Posts by Insolent Prick

  • Hard News: Monster Weekend,

    Very gracious of you to describe me as a "level two troll", Russell.

    No posts from the Standard today. Apparently they've been licking their wounds. Instead, one of its more obnoxious cheerleaders, had

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ambition,

    Insolent, the last thing we want is more privatisation. We've already established that, where key infrastructure is concerned, leaving it to the private sector is a recipe for getting shafted - Telecom, AIAL, electrickery... all private, all gouging the users.

    What an amusing claim. AIAL is mostly publicly-owned. The vast majority of energy assets are publicly owned--about 75% of generation, most of the retailers, all of the transmission network, and a big chunk of the lines companies. Auckland City ratepayers have seen the publicly-owned water company gouging users. Meanwhile, road users are gouged by lack of transport choices, for the very reason that they are forced to pay the costs of using existing roads without competitive pricing pressures.

    Russell, I'm not actually saying that telco infrastructure isn't economic. What I dispute is the assumption that the Government has to direct investment into telcos to make them economic. If they are economic investment vehicles, then capital will flow to them. It's a nonsense to claim that markets can't price long-term returns. They can, and they do.

    I agree that kiwisaver and Cullen funds will create a pool of capital, some of which may end up in economically viable telco infrastructure. But there's a big difference between the capital markets directing cash to long-term investments, and some politician in Wellington dreaming up Think Big pipe-dreams.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ambition,

    Using kiwisaver funds is an outrageous suggestion. If the infrastructure investment isn't economic, then the Government shouldn't be directing kiwisaver providers to invest in infrastructure.

    At present, the Government doesn't control how Kiwisaver providers invest their funds. They even operate the Cullen Fund at arms-length. And so they should. Spending billions of taxpayers' dollars on a broadband network will be the Think Big of the twenty-first century.

    People save for retirement for the purpose of providing themselves an income in retirement. If you jeopardise returns by channeling capital into non-productive investments, then retirement savings will cease.

    Having said that, there will be very large amounts of capital that will inevitably be invested in good infrastructure. Much of that capital will undoubtedly come from Kiwisaver funds. That's prudent investment management.

    The Government should focus on creating a clean regulatory environment that encourages competition and investment, rather than breeding enormous white elephants with other people's money. Allowing private investors to build roads, water companies, more energy companies, airports, ports, and tecos would be a very good start.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: A devious and dangerous…,

    What stands out, in Trotter's quest to tell a ripping yarn, rather than recount history, is the tenuous Hageresque threads he draws:

    In the course of his sojourn in the US Davy would have become familiar with the ideas of the celebrated political journalist Walter Lippmann. During World War I, Lippmann had served alongside Edward Bernays — founder of the 'science' of public relations — on the Committee on Public Information, the US's wartime propaganda unit. Already hailed as America's most respected political commentator, Lippmann welcomed the new science of public manipulation as a 'revolution' in the 'practice of democracy'.

    It's on the sole premise that Davy visited the United States, and Lippmann was a right wing political operator in the US, that Trotter can somehow claim that Davy was the eminence grise, without any political foundation.

    This isn't history. This is story-telling, following the few exclusive strands of evidence with little connection to each other, that Trotter calls upon to present a pre-determined thesis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Arguments,

    There seem to be several issues, some of which are covered by the Bill, and many of which aren't.

    The first issue is whether physical discipline, such as occasional smacking, is an effective form of discipline. I don't think it is, and none of the evidence I've seen suggests that it is.

    The second issue is whether occasional smacking is harmful to a child. Personally, again, I don't think it is. The fact that it doesn't work doesn't make it harmful, just pointless.

    Most people agree there is a difference--as defined by Chester Burrows--between a short, transitory, non-marking smack (reasonable force, as he wants to define it), and a physical assault. Barnados have argued that the courts have found it difficult to define "reasonable force". Yet almost all the cases they list demonstrate that the Court is able to make the distinction. Parents who beat and seriously assault their children are not given protection from Section 59.

    The fourth point is, as those who disagree with the Bill correctly state--the Bill doesn't actually do anything to protect children who are currently being seriously assaulted, and who presently fall outside Section 59 anyway. Children will continue to be seriously assaulted irrespective of what the law says.

    On the whole, I don't think Section 59 is necessary. It does send the wrong signal to parents. But it distracts from the real issues, by making otherwise competent and caring parents feel like they are breaking the law, when out of pure frustration, they occasionally smack an out-of-control child, when the real evil is the serious assaults committed against children that escape the law.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let's be hearing it,

    I/S: You keep repeating the claim that the documents were leaked, without any substance.

    Why would Bill English receive 50,000 private emails between Don Brash and others?

    This is stolen correspondence. If Hager believes that he is not the recipient of stolen correspondence, then he is not covered by the court injunction, and is free to publish his book.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Hager used the injunction to publicise his book: if his material was leaked, rather than stolen, then nothing prevents him from releasing his book.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let's be hearing it,

    Nicky Hager claimed that the years of taunts that Rod Donald endured for being a frigging nut-job "took their toll", suggesting a contribution to his death.

    Hager is a loon. I'm not concerned if he wants to come up with yet more stupid conspiracies. It is the Labour Party, through their sudden desire to paint him as a respectable investigative journalist, who have credibility issues here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let's be hearing it,

    Come on, David. Do you really think Helen Clark wakes up every morning, saying to herself: "Today I am going to give the public every piece of information I know about my policies, my plans, my intentions and strategies, and not withhold any information that could potentially be politically damaging!"?

    Don Brash is a politician. Politics is by its nature murky. Nicky Hager is shining a blowtorch on that murkiness by publishing a tiny selection of Don Brash's private correspondence, with the express intention of leading the reader towards a certain conclusion.

    If I had Helen Clark's private correspondence, I could mount an argument that she colluded with Pol Pot, was responsible for covering up the holocaust, and is the demented love-child of Stalin.

    Hager's work is a beat-up by a fringe socialist who is desperately afraid of Don Brash's leadership taking National to victory next election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let's be hearing it,


    I have never defended Wishart. I've been bagging the guy well before he came up with the totally irrelevant stuff on Peter Davis. Have a look at

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Let's be hearing it,

    Come on, noizyboy. You really don't think Pete Hodgson had copies of the emails?

    Let's see who had the stolen emails: Winston Peters, his staff (who deleted them), Jordan Carter (on the basis of claims of inside knowledge as to their contents), and half of the Labour Party.

    Nicky Hager is a fringe socialist. Faced with the prospect of Don Brash becoming Prime Minister, of course he's going to collude with the Labour Party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

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