The Hobbit v the CTU

October 22nd, 2010 at 2:35 pm by David Farrar

More developments today. First the Dominion Post editorial:

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The full stupidity of the Actors’ Equity members who arranged an international boycott of The Hobbit is now apparent.

They used the nuclear bomb option in industrial negotiations. And nuclear bombs always have fall out.

What makes New Zealand unique in terms of film-making is that it is where Sir Peter lives and where, despite the blandishments of Hollywood, he has chosen to build his empire.

A film set is not like a meatworks or an old-fashioned cotton mill where workers are interchangeable. It is a place where individuals have a chance to make a difference and to be rewarded for their talents.

Members of the Australian-based Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and its local offshoot, Actors’ Equity, who do not back themselves to shine are under no compulsion to offer their services to Sir Peter. If they prefer, they are at liberty to deliver one-person shows in empty provincial theatres. But they should not seek to deny others the opportunity to build film careers or to experience the excitement of working on a project that will be seen around the world.

I love the line about empty provincial theatres!

… the Government has no choice but to step in to try to repair the damage done by the actors’ union. It is not just the future of that is at stake, but the future of the industry that has grown up around Sir Peter. If that requires the Government to bump up the 15 per cent tax break already available to the producers of , Finance Minister Bill English should get out his chequebook.

The purity of the tax system be damned. The consequences of losing an industry that has revitalised Wellington do not bear thinking about.

Losing the film will lead to a massive loss of jobs, and the taxpayer will probably end up paying even more through lost tax income and higher welfare costs. Having said that, I would much prefer the tax break not be increased.

Some lunatics think that this was all manufactured so they could get a tax break. I’d really love to meet the evil geniuses that managed to infiltrate and get them to arrange a global boycott, just so that Warners can use it as an excuse to get a bigger tax break.

Perhaps the shortfall could be made up by cutting Creative New Zealand’s theatrical budget.

Is that on top of the $44,000 I already want to cut?

John Drinnan at the Herald looks at the media handling of it and notes:

To challenge a national icon you would think you would lay on a bit of charm – or just show some respect.

Kelly said: “There are still New Zealanders out there who believe that people have a right to negotiate.”

Maybe the handling of the Hobbit dispute will win the MEAA and an activist award at the next Socialist International prizegiving.

But in this country they have turned a lot of people off.

calling Sir a spoilt brat was incredibly stupid. has created more jobs for New Zealanders than possibly any other person. Once upon a time the CTU said they cared about jobs.

Tom Cardy in the Dom Post has the latest updates:

A furious Sir Peter Jackson will “fight as hard as he can” to keep The Hobbit in New Zealand – but is already listing key Kiwi staff to take if the two-part film goes overseas.

And the director hit back at Council of Trade Union president Helen Kelly’s claims that he had set up the actors’ union to take the blame if the US$500 million (NZ$667m) movie is lost.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was the first time I really got very angry.”

Asked if it was fingers crossed that The Hobbit would remain, Jackson said: “I don’t know what to cross any more. I’ve just got to get some sleep. I haven’t had much sleep in the past few days.”

It was unlikely he would be able to take more than 150 Kiwi crew – compared with a minimum of 2500 he could employ here – but did not yet “have the heart” to choose who.

Sir Peter is an unlikely target for the CTU to try and make out as the super villain. Almost everyone who has worked for him raves about him, and I would speculate that he probably routinely votes Labour/Greens.  He is not some uncaring distant Rupert Murdock type. So he is speaking very honestly when he says it would be heart-breaking to choose just 5% of people to take overseas.

I understand from those a bit closer to the action that he is personally very hurt by what has happened, as he has spent so much of his life creating jobs and getting better pay for NZ workers. He could have become far far richer by moving to Hollywood.

Ms Kelly cited a belief Warner had already decided to move the films for bigger tax incentives and lower wages, and Jackson – a “spoilt brat” – was trying to set the union up to blame.

Yes Sir Peter masterminded the MEAA into an international boycott to move the film overseas, despite having already spent tens of millions on preparing for the films to be shot in NZ.

With all respect Helen Kelly’s belief should be given as much weight as the beliefs of Scientologists.

Jackson described her as clueless. “Why do people like Helen Kelly have to be driven by rhetoric and playing some kind of role where she’s always got to be the victim and everyone else is to blame?

“She has tried every possible conspiracy theory. I’m expecting to be told I was on the grassy knoll in Dallas any moment now.”

Can he prove he was not?

Outrageous Fortune star and Actors’ Equity committee member Robyn Malcolm said yesterday she could not believe a request for a discussion around conditions was enough to derail the project. “We’re not even the coffee budget. Nobody wants Cate Blanchett’s salary …”

Oh you silly person you. You did not “request” a discussion. You initiated a global boycott. Do you not know the difference? It is rather huge.

Incidentally how many people were aware that the taxpayers have sunk over $48 million into keeping Ms Malcolm and others employed on Outraegous Fortune?

I’m a fan of the show, but I prefer them to do what Shortland Street does – become self sufficient after the initial years.

Remember those stories about lynch mobs and needing Police escorts. Well this video shows the lovely Simon Whipp in action, refusing to even talk politely to a questioner – definitely a violent lynch mob.

And finally the Young Nats ask about why the Wellington Mayor is missing in action. It is incredible that the new Mayor of Wellington has not been out to the media saying how crucial it is that the Hobbit be filmed here, and demanding that any obstacles to it be removed. The only person who has been even quieter than Celia has been Phil Goff.

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130 Responses to “The Hobbit v the CTU”

  1. OliverI (125 comments) says:

    Join the Rally to support the Hobbit being made in NZ – not political, not nasty, just a positive message that NZ supports Peter Jackson and the Hobbit

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=127389750649753

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  2. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I wonder, how many members of NZ Actors Equity were even up for parts of the two Hobbit films, and how important were the roles?

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  3. Roflcopter (451 comments) says:

    DPF, don’t be dragging scientologists down to Helen Kelly’s level.

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  4. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    I am so pissed off about this, and I rarely get mad about anything, and to boot I’m an Australian. Should the movie go off-shore then those affected should take out a class action against the MEAA and CTU.

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  5. alex Masterley (1,507 comments) says:

    I’d never realised that Outrageous Fortune was tax payer funded to that extent!
    Robyn Malcom can safely be described as a beneficiary then!
    And a stupid one too.
    As for Helen Kelly words fail me (sort of). The woman has no idea of the economic effect that SPJ has had in New Zealand. Even if there was a 100% tax credit for the Hobbitt the anciliary benefits to teh NZ ecomomy, jobs, tax (provisional and paye) GST and simple expenditure by cast and crew would make it worthwhile.
    SPJ is a one man job creation scheme who in his time has done more for the NZ economy than Ms Kelly could do in a thousand life-times.

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  6. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    You can’t take out a class action against people who are operating entirely within the law. They may be idiots, they may deserve all the opprobrium that is being loaded on them, but fundamentally they have rights and they’re entitled to exercise them. As always, whilst I disagree with what they’re doing and saying, I will defend their right to do it.

    The silver lining in this cloud is that the left are doing themselves an enormous disservice. The only thing that could make their failure more complete would be for someone from Labour to come out in support of the union. At that point, I’d guess Mr Jackson will never be voting Labour or Green again – he will have seen first hand how the policies of the left tear down anyone who’s trying to make a go of things, so as to attempt to transfer their success to incompetents who don’t want to do an honest day’s work.

    As always, trying to improve your pay by blackmail, instead of by making yourself indispensable, is a stupid way to go about business. But since that’s what unions are all about, anyone who supports Labour is implicitly supporting this process. It’s just that we rarely see it played out so publicly.

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  7. 2boyz (257 comments) says:

    The Matterhorn is a really nice spot, not the cheapest in town, wouldn’t surprise me if Helen put it on the company plastic (nice to see those union subs going towards something constructive).

