Monday, July 18, 2005


It's all on the line Posted by Picasa

73 comments:

Whaleoil said...

Says who? Michael? Helen?

spooks said...

Is this what Trade Union officials do? I always wondered. How many hundreds of trade union officials did it take to concoct this earth-shattering little cartoon? Mikey, what are you going to do when you grow up? If you are planning one day to enter Parliament, what actual real work experience will you be planning to bring with you into the House? Like, we really need another trade union official (and only ever a trade union official) in Parliament.

spooks said...

Mike, have you ever actually made something? Or sold anything? Or grown something? Or even imported something? Or invented something? Or risked anything? Or ventured anything? Or mortgaged everything you own to try a new business idea? Or taught anyone anything? What life skills do you actually have to take with you into OUR Parliament? Your world-shattering experience as a trade union official?

Ah well, perhaps you bring optimism.

A trade union official in nappies.

Nup.

Anonymous said...

Spooks, how do people react when you tell them in person that you think those who believe that child-rearing is hard work have their "head up the bum of political correctness"?
Have you told anyone that in person?

Child-rearers - mothers usually -'make', 'grow' and 'teach' at the very least and yet apparently you think their work is worthless.

Are you actually as ill-adjusted, resentful, uncaring and socially completely inept as you sound on this blog?
What do you know about people? Do you have any meaningful relationships or friendships with them? If not what are you doing about it, if you wanted to?

Or is it that there is a vast difference between the real spooks and the non/anti-social version we are exposed to here, a difference which is the result either of dishonesty or dysfunction?

spooks said...

Holy cow, Nony. Do you really want to spoil ALL of Mikey's threads by talking about me all the time. Don't you know that talking about me gives me my jollies. Thanks Nony. And I never said parenting was worthless work. Get your facts right. Are you Mrs Wood? (cleverly coving the possibility that Nony might be wife OR mother)

Anonymous said...

So, you say that child-rearing is not hard work but also say you don't think it is worthless?

Or, as it appears, is it only economic attainment that you think is valuable in anyone?

span said...

why all these ridiculous and nasty attacks purely on the basis of Wood's job? trade unionists do do actual work - what do you imagine they do all day?

spooks said...

You're right Span. I ought not have targetted Michael so pointedly. I should have asked has any trade union official ever actually made something? Or sold anything? Or grown something? Or even imported something? Or invented something? Or risked anything? Or ventured anything? Or mortgaged everything they own to try a new business idea? Or taught anyone anything? Or even repaired anything?

And yet Labour have more than a dozen of them in its Parliament. No wonder they hate business people, investors and risk takers. No wonder they regards us as cash cows. No wonder they resent our successes, and regard it as a victory when one of us leaves for greener pastures.

spooks said...

But Span, don't take my word for it, probably the best indication is that workers themselves have to have massive bribes to even join unions these days. Without the taxpayer-funded bribes, the unions would be dead by now. Even with the bribes and corrupt taxpayer handouts direct to the union coffers, most workers simply don't want unions any more. Unions are so last century.

spooks said...

So Span, and Michael, nothing personal.

michael wood said...

Amazing just how easy it is to union bait the hard right.

Instead of attacking me for working for an organisation that is voluntarily funded by it's members (I'm not aware of the receiving any tax payer bribes), why don't you actually address the points raised in the cartoon.

Firstly, why is it OK for Brash to believe in taking away basic working entitlements that everyone else in the developed world enjoys? Secondly (and presuming that you think that the entitlements should be removed), why isn't Brash campaigning openly and honestly on such policies?

Theprophet said...

I have to say I'm intrigued by the Anon that posts here. Obviously the same person all the time. A woman by the sound of the the bitchiness of some of the comments. ( but hey it left wingers so you never know). I thought for a while that it must be Micheal himself but he denies that and I have to say I believe him. Could it be his mother? Why does he need this person. The pattern as far as I can make out is

Micheal posts something naively spun.

Various rightwingers quite rightly jump on his balls.

Anon shows up snarking and spitting like a wild cat in a trap.

Rightwingers reply blah blah blah.

Anon spits blah blah blah

Micheal sums up with a sort of strange Dr Phil like final word.

repeat
repeat
repeat

Allah protect us.

span said...

maybe it's more than one anon? i don't know.

but i do know that it's not michael's mother. or his wife. or either of his sisters.

spooks said...

I think it's one of his children. Very young children.

spooks said...

