Alex, how about I speak however I like and not care about your routine, whatever it is.
If you're on a crusade to get everyone to "just speak for themselves" on political blogs you have a wee challenge. But if you disagree with what I say why don't you just say so? Or just say what you think. Or whatever.
Another side to the story:
The head of Immigration has rejected suggestions Kim Dotcom's residency was approved as part of a United States move to make it easier to extradite him to face charges there.
Dotcom believes US authorities wanted to keep him here to make it easier to extradite him on internet piracy and copyright infringement charges. He has long claimed the Government was acting at the behest of the American film industry but has never offered proof.
But in an exclusive interview, Immigration chief executive Nigel Bickle said that from Immigration’s point of view he had seen no evidence of that and it was Dotcom’s advisers who had called for a fast decision in his case.
‘‘Mr Dotcom was represented by a very good immigration adviser, who was rightly asking questions ... ‘why is it taking so long making a decision? Mr Dotcom’s like a lot of these individuals – many countries are courting them. Could you hurry up and make a decision’.’’
Bickle said if that was what Dotcom’s advisers were saying ‘‘that seems to be the complete opposite to a conspiracy theory that says the NZ Government was somehow orchestrating bringing him into New Zealand so he could be extradited to the US’’.
Bickle said then-immigration minister Jonathan Coleman had not been involved in the decision to grant Dotcom permanent residency, and the call was made by an official.
This morning's story seems less weird now too.
3 News has Dotcom's bomb threat online now:
Dotcom has confirmed today that he will have a town hall event on Monday 15th September and drop a bomb that he claims will discredit John Key.
That's a high stakes risk, it could backfire in part.There are some who want Key and National out of Government and don't care how, the end justifies any means. But Dotcom is not trusted by others. And there are some who detest his extravagant manipulation of our politics and detest his keenness to destroy the political careers of anyone who he thinks deserves his wrath.
A couple of random bits:
Chris Keall in NBR today:
Another factor: Mr Dotcom has long maintained that Prime Minister John Key knew about the January 2011 raid on his rented mansion long before it occurred. I suspect he's going to drop some new evidence on that one shortly before the election.
@KimDotcom two weeks ago
September 15th A big day for New Zealand
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Event details coming soon
Mega boss Dotcom, founder of the Internet-Mana party, believes US authorities wanted to keep him in New Zealand so it would be easier to extradite him on internet piracy and copyright infringement charges.
He has claimed to have evidence to back up his claims but says he is holding it back until the appropriate time, which he had said was court.
Court has now been delayed until next year.
Will Dotcom keep waiting or release his evidence to blow Key out of the election? That's presuming he has the claimed evidence.
While the "political pressure" phrase has been picked up on with gusto (or disgust) by a number of people this part of the herald article seems to be being ignored:
An earlier statement from Immigration NZ - provided by the SIS - said "it appears the government interest in the success of the [business migration] policy may have been misconstrued as political pressure".
The statement appeared to be contradictory, saying so much time had passed "it is impossible to know whether this is an accurate reflection of comments that were made" while adding "INZ can state unequivocally that there was no political pressure".
There's more twists in this story than a packet of spiralini. And the story is nowhere near al dente yet.
What would it take to establish a system of surveying public opinion on contentious bills going through Parliament, before the third reading? It should be in far more depth than a single petition/referendum question allows for (and the referendum/petition system takes far too long).
This could reasonably accurately inform Parliament of public opinion in a timely way so parties and MPs could use that in making their decisions on voting. It can inject the 'voice of the people' into the process and better inform our representatives.
The public submission process serves a purpose but it is sometimes misused to erroneously represent public opinion - ie "80% of submissions opposed the bill".
Polling experts could advise whether random polls or establishing a large focus group or rolling survey group or whatever would provide the best means of establishing public opinion before bills have been fixed in law.
Craig may not get a lot of confidence from Key if his public statemenst are all there is to go on.
Asked whether he was willing still to do an electorate deal for Craig, Key said “he hasn’t approached me”, but believed Craig was not seeking such an arrangement, citing public comments earlier this year.
And Key said any announcement on possible party accommodations was "a few weeks away". That's getting close to the election for Craig to find out what electorate he might stand in.
As a point of anecdata, I had a conversation with an in-law who used to vote Labour but wouldn’t this time because he thought The Greens would then get to control the country.
It isn’t the first time I have heard that. It’s an interesting and frustrating situation for both The Greens and Labour. What’s weird is people don’t seem to apply the same fear and distrust to the influence of The Maori Party and ACT over National.
I think there is something strange going on out there particularly in the older (voting) public. It seems that there is very little acceptance that The Greens have shed their more extreme views and are now a much more serious party and hence more reasonable.
I don’t think Labour distancing themselves from The Greens will solve the problem, I suspect that what needs to happen is for both the parties to establish what the coalition will look like and just how much influence each party will have on overall policy. But I doubt anyone is keen to do that.
Greens seem to have been keen on doing that but Labour opted out.
Greens have fluctuated between 9 and 15 in the polls, often through give and take with Labour's results. Greens have benefited from Labour's weaknesses and look a good bet to at least maintain last election's improved result (but they have tended to poll better than they achieve in elections).
The next few polls should give us an idea of the impact of Internet-MANA who could take some Green support, but they also make the Greens look comparatively less scary - to many floating voters Labour+Greens doesn't look as risky as Labour+Greens+MANA+Internet.
I think Greens have always had fairly widespread partial support, with many people being happy with a healthy Green voice in Parliament - but those some partial supporters are wary of too much Green say, especially on economic matters. As far as Greens are seen, environmentalist good, economist bad. So Greens through Norman pushing for wider credentials and especially promoting financial ambitions may attract some but it scares a lot more.
What Greens might benefit most from is if the Labour vote collapses as it did for National in 2002. But that won't help the chances of a left leaning coalition.