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  8. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    It is telling that Simpn Whipp had nothing to say. The Labour Party has nothing to say. The Green Mayor has nothing to say. Helen Kelley see conspiracies everywhere. Said an international boycott of the Hobbit arranged by her, is Jackson “refusing to negotiate”. I just pray that John Key uses this to destroy the CTU once and for all. Please John do it while the iron is hot hot hot.

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  9. redeye (638 comments) says:

    Slutty should remain locked up with the minge munchers.

    No demerits please, I’m just quoting Granddad.

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  10. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    PaulL (3,576) Says:
    October 22nd, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    You can’t take out a class action against people who are operating entirely within the law.

    It could depend what you base the action on (but I am not an expert on this, just speculating). The MEAA instigated a boycott among global affiliates at a time when the MEAA were not legally registered in NZ. http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/union/unions-registered.html, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (New Zealand) Incorporated, registration date is 14 October 10.

    Also this: “After days of explanation and legal opinions, including one from the Crown Law Office, Jennifer Ward-Lealand of NZ Equity has admitted that the MEAA’s demands to enter into collective bargaining are in fact illegal.”
    http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/09/30/38874-media-release-peter-jackson-speaks-on-actor-boycott-of-the-hobbit/#more-38874

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  11. Grant Michael McKenna (1,158 comments) says:

    DPF, I must admire your courage in comparing Actors’ Equity to Scientology. Are you not worried that the Scientologists will sue?

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  12. davidp (3,570 comments) says:

    >Ms Kelly cited a belief Warner had already decided to move the films for bigger tax incentives and lower wages, and Jackson – a “spoilt brat” – was trying to set the union up to blame.

    So you’re a large studio who wants to move film production from NZ to some other country. There are two ways of doing this:

    1. “Sorry folks, but due to currency shifts NZ is now too expensive to shoot in. We’re moving to some other place. We’ll be back if conditions improve. Sorry!”

    Or…

    2. Some scheme of such Machiavellian deviousness that sucks in some Aussie bloke, the CTU, and a bunch of Auckland TV actresses; involves constructing a number of sets in NZ to convince people that production would go ahead in NZ; mucks around the director and writers; means all the production planning is changed at the absolute last moment; and delays the start of filming.

    The CTU would have you that option 2 is more likely.

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  13. timothy (2 comments) says:

    “Outrageous Fortune has received more than $48m in funding over its first six seasons – during which time it has become one of the country’s best-loved TV shows.”

    $48m, just on one show? I’m utterly gobsmacked.

    I’ve never watched the show at all, but I knew about its “world famous in NZ” reputation. However, I was somehow under the impression that it was paying for itself. But $48m? There’s no way the show made any of this money back through advertising or DVD sales.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but $48m is about the same as the tax break on LOTR, is it not? It’d be great if some journalist reading this could ask Robyn Malcolm what she thinks about that.

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  14. kowtow (8,098 comments) says:

    $48 million of tax payers money for that shite!

    No wonder it’s called outrageous fortune.

    The sooner all this tax payer subsidised shit is done away with the better!

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  15. bka (135 comments) says:

    If MEAA did not exist at the time does it mean they cannot be prosecuted for what Whipp did in their name?

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  16. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Can’t we just form a lynch mob and with our lit torches and rusty farm implements hunt down these tossers and extract natural justice? ;-)

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  17. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    …and poor little Robyn having the hide to complain that she was being harassed just after she fucked thousands of kiwi jobs…SHAME ROBYN SHAME…

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  18. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    A critical point is that the CTU has not resiled from what was done to date. They seem proud of the union approach, and willing to do it all again.

    Addition: And of course the EMPU has completely failed to support its members amongst the crew. Somebody should ask their president about that.

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  19. davidp (3,570 comments) says:

    Oh… who is the dark long haired woman in the video? Is that Kelly?

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  20. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    The MEAA instigated a boycott among global affiliates at a time when the MEAA were not legally registered in NZ.

    I don’t believe the law requires you to be registered in NZ to instigate a boycott. I could boycott anything I feel like, a boycott is just a decision to stop doing something, or using a particular company. I don’t have to have any method to my madness, otherwise the Greens and other environmental hippies would be in all sorts of legal trouble over the various boycotts they initiate.

    After days of explanation and legal opinions, including one from the Crown Law Office, Jennifer Ward-Lealand of NZ Equity has admitted that the MEAA’s demands to enter into collective bargaining are in fact illegal.

    The demand isn’t illegal. Accepting the demand would be illegal. I think that the MEAA are entitled to demand they be negotiated with, and boycott so as to try to force that. The Hobbit team are entitled to point out that giving in to those demands would be illegal, and that the MEAA needs to be registered. It doesn’t make the MEAA’s actions illegal, it just makes them really stupid, since they have no chance at all of getting what they want (seeing as what they want is illegal).

    I’m no lawyer, but perhaps there could be a case for attempting to induce illegal behaviour, or some such. Presumably there’s a law somewhere about that, in the same way as there’s a law against incitement to violence.

    And I’ll say again (in case somebody misses it) I completely disagree with what these numpties have done. But I will continue to defend the freedom that they have in this country to do it, and the freedom we all have to call them numpties and heap opprobrium on them for doing it.

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  21. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    Interesting headline change in the DomPost (online via the Stuff website). It did read “Police clear a path for actors through angry film workers”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4261302/Police-clear-path-for-actors-through-angry-film-workers

    Now it reads “Union boss questioned by film workers” http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4261302/Australian-union-boss-questioned-by-film-workers

    Both links go to the same story, but I’m guessing after seeing the video the DomPost decided it had better stick to the facts.

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  22. Viking2 (11,334 comments) says:

    WEell do it this weekend while the fuzz are chasing speedsters at 55 kph or at 104kph. They will be too busy to worry about serious violent action against creepy crawly scumbag fortune hunters from the communist brigade.

    While we are sunning ourselves this weekend John and Bill do some work and can all the Arts funding forever and ever Amen.

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  23. campit (467 comments) says:

    It is incredible that the new Mayor of Wellington has not been out to the media saying how crucial it is that the Hobbit be filmed here…

    Isn’t Celia currently the Mayor-elect and doesn’t formally become the Mayor until 1st November? Kerry Prendergast is still the current Mayor and is presumably on the payroll to make such pronouncements until 31st October.

    [DPF: Kerry has no moral mandate to speak for Wellington now, Celia does. And Celia had no qualms about going to the union protests earlier in the week and speaking in her role as Mayor]

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  24. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    davidp = I think the dark haired woman is Frances Walsh (not Fran Walsh)

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  25. Pita (373 comments) says:

    “if they prefer, they are at liberty to deliver one-person shows in empty provincial theatres.”

    Perhaps if the names of the 80 or so members of Actors equity who supported the boycott became a detailed list, this reality could be assured.

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  26. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    I think Robyn Malcom is the blond thing head down playing with her cell phone yelling out “this is harassment” every now and then. No -one else said anything. She took the tax payers’ coin to star in some production costing the tax payer $48 million that will earn not one damn thing for this country. Stupid cow thinks that is the way to fund the movie industry. I would stop funding that piece of sh*t right now and give the balance to Jackson.

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  27. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    Last night on Close Up Helen Kelly was very adamant that claims of over 1000 people turning out to support the Hobbit being kept in NZ were wrong:

    She should look at this:

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  28. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    So, to sum up: some Kiwi actors, who don’t get paid very much (rightly having watched the Cult and This is Not My Life) have decided to use The Hobbit, a film they have stuff-all do with – to try and force New Zealand to pay them more.

    When Warner Bros and Jackson did not bend over and take the thrashing these people wanted to give them, they then get all the other actors in the world to refuse to work on the film that they still had no part in, so that they could get better wages to act in crap dramas on NZ TV.

