Labour’s first selection

December 16th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Labour have announced:

In the party’s first selection meeting for the 2014 General Election, Labour has endorsed Dr as the candidate for Rangitikei.

Deborah Russell is a tax expert and left wing columnist, well known in New Zealand social media.

She was born in Taranaki and currently lives in Manawatu with her husband and three daughters.

I know Deborah and her family. She would be an excellent MP. Of course she has no chance in Rangitikei, so she will be relying on a good list ranking from Labour. Will they rejuvenate to make room for new blood?

I won’t spoil Deborah’s chances by pointing out that she recruited me into Young Nationals when she was the Otago University Chair of it :-) **

Dr Russell started her career as an accountant working for Deloitte and Treasury. She subsequently completed a PhD in Philosophy at the Australian National University. She went on to be a senior tax policy analyst for the IRD, and is now a senior lecturer in taxation at Massey University. Dr Russell chairs the Labour Party Economic Policy Committee.

Deborah is smart, a great debater, and a very nice person to boot. Labour will do much better with MPs like her in the House. Hence my saying such nice things about her which should doom her list ranking chances :-)

** – my memory may be faulty. See Deborah’s comment below.

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57 Responses to “Labour’s first selection”

  1. Yoza (1,348 comments) says:

    Grammar Nazi time!

    I won’t spoil Deborah’s chances by pointing out that she recruited me into Young Nationals when she was the Otago University Chair of it.

    Ugly. How about: I won’t spoil Deborah’s chances by pointing out that she recruited me into Young Nationals of which she was Chair at Otago University.

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  2. Deborah (155 comments) says:

    Thank you, David.

    It didn’t take me long to see the light, but I guess we’re still waiting for you. Shall I send you a Labour Party membership form?

    PS: I was President of the Debating Society. I never held a formal position in Young Nats. I was there for the parties. And there was a boy I was interested in… (for the avoidance of doubt, not you!)

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  3. iMP (2,153 comments) says:

    I don’t think we should boot nice people.

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  4. Huevon (101 comments) says:

    I’ve read a few of Deborah Russell’s columns and op-eds. Just another shrill, hectoring Left-liberal. Pro-abort, anti-family and doesn’t appear to see a problem that can’t be solved with more tax.

    But, hey, good luck with the election!

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  5. kowtow (6,709 comments) says:

    In a short post the word tax mentioned twice and taxation once and Labour six times.

    Labour tax,Labour tax,Labour taxation,Labour Labour Labour.

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  6. Prince (81 comments) says:

    Please tell me this isn’t the ex NZ First MP in the ’90′s Deborah Morris. She was a shocker.
    Correction : I must read more carefully. Deborah Russell. Whew .

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  7. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Huevon, I’ve read Deborah’s columns and op-eds. She is a thoughtful, constructive and well-considered person who has managed to juggle a busy family life with a distinguished career in the private sector, the public sector, Australia and New Zealand.

    What precisely have you contributed, beyond anonymity?

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  8. Monique Angel (229 comments) says:

    Nice one Yoza. Eats Shoots and Leaves.
    Why would one move along the political spectrum from right to left? I understand the move in the other direction as he individual realises that socialism is a cult of collectivism.
    Effectively one forsakes and dooms the offspring to a lifetime of under remunerated membership of a workers party instead of contributing meaningful economic growth to society as a self made individual.
    Still, it’s worth it for personal advancement within a political party, right, Deborah?

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  9. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Just another shrill, hectoring Left-liberal.

    As distinct from a shrill, hectoring anonymous blog commentor such as yourself. :neutral:

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  10. Frankie Lee (8 comments) says:

    Deborah,

    Are you the same Deborah Russell that was in some of the same History papers as I at Massey, circa 1993-94?

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  11. Monique Angel (229 comments) says:

    Full of shit as per the following quote:
    “Rural people have major issues about access to basic services and the infrastructure needed to be a part of New Zealand society. Labour is the party best placed to deliver on this.”
    BULLSHIT!
    Labour hates roads. Correct me if I’m wrong here but my impression was Labour wants the citizens on the gulag rail cart schedule and is opposing Transmission Gully and National’s roads of National significance schedule.

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  12. Huevon (101 comments) says:

    Deborah Russell is an abortion apologist.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7557998/Abortion-a-womans-moral-choice-not-a-crime

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  13. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    Why would one move along the political spectrum from right to left?

    She did a doctorate (a pretty respectable one) in philosophy, a discipline in which you are required to defend your beliefs with rational arguments. Apart from a few oddball libertarians and religious loons, right wingers who do philosophy either alter their beliefs or quit the degree, since conservatism has by it nature always been an anti-rationalist creed.

