Latest Entries »

Spreydon-Heathcote, Christchurch city ward base, now abolished

Spreydon-Heathcote, Christchurch city ward base recently abolished: to be replaced in 2016

It’s official: the Spreydon-Heathcote electoral ward of Christchurch city is no more. It was abolished on Thursday, 13 August 2015, as were all the Christchurch wards laid out before 2004.[1] That’s a good thing, and moment for nostalgia. A memorial to the Heathcote County Council (ex Road Board) that got merged into Christchurch City Council in 1989, the ward name caused confusion: a) the Heathcote Valley was part of Hagley-Ferrymead ward, not Spreydon-Heathcote, and b) the Heathcote/Opawaho River spanned three city wards, including the above two, so could not rightly be claimed by any of them. Confusing! Remedy at hand.

From one ward, two would now be made. The possibilities around renaming are significant, and will be decided by several influences in the lead-up to the 2016 local elections. The new community board name will last at least the next 3-6 years and probably longer. It affects how our local communities can organise themselves, for diverse beneficial outcomes, within accurate boundaries to be settled in the months ahead. This is important.

So what are the choices? Spreydon-Cashmere(-Woolston) if the 16-ward model about to be consulted upon gains support, or Spreydon-Beckenham if the 14-ward model revives, as best improvement upon the seven wards that just got abolished. Get involved and ‪#‎HaveYourSay‬ from 26 August to 9 October, 2015.[2]

Congratulations are due this council either way. A bold step of making representation more direct to local communities, more locally elected, is within reach. This is a product of dividing seven large wards into a larger number of smaller wards, where each turns out about half the current size (except Banks Peninsula). All wards would reduce from having two councillors to having one, in future (like Banks Peninsula). Of all the concessions to be gained from the Local Government Commission, as changes to the city ward system, this could be the second-most-challenging. The first would be total increase in councillor number, beyond a modest one, to three in the 16-ward proposal. The proposal, to be released by Council on Wednesday 26 August, for us looks like this:

Spreydon-Cashmere-Woolston ward proposal, 26 August 2015

Spreydon-Cashmere-Woolston community board proposal, 26 August 2015

The proposal is to be commended for resolving the primary problem Spreydon-Heathcote ward had with its boundaries: division of Waltham, where part had been in Hagley-Ferrymead ward. At last, Waltham will be united through its representation! That’s a big step forward. But the same fundamental principle needs to be applied to all the new ward map – division of communities is mostly unnecessary and quite unacceptable. For this reason the 14-ward model is better, for creating fewer community divisions, and none once refined, as seen here:

14 ward model, draft Spreydon-Beckenham community board area

14 ward model, draft Spreydon-Beckenham community board area

It is a simple choice, in fact, over where electoral improvements should be made – in and for communities, or for the councillors? That we are being confronted with possibility of the latter (16 councillors) shows that a legal obligation to consult has been inappropriately hijacked for political ends – to meet a council process objective. The cost in this council expansion planswould be one whole community board scrapped, to increase representative weight at the top end. Is this acceptable? There’s a war on between communities and politicians, over who owns democracy, in the Christchurch Representation Review: stop poli-inflation!

Christchurch electors need to look hard at their representation map and voice an opinion over what will work best for them. Because this voice is the only element that can satisfactorily decide the review questions. #‎HaveYourSay‬ from Wednesday!

[1] Graphic – Chch South Library’s future unknown, The Press 10/08/2012,
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7452318/Chch-South-Librarys-future-unknown +
3.3 “That the current wards and communities be abolished.” – p.240, http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/TheCouncil/meetingsminutes/agendas/2015/August/Council13August2015OpenAgenda.pdf

[2] http://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/have-your-say/whats-happening-now/representative-review/

The Spreydon-Heathcote ward just abolished:

Spreydon-Heathcote ward map

Spreydon-Heathcote ward map

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathcote_County

Along the Hills: A History of the Heathcote Road Board and the Heathcote County Council, 1864-1989 James Watson, Christchurch 1989, https://christchurch.bibliocommons.com/item/show/68121037

Heathcote County Council – Archives New Zealand, Christchurch Regional Office,
http://thecommunityarchive.org.nz/node/71357

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/ccc-do-the-job-properly-christchurch-city-council-representation-review-chch-repreview-newzealand-nzlabour-nz/

The Christchurch local representation map is being redrawn, per six-yearly requirement, ahead of the 2016 elections. This provides opportunity to strengthen communities – or to strengthen politicians – as significant change is unavoidable in complex circumstances. But left to their own devices, which do you think some politicians are endeavouring to do? That’s right. The obvious: a strengthening of power within their grasp.

Public pressure – DEMOCRACY – is required to make Christchurch politicians see sense. Naturally.

Where 55% polled have already said they want no change at all, this is not an option: the Banks Peninsula anomaly/gerrymander (feat Sir Bob Parker) has to end, central government has ruled, and because earthquake red-zoning has moved so many households westward that they have to be recounted. So would politicians propose the nearest amendment possible to no change at all, that people want, of minimised change that improves balance effectively? Of course not. That is why, in August-Sept 2015, you should HAVE YOUR SAY on the CCC Representation Review.[1]

To recap, this is what the Christchurch public has already said on this matter [2]:

CCC Rep Review Press poll 210715

CCC Rep Review Press poll 210715

The public do not want the community board system undermined. In fact, to do so would conflict with the current mayor’s stated purpose of strengthening communities and the delegated abilities of community boards. Against this one third of those polled support a Labour-aligned councillor and board chair-led initiative to multiply total councillors to 16 (in whose interests?) A still higher proposal of 19 councillors has already been rejected, as has an amendment for reduction to below the current 13; but 19 is still being lobbied for hard, regardless.[3]

The 16-ward system proposed, that will go out for consultation later this month, redraws the community board map as serious dilution. The gain would be three extra councillors to what we have now, with community boards having to cover 50% more territory each. That is a direct challenge to the closer focus that resident communities now have and would retain under a 14-ward system (two wards per board instead of the three being proposed).