Michael, I do not attack you for "working for an organisation that is voluntarily funded by it's members".

I attack you for actually BELIEVING that that you are "working for an organisation that is voluntarily funded by it's members".

Anonymous said...

spooks, you've obviously such a low opinion of the members that you believe that they would not call him to account for the standard of his work..

and by the way, your expressed feelings about New Zealand's supposed increasing resentment of success has lead me to wonder whether you think there was less resentment of success when the marginal tax rate was 66 cents in the dollar......

spooks said...

Good point Nony. When the highest marginal rate was 66 cents, I think I might have been paying about 15 cents. Now 12 percent of us pay the highest rate. Funny that, because it was in Helen's pledge card, that only 5 percent would ever pay the highest rate. So much for Labour pledges.

And no-one is questioning Michael's standard of work. I'm sure it is admirable. There is nothing personal here.

Anonymous said...

When other parties agree to maintain Labour's ongoing inflation-linked indexation of tax thresholds, then they might be able to talk....

spooks said...

"Labour's ongoing inflation-linked indexation of tax threshold?

Where? What? There has been no such thing.

You lie -- like your darling Truthful Trevor -- the liar in charge of all our schools.

Anonymous said...

Read the Budget!

spooks said...

I see -- more lies and deception. This is the thing that starts from about twenty years from now. The thing that caused Labour to drop five points in the polls overnight. Not exactly why you want to discuss something so damaging to your beloved party.

Anonymous said...

starts in three years and keeps on going......ie, income tax thresholds adjusted upwards every three years with inflation....

..never been done before. Good stuff.

spooks said...

Packet of chewing gum, somewhere way, way off in the distance.

Keep reminding people of it Nony. This very issue already cost Labour its lead on the polls after the budget. Keep reminding people of this Labour hypocrisy. You can bring it up as a Labour virtue any time you like.

"Good stuff" as you say. Keep shooting yourself in the foot, Nony.

Anonymous said...

Again, you're stealing Winston's press releases....

Anonymous said...

so, you don't agree with the ongoing indexation of income tax thresholds then...?

spooks said...

Winstone does not have a mortgage on being correct.

God you're stupid. I don't agree with indexation having already being delayed by five years since promised, being cynically delayed a further three years. Delayed for EIGHT FRICKEN YEARS for the sake of a packet of chewing gum.

Keep on telling us how you like this one, as one of Labour's greatesty achievements. Owned goals, stupid.

spooks said...

But look, this is silly. I and a million others have done you the favour of pointing out that you have erred.

You just don't get it do you. Parliament is the House of Representatives. That means they are supposed to REPRESENT what we want.

And NZers have tried to tell you something. Can you please listen to NZers for once. Just this once.

And huge number of NZers have spoken. We don't want you packet of chewing gum. And on and on you go about it. Open you ears for once. Just this once.

span said...

my word spooks you get awfully wound up. i hope that you have seen your doctor recently as i suspect you get high blood pressure whenever you read this blog.

what did you mean by your crack about the members of the union thinking they are voluntarily in it? (if that is what you meant) it has me perplexed. it has been many many years since we had compulsory unionism in NZ, in fact i can't remember it at all (although i'm possibly younger than you)

Anonymous said...

But spooks, I am talking about the ongoing indexation of the income tax thresholds, term after term, decade after decade.
Fiscal drag is unfair - more unfair in times of high inflation like the 1970's, when people's earnings were quickly dragged into the higher (and then very much than higher than now) tax brackets.
But this government has said - let's put a stop to it for good, regardless of what the tax rates are, which is your bone of contention actually. This government is the first to do something about this.

spooks said...

Once again, you are so proud of this owned goal. Stick with your political deafness, and surely your poll rating will plummet to match your lack of hearing. A pack of chewing gum after years of over-taxing us, and then the chewing gum being held back for a further cynical three years is something I will happily discuss for as long as you want to go on with presenting it as a Labour virtue. A cannot believe you would want to continue handing me such goodies. On a platter. Even the Labour pollies have woken up to the mistake -- they just haven't told you yet.

spooks said...

Span , please don't confuse MY enthusiasm with YOUR getting awfully wound up. My blood pressure is fine thanks, in fact, for my age, it is phenominally good.

But the topic is "Unions" -- not Spooks.

Anonymous said...

So you don't agree with the ongoing indexation of the income tax thresholds, then!
I'm surprised at you!

spooks said...

