Posts by Moz

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    New Zealand's tourism boom has propelled the industry past dairy as the top export earner

    So, is that better or worse for global warming and the NZ environment? And is tourist excrement in our picnic areas better or worse than cow excrement in our rivers?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    There was no rule saying centrists couldn't sign up members

    I suspect that the existing MPs are mostly committed to the same system as we have in Australia. They want a small group of local party members who all have close social ties to the MP, and rules to make it hard to join the party and influence anything. That way the MP can get on with the business of governing and representing his local party members. When there's only 30 of them they can all get a fair bit of personal attention. In Oz both Liberal and Labour do this, and if you look at the numbers reported in the branch stacking scandals they are indeed scandalous - sometimes fewer than 50 new members are required to roll an MP at pre-selection.

    Momentum broke that model quite savagely.

    The Greens don't do this, FWIW, which is one reason I like their model. They tend to fall for the opposite trap, anyone who turns up to meetings regularly becomes "known" and will often get to speak and influence the local group, even if they "forget" to actually become a member of the party. But geez, you need to do that with 2-5 local groups in electorates where The Greens are likely to win, and you need persuasive agents because they prefer consensus and only fall back to voting when that fails. It would be an awful lot of work to grab one extra vote in the senate... and it would all be public. "we quietly changed this policy" except that all policies are public as are the deliberations.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…,

    Brexit may mean tough times ahead for May’s government, but for now the crisis of truly historic proportions belongs purely to the left.

    Yes, it's very much a "dog catches car" moment - the left have got the Labour leadership, now what are they going to do with it? The evidence so far suggests that not only do they have no real ideas, their opponents in the party don't either. My feeling is that the entire reason Corbyn was elected was that no-one had a better idea. Which tells you an awful lot about the calibre of his opponents in the Labour leadership elections. Even after the dismal losses you talk about, the start of the scandals, the campaign by the PLP, Corbyn won again.

    I think the lesson here is that if you're going to give the members a say you need to be very careful that the members are aligned with the organisation, and in this case that the MPs are also aligned with the members. The problem of campaigns joining the party to subvert it is not special to Labour, it's been done repeatedly both inside and outside politics (branch stacking, anyone?). A bunch of anarchists joined BicycleNSW at one stage and elected their own chaircreature - it took about 50 people. The Greens here are very aware of that and have a bunch of restrictions on who can vote and when. I trust that Labour have something similar.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: the poor health…, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    For those clinicians and others unfamiliar with

    ... traditional masculinity, expression of the permitted emotion (anger) can look very much like a psychotic episode.

    Where does the act draw the line between "minority" and the rest, and what exactly defines "mental disorder"?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…, in reply to Alfie,

    Didn't Jesus

    You forget, today is Good Friday when we celebrate murdering that trouble-making son of a god. In other news, some prophet gets a weekend holiday in heaven before being sent back down "but daaaad!!" "get back down there and clean that mess up" "it's not faaaiiiiirrr! You never let me do what I want".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Islam's issue is charging interest, not banking itself. A point which seems to pass by many of SWB's detractors.

    It's almost the same prohibition on usury that Christians have. Not that you'd know that from watching the Christians. There's an interesting summary of the subject here. I looked at using an Islamic bank when buying our house, but they weren't entirely sure they wanted to deal with non-Muslims. I suspect some of their security is of the form "you wouldn't want to turn up to the mosque and face us if you defaulted".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    a 15 year old buying a house

    I'm amazed that he could persuade the court that he should be allowed to do that. Normal children can't sign contracts until they're 18, even if they have guarantors. The common practice is for the parents to pretend that they're carrying out the transactions or to form a trust, but that article suggests neither trick was used. The risk for the child is that parents may not want to recognise their ownership once they turn 18...

    I'm surprised the media aren't bringing up the equally useless idea of buying houses that are worth nearly nothing due to being in areas of negative demand. The under $25,000 end of the market has quite a few properties available.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    massively reduce the number of people moving to Auckland. ... How, exactly, would you do that

    I'd say via most immigrants live in Auckland, we want fewer immigrants in Auckland, we don't have the means to stop them moving where they like once they're here... ergo, we need to permit fewer immigrants.

    I don't think that would make anywhere near as much difference as the next suggestion: stop non-citizens or non-residents buying real estate. I'm not sure that that would be easy, and it might crash the market (especially if existing non-resident owners were required to divest)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Nah, that's because the curve has changed as much as anything else. The extreme ends used to be much closer to the centre before, now the richest are pushing the average up more because they have 100x the average wealth rather than 10x.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…, in reply to DeepRed,

    How does it compare to the Sutherland Shire, where the Cronulla riots happened a bit over a decade ago?

    People fighting over surf breaks and arguing about $50,000+ cars are not really the criminal elements most people fear. In that area you're far more likely to get run off the road by a new-ish Range Rover occupied by someone checking Facebook than beaten up by a drug dealer. It's gone from "the bogan beach" to "OMG, a beach in the city!!!" in the last 20 years. Apartments within driving distance of the beach start about $1M but a house near the beach is 3M+.

    The Cronulla riots were a locals vs outsiders problem, which you get at beachside suburbs. There was a huge element of using talkback radio to arrange a fight and it's a bit hard to untangle the politics as a result (radio host Alan Jones is explicitly not part of any of the groups in the riot except perhaps the police command group).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 946 posts Report Reply

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