    When that didn’t work, they then started saying that it was all Warner Bros fault, because Warner Bros wants more tax breaks from the NZ Government. And who cares if WB have never actually asked for that – they just keep repeating the line in the hope that eventually it will somehow lead to them getting more pay to star in crap TV dramas that have absolutely nothing to do with Peter Jackson, the Hobbit or indeed Warner Bros.

    If people like Robyn Malcolm, and this Tandi Write – who was spectacularly awful in TINML – think they deserve more money they are quite entitled to try and negotiate. In a production that are actually offered a role in. I don’t think anyone anywhere has said they cant do that. But it takes a truly arrogant and unpleasant human being to demand that they should be able to “negotiate” other peoples jobs for them, without being asked to do so, so that they themselves get more money to start in crap TV dramas.

    Thats my 2c anyway.

    Go Peter Jackson!

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  29. magsta (313 comments) says:

    Oh come on, stop trying to pin some of this trouble on Celia Wade-Brown. On Nat news at lunchtime she said she did not want Wellington to lose the Hobbit and would support any efforts to retain it here.

    This summary from the ZB news site
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=184478

    [DPF: Will she lobby the CTU and MEAA to do whatever it takes to keep the film here?

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  30. Deep Throat (28 comments) says:

    The email NZ on Air should be sending.

    To the producers of Outrageous Fortune.

    Due to circumstances beyond our control funding from NZ on Air has been terminated for Outrageous Fortune.

    Kind regards

    Bilbo Baggins

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  31. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    magsta: but isn’t Robyn a prominent Greenie, and isn’t Celia a green? If she hasn’t come out and condemned what is going on, it is surely reasonable to assume given the links that she supports it?

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  32. starboard (2,501 comments) says:

    I just pray that John Key uses this to destroy the CTU once and for all. Please John do it while the iron is hot hot hot

    ..unfortunately I fear we will only get a smile and wave again on this one….

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  33. Roflcopter (451 comments) says:

    As an investor to the TV series via my taxes, I’d like to suggest we change it’s title to “Outrageous Fortune For Acting Lousy” or O.F.F.A.L for short.

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  34. niggly (813 comments) says:

    Actually Magsta is correct, 3News @ 12pm interviewed Celia Wade-Brown and she did say she wanted this sorted for the best interests of Wellywood/NZ etc (or words to that effect, 3News haven’t put it on their website, but maybe might show it at 6pm)? In other words she isn’t siding (publically) with the Unions. :-)

    Whether this is Green Party position now or Celia as Mayor, I don’t know.

    But if it is the Green position, it is another nail in the coffin for Labour/Unions 2011 election campaign (and more polling bad news for Labour as the Greens pick up a slice of the Labour vote from those affected workers and sympathisers. Seeing that effectivelly the “Good Ship” Labour has sunk without trace on this issue and ceaded the initiative to the Greens).

    Labour/Union HQ must be getting more than a litte worried by now. Wonder if various knives are being sharpened to take Helen kelly out if she continues to damage the Labour/Union brand. Next week might see the knives come out eh if Warners pull the plug ????

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  35. magsta (313 comments) says:

    Paul, listen to the National News…. and exercise some judgement on each individual’s actions…… I am a human…. am I therefore responsible for every other human being’s actions? Too silly for words. Hasn’t Celia already publicly stated that she is not beholden to the Green Party?

    P.S. I’m not a Green and didn’t give my no 1 vote to Celia.

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  36. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Sorry can’t talk ,out of breath, my bike broke down

    love Celia

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  37. tankyman (120 comments) says:

    Running scared are labour – Darien fenton on red alert is stating that there is no threat to strike over the rugby world cup – BUT UNITE has already stated that they are planning to and stating that ““We’re going to shut this town down,”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Rugby-World-Cup-threatened-by-strike/tabid/423/articleID/160393/Default.aspx

    A union representing low-paid New Zealand workers is threatening to bring Auckland to a standstill during the Rugby World Cup.
    Unite campaign organiser Joe Carolan says a general strike is planned to coincide with next year’s sporting extravaganza, timing union members’ employment contracts to expire right before it kicks off.
    “We’re going to shut this town down,” says Mr Carolan, who says around half of Unite’s 8,000 or so members could potentially take part in the industrial action, aimed at lifting the minimum wage to $15.

    All for labours min $15 wage – Darien should stop telling lies along with the CTU liars

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  38. tankyman (120 comments) says:

    Good reason to change the employment laws.

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  39. OTGO (535 comments) says:

    because the chain came off…

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  40. Gosman (336 comments) says:

    Anyone checked out Chris Trotter’s blog on this issue? The fact that he takes himself seriously just makes it all the more funny.

    I’m also persona non grata it seems

    “To: Gosman.

    Warg-riders from The Standard’s commentary thread will be slain at the border. ”

    Jeeze Chris a simple F-off would have sufficed LOL!

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  41. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    Can anyone recall seeing anything about MEAA taking a 15% cut of the residuals if they get their way? I know I’ve read this in the last two days but can’t remember where.

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  42. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    Gosman, the Public Address post by Russell Brown is excellent on this, as is the irony of the attacks against him from the Standard for not bleating the correct sheep noises.

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  43. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    I’m just saying that if she’s giving a fob off such as “I hope this gets sorted out” then that is meaningless. All I have to fall back on is that she is a green, and a green is central to causing a lot of this trouble.

    “I hope this gets sorted out” is very different from “I think the union are out of line.” The first may mean that she hopes that WB capitulate, and agree to illegally negotiate a contract.

    Sorry, I don’t think it appropriate to give her the benefit of the doubt if she won’t give a clear statement. The presumption would have to go with past behaviour and known associations. Beyond that, I’d also say that there is no reason not to give a clear statement, unless it’s because you actually don’t think the union are being idiots. If you did think that, you’d say so.

    I don’t think she’s culpable in this, I doubt she was in any way involved. But fundamentally her values are aligned with the union movement, and if it were any other business than the Hobbit, she’d be absolutely behind the usual union blackmail. We shouldn’t lose the opportunity to point out that this kind of stuff is what the union movement do every day to businesses all over the country, the only difference is that this is public. That is what people were voting for when they voted for Celia.

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  44. Doug (408 comments) says:

    David see if you can make some money on Ipredict.
    Helen Kelly to remain CTU President through 31 December 2010.

    https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=PRESIDENT.KELLY

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  45. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    PaulL – the Young Nats are pushing her to make her stance public: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyid=184501

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  46. hmmokrightitis (1,579 comments) says:

    As noted, I think what sums it all up for me is the fact that the lot of them – CTU, the wanker from Australia, and the stupid Malcolm, all having a slap up feed at – not Burger King, ah no, not for them on dues (or Malcolm on her tax payer funded success), ah goodness me no.

    Matterhorn. Wonder how many of their beloved ‘honest workers’ (with the implication that if you don’t vote red, you aren’t honest nor a worker) eat there.

    Typical hypocrisy, but you hard honest workers you keep paying your dues. I’ll be checking my bank account on my iPhone in Matterhorn.

    But seriously, I wonder if the CTU has gone too far this time. Bloody hope so :)

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  47. Gwilly (156 comments) says:

    Time to dust off the baseball bats.

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  48. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    [Celia] “She laughed off suggestions that her appearance at a union rally this week meant her support for the project was anything other than staunch.

    “I believe in fair employment and good jobs. There is nothing in that which is inconsistent with seeking to protect jobs in Wellington. It seems to me that people in the film industry here are more than happy to be working for Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor.”

    http://www.wellington.govt.nz/news/display-item.php?id=4185

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  49. magsta (313 comments) says:

    Paul are you keeping up with the news? or even kiwiblog?

    Gosh, look who Celia’s chosen for her deputy? Should we smear him too with all of Celia’s supposed alliances?

