Hard News by Russell Brown

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    John Armstrong surveys the debris of National's "shambolic" first few days of attempting to run a Parliament, and deems the unnecessary recourse to urgency on the new bills "reprehensible".

    It'd be nice to be in a country that treated parliament with just a little bit of respect, rather than a sandpit to crap in at will.

    Maybe it's just me, but how can you debate legislation which hasn't been drafted yet? Surely the first part of the debate is someone tabling the legislation in the house?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    John Armstrong surveys the debris of National's "shambolic" first few days of attempting to run a Parliament, and deems the unnecessary recourse to urgency on the new bills "reprehensible".

    Then again, Labour might want to think very carefully about following Idiot/Savant's advice and consider that the last Congress ended up with even worse approval ratings than Dubya -- which is a dubious achievement indeed.

    The bickering is as much about who controls Parliament as anything else. With early indications Labour and the Greens are shaping as a strong Opposition, it is vital National shows the Government is in charge.

    National's hard line yesterday followed a two-hour Labour filibuster on a minor procedural motion the day before. National suspects Labour wants to force proceedings into Saturday, thus allowing it to claim victory if all the bills National wants to put forward have not been passed by that evening when the House is obliged to rise regardless of the urgency motion.

    Oh, I don't know -- perhaps Brownlee and Cullen can repair to the nearest urinal and compare cocks in the traditional manner, while the grown-ups keep the place running.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's opposition's job to oppose. If that means countering urgency with a filibuster, then that's how it has to happen.

    I don't have any time for the idea that opposition should be all fluffy in order not to be seen as haters and wreckers.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4362 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    We chanced on Parliament TV last night (not our usual Programming of Choice) and I was impressed by the strength of debate from the Labour side--Pete Hodgson and Moana Mackey, in particular. It might be small comfort but there is something in now occupying the moral high ground.

    Are we also beginning to see the beginnings of the terrible fixes the Maori Party are getting into?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2271 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't have any time for the idea that opposition should be all fluffy in order not to be seen as haters and wreckers.

    Neither do I, but when there are people who don't know whether they're going to have jobs in a year, a solid Opposition really has to bring a lot more to the table than smart arse points of order from Michael Cullen, and Trevor Mallard baiting Hone Harawira.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The TVNZ site is nice in terms of news values, but I don't like the whole concept of the continually changing headline. It looks nice and goes with the "telly" concept (I suppose) but I'd rather get a simple list and work from there.

    Maybe this will make me start using an RSS feed reader. Suggestions?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4362 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Maybe this will make me start using an RSS feed reader. Suggestions?

    I recently made the switch to using RSS feeds and a reader and find it much better than what I've been doing for years, which is regularly visiting some web sites. I use NetNewsWire, but that might be mac only.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Also, the MyFreeview HD PVR (officially, they're calling it a "DTR" or digital television recorder, because that's the name that came up best in consumer research) should be in the shops today.

    I'm trying to get the name FreeVo off the ground.

    Who's with me?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I'm trying to get the name FreeVo off the ground.

    I call the MySky the 'TiFaux' for the benefit of American friends. For a NZ-related pun, I can also break out 'Faux 'vo'. Although that's a bit more obscure.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    On both their Houses!

    **Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill
    First Reading**

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (Minister of Finance): I move, That the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill be now read a first time.

    Dr Richard Worth: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Would it not be appropriate for us to see this bill?

    Madam SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. [Interruption] The bill is on the Table.

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: Speaking to the point of order, I say that a copy of this bill was made available to National Party members this morning before their caucus.

    Gerry Brownlee: The bill was delivered to us halfway through our caucus this morning. One copy was given to me, and another copy was given to Dr Brash. There are only two copies on this side of the Table, and they were brought into the House just as Dr Cullen was about to speak. This debate should not progress until there are sufficient copies on the Table for every member to have an opportunity to read it.

    Madam SPEAKER: I understand that copies of the bill are available for members on the Table.

    Gerry Brownlee: I seek leave for the House to adjourn for 20 minutes while the bill is distributed.

    Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought. Is there any objection? Yes, there is. [Interruption] Members, please, we will preserve a little bit of respect and decorum.

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: Of course, when bills are moved for introduction and passing under urgency, they are tabled subsequent to the motion being approved.

    [final emphasis added]

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Neither do I, but when there are people who don't know whether they're going to have jobs in a year

    Oh come on Craig, what part of National's so-urgent legislation makes it any more likely that people will have jobs in a year?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 854 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    It's opposition's job to oppose. If that means countering urgency with a filibuster, then that's how it has to happen.

    Not under MMP. It's the opposition's (to use the archaic, FPP term) to advocate their own position. This is not necessarily the same as opposing.

    As for Craig, I think it would be nice to see the non-government parties standing up against this abuse of the Parliamentary process (and to all the trolls who are going to crawl out of the woodwork whining about Labour's use of urgency, fuck off. Or, more politiely, "go and read 15 years of Hansard to look at how urgency is used and abused, and come back when you have an informed opinion on the matter, rather than whatever crap you picked up from DPF's sewer". Not all urgency is the same, and there's a world of difference between e.g. using urgency to get a bill to committee or pass it through its final stages (fine), or pass your tax bill so that it can all be in place by April 1 (fine), and using to to pass serious non-financial policy without any select committee stage (not fine)).