    This is part of the more general trend of tertiary education making people less conservative, less bigoted and less authoritarian. No wonder National hates it.

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  14. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    BULLSHIT!
    Labour hates roads. Correct me if I’m wrong here but my impression was Labour wants the citizens on the gulag rail cart schedule…

    :roll: Ask a silly question, get a silly answer…

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  15. thor42 (773 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson – “…since conservatism has by it nature always been an anti-rationalist creed. ”

    Really?

    This “anti-rationalist creed” of which you speak has given New Zealand one of the strongest economies in the Western world.

    In contrast, the left-wing-run countries (US, most of Europe, Australia until recently) have economies that could kindly be described as “sick”.

    The right *loves* to defend its stance with “rational arguments”!
    It is the *Left* that is unable to do so. That is why they have to resort to so much abuse and mudslinging. It is the only weapon they have.

    Perhaps you can show us your “rational argument” skills and put forward a case as to why National should not have introduced the “benefit card” for beneficiaries (which restricts what they can purchase). IIRC, Labour and the Greens argued against this.

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  16. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Apart from a few oddball libertarians and religious loons, right wingers who do philosophy either alter their beliefs or quit the degree, since conservatism has by it nature always been an anti-rationalist creed.

    This is part of the more general trend of tertiary education making people less conservative, less bigoted and less authoritarian.

    Heh, I won’t burst your bubble by pointing out the *actual* trend.

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  17. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    So have I understood this correctly – Labour have selected a person who is neither a teacher or a union boss ?

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  18. UrbanNeocolonialist (135 comments) says:

    We have to accept that occasionally the left will have the reins of power in NZ. It is always a good thing if they have more centrist, balanced and rational candidates (ie less unionists, teachers, academics, and life long left wing politicians/troughers. probably too much to dreams that they will ever have a significant number of candidates that have run a business or contributed to the productive portion of the economy), so that when it does happen they don’t screw things up quite so badly. The ’84’90 labour govt was without a doubt one of the best this country ever had and saved us from the abyss.

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  19. MT_Tinman (2,792 comments) says:

    burt (6,551 comments) says:
    December 16th, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    So have I understood this correctly – Labour have selected a person who is neither a teacher or a union boss ?

    Notably in an unwinnable seat.

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  20. dog_eat_dog (679 comments) says:

    This can only be good for discourse – an academic with a specialisation in tax should hopefully be able to bring some coherency to Labour’s tax policies. At the moment National get off the hook because there’s no actual informed debate, just blathering from the Red/Green mobs about ‘fair shares’ and ‘capital gains taxes’ that are weaker than the supposedly evil right wing Productivity Commission recommended. New Zealand taxpayers deserve more than this, and should be getting the best value out of their taxes, whatever they pay and whoever is in power.

    The current status-quo of lethargy from the Nats and frankly nonsensical and contradictory opposition talking points benefit no one. Hopefully someone who knows that they are talking about can re-invigorate the debate, even if it is from the other side of the House.

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  21. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Apart from a few oddball libertarians and religious loons, right wingers who do philosophy either alter their beliefs or quit the degree

    HA! I’m a Philosophy grad and I fall into both categories. WIN.

    Actually, one of the things I liked about Philosophy is that you were allowed to be right wing as long as you could defend your ideas. Sociology never allowed me that luxury.

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  22. OneTrack (1,967 comments) says:

    Ok so rangitikei is a #manban electorate. What other ones are there?

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  23. Viking2 (10,723 comments) says:

    Deborah (152 comments) says:
    December 16th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you, David.

    It didn’t take me long to see the light, but I guess we’re still waiting for you. Shall I send you a Labour Party membership form?

    PS: I was President of the Debating Society. I never held a formal position in Young Nats. I was there for the parties. And there was a boy I was interested in… (for the avoidance of doubt, not you!)
    =================

    Bloody narrow escape there David.
    No wonder you run so well.

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  24. Hamish_NZ (27 comments) says:

    I believe Labour have also officially chosen their Tauranga candidate this weekend been. Also a woman (not that that matters really, just makes others wonder about the selection merits). But I did uave to laugh when they were making a big deal about it being a local candidate, only for it to emerge she’s from Cambridge, but moving to Tauranga next year. Still slightly better than the usual Wellington parachute candidate.
    Again no chance of winning. Regardless of what the local Labour party like to think.

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  25. Hamish_NZ (27 comments) says:

    http://sunlive.co.nz/news/60109-tall-competition-bridges.html

    Rachel Jones a double phd including one in english literature. So not really adding anything to the Labour talent pool.

