Posts by cindy baxter

  • Hard News: Getting serious about the…,

    Rebecca Reider's interview on Newshub's AM show convinced Duncan Garner, who said if the campaign made its points as clearly as she'd just made them to him, it'd win, in his view. Here's the interview

    And here are the points that convinced Garner:
    * we're spending $400m a year policing it
    * cannabis crime is needlessly filling up our prisons.
    * We're missing out on $200m a year in tax revenues
    * it's really not very harmful, never has been.
    * so much less harmful than alcohol
    * prohibition doesn't work - people already have it - is widely available
    * But right now there's no regulation, it is sold on the black market - by criminals
    * can be - and is being - contaminated, so regulation is good.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The miserable archive,

    Makes for such grim reading. Those poor people - agree with Minto's comment this morning that both Housing Corp and WINZ, by the end of nine long years, appeared to be operating a system that ran on vindictiveness, and the targetting of some of society's poorest people. But the problem now is that it's probably the culture in both departments, and staff selected on their ability to have thick enough skin to carry out these policies. Going to take a while to undo?

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why…,

    Simon, yes, fracking is only a tiny percentage of water usage. The more worrying thing is that the fracking wastes have gotten into drinking water acquifers... Taranaki, anyone?

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: The Agony of Vanuatu and…,


    The other side of this "if we disappeared there'd be no impact on global emissions" argument is how New Zealand behaves at the climate talks.

    So the UNFCCC's a consensus-driven process (yes, I know, it ought to not be, but the rule introducing a vote-based decisionmaking process has been permanently blocked by the Saudis). New Zealand plays this one pretty hard and fast at the meetings. A couple of examples. The NZ delegation has:

    * sided with Russia, Ukraine, Khazakstan, et al on opposing a proposal to get the Eastern European "hot air" out of the system (because we want to keep our precious 'kyoto forests' in order to be able to appear to be acting on climate without actually doing anything)

    * pushed for extremely weak LULUCF rules (extending them further so that we can, again, play with these to look like we're taking action)

    * tried to push (in Doha) a rule that would allow anyone to trade as part of the Kyoto system, without signing up to CP2. This was rejected in Doha, but the NZ delegation thinks the wording of that decision is sufficiently vague and has wilfully misinterpreted it to mean the opposite of its intention

    You get the picture. We side, in the UNFCCC, with a bloc including the US, Canada and Australia, and certainly we rarely side with the Small Island States, our Pacific neighbours.

    So while we are small in emissions, we play a starring role (and not in a good way) on the international stage.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Comments on Fran's article appear to be ravingly in support.
    I wonder how many they rejected.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance,

    re: OIA:
    I heard talk last year that the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment was getting help from some sections of the media in writing OIA's - because the Ministry for the Environment was refusing to give her office information requested. By law, they are required to give it to her, but she has had to resort to OIA's. Not sure how well that's going either.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance,

    I was taken by a piece in the Herald by Rhonwyn Newson who picked up on Simon Lusk's quote in Nicky Hager's book: that a negative campaign nearly always favours the right. Then there's the issue of studies on cognitive dissonance (where "facts" often don't convince people to change their minds). Both are salient points worth taking into account when looking at the impact (or lack thereof) of the details of Dirty Politics on the elections.

    And when Key kept going on about the "international influence" on New Zealand elections, where was the media asking him about his reliance on an international firm, Crosby Textor, on his own campaign?

    I'm happy to hear that Fisher and Nippert are both continuing on the case - now that the elections are over, it's time to get back to the real detail of dirty politics.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Undercover cop Rob Gilchrist on how Hager discovered him and how Hager always gets it right:

    "You see, Mr Hager is very good at what he does. He is not just a journalist who working to a deadline just makes stuff up to add to the word count. He researches the hell out of the subjects in his articles and books. He talks to the right people, asks the right questions and goes over every little detail he has available to him with a nit comb."

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,


    Now there's a word.

    but nothing like that would happen until after September 20; the public deserves to know the truth before then.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    If I'm not much mistaken, it was collected right before Dirty Politics came out. All the same, is Dirty Politics truly a game breaker, or just preaching to the choir? Even if it's the latter, it might just motivate undecided Left voters into becoming not so undecided Left voters.

    Yup, before the book. However, I fear there is some truth in this quote by Simon Lusk (in the book, and repeated by Gordon Campbell):

    “There are a few basic propositions with negative campaigning that are worth knowing about. It lowers turnout, favours right more than left as the right continues to turn out, and drives away the independents.’ In short, many people stop participating in politics. If politicians cannot be trusted, if politics looks like a petty or ugly game, and if no one seems to be talking about the things that matter, then what’s the point of bothering to participate? Just leave them to it.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

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