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  50. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    I am surprised this Tripp guy is still in the country. If Warner Bros. pull the plug, I doubt he will make it to the airport.

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  51. big bruv (13,658 comments) says:

    Dear God;

    I know you are not real but Sarah Palin says you are (and while I know she is bat shit mad she does have a great set of legs) so I guess I might give this praying thing a crack, at least this one time anyway.

    If you do nothing else in the next twelve months (given that you have done SFA for the past 2010 years I imagine you have plenty of time to fit my request in) I urge you to do just this one thing.

    Please, please, please get the union scum led by Helen Kelly and Matt McArten (yes, the one with the stutter) to cripple the country with strikes during the 2011 rugby world cup, I want to see protests that block the streets, I want to see visitors to our nation with nowhere to sleep because the hotel they have booked into has been blacklisted by the union scum.
    I want to see those same visitors forced to eat McD’s day after day as the food service workers are forced out on strike by the union leadership.

    I want to see rugby fans enraged as they miss watching games they have purchased tickets for because they cannot get to the stadium because of the the protesters.

    In short, I want you to totally fuck up the RWC.

    You may ask me why I want this to happen, and given that you are apparently the all seeing all hearing god then I am somewhat confused as to why you would ask me but I suppose I had better play along with you and say why I want this prayer answered.

    I want the union scum to destroy the world cup because then and only then will my fellow countrymen (a basically spineless lot) realise that they need to free themselves of the parasites and low life who call themselves union organisers, hopefully they will also wake up to the fact that the Labour party and its President are the ones who are behind all the union faux outrage and organised protest.

    So there you go God, I know on the surface it might seem a high price to pay but it will be well worth it in the long run.

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  52. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    Some mental comments from the stuff story RightNow referred to:

    “I have to say maybe the film industry in New Zealand has relied too much on Peter Jackson and his talent. The film industry here can’t keep riding on him for their profile. New blood and new films like Boy are needed to enhance our profile and build up the film industry’s resilience.” David

    Yes but fucking d’oh David, do you not understand that OTHER productions as well as the Hobbit are now looking at pulling out. This is bigger than just that, you mental fuckhead moron.

    “The single largest beneficiary of The Hobbit is Peter Jackson, so it’s for him to make the required concessions instead of running a vicious slur campaign sponsored by National Party rubber-neckers to enslave Kiwi workers to `terms’ that give him and Warners the biggest slice of the cake.” Ryan

    Yes but apparently, according to the people who’ve worked for Jackson, he always pays top dollar. THIS IS NOT ABOUT MONEY AND NEVER WAS you mental fuckhead moron.

    “What a lot of nonsense. Don’t Warners and Jackson make enough profit to pay people properly?”

    See above you anonymous fuckhead mental moron.

    Fuck.

    And BTW, it’s not about the conspiracy theory either.

    The only good thing about this is going to be that the whole fucking country is going to turn anti-anti-anti-anti-Union for a fuck of a long time and that the major union players (Robyn, Helen et al) will all be thrown out of work and won’t get any work from anyone for a similarly fuck of a long time. Shame they had to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of innocent dedicated people they proclaim to support, but that’s what they do for a living, so what do they expect. Karma.

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  53. Roflcopter (451 comments) says:

    @Big Bruv

    Amen about Palin’s legs mate.

    And about the unions, they won’t have to screw the RWC for them to be down the toilet, they’re doing just fine as it is currently.

    Watch the next load of polls, unions = labour and it will show.

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  54. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Labour and the Unions here are similar to the stance in France. Head in sand, and devil may care. They just don’t care!

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  55. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    The Malcom hobbit is on close up. Lying, lying and more lying. Anyway, looks as though she can act. Mooooooooo.

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  56. Inventory2 (10,249 comments) says:

    If Robyn Malcolm and co wanted to have “discussions” about pay and conditions for actors on The Hobbit, why did her union blacklist the movie? That, to me, is the money question. It’s hardly a basis for good faith bargaining.

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  57. adze (2,049 comments) says:

    I see she’s claiming they told the affiliate unions to “hold off” signing contracts until conditions were “updated”, rather than asking for an all-out boycott. I wonder where the boycott came from, then?

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  58. slightlyrighty (2,506 comments) says:

    Robyn Malcolm: “There was no boycott”

    The Walrus: “So why put out a press release about lifting a boycott that doesn’t exist?”

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  59. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    A real scenery-chewing performance from Robyn on Close Up alright. Her arms were flying round like blades on a helicopter.

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  60. jackp (668 comments) says:

    “What a lot of nonsense. Don’t Warners and Jackson make enough profit to pay people properly?”

    Warner and Jackson should keep the profits because they are taking the risks!!! If your a director in hollywood and you have a few failures, no one will touch you. You are broke. Also, Warner is putting up half million dollars and this person who said that just doesn’t have that pressure. These union people take none of the risks. This is why I hate the lefties. They have no conception of creating and then making it happen for the rest. They just complain or are worried about their POWER!! THis is why New Zealand will always have low wages, too many people lay down for the lefties. At one time, remember, not to long ago New Zealand had equal wages to Australia. Like Whipp has destroyed the movie industry in australia, and here, the lefties and liberals will destroy new zealand!!

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  61. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    I hear that Robyn auditioned for the role of Shelob in LOTR – she’s good at spinning webs of deceit.

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  62. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    hahahahaha

    I hope Robyn Malcolm never gets any work ever again. She can join her ideological brethren Tao Wells on the dole; that way both of them combined won’t cost the taxpayer $48 million like OF did.

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  63. Roflcopter (451 comments) says:

    Robyn got totally owned on the “there was no boycott”, only to be asked “if there wasn’t one, why did you tell all the unions to lift the boycott?”…. well and truly slam-dunked.

    Labour has gone very quiet… Helen Kelly gone AWOL, I bet she’s on strict instructions from the Labour Party to STFU…. but it’s too late, the NZ public will not forget this next year.

    Vote Labour and get a side order of Helen Kelly for free! But wait there’s more! Vote today, and we’ll throw in Andrew Little!

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  64. heathcote (104 comments) says:

    I loved Jim Hopkins calling Celia ‘Green Brown’

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  65. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    jackp, that would be half a billion dollars….

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  66. Yvette (2,761 comments) says:

    reid – The only good thing about this is going to be that the whole fucking country is going to turn anti-anti-anti-anti-Union for a fuck of a long time and that the major union players (Robyn, Helen et al) will all be thrown out of work and won’t get any work from anyone for a similarly fuck of a long time. Shame they had to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of innocent dedicated people they proclaim to support, but that’s what they do for a living, so what do they expect. Karma.”

    This will be interesting in view of the foreshadowing this afternoon on Radio Live, Mat McCarten to Willie Jackson, that the unions will take the opportunities presented by the World Cup to press for conditions they want.
    If the Hobbit is lost overseas, it may be unwise for a unionist to consider showing their head above the parapets for a bloody long time, let alone Election year just prior the Cup.

    PS: Can Robyn Malcolm herself tell when she is or isn’t ‘acting’ ?

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  67. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It’s all OK, boys.

    Gerry is going to enact a new law legalising slavery for all overseas owners.

    And as for DPF’s request:

    [DPF: Will she lobby the CTU and MEAA to do whatever it takes to keep the film here?

    A blowie cumming up for Pete?

    But never fear, just as Labour did, expect all and sundry to prostrate themselves at the alter of the (once was) almighty US dollar!

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  68. niggly (813 comments) says:

    Caught some of the Robyn Malcom interview on Close Up tonight.