    To get back to the point: National stood up for parliamentary process in 2005 by making the House unamangeable in response to Labour summarily collapsing a member's day so Michael Cullen could go to dinner. That was a Good Thing. And it would be a Good Thing as well if the current non-government parties did the same to defend the Parliamentary process now. Yes, the government gets to set policy. But it should not be allowed to bypass select committee and public scrutiny while doing so.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Oh come on Craig, what part of National's so-urgent legislation makes it any more likely that people will have jobs in a year?

    You could argue that, in relation to the 90 days trial law, it would make it less likely that people would have jobs in a year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Are we also beginning to see the beginnings of the terrible fixes the Maori Party are getting into?

    Yes. In particular, I wonder how it will play amongst the Maori Party's base that their "representatives" voted to feather their own nests while voting against offsetting National's de facto hike of taxes on the poor with tax credits.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes. In particular, I wonder how it will play amongst the Maori Party's base that their "representatives" voted to feather their own nests while voting against offsetting National's de facto hike of taxes on the poor with tax credits.

    I saw on the news last night (TV3 6pm) that the tax changes will not help people at all who are earning below $45K, but already receiving WFF.

    I feel completely screwed. The new government promising bigger tax cuts is giving me nothing, while the old government which promised smaller tax cuts, would have given me something.

    If we're going to have tax cuts now that the economy is shot, can I at least get some pie while everything goes to hell?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I saw on the news last night (TV3 6pm) that the tax changes will not help people at all who are earning below $45K, but already receiving WFF.

    And just to put that it context: about 75% of New Zealanders earn less than $45 K a year.

    If we're going to have tax cuts now that the economy is shot, can I at least get some pie while everything goes to hell?

    No. Under National, only the rich get pie. This is what they call "an incentive" (though what for is unclear).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    No. Under National, only the rich get pie. This is what they call "an incentive" (though what for is unclear).

    An incentive not to leave the country. The proles we can lose, of course.

    We should play a colossal practical joke on them an all leave, on a random Tuesday. All of us, except for the CEOs. I want to see them clean their own toilets.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    if heavier on the Flash that some people will like

    Me being one of them. I despise Flash. My primary platform at home is FreeBSD on amd64, and Flash support is a little flaky, at best. So I just don't bother. Some sites offer alternatives, but many don't. And it's getting worse. How they cater to the visually-impaired is beyond me, but it seems that website designers just don't give a fuck about anything beyond pretty, shiny, more! Photo collections on the Herald site are unusable without Flash, unlike Stuff's photo collections which work just fine at home.

    News flash to the fucktards: Not everyone who comes to your site has (or wants to have) Flash. Not everyone who comes to your site - at least not all first-time visitors, and the aim is usually to get people to come back - can see the pretty clicky shit that you've got going on. Learn to play nice with the rest of the world, y'bastards!

    I should point out that this doesn't apply to PAS, which is highly usable even in a text browser (which is the real test of accessibility).

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks Matthew -- good points. I'll ask Tom Cotter today about how the new site meets the government web guidelines.

    The Radio New Zealand site has demonstrated that you can run an attractive site while still making it as accessible as possible.

    The designers at AIM proximity come highly touted, and the site was also assessed by Optimum Usability, so you'd hope there's an answer to the question.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18517 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    News flash to the fucktards: Not everyone who comes to your site has (or wants to have) Flash.

    Hear, hear. I use Firefox for 99% of my browsing, and have not installed the Flash plugin. When I find that I really need it, I fire up Explorer, but the hassle means I mostly don't bother to visit flash-heavy sites.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I saw on the news last night (TV3 6pm) that the tax changes will not help people at all who are earning below $45K, but already receiving WFF.

    Yep. And if I recall correctly, for people earning around that mark, and who don't have children (ie aren't getting WFF), you get a whole $10!

    Am I missing something? I thought we were promised $47?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    No. Under National, only the rich get pie. This is what they call "an incentive" (though what for is unclear).

    I don't know if they do. Based on my income I'm technically 'rich' (in reality I'm as middle class as it gets) and most - if not all - of what I gain in the tax cuts I lose in KiwiSaver reductions and tax changes to my employer contribution.

    I guess rich people who don't have KiwiSaver will make out, I just doubt there are very many of them. This seems less like a tax cut and more like an accounting scam.

    Regarding the urgency motion, it seems as if the Nats have confused cause and effect; they've decided to take advantage of their media honeymoon to do something controversial and unpopular without figuring out that their honeymoon was only going to last until they, well, did unpopular controversial stuff.

    Those PAS readers who think the Herald are in the tank for National might also want to cast their eyes over Audrey Young's blog.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 896 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    No. Under National, only the rich get pie. This is what they call "an incentive" (though what for is unclear).

    See, I wasn't depressed after the election, because although I knew it was coming, it hadn't become real yet.

    Luckily we fixed that eh! Feels pretty real now...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Rochelle Hume,

    I'm enjoying the newly launched TVNZ site. Today's headlines:

    *Police roll out Tasers

    followed immediately by:

    *Christmas Shoppers beware



    -Shopocalypse?

    Warkworth • Since Sep 2007 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Am I missing something? I thought we were promised $47?

    They still haven't come and run fibre optics into my lounge. Yesterday there was a chicken on my drive (once it got over the fence past the gate the dogs got it real quick, scratch one chicken), but I haven't seen anyone on my street get their pony. And now no fucking pie!

    That's it, I'm barricading Molesworth Street.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

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