Posts by Andre Alessi

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    When did IMP suggest hiring for below minimum wage?

    They didn't. However, it's implicit in the policy:

    $1.1 billion will be used to create shorter term jobs (3-18 months’ duration) and to administer the programmes. The remaining $200 million per year will be available for longer term grants to create sustainable work emerging from the initiatives supported.

    The aim is to fill gaps where the market is not able to create and fund jobs and to create sustainable community-based employment.

    The work will reflect the wide range of skill levels among those who are unemployed or under-employed.

    The intention may be to fund work that would otherwise not get done because the immediate economic benefits don't justify hiring people to do the work, but that isn't how employers will actually use the grants. They'll see "free money for work people otherwise wouldn't do even at minimum wage".

    I get that intent does count for something in policy, but explicitly calling the policy "right to work" should be raising the hackles of anyone who isn't actively anti-union.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming, in reply to James George,

    That;s a bit strawman isn't it? There are many other alternatives - reminds me of a scheme I once co-ordinated which was all about getting the huge stack of unemployed artist registration cards 'off the books'...

    I don't have a problem with the kind of scheme you describe, as long as it's limited, targeted and genuinely voluntary. But it's a different kettle of fish when a government makes this kind of scheme standard practice or compulsory for an industry, which is what IMP is proposing.

    Imagine a situation where employers could routinely hire call center workers for below minimum wage on short term contracts to "fulfill a need", for example. It would be sold to the public as " giving new workers experience" even though call center experience is not particularly useful to workers, and the effect would be depressing wages further in what is already a low-paying industry.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming,

    I'm confused by IMP's "Right to Work" policy. There's a few good bits in there (especially the varying sizes of the R&D and innovation grants) but the name alone is a massive red flag, and:

    The aim is to fill gaps where the market is not able to create and fund jobs and to create sustainable community-based employment.

    This gets into the same economic issues as prisoner work schemes: either people are made to work in extremely low value jobs, or they compete with employers who have to pay much higher wages.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    the only PR offer I’ve had was to write about a well known brand of baked beans in exchange for one (1) can of the baked beans.

    I've always suspected you were in the pocket of Big Bean, Robyn.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to SteveH,

    Oh, I don’t doubt that he does enjoy it, but not in a particularly pathological way. He wouldn’t complain about criticism as much as he does if he was genuinely ill (which is an allegation I see tossed around regularly.) Getting attention is definitely a significant part of what he believes he’s doing.

    My point was rather A) there’s nothing inherent in his politics that necessitates his behaviour (or vice versa), and B) there’s no reason to assume genuine mental illness as an explanation for his behaviour when his actions are viewed as a means to an end, even if he happens to enjoy distasteful elements of what he does. (That doesn’t mean I approve of his actions or think they’re justified in any way, just that I don’t think writing his behaviour off in those ways is particularly helpful.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to DexterX,

    I would not consider Slater ever saw the people or wider political issues – he seems to be all about power and hate.

    I've thought about this a fair bit, and the only thing that makes sense (short of frankly offensive armchair psychiatry diagnosing him with a genuine disorder) is that he sees himself as part of a larger machine. It's his job to do the distasteful things so that the rest of the guys on his "side" (a side that, admittedly, fluctuates a little) can do what they need to do to win. He's not really in it for the politics per se, and I wouldn't be surprised if similar personality types appear across the political spectrum occasionally.

    I guess when you're raised in a family like his, the politics are a given, it's just how you pursue them that's the question. (Although I personally know of at least one daughter of a right wing MP who has rebelled quite successfully, though there is the complicating factor of matters of sexual orientation that make the shift to the left a reasonable response anyway.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confidential information: the…, in reply to steven crawford,

    Could we call what Hager and his source did, whistle blowing. And are there legal protections for that yet?

    The Protected Disclosures Act specifically applies only to employees.

    On a different note, I assume the situation we're in at the moment suggests Slater hasn't identified the perpetrators of the DDoS attack yet? Given that he must have lost some ad revenue due to the attack, I'd have thought identifying and prosecuting those folks would be a priority.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    The guy who runs the Ruminator blog says that when he was a civil servant he was pressured to respond to Slater’s OIO request ASAP

    I'm disturbed but not surprised by that. Government departments game the OIA process all the time, and it's clearly not something being driven by the overworked and underpaid public servants who put their names to the emails.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Asked about the suggestions that Labour’s records of the incursions pointed to his own offices, Mr Key said: “I don’t think that’s right. It’s nothing to do with our office.”

    Mr Slater and a National Party Headquarters staffer were able to gain access to Labour’s records because of a security flaw on the party’s website.

    Mr Key suggested that even if Mr Ede had accessed the records, “of course it would be fine to go and do that” because they were unprotected.

    Asked if he stood by Mr Ede, Mr Key responded: “Yeah absolutely.”

    Mr Ede left Mr Key’s office this year and is now working at National Party headquarters on its re-election campaign.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11309076

    I know I’m normally a fairly cynical person, but jfc that’s shocking even to me.

    No mention of the prisoner transfer stuff on Stuff or the NZ Herald, do we think Collins has had the lawyers out already?

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    On a different note, I’m a little surprised by how few actual denials I’m seeing today. Even Mr Slater’s denials aren’t really denying much of anything.

    I suspect that's because the official response hasn't been terribly coordinated. One moment they're insisting this is a terrible breach of privacy and an outrageous crime, and the next they're suggesting there's no emails at all, only "allegations". I think we'll see firmer denials tomorrow, when they figure out which approach is more likely to convince supporters.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

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