Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse providing it’s without abuse.

Please note the addition of providing it’s without abuse.

57 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. Ele invites us to use Saturday Soapbox to “bemuse”.
    Well, okay then!


  2. “The big booze companies are encouraging binge drinking by teenagers, in particular young girls, through deliberately targeted products such as Vodka Raspberry produced by Independent Liquor. The pink colourful packaging and name are a dead giveaway.
    Three litre containers of this nine percent alcohol drink are available for just $21. This is a huge volume of alcohol at pocket money prices. Products like these are driving the binge drinking culture amongst teenagers and teenage girls in particular.”

    That’s the sort of result you get with an alcohol-industry supportive Government like this one.


  3. Willdwan says:

    I don’t suppose you read Camelot Robert, too Anglo-centric, but your lot are in there – the ants.



  4. “Dirty Politics is akin to a Lance Armstrong doping operation: a conspiracy of silence based on unethical actions and dirty plays. The public generally opposes dirty behaviour in sport, but opinion polling after Dirty Politics reveals the public is more likely to judge Hager and Key based on their political leanings.”

    Sadly, there seems to be a lot of truth in this.


  5. Will – whereas your team believes, EVERYTHING THAT IS ABLE TO BE HIDDEN IS ALLOWABLE.


  6. Doug Edmeades, champion of the conventional farmer writes in his NZ Farmer Opinion piece, that our present intensive farming is NOT increasing levels of Soil Organic Matter, but that it is declining. What do you say to that, farmers?
    Doug also says “put away the plough and move into tomorrow with zero tillage”. Good stuff, Doug.
    Doug also describes the life in SOM: the myriad of soil micro and macro organisms from earthworms and insects down to bacteria and fungi, and to the tiniest protozoa.”
    What Doug fails to do, in describing SOM and it’s vital life, and the need to abandon ploughing, is decry the use of Roundup. Roundup is toxic to the web of life described by Doug, but commonly used to facilitate zero tillage. Come on, Doug. Get real.


  7. jabba says:

    “”I think [Greens co-leader Russel Norman] has obviously got his reasons for saying what he said, but I think we can put that into perspective,” Cunliffe said.

    “He is a minor party chasing the votes from a particular set of voters”.
    goodness, I agree with Cunliffe on something. Look, the Nats don’t want the melons even though the Gween leaders want the Nats to help them .. go away.


  8. jabba says:

    “They’ve reassured us they will be happy to support a Labour-led government. We are very pleased to have those reassurances.”

    He described as “nonsense” the possibility of the Greens becoming a larger party in Parliament than Labour.

    Mr Cunliffe maintained that a Labour government would have only three parties: Labour, NZ First and the Greens.


  9. jabba says:

    “Internet Party leader Laila Harre has criticised the Greens for talking about the possibility of a co-operation deal with a National Government just eight days from the election – a proposal that National has slapped down and exploited”.
    Lala not happy .. she needs her Gween friends to get back into politics even though she did a runner from the party to be Dotcoms new best friend .. brilliant


  10. Chris says:

    Can I get Robert to reply to this?
    I have sent this to Russel Norman yesterday. I am not hopeful of a reply


    I am very annoyed that the greens have been making
    out for some time now that New Zealand rivers are dirty and unsafe to swim in or
    drink from.

    There are many farmers in our beautiful country who
    have been working for many years to fence off and plant our waterways and more
    marginal country, at great cost to themselves, and for no monetary

    You have recently released a policy about having
    farmers fence off all waterways. Most farmers on flat or easy country have
    already done this and in fact it is part of Fonterra’s condition of supply that
    all waterways on Dairy farms had to be fenced by December 2013 or the milk would not be collected.

    At least 90% of farmers have complied, which is
    fantastic for our environment, but we never hear any congratulations from you or your party at the amazing job farmers have done in this regard.

    In regard to fencing off waterways in hill country,
    it would be nearly impossible for this to be done as there would be thousands of hectares of valuable productive land lost as you can not just put a fence along the stream as many are inaccessible or would be wiped out with slips in wet times.

    A recent study from the OECD has been released
    about the state of our rivers, as well as rivers throughout the

    In this study it stated that:

    A recent OECD survey measured the cleanliness of all major rivers that flow through farmland in OECD countries. Of the three New Zealand rivers measured, where did the Clutha, Waitaki and Waikato, respectively, place?

    a) 87th, 89th and 90th

    b) 42nd, 58th and 76th

    c) 1st, 2nd and 4th

    Answer: Of all major rivers in the developed world that flow through
    farmland, the OECD found Clutha rated 1st, the Waitaki
    2nd and the Waikato 4th for cleanliness.

