Saturday, March 8, 2014

Prepay power--rips off those who can least afford it---National does not care!

The National Party  makes a great deal out of it's big 'sell-off'' off of State assets and the much vaunted profit making model. It claims that this is the way to go and the 'market will rule' and deliver the best possible services for the consumers. What a lot of 'trickle-down' bull! The report on the news tonight about people being sucked into prepay electricity payment methods  being charged up to 60% above the normal retail price leaves me angry and frustrated for those who can least afford it. Have we not heard the Government crying out for ages about how much better we will be off under their enlightened policies? That may be true if you are rich, friends of the Government of shareholders on the companies they have sold off. If you are struggling to make ends meet, then different rules apply; ones that are totally against what we as NZers once held to be true---'a fair go for anyone prepared to help themselves.' What is fair about this? Where have we gone as a nation if we allow this terrible policy to continue. There is only one way to resolve this----get rid of this Government and help to restore a sense of balance and fairness.
Don't tell me that the people chose to go on this insidious scheme. They were led to believe that they would have control over their bills and that it would be better for them----rubbish and lies! The poor always have less choice, less opportunity for many reasons, but they should never be blatantly ripped off in the manner we are witnessing. Shame on the Government and those who support this  disgusting practice. Labour and the Greens need to let us know more about their plan to regulate the energy industry and they need to do it quickly. That is what we want to hear about them, not the silly sniping we have seen on other issues that quite frankly mean nothing. Get stuck into these real issues, Labour and the Greens. Let's hear from Winston too but please, National, shut up about your stupid   anti-New Zealand trickle down, selling  the State assets theories. They do not belong in our beautiful country.

Russian TV and Fox News have somehting in common. Actually, AlJazeera can be a bit like them too--by default.

I am beginning to think that RT and Fox News are very similar in that they take us as viewers as being totally undiscerning in how we view their 'respective viewpoints. yes, booth channels produce some pretty good 'documentaries,' just like AJ. There is a difference though. At least FN has the freedom to criticise the President of the USA. That cannot be said for RT. Imagine and observe what happens when anyone in Russia goes beyond a very narrow border re being critical of Putin.
AJ produces programmes that are very thoughtful and provocative when it comes to reporting on world events beyond Doha, but I would be safe in saying that any 'questioning' of the leadership in Doha would fall on very unsympathetic and reactionary grounds.
RT is taking an almost 'amateurish' stance re its reporting of events in the Crimea and Ukraine. The translation of local peoples' comments look something like then old newsreels that Nazi Germany produced prior to annexing the Sudetenland or rolling into Poland. Maybe it a matter of style, but if that is the best the Government controlled RT can do, then journalism is the big loser along with any real aspirations of freedom of expression that the people of Russia and the border regions purportedly have.
As for Fox TV---I found it repetitively sector-orientated in its reporting re Obama Care and other issues in the USA, but it needs to be said that they can express those opinions, on a daily basis without having to look over their shoulders There is of course the balance that exists in the USA, re access to other opinions in the media. I may be critical of the USA on some levels, but 'freedom of expression, still exists in ways that DON'T in Russian and most of the Middle East. Still- if my 'pay/TV had an option, I would not include FN  in the 'package. Unfortunately, you have to take them all, in New Zealand, but at least we have 'options,' and the 'turn-off button.'

Elections don't seem to mean very much in many countries!

How often have we seen the run-up to elections in various countries around the world, where different opposition parties decide to boycott the up-coming event. In some cases that is because they know that the elections will be flawed, unfair, dishonest or quite frankly a total farce. You can work out for yourselves which countries have figured highly in  the news over the last few years.
Not all countries or to put it even more strongly, few countries have clear and transparent election processes. Even in so-called 'democracies,' some sectors of society have had better access to media outlets or have control over other aspects of the election process.
If one observes the news reports on a daily basis,  the cycle of electoral abuse seems to rampant. One party wins then the losers get out on the streets in order to overturn the results. The resulting violence and clampdown takes countries to and beyond the brink of war. Am I correct is stating that my observances are more common than they were in the past? Is it that with the advent of social media that 'getting people on to the streets,' is much easier now. The 'flash-mob' phenomenon has replaced what some cynical politicians once labelled the 'rent-a-mob,' movement, a label that could be attached to all sides of the political spectrum.
There is going to be a referendum in the Crimea in the next few weeks. One can be sure that it will not be an 'above the board,' transparent exercise. The Russian authorities along with their pre-placed cronies will be influencing the result and making it difficult for those groups apposed to their imminent take over of the Crimea form taking part in any real of fair process. Yes, we all know that the Crimea is dominating by Russian speakers and those leaning towards a reunion with the Mother Russia. There is no need for the heavy handed, masked thugs who are and will continue to intimate ethnic minorities and anyone they perceive to be a block to their political and somewhat criminal ambitions. They will attempt the same in Eastern Ukraine in an effort bring about Putin's larger plan---the re establishment of the Russian Empire. If course, they are little different in that respect from other big power brokers in the West, who also use methods to block the real desires of large groups of people who wish for self-determination. Russia just seems to be the 'bad boy on the block' at the moment. It seems also that nothing has changed over the centuries because politics is just a convenient descriptor for 'greed and ambition, no matter what the label.