The 14-ward system drafted is much better for local communities, does bring one extra councillor to the table, and each councillor will represent a much smaller number of people. This is the gain and the loss in the inevitable redraw of the Christchurch political map: where residents have two councillor representatives currently, except Banks Peninsula, in future they will have only one, like Banks Peninsula. Performance competition within each urban ward is going to be removed, after the local elections next year, thus (and is this actually good?) So getting the representation ratio down still further if possible – as 14 wards achieves – is very important; though the 14 ward boundaries drafted still need minor refinement – HAVE YOUR SAY on this later this month.

Here are the 14- and 16-ward maps and board areas for comparison, from the council agenda [4]:

CCC 14-ward draft 23Jul15

CCC 14-ward draft 23Jul15


CCC 14-ward draft Community Board areas 23Jul15

CCC 14-ward draft Community Board areas 23Jul15


CCC 16-ward proposal 23Jul15

CCC 16-ward proposal 23Jul15


CCC 16-ward Community Board areas 23Jul15

CCC 16-ward Community Board areas proposed 23Jul15

You can see how addition on one new ward per community board is going to increase competition for board attention by 50% (increased board area). You can watch streamed video of how the 16-ward proposal got decided.[5]

Morally there is cause for the new, 14th seat to be elected from the Maaori electoral roll, proportionally; but mana whenua, Kai/Ngai Tahu runanga is opposed. Process-wise, bureaucratically it is too late to be debating this aspect now; it is a critical consideration for the six-year period ahead. Towards a 15th seat in 2019 or 2022? …

To summarise: the 2015/16 CCC Representation Review provides excellent opportunity to strengthen communities, by clarifying suburban/rural area maps for community cohesion and collective voice. But the review process has been hijacked by politicians of one political stripe, trying to strengthen themselves in number – at the expense of community cohesion – illegitimately. Communities must strengthen themselves and push back to ensure resident say is not further reduced in prescribed city mapping transition.

Council, please do what is right. The Local Government Commission has authority to reject your 16-ward proposal, if it is unwarranted, unsubstantiated or poorly researched, and they have done so before – last time 16 wards were proposed here. Do not leave Christchurch with no democracy-plan iron in the fire by proposing something unreasonable on our behalf. Debacle lays ahead if you do.

Kia ora. Kia kaha Otautahi!

[1] http://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/have-your-say/whats-happening-now/representative-review/
[2] http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/70361468/christchurch-city-council-mulls-options-for-size-change
[3] http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/70417628/city-councillors-favour-upsizing
[4] http://www3.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/meetingsminutes/agendas/2015/July/ see agenda of 23 July 2015.
[5] http://councillive.ccc.govt.nz/tag/agenda-item/representation-review-2014-15

Update 5 Aug:
As Christchurch youth say, ‘the communities should govern’:

C.C.Council signs off its 2016 representation proposal next Thursday, 13 Aug, and will notify it Weds 26 Aug. Public submissions on the representation review close on Friday 9 Oct. Prepare to defend and enhance community voice! http://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/news-and-public-notices/council-selects-new-ward-option-for-public-consultation/ See 13 Aug agenda here: http://www3.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/meetingsminutes/agendas/2015/August/index.aspx

Current ward/board area population sizes range from 47.7k to 65.5k approx, with the Banks Peninsula exception of 8.2k – see http://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/how-the-council-works/council-wards/ 2013 Boundary maps: Google maps overview of all Christchurch wards https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zQ_JdJhdRN14.kHXUed_Xsj74

This critical range of community board representation numbers would change to:
16-ward model: between 63.5k & 66.1k + 19.8k (higher, makes representation worse, to increase councillors)
14-ward model: between 45.5k & 71.9k + 22.0k (lower/better balanced once refinement properly completed)

An ambition-laden, cost-saving proposal, the 16-ward model about to be released is a very clear attempt to shift decision-making power out of communities and into the council chamber. Where it increases community board areas by 50% and the councillor number on them by 50%, it increases the community board member number by just 20%. Is that what communities want, and is it fair?

It looks like council abandoned development of the 14-ward model, to leave it distorted and out of contention? A substandard effort here: finish the job and do it right please!

Use http://www.mashblock.co.nz to find boundary fixes, and read http://www.cashmere.org.nz/news/Cashmere-News-Diary-12Aug2015.html for why.

Last week’s Audio Culture profile brings back memories, and myths that can now be dispelled, thanks to the internet. For the benefit of fans/supporters of The Johnnies, and of posterity, here is more information from one who was there: http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/the-johnnies

AudioCulture.co.nz 22.7.15

AudioCulture.co.nz 22.7.15

From the top; yes Jolly-Ups spawned the Johnnies, and were a ska group with ‘Rudy’ Bruce Curtis as their laugh-a-minute singer who prided himself on wearing “dead men’s suits” from second-hand stores; when he was dressed! They were great fun. Bass player Mike Smith and Rudy had been work colleagues of mine so when the time became right I joined their music progression. Mike had Neil McRobie as drummer, making a solid rhythm section, then found keen guitarist Vince Haughey. Yes, every punk was at the Gladstone pub venue those days, including Vince. That the Johnnies were never invited to play the Gladstone seemed unfair, especially to Vince.

After the Jolly-Ups had folded, so had my first bands, so by completing Vince’s three chord thrash, the Johnnies got us all going anew – after 1981, a dramatic year in NZ-UK. My role was lead vocals and sometimes second rhythm / feature guitar. We all wrote most of the songs together, and me most of the original lyrics. I wasn’t new at it, which was why I was asked to join.

From Mairehau High, 1978 was the last and schoolboys The Plague practise year, writing and learning songs and a set at a hired church hall in Burwood with my brother Chris and friends. This we got kicked out of for loud obscenity / being too punk. Fair enough! Better things awaited. Leaving school and home, our Gloucester Street, Linwood flat (just down the road from Paul Kean and Jane Walker of Toy Love) became base for Plastic Impact and entry to the Christchurch pub entertainment scene. All having jobs, we could buy equipment and beer. This punk, new wave-looking band went well and did many gigs at local halls and pubs over the next two and a half years, and had a good following. We upheld “The Plague” anthem, more original works, and some Ramones, Pistols, Wire, Buzzcocks, Voidoids, etc covers that people loved dancing to.