    There are 14 questions that rebut your arguments about the state of our

    I attach the relevant article http://www.investigatemagazine/..

    Can we please have a more balanced approach to the river debate from the Greens?

    To say that farmers pull their weight for New Zealand is a massive
    understatement. Together these 60,000 hardworking and innovative men and women earn 52% of our export income.

    And frankly, we are hurting at the torrent of unjustified criticism from the
    Greens that we don’t care about our rivers.



  11. jabba says:

    “But then Labour started flirting with the idea of governing with New Zealand First, thereby shutting out the Greens, who, having nowhere else to go, would still be obliged to enter a confidence and supply arrangement”.
    OMG .. maybe I should give my Party Vote to Winston1st?


  12. Jabba – please – the adults would like to talk. Choose something from your toy-box to suck on, while Chris and I talk politics.

    “we never hear any congratulations from you or your party at the amazing job farmers have done in this regard.”
    You haven’t been paying attention, Chris. The Greens have been congratulating farmers, through their “Good Farming Stories” and through press releases for a long time now. If you’ve only been listening to the scaremongers of the farmers’ union, Federated Farmers, you’ll only have heard the negative spin from them.
    I don’t believe the Greens are saying, as you claim, that “farmers don’t care about rivers”. The Greens are saying that despite the care expressed by many farmers, intensive farming is causing increasing harm to New Zealand’s rivers. I believe they are right in saying this. While practices on farms are improving, that is not matching the rate of intensification. Overall, the situation is worsening. The Greens are right about this. Mike Joy is right about this. The criticism you describe farmers as suffering from is the very thing that has forced them to change their practices. The Federation is not the driver for improving environmental practice on farms. Fonterra, Dairy NZ nor any other industry body are not the drivers for better environmental behaviour from farmers, the critical public and bodies such as the Greens, Fish&Game, DoC and so on, are providing that service to the environment.
    I read a report once, that described the distorted beliefs held by farmers as to the opinions of townspeople with regard farming. Turns out, farmers are over-sensitive and over-blow what they see as negative opinion from townies. Townies aren’t as critical of farmers as farmers believe them to be. I think you are suffering the same distortion and that’ll be because you are inside the echo-chamber that is the farming community. You love to hate the Greens and so do your mates, so you build on each-others story, losing sight of reality.
    That’s how I see it anyway, Chris.


  13. Chris says:

    What about the OECD report on the cleanliness of our rivers, where the greens paint them to be the most polluted in the world?


  14. Chris – what about reality?
    Go and ask your regional council water scientists and find out the truth. And as for reading and believing Investigate
    Oh dear…
    The Waikato River … clean???
    Chris. Please.


  15. Willdwan says:

    I live by lake Karapiro Robert, people swim in it all the time. They also waterski, kayak, and pull very large, healthy trout from it. The Waikato only gets dodgy north of Hamilton. Time our cities got their act together.


  16. TraceyS says:

    “Doug also says “put away the plough and move into tomorrow with zero tillage”. Good stuff, Doug.”

    Heard of Roundup Robert?

    Care to explain how that fits with Green organics policy!


  17. Cumulative effects, Will, that’s where we are failing.
    Time our cities got their act together.
    Agree, 100%


  18. Tracey, I have to assume you misread my comments. Try again and ask a question that has some meaning at least.


  19. TraceyS says:

    You can’t do it without chemical herbicides, Robert. Not without a massive step backwards. Get real! There are no perfect answers except in your wild green dreams.


  20. TraceyS says:

    PS. I didn’t misread your comments, just didn’t finish reading what you wrote. Force of habit I suppose.


  21. You can do it without chemical herbicides, Tracey. Your knowledge of the issue is lacking, your vision stunted. New Zealand farmers pride themselves on their ‘can do’ attitude. You are showing that it’s nothing but talk. I can do it. Others are doing it. Get into the real world, Tracey – farmers will have to do it, for all of our sakes. Abandon your “can’t do it” mind-set and become a positive influence on your “can’t do it” tribe.

    ps. Your “force of habit” as you describe it, that is, not reading to the end of a passage, is hindering your ability to learn. Good that you recognise your problem. Now, set about fixing your impediment and join us learners in life’s great (learning) adventure.