Nony, it might be best if you allow me to say what I believe in and what I don't believe in. I think you are having enough trouble with what is in your own head, without trying to run my brain as well.

Anonymous said...

So, do you agree with the Government's ongoing indexation of income tax thresholds?

Come on, you claim to know your own mind - spit it out!

span said...

well spooksie you tend to exaggerate the concentration on yourself by responding to questions about you but not about your views, eg my statement about your blood pressure got a response, but not my question about unions.

spooks said...

And I will respond to this one too. Your post is exclusively about Spooks. Fine, I am quite happy to discuss Spooks, if you initiate it. It'd be rude of me not to. But I can confidently say that I have never initiated a discussion of Spooks.

Now please stop mis-using Michael's perfectly good political blog for discussing Spooks.

spooks said...

Nony, as regards the so-called indexation of tax thresholds, to me it is a Curate's Egg. I especially don't like the fact that Labour has deferred indexation for eight years, during which time Helen's promise of no more than 5 percent paying the top rate, has been blitzed. And I also don't like that for many it will deliver no more than a packet of chewing gum.

Anonymous said...

So, you do support it to an extent, and do you also concede that whilst it is starting in 2008 - for the three years dating back to 2005 - that this is the first Government ever to prevent the tax increase by stealth that is fiscal drag?

It was not meant to be a tax cut -it is designed to prevent tax increases by stealth.
National could come in and showily lift the highest threshold from $60 000 to $70 000 in one hit, say, but would they also agree to see that figure automatically indexed up in line with inflation? Or would they be happy to quietly see the value of the resultant 'tax cut' steadily eroded by fiscal drag?
They need to be asked, don't you think?

spooks said...

I support the majority of New Zealanders who saw Cullen's offer as a smarmy, cute, insulting offer of a packet of chewing gum after a cynical eight years of non-adjustment and over-taxing.

Non-action which has resulted in 12 percent of taxpayers paying the top rate, when Clark had promised only 5 percent would even pay it. Clark/ Cullen are not good to their word. And what they have offered will not do anything to restore the 5 percent promise. Nothing. A Clark promise on a credit card, not worth the cost of the ink.

Are all Labour Credit promises so dispensable? Labour promises are crap.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you've bowed out of this argument, haven't you?

span said...

that's interesting spooks, seeing as you have shut off comments on your own blog, even though there is nothing there to critique. don't like scrutiny much do you?

i merely asked you to explain your comment about union members not being voluntary members as it didn't make much sense to me. if you'd like to enlighten me i am genuinely interested in your pov.

spooks said...

You just don't get it do you, Span. Spooks is not the topic here. But you continue to post off topic about me, then you demand that I post ON topic about other things. Piss off.

spooks said...

My God, you love this line, Nony -- about the sixth time you have declared yourself supremo. "Yes, you've bowed out of this argument, haven't you?" How utterly clever, Nony. Piss off.

spooks said...

Nony, can I say that your notification of your desire to bow out of an argument, by saying that the other person has bowed out reminds me of something ... ... ... now what could that have been? ... ... Oh yes, now I remember.

It reminds me of Helen Clark planning a dirty election campaign, by being first to announce that it is going to be a dirty election campaign.

You learn fast, Nony, but I am not a baby. Nor am I stupid.

But can I repeat that I would really rather be discussing Michael's topics, so could you please desist from discussing me.

Cheezy said...

Blimey, I came in late on this one... almost glad I did! Spooksy got a bit pre-menstrual there, didn't she lads?

Oops, sorry, I'm not allowed to mention her nanymore, so it seems...

I'd better 'piss off' :-p

span said...

spooks - it is quite natural for me to ask you to explain a comment that you have made (re union membership) that i do not understand. part of the wonder of blogs is that you can actually debate, seek explanations, have a dialogue. you seem to have no problem with Whaleoil or yourself posting off the original nature of the post Wood has made, but when I question you regarding anything you get very defensive. Which only leads me to conclude that you have no answers.

spooks said...