Impact terminated to saddened cries of “Don’t break up!” at the Arts Centre one Saturday night mid-1981, still gaining audience but setting everyone free with the same earnings share. I had been lead singer and manager. Chris (later Anzak) took a new course with The Solatudes (pre-Wastrels) sharp, tuneful rock, moving from guitar to bass, influenced by glam (also Doors, Beatles). I started learning guitar, and practised with The Orggies three-piece from the Impact circle, still on vocals doing basic all-original work. We played the Gladstone once, and nowhere else I can recall. No legacy remains of that short period (until now).

But the core punk ethos was still gaining strength, against new wave trend, and so the Johnnies formed. From punk transition came division, nee joy. This was very much an echo of 1981, characterised by civil protest stopping a Springbok rugby tour, Brixton Riots, Muldoon-Reagan-Thatcher rule, miners’ strikes, South American invasions and Falklands war. Counter-politics had voice and platform in punk. As did regular partying.

A practise room was rented, above Peaches and Cream on St Asaph/Colombo Street corner, and used diligently. Mike, Rudy and I were all students before long, and eventually shared a flat with other friends in Peverell Street, Riccarton, which was very enjoyable.

But a sexist line in the signature song “Who killed Johnny?” was required of whoever would sing for this band. As artistic portrayal of a warmly memorialised character, I chose to show willing to air it. Changing ideas is neither easy nor quick.

The Johnnies’ first performance opportunity came through a social connection of the new band, and this was to mark it permanently. A Sunday afternoon backyard drinking session hosted us, a private party at the home of casual white supremacists, for maybe a gang. The boot cause took a shine to us instantly and attended almost every Johnnies gig to come. From this notoriety grew. We never fed it consciously – listen to the recording – and this occasion would be the only negative fact about the Johnnies to unearth, for what it’s worth.

None of the Johnnies had a skinhead punk persona. But many of our audience did. Confrontations with police happened where we played, with an incident outside Caledonian Hall making a newspaper headline. So controversy began. This was the band’s first public appearance, around the height of the skinhead punk phase, when a minority were coalescing as nazi-punk (Oi). This drift necessitated the term neo-punk, or abandonment of punk altogether by some adherents, over time. There was an atmosphere of typical youth rebellion, with politics non-specific; that was most of the ‘skins’ – generally exuberant, harmless rockers, going through a youth phase. A few more gigs were found, with better detail listed by Audio Culture than I can write. A Horticultural Hall performance maybe too? A minority of times there were problems, but when there were they stuck.

The lowlight eclipsed a high for the Johnnies, at a Battle of the Bands mid-winter in the Star and Garter hotel, 1982. Playing second to last, we powered through a blistering set. The dance floor was packed and pumping, demanding more, perhaps the biggest crowd we ever engaged with. We had run out of songs. This one-and-only encore ever required of The Johnnies could only be “Who killed Johnny?” played again. Happy punters! Then to the last act, the Wastrels, newly-formed. Quieter. Much less of a dance band that day. Moderate calm anticipation. Jordan Luck was there. The judges must have picked technical skill/musicianship over sheer momentum, and gave the win to the Wastrels. It felt like injustice to most people there. The place spontaneously erupted. Boot boy and girl rage let rip on the hotel doors, lower walls and maybe washroom porcelain; I don’t know. The venue was vacated pretty promptly, before authorities arrived. The Johnnies could rarely get bookings to play after that.

Skin gig violence spelt a definite end to punk-era fun, and peaked the following year, as documented around Evasive Action. It was atypical of original punk mind-expansion and drove most far away from it.

Differences and minor scraps may have put the Johnnies off any prospect of touring together, but mostly we all had jobs or studies that we were committed to. This was a disciplined, professional outfit, in enough ways, if somewhat oxygen-deprived. The shining exception was an Otago foray, to play upstairs at a small pub with the PD Boys, who were good company. I’m unsure where they came from – Ashburton? – or what happened for them next. The PD Boys and the Johnnies contrasted the national pop “Dunedin sound” taking hold through that time, so no ovations there. A good after-event party though.

Guitar with social commentary sounds parallel to the Johnnies were Gang of Four and Killing Joke – far from Oi bands. We existed near the boundary of Oi, as did every punk band in early-80s Christchurch, of which there were several. Oi fought weakly for the heart of all these music groups and got nowhere as far as I know. It wasn’t like England, where football support tours got taken over for pitched battles around this time. In New Zealand we are typically liberal-left, always improving our embrace of cultural diversity; so too in Christchurch predominantly. If an individual chose to pitch The Johnnies to an Oi audience, in an Oi way as the archived PJ’s gig poster indicates, that was beyond democratic decision of the band and of arguable significance: an isolated and misguided expression of free speech. We were in it for the music, enjoyment and an appreciated profile, at the end of the day. Marketing is very difficult to monopolise.

Bands most closely related to the Johnnies were Unauthorised and Desperate Measures. Of course The Androidss broke ground for us all and had just played out. Ballon D’Essai surprised at the Gladstone.

Although we’d all get on fine now, at the time young musicians can be egotistical and very competitive. Fault-finding is qualification for ‘cool’ discrimination. In that light came The Star interview and slanted comment that Andrew Schmidt repeats. My non-appearance at the interview was by accident, not intention, contempt or having “nothing to say”. Quite the opposite. A lot of band organising had fallen to me, then a full-time student, including studio booking, manufacture, distribution and publicity for The Johnnies’ EP. Without gigs we needed some kind of outlet! The Wellington trip to EMI record-press enabled the Chelsea Records drop from which Schmidt’s disc purchase became possible. So it was a case of – as one wouldn’t expect – forgetting a last, most important action: the Star media interview appointment. I had set all the guys up to go, after which the date slipped my own mind as lead organiser. Unfortunately mistakes happen. This made the Johnnies look unaccountable and maybe worse.