  22. jabba says:

    calm down bOb .. I know that you are upset by Russellll but hey, he tried to join with National but was told yeah nah. I saw Russelll on telly this morning saying that his reaching out to John Key was a trick .. snigger


  23. Jabba – try your “My Little Pony” – they’re flavoured.


  24. TraceyS says:

    Robert, I assess your comments by the ratio of rubbish to information. Just so you are clear, I regard personal insults as rubbish. The time I give to reading comments is relative to this ratio. A lot of the time (not all, but a lot) your ratio is about 90:10. You really must try harder.


  25. Can’t make sense of what you’re trying to say, Tracey.
    Is it still about zero tillage?


  26. Gee, this Glenn Greenwald stuff is interesting, isn’t it!
    “Prime Minister John Key says he and the head of GCSB would resign if the spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance.”
    Seems Mr Greenwald is about to take Key at his word and reveal how the GCSB and he, did just that.
    He’s going to be speaking at Kim Dotcom’s event on Monday.
    Crikey, John! That’s gonna sting!


  27. jabba says:

    “Russel Norman says he is a member of the committee overseeing SIS and GCSB but has learnt more from #greenwald @TheNationTV3”
    what a muppet .. he said he is the longest serving member of the above committee but learnt more in a 10 min interview with some bloke with stolen papers that haven’t been sorted yet.
    WTF does Norman do at these meetings .. and he wants to be Deputy PM .. he is an idiot


  28. Ele – I hope you’ll allow me this one link to the Nation interview this morning with Glenn Greenwald. It’s essential that people watch it and decide upon what they see. Thanks.
    Jabba – ask someone to explain it to you.


  29. jabba says:

    The Government Communications Security Bureau was created in 1977 bOb .. so bOb, when Labour/Gween/Internet-mana and Winston1st become our Govt next Saturday, will the Gweens insist on shutting down our spy agencies .. yes or no?


  30. Andrei says:

    Yes Robert, good link

    The amazing thing is that the level of Government surveillance of “free” citizens in the USA circa 2014 by NSA for their Government far exceeds that of the citizens of the USSR by the NKVD under Stalin by several orders of magnitude and the are so brain washed and brain dead thanks to watching Dr Phil that most don’t even notice.

    And their police forces have become militarized to keep the American underclass in its place


  31. Andrei – Ferguson is America’s warning siren, blaring.
    Greenwald is ours.


  32. Jabba – please check with your minder before you post – you are sounding silly. And stressed.


  33. jabba says:

    I will take that as a no bOb


  34. Typical – Key attacks Greenwald with name-calling.
    This tweet sorts out the real ‘henchman’.

    hamish_keith: “Dotcom’s little henchman” won the Pulitzer Prize for Social Service Journalism & true Keys little henchman won Canon prize for best blogger


  35. And this one:
    Key has just called a journalist with Glenn Greenwald’s reputation, “Mr Dotcom’s little henchman” – nasty PM playing #dirtypolitics again


  36. Who is Glenn Greenwald?
    Key calls him, “Dotcom’s little henchman”.
    Here’s how others describe him:

    “Greenwald was named as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013.

    Four of the 5 books he has written have been on the New York Times bestsellers list.
    Greenwald is a frequent speaker on college campuses, including Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, UCLA School of Law, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Maryland.

    Greenwald has received awards including the first Izzy Award for independent journalism, and the 2010 Online Journalism Award for Best Commentary.
    Greenwald worked, along with others, on a series of reports detailing United States and British surveillance programs, The series was published by The Guardian newspaper, and won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

    Greenwald’s reporting on the National Security Agency (NSA) won numerous other awards around the world, including top investigative journalism prizes from the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting, the 2013 Online Journalism Awards, the Esso Award for Excellence in Reporting in Brazil.(becoming the first foreigner to win this award)”

    Name-calling, Mr Key, isn’t very Prime Ministerial, is it now?


  37. jabba says:

    so Greenwald was sitting around his home in the US wondering what to do next .. and then thought, hey, I might pop over to NZ and talk about their spy agencies .. mmm, nah


  38. jabba says:

    “Henchman referred originally to one who attended a horse for his employer, that is, a horse groom. Hence, like constable and marshal, also originally stable staff, henchman became the title of a subordinate official in a royal court or noble household.Henchman referred originally to one who attended a horse for his employer, that is, a horse groom. Hence, like constable and marshal, also originally stable staff, henchman became the title of a subordinate official in a royal court or noble household. It is now used to generally describe any person with subordinate status derisively, while most often used specifically to a hired guard or minion of a villain or master criminal.
    yep, sounds about right.


  39. Freddy says:

    Greenwald may well be all of that Robt but he’s still Laila Harre’ sugar-daddies Henchmen..!
    The only Internet-Mana party policy anyone I talk to can recall is decriminalizing cannabis…pretty sad..!
    Greenwald and Assange are just a smoke screen for their lack of policy….1% and falling, well done Laila.