Span, to borrow your manner for once, here is a comment on you. Your style in your comments is to have one rude paragraph on the poster, then one paragraph on the topic. Typical leftie stuff. But you expect the topic paragraph to get all the attention when someone replies. You just don't get it. For example, my blog address has absolutely nothing to do with Michael's blog. Absolutely nothing, zilch, nada. Zero. It is as relevant to the issue as, for example, my choice of ISP. Would you like to criticise my choice of ISP as well?

span said...

dear spooks,

i humbly apologise if you have taken any of my comments as rude, towards you. i merely meant them to be in vehement disagreement to your arguments, and questioning of your style of posting.

however have you considered that you may in fact have a persecution complex? i only point this out in the hope that it will be helpful to you, not to be rude. when someone is paranoid they are often the last to know.

i really do try hard not to be rude. in fact many people have commented in the past, including that luminary of the NZ blogosphere DPF, on my "niceness".

even when i tried to be rude about Act's billboards it was misconstrued by those on the right and Rodney Hide ended up linking to my pisstake. i am quite stunned that you now think i am rude when all my previous attempts to tarnish my reputation have failed.

but i would genuinely, sincerely, like to know why you think that union members are not voluntary members. i really really would.

is there any way i can convince you to impart with your wisdom in this area? (NB: sexual favours will not be considered due to my intrinsic hideousness which makes them not favours at all)

kind regards
span

spooks said...

Same format, span -- except that this time three paragraphs about me, including the suggestion that I might be paranoid (and you just have to love this bit -- really sorry, so sorry, but you have a persecution complex, but I really am sorry -- FFS, rotflmfao at your blind hypocrisy). Then at paragraph 4, you finally get round to the topic. And you expect me to ignore the first three and answer your fourth. Get stuffed. You just don't get it do you. For the fifth time, leave discussion of me out of it, and I might even deal with your on-topic matters.

So for the sixth time, would you please stop ruining Michael's perfectly good blog by continually discussing me. It's my job to ruin Michael's blog, not yours. And I actually prefer to ruin it by discussing politics.

span said...

well i only counted one paragraph about you, three about me, and two about the question i was asking you. guess i am never going to get an answer to your intriguing statement. oh well.

spooks said...

So long as you are incapable of posting on topic and only on topic, then I dare say you will remain in the dark.

Cheezy said...

Voluntary unionism it is then, I feel. Thought so.

spooks said...

No it is decidedly not voluntary. Don't fool yourself. Why does Labour have to base everything on deception?

span said...

why is it not voluntary? Members choose whether or not to pay fees. They don't even have to opt out, they have to opt in.

spooks said...

Thanks for asking Span. Good question.

There are several new imaginative, creative-accounting ways that Labour has loaded the dice in favour of unions. abour have corruptly corruptly feathered the union nests (often at taxpayer expense), so that the union nest eggs can in turn feather the Labour Party nest. Some of those ways -

a) non unionists must be paid less than unionists. (How is that good faith negotiating?)

b) unionists get their union fees reimbursed, and extra bonuses in the Public Service.

c) unionists get union leave time off work

d) the Labour government has found ways to make direct "hip-hop"-type grants straight into the union coffers. As in "here, here's a cheque, a taxpayer funded cheque, just because you are a union, and we here in the Labour Party, we like unions, and if we give you this taxpayer funded money, perhaps you could spend some of it on advertising your support for us come election time, to the tune of millions of dollars of advertising, all outside of the Electoral Act, which limits the amount of electoral advertising, but we, snigger snigger, we know how to get round that, ho ho, he he." Silly bastards, those taxpayers, they won't even notice we've done it, they won't even miss this money we've ripped off them.

Cheezy said...

So there are advantages to joining a union then, Spooks? Yes, I kinda thought that was always the point of them...

You can opt not to take advantage of being in a union though, and opt out. That's where that 'volutary' bit comes in.

spooks said...

Sorry to have to repeat myself, but the word "voluntary" was not mine. In fact what I said was -

"Don't take my word for it, probably the best indication is that workers themselves have to have massive bribes to even join unions these days. Without the taxpayer-funded bribes, the unions would be dead by now. Even with the bribes and corrupt taxpayer handouts direct to the union coffers, most workers simply don't want unions any more. Unions are so last century."

I stand by every word of it.

spooks said...

This thread has become lame. I don't like flaming and I don't like nit-picking. Time to move on. Go ahead and continue the nit-picking on your own.

Cheezy said...

Hahaha! Nice one, Spooksy... I don't know what I liked more...

Was it (a) Your "I don't like flaming" comment - when we only have to scroll upwards to peruse some of your 'greatest hits' from earlier in the thread...

"God you're stupid."

"Open you ears for once."

"I think you are having enough trouble with what is in your own head."

"Piss off."

"Get stuffed."

