At the "JOurnalism matters" summit on Saturday one Sunday paper admitted to being "quite driven" by the concerns Keith talks about; they watch their affiliated website closely during the week, and what gets the page-views plays a big role in story selection. But it seems to be driven more by the strong competition for readership between the major Sunday papers than by a desire to maximise ad revenue.
Can't say who, as the discussion was under Chatham House rules.
Ads? What are they?
A while ago someone recommended AdBlock nd FlashBlock, and I've never looked back. Unfortunately (?) it means all these threads complaining about such and such an ad here are completely lost on me.
What I am suggesting is that a government is elected with a set of policies and is entitled to use the public service to implement those policies.
And they do. One of the benefits of a politically neutral public service is that they faithfully serve the government of the day and implement their policies, regardless of which party holds power.
Some departments do have ideological positions on what sort of policies are best. But at the end of the day, it is their job to knuckle under to the Minister and do as they are told. And they do. Despite the scaremongering (and I know Labour was concerned about Treasury when they were elected in 1999), our public service understands that its role is to serve (or at least not be seen to be leading :)
The system works so well primarily because the SSC has spent a huge amount of effort preserving proper public service values against the changes of the 1990's. I'd rather not see it undermined.
I'd suggest that without going down the US route of making all senior PS political appointees, we would do well to have a layer of a few hundred people on "single parliament" contracts.
We already have such people. They're called MPs.
But seriously, why would we want to? We worked very hard to rid ourselves of the corruption and mediocrity inherant in a politicised public service back in the early C20th, and I really don't want to go back there.
What Are the Effects of Setchell Harassment?
The effects of Setchell harassment could include the following:
Emotional Effects: extreme anger
Well, I'm definitely getting that, and I haven't even been Satchelly harassed.
This threatens the whole idea of a politically neutral public service, appointed and advanced on merit rather than political loyalty. And indirectly, it threatens the quality of that public service and its ability to give free and frank policy advice to and effectively serve the government of the day. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, that should be regarded as a serious threat.
Then there's the idea of victimising someone based not on their activities, but those of their partner. That makes me extremely angry. Because obviously, people have no intellectual independence - or professionalism.
As is clear from its code of conduct, the public service expects its staff to behave professionally and with integrity. It would be nice if those responsible for those values - the SSC and chief executives - lived up to them for a change.
James: You've got it backwards. The ~20% appreciation against the AU / Euro / Pound is the baseline due to high interest rates. But that's only a quarter of the increase in the US$ and Yen; the other three quarters is due to the depreciation of those currencies and completely beyond our control.
Like I said, farmers better get used to it. Because no matter what the Reserve Bank does, they're going to have to deal with a high exchange rate due to a weak US$ and Yen.
Post (with graph and links) here
Weston: its the same story with the Yen as it is with the US. Check out the long-term trend on the Euro-Yen exchange rate from the European Central Bank's time-series:
(Hey! We can play at being John Key for a day! :)
High interest rates are indeed bad, and there is a death spiral. But it ain't the only problem. And at the end of the day, the farmers are just going to have to wear those high exchange rates, because I don't see Bush changing his policies for them.
I've been looking at the RBNZ's exchange-rate/TWI time-series here:
Since the most recent trough in our exchange rates in Apr - Jun 2006, the NZ$ has appreciated 8.5% against the AU$, 14% against the Pound, 16% against the Euro, and 22% against the US$. But the others are all within their usual parameters - it's the US which is well out of step.
If you go back to the big slump in 2001, its even worse - the NZ$ has increased 19% against the AU$, 20% against the Euro and 38% agains tthe Pound. But its almost doubled against the US (and looks likely to sometime in the next few days).
There's a curious myopia in the media that the value of our currency is about what we do. It is, but it is also (and sometimes much more) about what other, larger economies do. And in current circumstances, all I can say is that if you are a farmer or other person being screwed by the US$, you'd best get used to it. Because our Reserve bank can't halt the fall of their currency.
Pegging againstthe US dollar? But that's the half of the problem that people are steadfastly ignoring. Yes, we do have a nasty positive feedback loop between interest rates and the exchange rate. But if you look at the cross rates, we're not appreciating much against e.g. the $AU - it's all about the $US. Why? Because the $US is currently weakening against all other currencies due to Bush's poor economic policies. And that is not something our reserve bank can do anything at all about.