Punk had extreme innovation and energy – it could find any direction, and did. What happened with The Johnnies was a bit like the Sex Pistols, when Glen Matlock (who brandished a picture of Karl Marx on his bass) was replaced by Sid Vicious (who could barely play). These people were many of our generation’s heroes, our inspiration, and Sid’s fate was symptomatic of steady degradation of wit, tone and point, getting ‘out of it’ on the substances of rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

The final Johnnies gig was probably its best though, at the University of Canterbury Students’ Association upstairs bar, February 1984. Our sound was really tight, powerfully motivating and on the edge. People thrilled to hear it, most often for a single time, and met it with their feet. Then their hearts and minds. The Johnnies had gained tuuturu punk mystique through struggle to exist, and a smooth routine on instruments; a story ending well.

This was a farewell party performance, for my brother’s next new band and my own, and all our friends, as we two were UK-bound. Leaving Christchurch and music behind, for a very long time, was a sure way of resolving the tension between Johnnies popularity and frustration. I sold my black Telecaster and Rockit amplifier so there could be no turning back. Politics was better pursued without a soundtrack, I was learning (like Peter Garrett).

Both The Gladstone and the Star and Garter got pulled down, before and after the Canterbury earthquakes, and are fondly remembered by very many musicians and audiences. Excellent days and nights! Thank you everyone who played a positive part. Kia ora.

Ref. http://www.failsaferecords.com/history/intro.htm

Copyright – Rik Tindall 2015 – please contact me if you wish to republish.

[Page under development – more text/pix to follow – please come back later]

A bigger farce is hard to imagine, than when Labour-aligned elected members and staff tried to subvert council process, to generate an electoral outcome to benefit their own team – at great expense to everyone else! They leave Council no real choice, but to vote more reasonable amendment instead.

This Thursday the Christchurch City Council receives a first substantive report on its Representation Review options.[1] The agenda for its meeting shows a council being backed into a very tricky corner.[2] Can this council make the right decision for its already-strained communities? It has to; this is critical. Against the deeper, further division being promulgated by Labour politicians, there is opportunity to bring communities together – right when we really need this. Here are some views to help the city councillors to reach their best decision tomorrow.

The current council electoral wards look like this –

Christchurch City Council wards 2006-2015

Christchurch City Council wards 2006-2015

– seven council wards electing two councillors each, except for Banks Peninsula that elects only one, due to much smaller population there. Even then, Banks Peninsula is grossly over-represented in a way, and its situation can very much be improved upon. Current councillor total: 13; plus one city mayor.

The Christchurch representation disparity must be fixed this year, the Local Government Commission advises, as it has gone on long enough – since Bob Parker’s city amalgamation time, in 2006.[3] The 13 councillors we now have must therefore become a different number, somehow – unless the ward number changes – and population shifts post-earthquake, east to west, add significantly to the change dynamic. So we are deciding now on what framework the 2016 elections will have, that will remedy the system imbalance Sir Bob put and left in place. But how?

Everything in Thursday’s council report has been steered to reach a conclusion of 19 councillors in 2016, as a better representative number. The whys and wherefores of this particular number I shall not go into, understanding that most of Christchurch do not want it, from knowing especially that we cannot afford it. Others can try to justify 19, when the Local Government Commission has already shown inclination to knock large numbers back. If we want our proposal accepted by central government, it has to make sense; or we will lose our say in election mapping entirely. But a particular political bloc sees advantage and easier work for themselves in using their influence to put 19 seats (it might win more of, back) in place. Is this agenda good for Christchurch? Patently not, when more rational alternatives are looked at.

19 councillors would require 19 separate wards to be created, out of the current seven. A transformation of the Christchurch political landscape, and the question is why?

Dividing historic communities, like Addington and Spreydon into multiple wards by this means, would be to create fiefdoms for empowered and more numerous local representatives – at the local community’s expense (in terms of suburb broken unity and inflated rates). Lording it over subject suburbs?

A more practical and respectful solution would be to retain the current ward total of seven, with adjusted boundaries, or even reduce it to six – with two councillors per ward, continued. This presents a choice of changing the councillor number to either 14 or 12; with the mayor’s vote added, a deadlocked council is more easily avoided than if the councillor number is odd. So this is the choice I would like to recommend, if heard.

There is a case for decreasing both the ward geographic and population sizes meaningfully, to decrease the representation ratio for fairness comparative to other cities, by choosing seven wards, on adjusted boundaries, to elect 14 councillors. One extra councillor to share the city’s workload, usefully. Potentially there could soon be four city councillors with responsibility for servicing parts of Banks Peninsula, that would do a much better job than just the present one.

So what does the six or seven ward remedy look like, on the ground, as a choice? – Most like the system we have now, only fairer (the boundaries illustrated are to be fine-tuned):

CCC 2015 Representation Review 6-ward proposal

CCC 2015 Representation Review 6-ward proposal

CCC 2015 Representation Review 7-ward proposal

CCC 2015 Representation Review 7-ward proposal

The elegance of these solutions is that the south-west of the city joins up with that part of Banks Peninsula, as does the south-east. Boundary-shift and community disruption are kept to a minimum. Riccarton-Wigram becomes a two-community-board ward by adding Akaroa-Waiwera, as does Hagley-Ferrymead by adding Lyttelton-Mt Herbert.

The real debate is whether a new, central-city-east, seventh ward needs to be created, with its community board space at Smith Street council depot in Linwood or the 53 Hereford Street council offices. But this is what we would call improving democracy – realistically.

Thursday’s council agenda shows clearly how decision-makers are being shepherded towards a conclusion of 19 councillors and 19 wards, through dull exclusion of more reasonable proposals:

CCC agenda, Representation Review report, 14-05-2015 p.267

CCC agenda, Representation Review report, 14-05-2015 p.267

I have already documented the ethical breaches and political manipulation experienced on a Labour-led community board, that fed into the above conclusions, here: NZLabour Party corruption: Paul McMahon, Christchurch New Zealand Labour politician of prejudice.[4] I have asked for council staff support to resolve the constant bullying on McMahon’s board, from Democracy Services, and received precisely none.

