Colin Espiner was so bored he felt compelled to report that John Key waves like a faggot and Clint Eastwood is the only man who has ever looked cool in a ponco, or something...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    If you look at the graph of NZ emissions, you can see the disaster of the Jenny Shipley government right there in the figures...

    Otherwise known as the Asian Financial Crisis.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    The Dutch exploit low poduction costs in China for profit.

    You still don't get it Angus. Perhaps you are being a tad narrow. I'm well aware of your argument but it avoids the obvious point that all parties see an advantage in it and have an obligation thus. The Chinese allow the Dutch to exploit the low production costs because they see a profit too. It's a pragmatism that is very Chinese.

    It was an off the cuff remark from me that seems to have confused you. Best we leave it.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Diack,

    Here is the link to the congressional budget office document regarding the efficiency of carbon taxes verses cap and trade schemes.

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/89xx/doc8934/02-12-Carbon.pdf


    1. Sleeping dogs

    Well well, I guess one shouldn’t poke a sleeping dog lest it snap.

    Look at the language

    Act's cranky behaviour” “Mind you, given the nature of the party he could well have been barking mad” “insists on trotting out stuff he's read off the internet (see Hide's wacko speech, linked above) is not to be trusted

    Such passion such angst cannot be explained away by a public policy debate over the catastrophe of time: climate change. No no it’s a deeper darker anger.

    2. Pork or straw man.

    I actually don’t view public policy advice as pork. That National has agreed to ensure ACT can get the advice it needs is a credit to both. This may well be a feature of future such confidence and supply agreements.

    I have also looked at the Ministerial Services Rules that Idiot Savant links too. They don’t support his suggestion that the supply of public money by Ministerial Services to the Office of the Leader of ACT and Minister of Local Government etc under the direction of the Minister for Ministerial Services is outside the appropriation and therefore illegal. The Rules linked to can be amended by the Minister i.e. the Prime Minister. He determines the rules on how members of the Executive are specifically supported to perform their roles. This superficially seems to be common sense.

    These confidence and supply agreements are an interesting evolving part of our constitutional arrangements.


    2. Mr Brown claims “ACT official says ACT was offered two Cabinet Seats”

    Stump up with the link. Whilst I have no first hand knowledge of the negotiations between National and ACT this claim does not seem to be very plausible on the face of it.

    3. The science behind climate change

    Mr Brown actually concedes my point. Given all the weakness of politicians and select committees, that is the system we have. Ultimately, the extent of any survey of the science and any expert evidence will be up to the Select Committee which will be proportionally representative of Parliament. They might conclude that whatever the technical debate about climate change, it’s prudent to do something.

    4. Public policy movements in response to climate change
    Again Mr Brown should calm himself. Labour here and policy changes abroad have probably moved NZ into “do something” mode. As I have intimated it may be better to be a slow adopter of a cap and trade system until these are fully functional in North America and Europe. In the meantime a carbon tax is more efficient and easier to implement. One major issue is whether it’s made revenue neutral. As UK Labour has demonstrated with long haul flights, taxing for governments is a relatively simple matter.

    As to the immediate past history of this debate – get used to it – it’s a normal part of that inefficient and frustrating system call democracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

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