    Geez, after saying last night she appeared to come across somewhat contrite last night (on Close Up or Campbell), tonight she came across as a complete imbecile. Although she is still trying to look contrite somewhat she completely blows what little credibility she had by trying to shift the blame back. Has she been coached by the CTU media advisors or something? I’m sorry Robyn luvee, after giving you some slight benefit of the doubt last night I now completey take it back. She is a total fxxkwit, like Helen Kelly. Unfort for Robyn and unlike Helen, she has destroyed the industry she relies upon for her income. And deserves all the sxxt she gets from her fellow actors and film industry colleagues. Moron.

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  69. niggly (813 comments) says:

    As for Unite and Matt McFarten, are these Union dumbarses following some pre-planned script (in relation to recent union protests eg teachers, 90 days etc, NZAE etc) and poping their head above the parapits now in some sort of timeline sequence (to look tough giving thr Nat Govt ongoing industrial grief)?

    Hope so, mainstream NZ sure is lining up these Union turkeys at the moment and blowing their heads off.

    Can’t wait to see the next Political Polls. Despite Labour keeping quiet, this is gonna hurt them.

    Wonder who’s next, next week? EPMU? Or is Andrew Little not so stupid?

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  70. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    I think the reality is there were good intentions on the part of the key NZAE people to get a decent baseline for actors, but a few bad decisions were made along the way. The major one was the advisory issued by SAG to other union actors not to accept contracts, which started a bit of a snowball leading to WB getting a bit nervous, but then the involvement of Helen Kelly I think has been a disaster for NZAE. While Robyn Malcolm didn’t seem as prepared or quick witted as she could have been on the Close Up interview I do believe they never intended for their actions to in any way jeopardise the Hobbit being filmed here.
    I think the MEAA (and certainly Simon Whipp) will be reluctant to stick their head up in NZ for some time, I reckon this will have scared them off. Hopefully the NZAE can disengage Helen Kelly and get her militant attitude out of the equation, otherwise Kelly will be predominantly responsible for losing the Hobbit for NZ. It still baffles me why she is involved at all, it’s done nobody any good.

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  71. hubbers (231 comments) says:

    I find it quite shocking how some in the Left have turned on one of our finest businessmen and artists ever. A guy who has literally brought millions of dollars of revenue into the country and created thousands of jobs for young Kiwis is now one of the hated ‘rich pricks’.

    Despicable.

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  72. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “expect all and sundry to prostrate themselves at the alter”

    Luc you’re way off base mate.

    This is about exporting ourselves to the world, via OPM. It’s a win-win-win for us. Foreign money pays us to produce something that OPM then pays to market and distribute worldwide which results in more OPM coming in via tourism.

    What about this, don’t you understand.

    Sure, if they were trying to pay us slave wages, one would concede you have any point at all, but since last I heard, in NZ, $5,000 per week is considered OK, what’s your problem, mate?

    “A guy who has literally brought millions of dollars of revenue into the country”

    Approaching billions I’d say hubbers. Was. Lefties. Aren’t they fucking mental.

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  73. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    If they prefer, they are at liberty to deliver one-person shows in empty provincial theatres.

    well actually…

    I just saw Miranda Harcourt’s, one and a half person show, ‘Biography of my Skin’ play out twice to a full theatre here in Nelson.

    it was quite inspirational and i vowed to become a better parent because of it. Seeing something like that restores my faith in the craft of acting for the love of it cos yeah for some…

    it’s not about the money eh !!!

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  74. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    Oh that’s lovely for you pollywog, you’re such a cultural oasis. In other news I swerved to avoid a hedgehog.

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  75. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “the unions will take the opportunities presented by the World Cup to press for conditions they want”

    Yvette, they just can’t help themselves can they?

    It’s like they’re just blind, to reality. It’s the cause. Their view of reality is so totally warped that apparently, they really do see everyday, Dickensian slave labour conditions everywhere they look and they see it as their duty to fight the good fight and save the poor workers from their wretched tortured existence.

    I just wish the entire MSM would turn on these fools and take this angle in each and every interview they ever have with unionists and force their completely fantastic view of reality out into the open so the rest of the idiots who support them could see how truly fucked in the head these people really are.

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  76. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    reid

    The dispute was not about wages or conditions, and evidently Pete does well in that regard.

    But what’s the harm in talking? Pete refused right from the start. Now Gerry is talking of law change to force us to accept WB terms. They didn’t come here originally for any of that; they came for the creativity.

    I’ve always refused to sell my soul – mind you, didn’t do me a lot of good!

    Except for self respect.

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  77. Fifithatsme (1 comment) says:

    I have a degree of sympathy for Robyn Malcolm et al – they don’t lack intellect – but they overlooked that the NZ film industry is way, way more than a fledgling actors union. I actually believe they had reasonable intent, but they must own that their intent was hijacked and they have been used as the unwitting hobbits in Simon’s Lord over the Unions. Warners know of his destructive, self serving ambition in Australia and are reluctant to invest there – it was only a matter of time he shifted his attention to New Zealand. Fresh meat – weak union – smells good to Smeagle – I mean Simon. Helen of Perestroika was an easy recruit, a headline alongside Warner Bros would be an irresistable headline.

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  78. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Oh that’s lovely for you pollywog, you’re such a cultural oasis.

    fucken eh !!!

    :)

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  79. Roflcopter (451 comments) says:

    Luc, if it isn’t about wages or conditions, what else is there to discuss?

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  80. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “what’s the harm in talking”

    Nothing Luc but they didn’t just talk did they? Apparently, they took heavy-handed action without due cause and this has resulted in a question of stability being raised out of nowhere.

    To pretend it’s all Jackson’s fault because he didn’t immediately bend over and sign up to a collective is disingenuous in the extreme. Why the fuck should he have, when by all reports all of his film workers have always had got and were always going to get really good terms and conditions anyway? Why did the union feel it was imperative to take this nuclear step immediately and don’t try to deny it, they did.

    Fact is, it was clumsily handled from the start and the first communique from Jackson that hit the public arena was a warning that this would fuck us up good and proper and so it has proved to be. According to the people he has employed in the past, he’s always been a bloody good boss in every way possible.

    Where the fuck does the union get off on thinking that it has any “right” whatsoever to kick the fucking door in and spray venom all over the place when there was (a) no demand from the “workers” and (b) it was all at the behest of a foreign wanker who quite frankly should have stayed in his own country.

    Does the union have such a sense of entitlement that it really believes it has the “right” to grab people by the throat and push them against the wall unless they bend to their every whim? Isn’t that what they did? And isn’t what they accuse employers of doing all the fucking time?

    And now if it doesn’t go offshore, it’s no thanks to them, but what about all the questions that have been raised about all the other productions?

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  81. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    reid, you ask good questions and I suspect the truth will eventually come out, but the union has not played the PR game, to its detriment, I would say.

    rofl…residuals and standarisation of those for the whole NZ industry is what I hear. It’s best for the actors etc but I understand their feelings in wanting a nice payday now – instant gratification.

    Nothing is at it seems from the outside…

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  82. Roflcopter (451 comments) says:

    Luc

    a) PJ had already negotiated residuals for actors… for the first time ever, and everyone was happy.
    b) Unions came unstuck when a dumb Aussie tried to impose something (standardisation) that is illegal in NZ.

    They didn’t check their facts, ran in with their eyes closed, and fucked it all up royally.

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  83. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    “What’s the harm in talking” seems a little understated considering the fallout. But then also – why pick on The Hobbit? Why not one of the other movies made here in the last couple of years? Why did the SAG issue an advisory not to accept contracts on The Hobbit until further notice?

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  84. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    This basically gives the lie to what most of us always have known was a lie anyway: that the unions act only at the behest of their members. They don’t. They never have.

    Their executives decide to target this or that, stack the meetings, do whatever they need to, to get a so-called “mandate” then continue upon their pre-determined path.

    One thing that would really fuck them up, is if the govt used this debacle to make this whole process much more transparent. I’m sure the best legal minds in the country could design transparent, bullet-proof legislation that would prevent this process (i.e. led by the nose from the executive) from ever happening again, in any union. Penalty: de-registration.