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  26. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    To add to Deborah Russell and Rachel Jones, Clare Curren tweeted yesterday that Liz Craig (Clutha Southland) and Glenda Alexander (Waitaki) have also been selected for Labour.

    It would seem that the manban is already well into top gear.

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  27. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    This “anti-rationalist creed” of which you speak has given New Zealand one of the strongest economies in the Western world.

    lol

    In contrast, the left-wing-run countries (US, most of Europe, Australia until recently) have economies that could kindly be described as “sick”.

    The US and Australia left wing compared to NZ?

    Oh wait.. you’re serious… let me laugh even harder.

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  28. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    Actually, one of the things I liked about Philosophy is that you were allowed to be right wing as long as you could defend your ideas.

    In my experience, the Randians lasted an average of a week before they ran away.

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  29. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    It is the *Left* that is unable to do so. That is why they have to resort to so much abuse and mudslinging. It is the only weapon they have.

    A lot of the left aren’t much better, but they are still better than the right.

    Perhaps you can show us your “rational argument” skills and put forward a case as to why National should not have introduced the “benefit card” for beneficiaries (which restricts what they can purchase). IIRC, Labour and the Greens argued against this.

    Because it’s a waste of time. People who really want to spend their benefits on smokes or booze will simply trade goods with those who can. FFS I never had trouble finding someone to buy me booze when I was under age.

    You want to make sure kids get fed? Support Hone Harawira’s school meals bill, and make a compulsory deduction from the benefits of people on the grounds that the state is feeding their kids.

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  30. Johnboy (13,407 comments) says:

    As long as the silly, misguided tart doesn’t start calling herself “Debs” we will hold out hope for her. :)

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  31. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Yoza
    December 16th, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    Grammar Nazi time!

    you said that in a very very leftist tone!!

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  32. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..Deborah Russell is a tax expert and left wing columnist…”

    Well ain’t that a polite way to say:

    Fucken thief!

    When Big Government Labour gives to the ‘poor’, it is not to empower the reciever – but the giver. And the ‘giving’ is exactly what is ‘taken’ from someone else!

    This isn’t going to end well when you have the likes of her as an MP!

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  33. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    (for the avoidance of doubt, not you!)

    The bitch, she’s already putting the boot in and is not even in parliament, we’ve told you DPF don’t be nice them them, they go feral

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  34. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    But, hey, bad luck with the election!
    As bhudson averred: socialist Labour’s sisterhood in full flight.

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  35. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    “Rural people have major issues about access to basic services and the infrastructure needed to be a part of New Zealand society. Labour is the party best placed to deliver on this.”

    someone else who has never lived rurally- I’ve just spent 15 years living 15 km outside a thriving metropolis of 3000 people. We had everything, best of all we voted out labour and they’ve never got close since

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  36. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    The labour caucus will be called the Irish caucus – full of micks

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  37. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    Grammar Nazis II

    burt

    “…neither a teacher or a union boss ?”

    You could try

    “…neither a teacher nor a union boss ?”

    It;s ‘either or’ or ‘neither nor’ old chap.

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  38. smttc (638 comments) says:

    Why anyone would vote for this woman to represent the Labour Party is completely beyond me.

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  39. thor42 (773 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson –
    “lol”
    “The US and Australia left wing compared to NZ?
    Oh wait.. you’re serious… let me laugh even harder.”

    Ahh. This must be the “rational debate” that you claim the left are so good at. Proving my point about the left engaging in abuse and ridicule.

    “A lot of the left aren’t much better, but they are still better than the right.”

    More of this “rational debate”, I see. Proving my point again.

    “Because it’s a waste of time. People who really want to spend their benefits on smokes or booze will simply trade goods with those who can. FFS I never had trouble finding someone to buy me booze when I was under age. ”

    Waste of time? So *no effort at all* should be made to get beneficiaries spending the benefit money on essentials?

    As for the “school meals bill” – how does feeding children at school teach parents to be responsible? It completely lets them off the hook.
    Your “compulsory benefit deduction” doesn’t change that fact.
    School meals are a complete cop-out.

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  40. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    It wouldn’t be difficult to find a shrine to Helen Clark in her home: the sisterhood worships her. :-)

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  41. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    Ahh. This must be the “rational debate” that you claim the left are so good at. Proving my point about the left engaging in abuse and ridicule.

    No wonder you are the subject of abuse and ridicule, since you espouse ridiculous opinions. New Zealand economically to the right of the US, are you insane? We have centralised public health care, a centralised public education system, higher taxes, a more interventionist social policy, a much more generous welfare state, etc (China, a supposedly communist country, is well to the right of NZ on many of these measures).