Hmmm. Or was it (b) Still trying to maintain that "the word
"voluntary" was not mine" as if you hadn't tried to get away with saying NZ doesn't have voluntary unionism - Again, this from earlier in the thread-

Cheezy: "Voluntary unionism it is then, I feel. Thought so."
Spooks: "No it is decidedly not voluntary."

I'm not sure... I kinda like them both! Don Brash clearly has a kindred flip-flopping spirit here!

spooks said...

All responses to yours and others rudeness - all out of context. Hope you enjoyed that waste of effort. Ha ha ha.

spooks said...

God it would be refreshing if you made a comment on topic. Still the topic name on this one is "Untitled" so I suppose you were confused. Don't care what you say about me, just keep giving me my jollies and keep talking about me. I'm much more important than any election is.

spooks said...

And as long as you are talking about me, you'll just be driving more and more people away from Michael's blog. Ha ha ha.

spooks said...

Luving it!

Cheezy said...

Gadzooks! Wow! You sure got us there!

(cheezy skulks away in shame and not a little awe at how he's been taken in by spooksy's massive intellect!...)

span said...

hmmmm spooks your a b c d to the evilness of unions seems v reminiscent of that other union hater (and baiter) tim barclay, over on Jordan's blog - the other Labour blog that gets constantly flamed by right wingers trying to shut down lefties (although i tend to think that Labour people are in general not that left actually). perhaps you are somehow related?

in regard to accusation d, as i only have time to reply to one of them now, i worked on one of the projects funded by the CONTESTABLE (thought you'd like that) fund that I think you are referring to, and let me tell you that the reporting requirements, both in terms of doing the work and in terms of the budget and spending money on what you said you would spend it on, were very arduous and rigorous. i had to produce regular, many paged, reports on both areas, for two projects, for most of last year. it was definitely not a doddle and any money not spent at the end had to be given back (and was).

spooks said...

Span, no I read tim barclay comments too, but I am not Tim.

I think you are confirming that payments were made from the CONTESTABLE fund direct to unions. Our host here denied it earlier as I recall.

span said...

the contestable fund for union education projects is the only way unions receive any money from the Govt. that's why i assumed that was what you meant by d. it is a scheme run by the Department of Labour and after the disaster of CEG they are very very rigorous about auditing unions who receive money from it.

that doesn't match your accusation at all. the money can only be spent on what you put in for. for example the projects i worked on were to provide courses to a set number of participants in particular areas, and to produce delegate education materials. no electioneering involved. there was actually a bit of dosh left over so we gave it back. quite a different picture from the one you paint.

Wood is right to deny any direct payments from Govt to unions for supporting Labour. there aren't any.

spooks said...

Oh, cummon. So while Labour are using taxpayer money to meet the unions' "education" costs, the unions set aside what they would have otherwise spent themselves on the same. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Some of us weren't born yesterday.

span said...

actually most unions didn't spend much on education in the past - it's quite a new approach (ie last five years probably) for them to do much around developing delegates. so the education fund isn't really "saving" them much money, which they are then spending elsewhere. it means that they are actually able to have education resources in the first place.

spooks said...

Doesn't change the fact that it is taxpayers money funding the unions. Don't care how you label it, it fits the terminology that I originally used -- "feathering their nests". Which Michael challenged in this blog.

spooks said...

Incidentally, it took me about two minutes searching to discover that the contestable fund we are discussing here is $2,000,000 of taxpayers money.

Funny that, because as I have already said elsewhere on this blog, the unions have already declared that it is their intention to spend $2,000,000 on advertising supporting Labour in the election.

Strikingly coincidental.

spooks said...

Although on reflection, the coincidence is slightly dodgy. The $2 million taxpayers money paid to the unions is annual. So they actually only have to dish out a third of the taxpayer dollars we put in.

Want union education? Here's some free union education for you in how to get round the Electoral Act, which restricts how much parties can spend on election advertising.

Not a breach of the Electoral Act. Corruption would be a more appropriate charge, but that's too hard for our law enforcement system.

span said...

don't know where you got $2M from, for union spending on election stuff. but i can guarantee that the two figures are not related.

the $2M contestable fund for education is also open for businesses and other organisations to apply to, which they do and are often successful i understand - the board who make the funding decisions and approve the courses and resources includes business reps.

i really do fail to see how it is "feathering your nest" to spend all the given money on something you probably wouldn't have spent much money on without the grant. yes Labour has been relatively good to union members, but i hardly think that's a big surprise. union members are much more likely to vote left.

mind you that might be because National craps all over them every chance it gets.