    And how could the unions object? After all, we’re only codifying what the wankers have said they have always done, aren’t we?

    But watch them fight this tooth and nail if its ever proposed. And watch Liarbore repeal it. After all, how could Liarbore ever survive if the members themselves were allowed to have a genuine, open and transparent say in whether THEIR union gave Liarbore $250k for the next election?

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  85. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    What is Robyn Malcolm doing wit the very person who is destroying the NZ film industry

    How is that sposed to look good for her.

    Tarred with the brush.

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  86. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    What if National decides to do nothing

    What if they say tick it up to exp and move on.

    National govt was not interested in the wine box, why would they be interested in this.

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  87. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    “This basically gives the lie to what most of us always have known was a lie anyway: that the unions act only at the behest of their members. They don’t. They never have.”

    Just full of it. Modern unions are full of smart, networked people. If members are not happy with the direction a union is taking union leadership knows about it pretty damn quick. Equity is inexperienced and made mistakes no doubt. But the union are its ordinary working members, they are not professional unionists (and it shows): they have no full time paid management structure.

    And the more the Right try to follow on with their century old agenda to strip back workers rights to organise, the harder workers will fight back, and we will fight back damn hard – and others of us are gonna frak off to countries which deserve our talent and aren’t afraid to pay fairly for it, just like 529,000 NZ’ers have already to Australia and perhaps another 100,000 to North America, Europe and Asia.

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  88. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    I’ll chip in for your plane ticket, bye.

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  89. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    rofl

    I think your reference to illegality is problematic – all associations exist to provide some kind of uniformity. I remember an article about a Lord of the Rings actor who found his residuals were virtually worthless after WB took their cut. High profile people like Connery take then to court all the time and still get work. Who did Jackson take to court after LOTR?

    I agree it’s a fuck up. But I don’t think Sir Pete comes out smelling of roses either.

    reid

    You have been watching too much Glenn Beck.

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  90. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    The Hobbit is off shore now… Hollywood just won’t the motion picture busness back in Hollywood where it belongs.

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  91. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    Luc – re: illegality per rofl, this may give some background:

    “After days of explanation and legal opinions, including one from the Crown Law Office, Jennifer Ward-Lealand of NZ Equity has admitted that the MEAA’s demands to enter into collective bargaining are in fact illegal.”

    http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/09/30/38874-media-release-peter-jackson-speaks-on-actor-boycott-of-the-hobbit/#more-38874

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  92. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    and I would agree if the union business went back to England.

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  93. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    “After days of explanation and legal opinions, including one from the Crown Law Office, Jennifer Ward-Lealand of NZ Equity has admitted that the MEAA’s demands to enter into collective bargaining are in fact illegal.”

    You just pulled that line from a Jackson media release. No where else is Ward-Lealand herself quoted as saying anything of the sort.

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  94. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    You’re just calling Jackson a liar. I believe him.

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  95. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “Just full of it. Modern unions are full of smart, networked people. If members are not happy with the direction a union is taking union leadership knows about it pretty damn quick.”

    Yeah I knew my suggestion would get a reaction from the hard, vicious left eh, Viper? That would really fuck you up, wouldn’t it.

    So you’re defending their actions?

    Why? What have they achieved through them, in the way of a positive outcome?

    Luc, who’s Glenn Beck?

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  96. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    All I’m saying is that the Jackson press release has no authority to state that Ward-Lealand said this or that, especially with zero references to what she actually did say.

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  97. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    = calling him a liar

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  98. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    “Yeah I knew my suggestion would get a reaction from the hard, vicious left eh, Viper? That would really fuck you up, wouldn’t it.”

    Don’t flatter yourself, this is class war but it is also simply business. And like you we intend to look after business.

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  99. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Right Now: you have used the L word twice already. However you got that into your head about Jackson, I didn’t put it there.

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  100. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “All I’m saying is that the Jackson press release has no authority to state that Ward-Lealand said this or that, especially with zero references to what she actually did say.”

    So Viper, you seriously think Jackson is the bad guy in this?

    Welcome to Planet Viper. Pop: 1

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  101. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “like you we intend to look after business”

    Problem for the rest of us Viper, is that your “business” really sucks. It’s destructive, mindless vandalism of the worst, vindictive kind.

    Sad, but evidently, true.

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  102. RightNow (6,961 comments) says:

    So let’s agree Sir Peter was telling the truth then.

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  103. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    “Problem for the rest of us Viper, is that your “business” really sucks. It’s destructive, mindless vandalism of the worst, vindictive kind.”

    Yeah its destructive for those who want to milk the country for hundred million dollar profits, and tens of millions of tax payer rebates, without additional disbursements of a few hundred grand more to workers in terms of *minimum* terms and conditions.

    Don’t get flustered, its not personal, its just business.

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  104. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    “So Viper, you seriously think Jackson is the bad guy in this?”

    I think Jackson got bad PR advice from the foreign million dollar men which he followed to a letter. I also think Jackson – and the studios – didn’t think that NZ workers should be given any chance to effectively bargain for minimum terms and conditions, nor to gain basic employee protections.

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  105. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    OK Viper, pray tell, where is the groundswell from “the exploited workers” crying out for redress which you’re pretending actually exists?

    From all repeat all repeat all repeat all reports I’ve read, seen on TV and heard on the radio, everyone is happy with their money, always have been, no worries whatsoever. Who, precisely, has been running to the unions saying they’re being exploited?

    Please be very specific, lest I think you’re full of shit.

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  106. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Please be very specific, lest I think you’re full of shit.

    Specificity is one of the issues. The union has done an extremely bad job with their PR. Although they have spent the last 2 weeks negotiating with Jackson’s team in depth – to the extent that they had jointly drafted wording on a press release describing progress on an agreement and the lifting of the boycott – the union have never released specifics of the terms and conditions they were discussing.

    This has made it extremely difficult for the public to be able to back them, and allowed accusations to breathe that the union had no definitive demands that they were bringing to the table.

    We know however that one of the core issues was the treatment of workers as independent contractors – effectively working for less than the minimum wage – when they should have been treated as employees, with all the employment law protections that implies.

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  107. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    I thought actors enjoyed being the struggling artist anyway. Goes with the territory.

    And like you we intend to look after business.

    Gotta love that thuggery. It’s like the 1970s never ended.

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  108. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Gotta love that thuggery. It’s like the 1970s never ended.

    Workers and unions actually learnt this outlook from your mates, Thatcher, Douglas and Prebble.

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  109. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Nice to be of some assistance, Viper. Or is it Carolan? Or Treen? Or Kelly?

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  110. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “treatment of workers as independent contractors – effectively working for less than the minimum wage – when they should have been treated as employees, with all the employment law protections that implies.”

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt

    Why conflate working as an independent contractor with working for less than the minimum wage. What does one have to do with the other?

    Are you seriously suggesting Jackson was planning to pay ANYONE AT ALL WORKING ON THE SET less than the minimum wage? Really? Evidence please. Otherwise just admit you’re obfuscating. One of the two.

    Secondly, if people choose to work as non-permanent workers because THAT’S THE INDUSTRY, what’s wrong with that? Why MAKE them become a permanent employee if THEY THEMSELVES don’t wish to become one? What’s next? Are the unions planning to eliminate every single contractor’s job in the entire country? All the management consultants, the IT contractors, the project management contractors, the various specialists who CHOOSE THEMSELVES to work that way, are to be eliminated just so the unions can make everyone into a permanent employee?

    Sorry if YOU think this is OTT, but I’m afraid it’s hard not to draw that very conclusion, from what you’ve just said.

    And BTW, precisely what protection is provided to an employee that a contractor doesn’t get, and isn’t why they get paid more, and isn’t that by mutual agreement.