    Waste of time? So *no effort at all* should be made to get beneficiaries spending the benefit money on essentials?

    As for the “school meals bill” – how does feeding children at school teach parents to be responsible? It completely lets them off the hook.

    This is why you righties are completely stupid about this. I’m sorry, but there’s no other word for it – you’re just clueless. The sort of people who have children they can’t feed cannot be made personally responsible at an acceptable social cost (i.e. to make them behave, our social policies would have to approach the level of some of the lower grade Nazi crimes such as compulsory sterilisation).

    Take an obvious example: solo mothers. If you want to be perpetually poor and miserable, one of the absolutely best ways to ensure it is get pregnant and have a kid by yourself before you are 20. Everyone knows this, even most of the people who do it.

    The problem is that they suffer from what philosophers call “akrasia” or “weakness of will”. In other words, they are incapable of weighing up long term consequences rationally. The same thing happens with smoking, drinking too much, racking up ridiculous credit card bills, etc. They’ll take today’s pleasure over next year’s pain every time, because they are not able at the point of decision to weigh consequences accurately. It’s not just beneficiaries: consider the athletes who kill themselves with steroids just to win – same thing.

    So the right wing solution to this is inevitably to force “personal responsibility” via punitive welfare measures. But this is completely mad because the whole reason people get into these messes is because they can’t weigh consequences properly. You’re effectively telling a teenage girl who is already risking a lifetime of hardship and poverty that you are going to make it a little bit more harsh and poor. Of course it’s not going to work, because if she could take account of the consequences she wouldn’t be doing it anyway. It would work if it were you, or some teenager (because most teenagers behave this way because they think mum and dad will pick up after them, and stop once they realise that is no longer the case), it would work. But the people who end up on the dole for years are not like you.

    The entire right wing program of “personal responsibility” is an attempt to give long term incentives to people who are in trouble solely because they can’t respond to the kind of long term incentives you are giving them. Of course it doesn’t really work because it’s inherently contradictory, so the response is to make the punishments even more draconian, until you end up with ridiculously harsh, human rights violating policies that just kick people when they are down.

    The people that do this are often aware that they are screwing up, but they just can’t help it. So they are often quite happy to have the ability to screw up removed from them. Insofar as grocery vouchers help do this, that’s fine, but there are other more effective measures such as school meals.

    Yes, most people on benefits are feckless. That’s why they are on benefits. Your error is to suppose that they can be made non-feckless by means of rational incentives when fecklessness is characterised by the inability to respond to rational incentives. That’s like trying to stop a fire by drip-feeding gasoline on it. There’s no better word for right wing welfare policies than sheer idiocy.

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  42. Tauhei Notts (1,510 comments) says:

    So, what have we got here?
    A new Labour Party candidate that is fully in favour of abortion.
    She sounds like a prime candidate for retrospective abortion.
    …………….
    But, to be fair, Labour did introduce Resident Withholding Tax on interest, Dividend Withholding Tax, the dividend imputation regime, Herd Scheme for livestock valuation and GST, then got rid of the Muldoonist 66% tax rate. Labour got rid of those standard values on livestock which were an awful rort. Give the girl a chance; she might be on the right track. But I doubt that.

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  43. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson#

    “…….Yes, most people on benefits are feckless. That’s why they are on benefits. Your error is to suppose that they can be made non-feckless by means of rational incentives when fecklessness is characterised by the inability to respond to rational incentives. That’s like trying to stop a fire by drip-feeding gasoline on it. There’s no better word for right wing welfare policies than sheer idiocy…..”

    So do tell us Tom….

    ….why can’t they make simple decisions based upon…..well….simple maths……as they are all still taught that…right? :cool:

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  44. Steve Wrathall (207 comments) says:

    So wonder where Deborah Russell’s view sit within the Labour spectrum?

    “If soft ways of increasing the number of women in Parliament won’t work, then it’s time to look at tougher measures, such as using quotas. Parties should aim to select candidates for both electorate and list seats so that the proportion of women in Parliament will increase to something like 50 per cent. It’s a practical measure that would solve the problem.”
    http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=593C4211-F9BC-5124-C9E4-64F2682590C0

    “We live in a rape culture, ….
    Be aware that among your friends and family and workmates, there will be at least one rapist. You will not know who they are.”
    http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=802AAB27-AF9B-496D-9265-3A550330B713
    “Everyone needs to know that consent isn’t just the absence of a “No”. It’s the presence of a “Yes”.”

    Hmmmm..

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  45. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    So Deborah, seeing as you are a socialist;

    What makes you think you can run my life for me better than I can?

    Why do you think that those who work hard should subsidise those who don’t want to work or move to places where there are work?

