The Dim-Post

July 30, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:56 am

Duncan Garner writes about two recently sentenced child-killers:

I support Massey law professor Chris Gallavin on this.

We should be applauding him for his bravery and guts in speaking out. He won’t be popular with some in his profession.

He says when these two appear before the Court of Appeal their convictions for manslaughter should be quashed – and they should be re-tried for murder. Like they should have been in the first place.

He’s confident they would be found guilty. Then they could be given a life sentence. Then they would be sent to jail for 20 years plus.

Does the appeals process actually work like this? I’m not a lawyer but I saw a trailer for the Ashley Judd movie Double Jeopardy once, and I don’t think this is how the legal system works.

July 29, 2016

Super normal

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 10:44 am

I like the way the media have taken to covering incidents of young people buying houses and putting them on the front page of the newspaper/web site. Y’know, to show how super, totally extremely normal it is for young people to be buying property. Also, young people deciding to enrich themselves via the property market, becoming a landlord instead of getting a professional qualification, or starting a business is just another super normal thing that we shouldn’t worry about at all.

Notes towards a Red Queen hypothesis of New Zealand politics

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:30 am

Gordon Campbell has a Roland Barthes-based theory on John Key’s enduring popularity (Key is actually less popular than his party nowadays). I’ve had a non post-structuralist theory about the dynamics of New Zealand politics for a while:

  • The two left-wing opposition parties (Labour and the Greens) aren’t competing against the government in any substantive sense. They’re competing against each other for the same reasonably small pool of university educated urban liberal voters.
  • The reasons for this are partly strategic but mostly cultural: both parties are dominated by members of this small but influential class.
  • So policy and messaging are both directed at them and not at the much larger pool of centrist soft National voters. Which is why Labour spent the first half of the year talking about free university degrees, a universal basic income and medicinal pot, issues of little valence to middle New Zealand but endless fascination to left-wing intellectuals.
  • And its why there’s virtually no movement from National to Labour in the polls. All those voters (80-90% of the population?) are mostly ‘excluded from the narrative’ (to quote Barthes?). The left-wing political parties are working hard, but running as fast as they can just to stay in place with each other in relative terms.
  • Because they’re immersed in their own class, both in Wellington, other urban enclaves and in the social media world, the caucus, party and staffers of these parties are constantly validated by their courtship of this demographic. Only polls and the occasional election interrupt the discourse.
  • And because they are so indulged in terms of policy and messaging, members of this class are baffled by the failure of the rest of the country to be equally persuaded about the merits of changing the government.
  • This culture and process constrains either party from any attempt to break out of this dynamic.

July 27, 2016

Get negative equity or die tryin

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 1:03 pm

I’m not sure how you’d even go about lowering property values by 50% in a way that wouldn’t crash the economy, but what you could do is plateau prices via the usual suggested mechanisms (tax capital, build more etc) while running a policy of high wage inflation to reduce the relative value of property. Ten years of stagnant property values and 4% inflation gives you (furrows brow) a 40% reduction and no one goes underwater.

Update: As gleefully pointed out in the comments, inflation is compounding so you actually get a 48% increase over ten years.

July 25, 2016

Gotta fill the cycle

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 5:10 pm

The long recess grinds on, so, via RNZ:

Prime Minister John Key said rats, possums and stoats kill 25 million native birds a year.

He said the introduced pests also threatened the country’s economy and primary sector with a total cost of $3.3 billion a year.

More than 7000 hectares of the New Zealand mainland as well as more than 150 offshore islands were now completely free of predators, Mr Key said.

In addition a further 1 million hectares of conservation land were under sustained predator control.

The government will invest $28 million in a new joint venture company called Predator Free New Zealand Ltd.

The company will be responsible for identifying large, high-value predator control projects and attracting co-investors.

It will be set up by the beginning of next year.

The government will look to provide funding on a two-for-one basis, so for every $2 that local councils and the private sector put in the government will contribute another $1.