    And finally, you still haven’t identified anyone who was actually demanding that Jackson et al actually do this, apart that is, from the union itself.

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  111. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    And BTW, precisely what protection is provided to an employee that a contractor doesn’t get, and isn’t why they get paid more, and isn’t that by mutual agreement.

    Mutual agreement assumes parity of negotiating power. That’s why individual workers need to negotiate through a collective because without it there isn’t.

    Employees under NZ law receive multiple protections that contractors do not receive. Amongst them: minimum wage rates. Holiday and sick leave provisions. Due process in situations of redundancy or dismissal. Ability to bring a personal grievance in situations warranting it.

    But surely you must know all of this?

    All the management consultants, the IT contractors, the project management contractors, the various specialists who CHOOSE THEMSELVES to work that way, are to be eliminated just so the unions can make everyone into a permanent employee?

    Nope. That’s not what is being suggested. Unions would be happy if individuals who work under the moniker of being a ‘contractor’ but are in fact performing medium or long term roles like employees were offered the opportunity, at the workers’ choice, to take up suitable employee contracts.

    Anyone who wanted to stay on as a contractor would be welcome to do so.

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  112. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    Newsflash Viper. When I contract, which I do from time to time, I negotiate myself and I decide whether my rate is sufficient to forego things like holiday pay etc. Another newsflash: no-one forces me to make that decision to negotiate my own conditions, I just decide myself and I do it. It works out fine.

    Same with actors. If they CHOOSE to work in a project-based industry, that is THEIR choice, not yours. THEY get to decide if they want to continue in their chosen profession, not you. Did you get that? You DON’T GET TO DECIDE whether or not they wish to be contractors or not, that’s THEIR choice. YOU AREN”T DOING THEM ANY FAVOURS – DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS? YOU AREN’T. PERHAPS YOU THINK YOU ARE, BUT I ASK, ONCE AGAIN, WHERE IS YOUR DEMAND. WHERE ARE THE POOR, THE DOWNTRODDEN, THE HUDDLED MASSES ON WHOSE BEHALF YOU ARE CLAIMING YOU ARE DOING THIS? WHERE? WHERE? WHERE?

    Surely you must know all of that?

    Nope. That’s not what is being suggested. Unions would be happy if individuals who work under the moniker of being a ‘contractor’ but are in fact performing medium or long term roles like employees were offered the opportunity, at the workers’ choice, to take up suitable employee contracts. Anyone who wanted to stay on as a contractor would be welcome to do so.

    If you have a temporary operation, even if it lasts for several years, even for a decade, why the fuck should employers be required to offer to take those people on as permanent employees? Why?

    What about the Transpower project? Are you suggesting that Transpower should be required to take on every single person who works on that lines upgrade, as a long-term permanent employee? You are, aren’t you.

    In which case, how the fuck do you expect anyone ever to achieve anything worthwhile whatsoever in this country, if you can’t take a project-based approach toward employment?

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  113. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Are you suggesting that Transpower should be required to take on every single person who works on that lines upgrade, as a long-term permanent employee? You are, aren’t you.

    In which case, how the fuck do you expect anyone ever to achieve anything worthwhile whatsoever in this country, if you can’t take a project-based approach toward employment?

    Firstly not everyone can competently negotiate a contract with a corporate lawyer like you might be able to. Accept that and accept that they may need the assistance of a collective contract.

    Secondly you deliberately ignored the fact that the union is not requiring employment contracts for all, just that they be offered as an *option*, in suitable circumstances.

    Thirdly, a project based approach towards *employment* (your wording) is exactly what it required. Temporary employment (this is not a new concept, you must know this) based on a specific business need (in your example a project with definitive start and end points) which incurs the protections of employment law for the worker.

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  114. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    Following on from my 1:59, if this is really your attitude, then I’m afraid to say, you are doomed if you’re a unionist and you represent the typical attitude.

    Your attitude is so outdated its unbelievable. It probably works for assembly line workers and other low level people from Sector 7-G who do the same thing day after day, year after year, until they retire, having spent their whole lives doing the same thing but newsflash: hardly anyone is like that anymore. You’re a dinosaur.

    Globalisation and specialisation are changing the dynamics within which unions used to provide value. As people have become mobile and specialised they have developed their own bargaining power and they don’t need you.

    This incident is a perfect example. No-one asked for you and no-one wants you and look what your interference has wrought and guess what: the movie will be made and it will be a great success and the only difference will be, none of us here in NZ, will be richer for it. Because of you.

    You need to get with the times, and realise unions are now an aberration. You’re not needed, not wanted, in today’s skilled independent and mobile workforce. Goodbye, forever.

    Of course you won’t willingly go, you’ll just fade away slowly into the sunset but in the meantime, I’ll give you some free advice. Learn from this episode. Don’t ever step in again where you’re not needed. The Sector 7-G drones still need you, concentrate on them. They’ll slowly die off, make sure you die with them.

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  115. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    I’ll give you some free advice. Learn from this episode. Don’t ever step in again where you’re not needed. The Sector 7-G drones still need you, concentrate on them. They’ll slowly die off, make sure you die with them.

    Perhaps you think that university professors and administrators are ‘drones’.

    Perhaps you think that medical specialists and consultants are ‘drones’.

    Perhaps you think that policemen and parliamentary staff are ‘drones’.

    Perhaps you think that banking and financial sector staff are ‘drones’.

    Perhaps you think that the workers who produce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of milk powder and cheese are ‘drones’.

    Perhaps you think that radiation therapists are ‘drones’.

    But actually, these are highly professional, highly effective people, and they are – more often than not – union members.

    You’re a dinosaur…You need to get with the times, and realise unions are now an aberration. You’re not needed, not wanted, in today’s skilled independent and mobile workforce. Goodbye, forever.

    *Shrug*. Realise that we cook your meals, we clean your suits, we teach your kids, we care for your frail parents, we look after you while you sleep. Yes, a lot of this work is relatively mundane. Yes, it’s not always glam or paid particularly well. But we are the ones who get the actual work done that this society relies on. SQL engineers, ABAP programmers and derivatives traders we are not. But at the rate this present Government is going, you are going to be hearing a lot more from us soon.

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  116. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    Perhaps you think that university professors and administrators are ‘drones’.

    No but most of them are lefties from hell who don’t and normally haven’t ever worked in the real world so they can’t think straight, that’s why they like you guys.

    Perhaps you think that medical specialists and consultants are ‘drones’.

    No they’re smart and they just leave you guys on auto-pilot to thrash the poor suffering taxpayer with emotive heart-wrenching tales of woe so we’ll agree to pay them even more because it’s like having a taxpayer-funded ATM for them, but as soon as they walk out the hospital into their private practices they don’t want a bar of you, do they.

    Perhaps you think that policemen and parliamentary staff are ‘drones’.

    Yeah, pretty much.

    Perhaps you think that banking and financial sector staff are ‘drones’.

    Yep.

    Perhaps you think that the workers who produce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of milk powder and cheese are ‘drones’.

    Yep.

    Perhaps you think that radiation therapists are ‘drones’.

    Yes and No. Yes cause they’re not as smart as the medical specialists and consultants and No cause they use you to rort us, the taxpayer, simply because they provide an essential cog in the wheel and without them, everything stops, and they know it. And you whip it up, don’t you.

    But actually, these are highly professional, highly effective people, and they are – more often than not – union members.

    Actually, apart from the police, the banking processors and the Fonterra workers, since they’re paid from a central authority, the rest of them would be much much much better off negotiating individually, if they only but knew. I admit the fact is today, they don’t know, but this doesn’t change the fact they would be better off, if they did know.

    …we cook your meals, we clean your suits, we teach your kids, we care for your frail parents, we look after you while you sleep. Yes, a lot of this work is relatively mundane. Yes, it’s not always glam or paid particularly well. But we are the ones who get the actual work done that this society relies on.