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  46. Andronicus (185 comments) says:

    big bruv, who are these people who “don’t want to work”?

    Can we have their names, please?

    Or are they just a figment of an overactive imagination?

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  47. Paul Williams (867 comments) says:

    Wow. A thread about a damn smart woman, successful in various domains, who happens to have strong, well reasoned views and surprise, surprise the troglodytes here come out and smear shit on each other… so surprising.

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  48. Dirty Rat (377 comments) says:

    Tahui

    National introduced the Dividend Withholding Tax when they dropped the tax rates..national standard cost still exists and The Herd Scheme is still a tax free (after year one ) rort.

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  49. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    Paul Williams

    The exciting thing is that the ones like Big Bruv will be putting their hands up to stand for Parliament because they think they can run the place better than her.
    (Not that she will be running the place as an Opposition MP but you get my drift.)

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  50. Daigotsu (446 comments) says:

    Fuck off Deborah

    You are a useless communist oxygen thief and your lies and bullshit are not wanted here

    Why don’t you try moving to Zimbabwe or North Korea or Iran

    Not that you would do any bloody good there but at least the damage has already been done in those places!

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  51. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    LOL, I had a feeling Kiwiblog would revert to type sooner or later.

    All this polite grownup conversation, it was weird…

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  52. kowtow (6,709 comments) says:

    Adolf Finkel

    Grammar nazi

    Have a look at your ‘it;s’ in your last sentence.

    Glass houses and all that.

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  53. Than (371 comments) says:

    People who really want to spend their benefits on smokes or booze will simply trade goods with those who can.

    While that’s often going to be true, it does make it more inconvenient for them to buy smokes/booze and they’ll usually lose some value in the trade. The left are usually in favour of restrictions and higher taxes on booze/smokes, and this has essentially the same effect.

    The problem is that they suffer from what philosophers call “akrasia” or “weakness of will”. In other words, they are incapable of weighing up long term consequences rationally.

    Tom, the flaw with your argument is you are treating akrasia as a binary “you have it or you don’t” quality, and from there claiming that such individuals should never be asked to take any personal responsibility at all.

    Like most individual qualities the ability to weigh consequences falls along a continuum. Some people are very good at it, some can with difficulty, and some basically can’t at all. Yes there will be individuals with so little ability to weigh consequences that no punitive measures will ever get through. But that’s the far tail of the bell curve; there is a much larger catagory of individuals who have difficulty weighing consequences but can do so. Those are the ones punitive measures are targeted at.

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  54. Tauhei Notts (1,510 comments) says:

    Dirty Rat; Labour did introduce the dividend withholding tax that only applied when dividends were not fully imputed. It was all predicated upon a flat tax regime; which, unfortunately, David Lange loathed.
    Your comments upon the National Standard Cost scheme and the Herd Scheme for livestock valuation; boy oh boy did the tax dept go silly when they saw the cow cockies, in particular, switch from Herd Scheme to National Standard Costs a few years ago when cow prices plummeted. That possibility had always been there and had been exploited by some beancounters back in about 1992 when cow prices dropped severely. Then when they dropped about 2008 many people used that unusual law drafting opportunity. But as the big four accounting firms had very few dairy farmer clients, the move did not make any news, until about two years later when the tax dept realised what a rort it was.
    Things that take the drudgery out of provincial town beancounting.

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  55. Paulus (2,296 comments) says:

    Thank God it is a woman, and by appearance not homosexual, and not maori.

    But a trougher nevertheless living in many recent years on the taxpayers back – a theoretical tax expert – one of many socialist experts.

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  56. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    What a shame about all the pointless insults in the comments so far. Would’ve been nice to have her explain a few more points in more detail such as

    She said that the current government was all about big business, and that ordinary people weren’t getting a fair go.

    If she’s as smart as Tom Jackson says she is it’d be exceptionally easy for her to rationalise that statement. To me it just reads as a pointless Labour party song sheet she’s humming along to with an automatic preclusion to any rationality at all.

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  57. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Another Labour candidate announced:

    Rob McCann is a communications and marketing expert, and has been the White Ribbon Campaign Manager since 2009. He was a press secretary to Ruth Dyson in the last Labour Government and more recently headed the drive to collect signatures for the Asset sales referendum in the Otaki electorate. Educated at Otago University with a Law and Drama degree, he is a keen debater and was a former president of the Otago University debating society.

    Mr McCann is also the chair of the Paraparaumu Branch of the Labour Party, chaired the Region Three Labour Party Conference, and sits on the Labour Rural & Regional Sector Council.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1312/S00237/rob-mccann-selected-as-otaki-candidate.htm

    Another ex-Labour staffer.

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