[1] http://www.ccc.govt.nz/repreview

[2] http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/TheCouncil/meetingsminutes/agendas/2015/May/Council14May2015FULLOpenAgenda.pdf pp.221-274

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Parker_(mayor)

[4] https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/nzlabour-party-corruption-paul-mcmahon-christchurch-ccc-newzealand-labour-politician-of-prejudice-nz/

As a community organiser, starting four years ago, I have in that time become increasingly perplexed as to why community organising was so difficult – so surprisingly, in a strong Labour area. But the answer is plain in the discourse above. As petit-bourgeois administrators, Labour’s interest is in their own bureaucratic power to divide and rule, to brook no recourse from the communities they dominate, who should otherwise be telling Labour what to do in office. That is not the way that Labour likes it!

In finding direction and well-being outcomes, communities I know are thus quite frustrated. That has to change, with the new electoral boundaries.

Kia ora. Kua mutu.

Postscript 15/5/15:

As much as #Christchurch City Council is Labour-led, it is inept, indecisive, absent staff ‘direction’
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/68478197/christchurch-city-council-split-on-whether-bigger-is-better

Though there is the momentous Long-Term Plan 2015-2025 claiming their attention currently, Christchurch city councillors showed an apprentice rating this week. With a first vote locked-up, council staff were sent away to reword their question rather than be given the clear choice, how to hasten the pace, that they had asked for. The broad decision on 2016 electoral representation must therefore be revisited, with no sign that Council has understood the major dynamic so loud in its face; that they must show competence, quickly, or they are gone!

Press poll on Christchurch councillor number 15May2015

Press poll on Christchurch councillor number 15May2015

Windmills are being tilted at, blithely, in this Labour-led representation review. Where public opinion is plain to see, and central government say on it brutal and final, the city’s right to design its electoral patchwork is foolishly being sacrificed – on the alter of contentious ideology.

A basic error has been made in putting a minority interest ahead of the majority – to keep Banks Peninsula whole ‘as one community of interest’, which arguably it is not, while dividing many much larger urban communities to achieve that through multiplication of smaller wards, to supply more councillor power bases.

Bold injustice is being prepared for proposal to Christchurch voters – to retain Bob Parker’s expired skewing of the vote, by another means.

We can do better! And we will.

19/5/15: Lianne Dalziel wants local boards for Christchurch
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/68594203/lianne-dalziel-wants-local-boards-for-christchurch

Preferential treatment of associates is a hallmark of corrupt administration, of gangster politics. In Labour Party governance, is it the norm? Is this why New Zealand does not trust Labour to be elected? Should it ever? …

As much as Christchurch City is directed by Labour influence, the very pressing question is, how far up the tree does this rot go? For without unobstructed democracy, real majority voice from below, there can be no answers or forward movement in earthquake recovery. It is our moral duty to attack and root out democratic obstacles and political corruption wherever these are found.

Abusing a position of authority to treat associates preferentially is a variety of personal corruption. And this is common practise for Paul McMahon, Labour local government leader and current Chair of Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board.[1] McMahon fails to separate his affiliate loyalty from his council governance role, as is required of an elected board chair.

Whereas on Burwood-Pegasus Community Board it is permitted for a community resilience volunteer to speak and to vote, on McMahon’s Board it is not. The difference? – Whether the volunteer is a Labour Party member. McMahon thus demonstrates a vile corruption.[2]

Another instance of McMahon’s anti-democratic pattern, his manipulation of speaking order as a corrupt Chair, came when he claimed shortage of time, cut off questions of a deputation but then invited them from his party colleagues, Melanie Coker and Helene Mautner. Accepting this preferential treatment, this subordination of community voice to their own bureaucracy, Mautner and Coker implicated themselves in McMahon’s overt corruption too. These also must answer for it.[3]

An Aucklander in Christchurch for the past ten years, McMahon lives outside Spreydon-Heathcote ward so is not part of our community; he just exploits and oppresses it. A Creationist pastor on the make, McMahon’s shoddy governance, his crushing of public voice, stems from dangerous disconnection from reality. A Labour Party is a closed, cliquey mechanism by which second-rate talent can escalate beyond its potential. And then it always comes down.

McMahon is a sloppy Chair and cannot control his own party colleagues: standing orders are not maintained and a bullying environment prevails on his watch through constant partiality in speaking rights. A council continuing to stand by Paul McMahon would be equally corrupt, equally deserving of attack.

McMahon’s dictatorial abuse of office requires that he must STAND DOWN. Immediately.

Answer the charge of corruption and take punishment, Paul. You will become the better for it. Cleanse your wayward soul.

So what did the Labour bureaucrats do once they had illegitimately barred the only trained and experienced civil defence volunteer at their table from communicating in public session with civil defence staff? They showed plain ignorance of how the city’s emergency response works, how its decisions are taken, and an eagerness to implant themselves as interference in action where up to now they have offered none. Clearly, the city is safer without such foolishness.

For those wanting to move John Key’s National government on, of which I am one, we must start with not accepting National’s imitators as replacement. The open crooks in office should not be replaced with the pretend-not-to-be crooks of Labour. Genuine Opposition, of higher ethical and intellectual quality, is essential to lead New Zealand through sustainable development, onto its next plane of prosperity. This must extend democracy, the greatest source for good that industrial society has known, and not restrain it.

Silencing competition anti-democratically is the trademark of Kim Jong-un of North Korea. Labour politics is a related fake-left breed, of no further contribution to humanity: our greatest roadblock instead, which Paul McMahon exemplifies well.

Paul McMahon is a shame upon Labour’s reputation. The New Zealand Labour Party must advise him:

STAND DOWN NOW!

Kim Jong-un McMahon

Kim Jong-un McMahon


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Haere atu. Kua mutu.

[1] http://www.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/communityboards/spreydonheathcotecommunityboard/
[2] Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board meeting, 5 May 2015.
[3] Opawaho-Heathcote River ‘No-fishing Zone’ objector, Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board meeting, 3 March 2015.

