Posts by Rich Lock

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  • Envirologue: What has Neoliberalism Done…, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Air New Zealand. NZ Rail. Both run down and badly needing investment.

    Which nudges up the other point: Too big to fail. And the associated sub-point about privatising the profit and socialising the risk.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: What has Neoliberalism Done…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, that clarifies my very badly made point. Although as you note: "[it] had been neglected for decades – chiefly because successive tory councils deferred maintenance and improvement so they could promise lower rates."

    And it's troubling that sell-off recommaendations are being made. They don't tend to die off quietly on the first knock-back, driven as they are by neolib ideological zealots. I'd not be surprised if this recommendation mutates and resurrects at some point in the next few years.

    Which feeds into my broader point that there is never any reversal. The pattern is a cut here, a sell-off there, with the gradual accumulation of publicly built and funded infrastructure in private hands. Occasionally there's an over-reach, and one or two attempts may get refused the first time round, but often not on the second or third try, and often not if it's done stealthily enough (the UK NHS, for example).

    Genuine question: has anything that was ever privatised ever ended back up publicly owned? The East Coast rail franchise int he UK was taken back into public control a few years ago, and then as soon as it started turning profit, was re-privatised.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: What has Neoliberalism Done…, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Well there was the Auckland rail double tracking and electrification and the new electric trains that finally are coming into service.
    The Auckland Hospital was totally rebuilt to replace 3 smaller ones
    At the moment there are 100s of millions spent by Watercare on new sewer and freshwater mains- largely out of sight, but still happening.
    There was the $700 mill 700KV main powerline from Auckland to just norh of Taupo, and big upgrade of the Cook St cables and substations.

    I appreciate that you're not writing an essay and that this is just a webforum, but four projects over 30 years is not a particularly impressive hit rate. Plus which, they're all more-or-less Auckland-specific, rather than national projects. The hospital example is also only applicable to south of the bridge, North Shore having it's own hospital.

    If I recall correctly, there was a fairly big stink over the way the water/sewage issue was handled around the tme of the super-city, Rodney having his fingers in the till or something similar (I may be mistaken). Plus which, I also recall the main water pipe runing north into the city bursting a few years back, so I wouldn't be suprised if a lot of the money spent on the pipes is basically 'sticking plasters' to keep a cranky old system running the best they can.

    And your use of the word 'finally' in relation to the trains? That's kinda indicative, don't you think?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: What has Neoliberalism Done…, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Guys wake up, its been 30 years since the mid 1980s, but some seem to blame every change or undesirable feature on neo- liberalism

    Well, if it was so long ago that it's no longer an issue, perhaps you won't mind pointing to a period or periods between now and then where it hasn't been an embedded and on-going feature of almost every facet of daily life. Not 'slowed down', or 'mitigated in some small way', but 'actively reversed'.

    In the last 30 years, what companies have been taken back into public ownership? What large civic infrastructure programmes have been carried out - publicly funded and publicly worked, and publicly owned when completed? What legislation has been enacted to ensure that critical public services and infrastructure remain in public hands? What legislation has been enacted to protect the rights of workers and citizens, as groups rather than as individuals?

    The reason people still bang on about it, is because neo-liberal ascendancy may have started in the mid-'80's, but it hasn't stopped since. Left-ish governments may occasionally tap the brakes (with conservative ones smashing the accelerator pedal through the floor), but no-one's actually attempting to put the car in reverse.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Miche Campbell,

    "Quim" is an ancient and venerable word.

    Yes. I said 'creative', but I did already know it was an exisiting word and what it meant, and that they hadn't created it from thin air. I'm quite comfortable having the Norse Pantheon re-imagined as a bunch of quasi-Victorian English poshos. I don't think "Gamla vis hruga uskit'r, sugandi toti tik madr" would have had the same impact, no matter how it was delivered.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Ray Gilbert,

    Anyone else remember the TV censored version of Repo Man where they had great fun sanitising by replacing with ridiculous words in their place.

    Flip you melon farmer is still one of my favourite movie lines.

    Apparently, 'melon farmer' was the invention of Alex Cox (the director), who was responsible for the editing/cutting necessary to get this on TV.

    My recollection is that this was so popular, it was used in a number of other films that migrated onto TV around the same time (mid-late '80's). 'Midnight Run', and '48 Hours' spring to mind, but my memory is not entirely reliable. There's even a website (NSFW): www.melonfarmer.co.uk

    'Forget' was so common, it even got satirised in 'The Simpsons' at one point:

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language, in reply to Emma Hart,

    That's like the way they were allowed to say "wanker" on Buffy because it was America and nobody knew what it meant.

    That does appear to be changing. I've seen it used a lot in written US pop culture recently. Next step: get them saying 'arse' correctly.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Mind Your Language,

    Although it's sometimes better when people have to get creative to get one past the censors.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: It's good to…,

    Spike Milligan has a piece in one of his war memoir books about being on home defence in the early part of the war, and sitting in a pillbox with his mates and a record player listening to tunes, with one eye out for the German invasion and the other looking out for any approaching officers. He notes that despite loving the music, there are still certain records he can't listen to as they bring up too many memories, and too many ghosts.

    I found this Pulp tune very difficult to listen to for many years:

    ...and the line about "the child's toy horse ride that played such a ridiculously tragic tune" always made me think of the end credits to the film 'Withnail and I', which I still can't listen to (included here with the preceding Hamlet speech for added poignacy):

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Leviathan,

    "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." - attributed to Cardinal Richelieu.

    I'm not confident that The Musketeers are riding to our rescue this time.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2455 posts Report Reply

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