  40. JC says:

    Greenwald has also been described as an antisemitic and there’s plenty on that on the Internet of his quotes and articles plus defence of other antisemitics.

    It figures he would be in cahoots with a guy who considers Mein Kampf was written by the greatest German who ever lived.



  41. Freddy – let’s just talk about Greenwald then, shall we? What he is saying and what he is going to say to support today’s ‘indications’ of spying and lying for and by Key. Assange and Greenwald have, I believe, actual data and real email discussions that will, if things go as I expect they will, prove a number of things that have been claimed by various parties, and denied by Key. I think Greenwald’s credentials are very good. I think the evidence he is saying he will produce, will be powerful and reliable. Devastating perhaps 🙂

    JC – your personal attack and attempt to smear Mr Greenwald are just what I would expect from you. That sort of low ‘technique’, similar to that employed by Key, indicates a moral black-hole in the person who employs it.


  42. Southern says:

    I do find your posts interesting bOb, you are so hard on the politicians who you believe are hiding dirt behind various excuses, yet you yourself work so hard to stop truth about yourself coming out.
    Interesting me thinks


  43. More sly insinuations from a person to frightened to use his real name. Cowardly behaviour from the person calling himself, “Southern”. The person who first made the accusation you are repeating, Southern, check out how they have fared, then have a wee think. Already I’ve had Ele delete your claims and it’s no great jump to OIA your details from her, in order to shepherd you down the same path I did the original smear-merchant. Keep your chin up, Southern. Thinking of you.


  44. jabba says:

    well done Southern .. when our bOb brings out the old “from a person to frightened to use his real name” line, then you know you have got him.


  45. Southern says:

    OIA’s don’t apply to a private blog, you need to check your facts. Bullying is a great tactic of the greens, honesty is not, rather than turn the torch on me, just be honest bOb, go on.
    You want honesty from everyone else, how about a bit yourself.


  46. And isn’t it fascinating how Rightwingers like “Southern” employ dirty strategies such as veiled accusations and name calling! Is it something in your makeup, that allows you to attack individuals, anonymously and cowardly, smearing, sneering, name calling, all the while hiding behind a fake name?
    It’s straight from the Slater, Ede, Williams, Odger, Farrar, Keeping Stock etc, play-book. I truly hope that sort of muck-raking, dishonest behaviour is swept away at the election and the practitioners of dirty politics, flushed into some rancid backwater where they can do no further harm to New Zealand and New Zealanders.


  47. Southern says:

    I thought so, your a wimp.


  48. jabba says:

    bOb forgets to tell us about all his “fake names” when commenting on blogs .. gutless bOb, gutless


  49. Freddy says:

    Robt, nicely put…today’s ‘indications’ are from Wikipedia, in other words you’ve got ‘NUFFIN’
    – I think
    – I believe
    – I think Greenwalds’ credentials are very good…..???
    Try harder dude…your slipping…!
    None of that ‘evidence’ is worth a sack of horse sh*t.


  50. TraceyS says:

    Southern: “OIA’s don’t apply to a private blog”

    Snigger. My thoughts exactly. Robert forgets we are not all under State control as per his green dream to save the world.