Kia ora.

Postscript – 15/5/15:

Was Dame Margaret correct when she said Christchurch City Council dealt in words other than the truth? http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8771242/Christchurch-City-Council-totally-incompetent It appears so.

For the record, the minutes in this agenda – at page 5, item 2, 5/5/15 – are falsified: http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/TheCouncil/meetingsminutes/agendas/2015/May/SpreydonHeathcoteCommunityBoard-Agenda-15%20May%202015.pdf Today I voted against the adoption of these minutes as ‘a true and correct record’, and not for the first time in relation to minute accuracy there. But this fact never gets recorded. The record never gets put straight. So here I must document the facts; to right the formative wrong.

There was no ‘interest’ to declare in relation to the agenda items listed, and none was declared. However, our board chairman insisted that there was, that I must stand down from the decision-making table during their discussion. I re-countered disagreement with him twice, and the matter was either way in fact none of his business to manage, but my own. That is the law. So Paul McMahon broke the law for personal advantage. Yet faced with the choice of public argument, in which standing orders give him all power to order anyone’s removal from the boardroom, the rational thing to do was to step away, for the time being, and keep the peace of public decorum that good offices require. McMahon had succeeded, from of a party-political agenda of aggressive bias, to create a discussion (leading to ‘perception’) of conflict of interest, illegitimately – to rudely drive competition out of the expected democratic debate for which rate-payers elect and hire us. For that work Paul McMahon characterises the council he represents as dishonest and corrupt. Christchurch City democracy is suffering.

This is the second time that Paul McMahon can be proven to have lied, in a public forum, for political advantage. And both times he has had a particular target he is trying to discredit and disable, and that is the community of Cashmere and communities’ independent ability to organise their own resilience well-being. For some reason.

McMahon’s law-breaking is important to recognise and understand. It explains why Labour, McMahon’s affiliated party, is not trusted by New Zealand electors to govern. And that is for their dishonesty, their corrupt lack of principle – their abandonment of the sector they claim, in their commercial branding, to represent.

Cast as ‘left’ on the political spectrum, Labour are in fact a dirty platform monopoly of semi-professionals, setting the pattern of misleadership for all the fake left. Fake because the general public can see straight through Labour (and its imitators, like the Greens and MANA) and are seldom fooled into electing them to significant office. Fake because Labour cannot be trusted to make and uphold law that they do not themselves respect, hypocritically. Double-standards do not wash.

The real left knows that law is all we have to cohere society, in the main, and does respect it. Being in a small political minority thus, with interests the same as the general public, the real left is most often disempowered – like the public it serves – by the wide mass of crooks in government.

Let us change this status quo, for a better now and future. Build the Left Opposition. Kia ora.

19/5/15 – Mike Yardley: Give community boards more power?
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/68636843/mike-yardley-give-community-boards-more-power “do our community boards currently comprise the requisite calibre and nous, to make the hard calls and reach firm decisions, frugally and fairly?” – The presentation in question: https://youtu.be/uPV0U6Vl3pk and board chair response: http://paulmcmahon.info/image/119538624772

20/5/15 – Observation from direct experience:

You would think that Labour-aligned decision-making on a community board would be to enact what was best for the community, but it is not. Labour representative decisions always reflect, first and foremost, what will best enhance and reinforce their power and control OVER the community, their collective hold on their seats, and what is best for the community second. Labour local reps constantly watch for good ideas that they can champion – having few of their own – to ride their way to popularity through local news reports, monopolistically. So the Labour-aligned approach to community development comes across as erratic and making little sense, being parasitic in fact. Community is much stronger without it.

[page maybe still being drafted – please check back later]

Rabbits and tumbleweed inhabit our destroyed city core, where “the possibility of building offices in the centre of the city now seems quite remote.” An effective remedy might be to ask: how much does Christchurch really need a ‘Central Business District’ (CBD)?[1]

Christchurch BNZ building - Press article/pic 160415

Christchurch BNZ building – Press article/pic 160415

If many headquarters aren’t coming back and the same demand for office space that we had won’t return, a stronger dynamic for regional recovery would be concentrated, affordable housing. True, innovative, contemporary and appealing urban density: the new central city village ‘Otautahi’ (to be named through public consultation).

The Cera-set height limits of 5-6 floors would really suit apartments though most would be half that scale. We could fix one of New Zealand’s biggest problems by starting an alternate route into new housing than Auckland, with strong supply to head off price inflation nationally. Drawing in rebuild workers at the time they are needed. And inner-city accommodation would gain value over time, inside recovery that is less guaranteed without it.

So let us address substantial need for housing first and foremost – lead the way as a watching world wants Christchurch to. With hotel density increased also, and revitalised cultural attractions including the urban innovation, the ‘CBD’ would prosper quickly again through injected custom.

Note: an expensive, overgrown and dominating convention centre is not necessary to this picture. Cathedral Square – within pleasant walking, bus and cycle distance – is for local people too: the heart of a once and recoverable happy city?

The investment development waves that set up Christchurch the way it was (Anglican settlement, gold rush, bonanza wheat, heavy industry, long stable market for animal products) are gone forever. Except for long-stayers Ngai Tahu combined with preceding and more recent iwi.

There needs to be a new, contemporary investment wave for the city to really prosper again. The $40B government rebuild contribution won’t suffice. Major corporates don’t need the same base here that they maintained in the past, so what will next define central Christchurch?

All the ‘urban density’ focus talk (of the current District Plan Review) should be given an exemplar, it seems. If the many office blocks aren’t coming back, to feed central city service industries, then repopulate with many more apartments and hotels. Built to top earthquake spec reassuringly, of course, around revitalised cultural attractions to recover strong tourism. Simple?