“This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world, but we believe if we all work together as a country we can achieve it,” Mr Key said.

Pretty sure this will be the last we hear of this project ever again, unless someone somehow finds out that the money has all gone to a bunch of National cronies as Director’s payments.

July 23, 2016

When stupidity, cruelty and political logic collide

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:37 am

Stuff has an overview of the various legal options around cannabis – medical use, full legalisation etc – along with Bill English ruling out any reform whatsoever. I’ve been convinced for a while that the only barrier to medical use (we have medicinal heroin, after all) is perceived brand damage. Any politician or government signing off on any kind of cannabis reform dooms themselves to be depicted as stoned pot-smoking hippies in every political cartoonist, pontificating talk-back host and lazy political editors’ sights yea unto the end of days. Imagine, for example, John Key’s frequent and amazingly convenient brain fades and memory lapses seen through the prism of someone who legalised medicinal pot. Not pretty, so it ain’t happening.

July 22, 2016

Another exercise in historical myth outsourcing

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 1:04 pm

Patrick Gower’s stern declaration that Donald Trump should resign reminded me of a legend I’ve heard a few times about a regional New Zealand newspaper who used to regularly lecture world leaders in its editorials. ‘The Gisborne Herald has warned Premier Khrushchev many times in these pages . . .’ sort of thing. Only I don’t think it was the Gisborne Herald. Does anyone know if there’s any truth in the legend?

Update: Tinakori in the comments reckons it was the Grey River Argus who wrote something like ‘We have warned the Kaiser . . .’ There’s a front page from 1914 here. Look at all the sponsored content!

Another update: Apparently it was the Grey River Argus but ‘We have repeatedly warned the Czar . . .’

Roy Morgan wild guessing game

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 5:45 am

Roy Morgan reckons:

During July support for National jumped a large 10% to 53%, now well ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance 37% (down 5.5%). If a New Zealand Election was held now the latest NZ Roy Morgan Poll shows National, with their biggest lead since May 2015, would win easily.

However, support for the National partners was down slightly with the Maori Party down 1.5% to 0.5%, Act NZ was up 0.5% to 1% and United Future was 0% (unchanged).

Support fell for all three Parliamentary Opposition parties; Labour’s support was 25.5% (down 2.5%) – the lowest support for Labour since May 2015; Greens support was 11.5% (down 3%) and NZ First 7% (down 2%). Of parties outside Parliament the Conservative Party of NZ was 0.5% (down 0.5%), the Mana Party was 0.5% (unchanged) and support for Independent/ Other was 0.5% (down 0.5%).

Wow! The easiest thing to say is that this is a rogue poll, and that quarter of a million people did not switch to National in the last month. But maybe the last poll was rogue, and National’s support really is that high? Who knows?

No doubt Labour will start leaking that their secret polls show them getting a major bump after their conference. If you added all the bumps they’ve claimed from their private polls they’d be on about 500% by now.

My guess about the swing – if there was a swing – is that the news recently has been dominated by horror, fear and uncertainty. Terror attacks, racial violence in the US, Brexit, and so voters are looking for political stability and supporting National. If they are.

July 21, 2016

Why are banks bearish on housing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 12:56 pm

Via the Herald:

All four of the major banks have begun to apply new lending restrictions to home loans – six weeks ahead of the Reserve Bank’s official September deadline.

Earlier this week the central bank announced plans to introduce new bank conditions requiring most loans to residential property investors to have a minimum 40 per cent deposit.

Most lending to owner occupiers would also require a 20 per cent minimum deposit with both changes rolled out across New Zealand.

While the deadline for the changes is September 1 the Reserve Bank said it expected banks to follow the spirit of the new regulations immediately.


Daily conspiracy

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:06 am

Does anyone else get the feeling that this Dom-Post story about a leaked email from a former Wellington Council transport adviser disgusted with the council’s handling of the cycle way has been super-carefully parsed and quoted by the newspaper that crusaded against the cycle-way? If anyone has a complete version of the email I’d be glad to post it.

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