  51. Well, Southern, as I’ve no concern what so ever about the event that’s fascinated you so much, I’ll go over it again, just for your benefit. I don’t have any faith at all that you will accept what I describe, as you have repeatedly shown that your intention is to harm my reputation, so explaining to you will probably only feed your attacks. nevertheless, I’m honest and open, and so, though it will bore all ordinary readers, here goes: (btw, I have even less confidence that jabba will ‘get it’ – he’s been trying for a lot longer than you have, Southern, to smear my reputation. His latest, “fake names on other blogs” is idiotic. I have many times, described the Greenfly, Hugh Manatee, Village Idiot” etc, pseudonyms I used years ago, before I learned the importance of openness when commenting. I grew up, I matured, I owned my comments and so post only under my real name. Jabba will never accept this and keeps bleating on about it, despite my having explained this several times on this blog. Mr E is another who revels in what he believes is unacceptable behaviour by me. He’s been threatening complaints to the Council over and over around dozens of comments he deems outrageous. I’ve invited him to get on with it, lodge his complaints but he never has. There are several other complainers, some on blogs I used to comment on, who have made similar threats, including a lawyer who should know better, but none have done so. I invite them again to get on with it. But they won’t. You won’t jabba, nor will you, Southern. I know your type. You are not courageous nor are your arguments based on reality. You are both spouting off about something you know nothing about, bar innuendo and gossip created by one man, who I referred to earlier. He has been lately involved in defending his actions in spreading gossip on social media and as I said, he has not thrived as a result. In that instance, the OIA was very useful, as was the Ministry that was tracking developments as they occurred. I’ve learned that bullies fold when confronted by; the truth, and exposure to those close to them, with the behaviour they have been indulging in. Southern, you have been accusing me of vandalism. What you are referring to, is a bit of fun between me and two colleagues, where I wrote in some wet cement they had poured. I joked with them that I was going to write something provocative in the cement, and I did. This sort of teasing was something we had enjoyed over several years. I chose to write the name of a politician I knew would rile them both, based on the political discussions, fiery and fun, that we’d enjoyed in the past. As soon as the writing was found by the more serious of the two, it was smoothed over. Admittedly, he didn’t find it as funny as I thought he would, and told me that he thought I was stupid to have done it. I agreed. It wasn’t my best ever joke. There was no harm done, however. No damage to the still wet cement. No cost to anyone. No denials, no hiding. No heated words, no fall-out, except the person(not involved in the event) who later went on-line to repeatedly accuse me of vandalism seized the opportunity to cause me reputational harm, but here’s the thing, Mr Southern and Mr Jabba, he did it behind the mask of a fake name, just as you are doing. Not only that, he abused a professional privilege to do so. Not a good idea, I’m sure you’ll agree. As I mentioned, he no longer holds that position, having ‘suddenly’ resigned just recently. Now there’s no doubt that describing this event in detail like this could cause me more trouble that it will squash, if only because you and jabba, and others, are intent on playing dirty, dirty politics and very personal in this instance. You’ve had very bad examples set by Key, Slater and co, so I can’t blame you entirely, but there might, just might be some corner of your mind that recognises the truth when it is offered to you, who knows. I could have simply ignored your spiteful innuendo whenever it appeared, but you seemed only to grow bolder from your own words. It might well be true that I cannot OIA your details from Ele, but appealing to her sense of honour might be enough to find out who you are, you hide-behind-a-fake-name person. Naturally, I think very little of your behaviour, I think it’s cowardly, but difficult to stop unless you somehow grow a conscience or find a moral compass somewhere.

    Now, Southern, having demanded(and got) honesty from me, how about you step up to the honesty plate, and tell us all your real name.
    Are you honest?
    We shall see.
    I won’t ask Jabba. I already know who he is.
    Ele. If, once Southern and Jabba have had a chance to read this (give jabba extra time please) you are very welcome to delete it, as it’s not the usual sort of comment found on a blog. On the other hand, it was tedious to write, given that I’ve already done this explanation on your blog some time ago. If there’s anyone out there who thinks they would like to have a go at bringing some sort of action against me, as several people keep claiming they will do, please feel free. I am confident that anyone dealing with your complaint will regard it as vexatious and send you down the road.
    I’m not very interested in entering into argument about what I’ve written here, so won’t answer questions (subject myself to cross-examining – this is not a court-room)

    A wimp, Southern?
    Gutless, jabba?



  52. Southern says:

    actually I heard that after you wrote your buddies name in the concrete, and got caught, you waited until the bloke went away and then did it again. That’s not harmless fun bOb, that’s sneaky and conniving.
    I also heard that it was a school that you vandalised, oh sorry, you forgot to mention that.. bit wimpy of you.

    You may try and trivialise it bOb, but then explaining is losing, and looking at the size of that explanation, you lose.


  53. “explaining is losing”

    Well, there it is, straight from Cameron Slater’s play-book.

    Explaining is losing. Earlier you were claiming that failing to explain was the problem, remember?
    “You yourself work so hard to stop truth about yourself coming out”

    I’ve over-estimated you, Southern.
    Your claim, “…and got caught, you waited until the bloke went away and then did it again. That’s not harmless fun bOb, that’s sneaky and conniving.” is false. Not worth my while explaining though, as you believe that explaining is losing. However it does give me some pleasure to know that you haven’t got your facts straight. As I say, do something about it, Southern.
    Have you had a chance to think about your own level of honesty?
    Going to tell us your true name then?


  54. jabba says:

    holy shit .. my eyes went all funny trying to read bObs rant .. I pick up my new glasses tomorrow, maybe that will help .. so bOb, you know who I am, you stalked me a year or so ago (I still feel dirty about that thought) so what are you asking again?


  55. jabba says:

    hey bOb .. if I posted under my REAL name, will you you be happy?


  56. hey JaBs – nothing could interest me less.


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