“People have reported being happiest in cities where they expressed the highest levels of trust for their neighbours.. We may be able to nurture more supportive relationships simply by limiting the number of people in any particular residential cluster. That may mean limiting the number of apartment units sharing a particular elevator bank, or building more rowhouses, townhouses and courtyard apartments rather than towers.” – Charles Montgomery, Happy City: http://thehappycity.com/building-happiness/

[1] http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/67780735/developer-abandons-christchurch-for-auckland April 2015 & http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/67782456/why-didnt-you-shoot-them-you-bunny 16 April 2015 + http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/67741917/christchurch-in-2050-will-it-be-vibrant-or-depressed

Thank you to all involved in making The Imitation Game film – writers, director, producer, cast and crew, etc. It is a truly insightful watch, a most excellent movie.[1] What it taught me anew was the moment of history, when war became won not by physical, material force, but by power of abstraction, by calculated information. Horrendous propaganda was met on its own terms, breaking new ground. The film too is a product of this, with shaping mythology a never-ending task – much like the mathematics profiled.

Alan Turing photo Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Alan Turing photo licensed under Fair Use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alan_Turing_photo.jpg


Alan Turing’s ‘math’ (for he studied at Princeton which clearly had consequences) – arguably the pinnacle of British science in the twentieth century – cohered a team that defeated Nazi dictatorship and the leading German science of the day: there’s was rocket technology, e.g. (more on this later).
The Imitation Game portrays gargantuan subtle shift in the World War II balance, in a thoroughly believable way, and the lesson here is one every human being will benefit from learning. Immensely.
For we are all drawn ever-deeper into the technical result of Turing’s practical and theoretical work, every day – such as your ability to read this review, over ICT.[2]
The greatest mystery of our lives unfolds before our eyes – ‘the Universal Machine’ that Alan Turing uniquely conceived.
That The Imitation Game focuses liberally on Turing’s divergent, non-mainstream sexuality, that could yield no progeny, mostly misses the point, the meaning of his life. One could ask why; or just provide an alternative script..
.
Creative Britain (no, Hollywood!) proudly relates its 1940s propaganda war victory in The Imitation Game which endeavours to extend the role: many are sacrificed for the benefit of the most, purportedly, in this scenario. Turing’s ‘character flaw’ is magnified to explain his reported suicide, in the dramatisation of his life, where much more plausible is his Cold War murder. If Turing did tell his story to the Manchester detective as the movie depicts, then he had breached the state secrecy demanded of him (also shown in the movie: “If any of you breathe a word of this you’ll be hanged for High Treason”) and signed his own death warrant, effectively.
The question is, though, which secret service assassinated Turing – the British or the American? Or both together? Despite wartime integral connection, in 1954 both were building hegemony against Stalinist Russia. Bigger than this collaboration, they were at commercial conflict with each other by then too, founding competitive computer industries out of times of deep economic depression and destruction. So the United States probably had most to gain from Turing’s premature departure. A fair assumption to make, given what was at stake and what wasn’t. Turing’s post mortem report says “Death appeared to be due to violence.”[3]
But The Imitation Game maintains form and sets up the metaphors, determinedly, of the received version of Turing’s death: the cyanide spilt in the break-in and the apple shared as chief symbolic means of disassociation remedy. In this way it regurgitates the myth of a fatally flawed personality ending itself. Too convenient. Turing wasn’t unhappy. Turing knew too much.
The Imitation Game falls short of telling Turing’s main story, of documenting his real significance – the system value he created and lost. Whereas the Soviet access to academic English intelligence was part of Allied victory and explained in the film, post-war this became intolerable. Where doubt may have existed over Turing’s promises and stability, at that time could his secrets be left at risk? No, and there was likely gain in their extinguishing.
What The Imitation Game omitted, as what happened next after the breaking of Enigma, was the probably the more important part of cryptographic history. And that was how Allied signals became superior.
The trans-Atlantic cable, dating back to telegraph days, could be tapped by Nazi submarine and obviously was – in the same way that Enigma-encoded radio messages could only be sent in plain sight, on public airways. What the secret breaking of Enigma-code allowed was a higher form of encryption to be invented, using the mathematical algorithms that Turing pioneered. It was these new mechanically induced algorithms that gave birth to modern digital computing.[4] Their immediate value was to securely encode trans-Atlantic signals, and these helped essentially to co-ordinate fighting resources and quicker, less expensively, win the war.
Turing’s time in America, as well as advancing his algorithmic capacity, eased the way for placing cypher and decyphering equipment at either end of the trans-Atlantic cable. This was the world’s first reproduced manufacture of a programmable computer, based on the Polish Bombe model prototype perfected by Turing and his team at Bletchley Park. It necessitated immediate shipping to the United States, which stopped any notion of copyright at step one, and the modern computer era was born – Made in the UK, and with the task of encryption and decryption over the first-ever leg of internet cable converted as its founding application – truly the century’s technical breakthrough, which the next century would open still at siege to.
But if the Germans could never access what was transmitted inside the Atlantic data cable at that time, neither could the Russians ever be allowed to.
Alan Turing’s liberal university background created doubt intolerable at the height of the McCarthyist witch-hunt: “Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were arrested in 1950 on charges of stealing atomic bomb secrets for the Soviets and were executed in 1953.” And, the culmination of his work, built on top of Princeton US mathematical experience – Turing’s algorithmic discoveries as intellectual property – had already been transferred; under wartime conditions bankrupting of Great Britain (duress). More than just a security risk, by the 1950s Alan Turing had been made ‘expendable’.[5]
The story of the American space program, into which German scientists were shipped wholesale post-war, is very well known: success built upon that of V1 and V2 rocketry that rained automaton terror on Great Britain during The Blitz, though ultimately failing. – To where would the yet unseen impact of the V3 be directed?
The modern computer industry is the inside, even more influential story – only the contributing country was not a wartime enemy this time, but the main United States ally held over a barrel. Capitalism’s new headquarters gathered in resources cunningly from all over the globe, enabling imperial expansion on a whole new scale.
Alan Turing’s sacrifice was one further price to be paid by a long-running but finally eclipsed British Empire: trade secrets kept safe, down-payment on Cold War security.
Postscript: Author Roger Bristow, “72, who was a founder member of the Bletchley Park trust, is a former mayor who has spent almost 30 years researching Turing and his work. He has used the post-mortem evidence to develop a theory that the scientist was carrying out secret code-breaking work before his death. And he says the FBI wanted him dead because he held ‘damaging information’ on Russian agents who had managed to get themselves into top American Government jobs.”[6]

[1] The Imitation Game http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2084970/ 2014 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imitation_Game see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

[2] ICT = information and computer technology

[3] What ‘The Imitation Game’ didn’t tell you about Alan Turing’s greatest triumph, 20 February 2015 http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-imitation-game-didnt-tell-you-about-alan-turings-greatest-triumph/2015/02/20/ffd210b6-b606-11e4-9423-f3d0a1ec335c_story.html “Alan Turing.. did as much as anyone to create the digital revolution that continues to erupt around us” – well-researched article with academic video clips, which include a still of Turing’s post mortem report: “Death appeared to be due to violence.”