    No, you’re not the ones who get the actual work done that this society relies on, that would be the Sector 7-G people, not the unions. This seems to be the delusion. See, the world won’t stop if you [the unions] suddenly vanished through some unfortunate industrial disease. It wouldn’t.

    I know you find this hard to believe, but if you didn’t exist, the people who cook others meals would negotiate and get paid, lest the employer didn’t get any meals to sell, the dry-cleaners would negotiate with the people they see everyday in their place of business, sometimes called the owner and if they didn’t like what the owner was offering, they’d tell him to go jump and the owner would be forced to find someone else which most times, they’d be unwilling because of the hassle of training them up. The teachers would negotiate with the Board of Trustees, based on their individual teaching records, and sometimes there’d be arguments because the Board would look at the results and they wouldn’t agree that the teacher was as good as the teacher thought they were and now and again a teacher would just leave. etc.

    See?

    You’re not needed that much, after all, are you?

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  117. slightlyrighty (2,506 comments) says:

    Viper.

    I work in retail, I do not belong to a union. I am paid well above the minimum wage.

    In my job I have processed finance applications for contractors employed by Peter Jackson and Weta digital. Part of that involves disclosing of income. Let me tell you, these guys are VERY well paid for the work they do.

    Jackson has a reputation for being a very good employer. Residuals have been negotiated for the first time ever for actors in a NZ film. Unions should be pointing to Jackson as an example of how employers should act. Jackson is not anti union. He is very anti stupid.

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  118. Pete George (23,417 comments) says:

    You’re not needed that much, after all, are you?

    The idea of unions is sound, but they are corrupted too much by power seekers who don’t put their own livelihoods on the line, they play roulette with other people’s lives.

    Particularly with the way they are acting at the moment overall everyone would be better off without most unions. They shit in other peoples nests (often the nests of their own employers, ie union members) too much. Without unions some people may not be as well off, many people would probably benefit, and people will keep employing and working and earning what they can the best way they can.

    It’s time for the many workers who have had a gutsful of the self-interested unionists to speak up against them and for positive personal responsibility.

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  119. Psycho Milt (2,401 comments) says:

    Hang on a minute – right-wingers don’t like unions? But I thought….

    Fuck. Well. I’m just shocked…

    And stunned. Shocked and stunned. I’m going to have to go away and have a think about this…

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  120. Pete George (23,417 comments) says:

    I don’t consider myself a right winger. And I don’t dislike unions. I dislike how some unions (and workers) are misused by some unionists.

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  121. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “Hang on a minute – right-wingers don’t like unions?”

    PM while I personally call myself a conservative and I’ve always voted that way, this doesn’t mean I myself look at the world in that way and you can see that by looking at any of the threads where I’ve discussed geo-politics in general and Israel in particular where I strongly argue the line that idiots call “leftist” as if there is such a thing.

    I analyse the world as I see it, not along the lines of the ACT or National party manifestos, and I call it as I see it. It’s not about political affiliation it’s about right or wrong, and this union issue is an example and only an example, of whether or not at the end of the day unions add value to the commercial equation.

    As you can see from above, I don’t think they do. I think they used to have a place. Times however have long passed that point. Happy to debate whether they do or don’t using real examples from the real world, but not interested in discussing whether I think this because of my politics.

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  122. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    Pete George – yeah Equity/unions fumbled bad in a lot of different ways. But I would also suggest that in the Jackson/The Hobbit debacle it also took more than one hand to clap.

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  123. Boloni (63 comments) says:

    Unions are not pro workers they are ante business

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  124. Viper Mk II (54 comments) says:

    his union issue is an example and only an example, of whether or not at the end of the day unions add value to the commercial equation.

    But did you ever stop to ask who actually gets the inreased benefits from ‘productivity gains’ and value added to the ‘commercial equation’ in their pockets? Would that be the many who work or just the few who share in the increase in GDP?

    Ordinary workers consistently get told they should be happy with 0-1.5% pay rises while management (and politicians) in the top quartile of earners consistently award themselves far more, in terms of higher pay and reduced taxes.

    You ‘ve just had a NAT government award 42% of the recent tax cuts to the top 10% of income earners, while the bottom one in five in NZ had to make do with just 2% of the tax cuts directed their way.

    So the need for strong unions to push workers’ rights increases the more that economic inequality in a society increases. The more you push for your agenda of a labour free market, the larger the need for unions will be.

    A free market in products and commodities, yes. A free market in labour, assets, and social services, no way.

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  125. Sonny Blount (1,848 comments) says:

    You ‘ve just had a NAT government award 42% of the recent tax cuts to the top 10% of income earners

    Well they got ripped off, seeing as they pay 70% of the tax they should have received 70% of the tax cuts for them to be equitable.

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  126. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how those on the Left can believe that workers are somehow entitled to the capital of others (which of course, includes the return on that capital.)

    Let’s try and keep this simple. The investors provide the capital, the worker provides a service for a consideration – their salary or wages. That consideration is the full & final settlement for their services.

    The output of their services belongs to the party that paid them for it (the owner/investors.) If it so happens that the owner takes those services and resells them at a higher price, or combines them with other products and services to create a product or service that is then sold to someone at a greater value, that return is the owner’s and the owner’s alone [investors are considers owners for these purposes.]

    The Left’s argument about who is gaining – the few or the many – is nothing more than an attempt to claim that the workers have a right to steal the owner’s property (the capital they brought and the returns from it.)

    It is a claim of right to theft.

    It is analagous to the house I have bought. I trust that I will receive a cpaital gain on it over time. During the course of my ownership I will employ people to perform services for me on my house (plumber, electrician, builder, gardner perhaps, and so on.) Extrapolating Viper’s argument out, those people should therefore have a right to each claim a part of the capital gain that I make on my house as their services have assisted me in obtaining that gain.

    Their proposition is rooted in a belief that it is acceptable to steal the property of others.

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  127. reid (16,174 comments) says:

    “Their proposition is rooted in a belief that it is acceptable to steal the property of others.”

    Very well summarised bhudson. Notice that Viper hasn’t responded. I bet he doesn’t.

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  128. Psycho Milt (2,401 comments) says:

    Pete George: the comment was in response to the thread as a whole, ie wasn’t aimed at you.

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  129. Buaidh No Bars (18 comments) says:

    I wish to debunk the theory that unionists have no business experience.

    1. A business bills its customers for goods and services. (Unions bill their members for services).
    2. A business retains profits. (The union retains the Profits).
    3. Managers oversee the business. (The union organiser oversees the business).

    Pretty much the same until this point.

    4. A business may pay a return to the owners – Some don’t). (A union never pays a return to Owners instead the union organiser invariably uses the union profits for self promotion and self benefit such as involvement in political parties such as becoming -party president). If the business manager did that there would be tax consequences.

    5. A business may make political grants but they are non deductible. (Unions make political grants with no tax consequences.)

    6. If the business manager diverted profits he could be charged with fraud. If unions divert funds to organisers for self benefit and theat was not the purpose the funds were raised for the perhaps that is fraud as well).

    I believe there is a real case to classify all unions as political parties and treat them accordingly.

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  130. BlairM (2,310 comments) says:

    Robyn Malcolm was never going to be in the Hobbit movies anyway – she already appeared in the Two Towers as a Rohirrim woman, and the Hobbit films are set before said Rohirrim woman would have been born. She won’t be used for another character, so she has nothing to lose by her pettiness.

    I wish Cheryl West was real, and Robyn Malcolm was a fictional character. OF is my favourite show and I watch it religiously online here in Texas. I am appalled that so much government money has been spent on it, however. The fact that it is awesome is no excuse for such largesse – just because the government has lucked into picking a winner doesn’t make it right to steal from those who don’t watch to fund it.

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