[4] The computer algorithms that run our lives, 23 February 2015 http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20168287/the-computer-algorithms-that-run-our-lives “Seeta Gangadharan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Open Technology Institute in Washington DC. She discusses the automated systems, known as algorithms, that are replacing human discretion more and more often. Algorithms are a simple set of mathematical rules embedded in the software to complete a task. They allow google to rank pages according to their relevance and popularity when people conduct an internet search, and allow internet sites like Amazon and Netflix to monitor our purchases and suggest related items. But open technology advocates say there is not enough oversight of these algorithms, which can perpetuating poverty and inequality.” – 20-minute audio.

[5] Alan Turing: Inquest’s suicide verdict ‘not supportable’ http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-18561092 “the investigation was conducted so poorly that even murder cannot be ruled out.. ‘In a way we have in modern times been recreating the narrative of Turing’s life, and we have recreated him as an unhappy young man who committed suicide. But the evidence is not there.'” 26 June 2012

[6] Was Alan Turing’s death MURDER not suicide? http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/alan-turings-death-murder-not-4799480 12 December 2014

Further reading:

“a number is computable if its decimal can be written down by a machine” – Alan Turing, On Computable Numbers, With An Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, 1936 http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Turing_Paper_1936.pdf

http://www.biography.com/people/alan-turing-9512017

http://www.turingfilm.com/turing-suicide

http://www.ip-performance.co.uk/alanturingpostmortemexaminationreport.php

CHAPTER 23 “The third possibility, that Turing was murdered, might seem far-fetched, yet stranger things have been done in the national interest. There was a Cold War on. Could there have been an ‘operation ruthless’ against Alan Turing himself, now that he had managed to get himself classified as one of Europe’s security risks? In 1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy had initiated America’s hysterical ‘McCarthy era’, and by the end of 1953 McCarthyism was in full spate. McCarthy declared that homosexuals who were privy to national secrets threatened America’s security.35 In Britain, David Cornwell—better known as novelist John Le Carré—worked for both MI5 and MI6 during the 1950s and the 1960s. Cornwell told the Sunday Telegraph in 2010: ‘We did a lot of direct action. Assassinations, at arm’s length.’36 ‘We did some very bad things’, he said. There is a bare possibility that Turing was murdered, but in terms of evidence the most that can said be said for this hypothesis (apart from the curious business about the shoes) is that Turing was clearly on the security services’ radar during the previous year’s ‘Kjell crisis’, described in Chapter 10.” Ref.36 ‘British spies carried out assassinations during Cold War, claims former agent Le Carre’, Mail Online, 29 August 2010. http://www.beck-shop.de/fachbuch/leseprobe/9780199639793_Excerpt_001.pdf

Was Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing murdered? Shocking claims made by former Milton Keynes mayor http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/local/was-bletchley-park-code-breaker-alan-turing-murdered-shocking-claims-made-by-former-milton-keynes-mayor-1-6467202

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/was-alan-turing-murdered-author-roger-bristow-says-yes.html “Turing had been doing some secret work just before he died. Roger Bristow maintains that the German Enigma code cracker was killed by the FBI because he held secrets that were either intensely embarrassing or damaging. The author further said that before he died, Alan Turing had been working on operation Verona, a top secret affair, which dealt with the deciphering of wartime radio signals for the identification of Russian agents sent as spies in the United States. According to him, several of these agents were able to penetrate prominent positions in the government including one who became a personal assistant to then US President Franklin Roosevelt.” Ref. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2870499/Was-Alan-Turing-murdered-New-book-claims-Enigma-machine-genius-didn-t-kill-all.html 11 December 2014

A Poor Imitation of Alan Turing, 19 December 2014 http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/dec/19/poor-imitation-alan-turing/ “even if you believe that Turing was driven to his death, The Imitation Game’s treatment of his fate borders on the ridiculous.”

Decoding Apologies to Alan Turing: Is Post-Mortem Pardon Meaningless? 31 December 2014 http://www.thecritique.com/articles/decoding-apologies-to-alan-turing-is-post-mortem-pardon-meaningless/ “In particular, the circumstances surrounding Turing’s prosecution and death have long been suspicious. Is there more to the story, and might it require government cooperation and a team of investigative historians to get to the bottom of it? I do not mean to stoke conspiracy, the McCarthy-era paranoia about ‘perverts’ going rogue and trading military secrets for gay Soviet sex makes one wonder.”

http://sites.duke.edu/randomthoughts/2015/01/18/two-movies-about-alan-turing/

The Long Road to ‘The Imitation Game’ http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/the-business/the-long-road-to-the-imitation-game “Director Morten Tyldum and writer and producer Graham Moore tell Kim Masters how the journey of making their Oscar-nominated film about codebreaker Alan Turing started years ago at a fateful cocktail party. Former sitcom writer and novelist Graham Moore and Norwegian director Morten Tyldum may seem like an unlikely pair to be behind The Imitation Game, a movie about a British mathematician in World War II. They were brought together by an independent producer who snatched up the script after it languished at a studio for a year. Now, their indie about Alan Turing is up for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best screenplay. Today, Alan Turing is considered the father of computer science. But the genius who broke Germany’s Enigma code during World War II–saving countless lives as a result–was never publicly recognized for his achievements during his lifetime–or for many years after his death at age 41 in 1954. Rather he was persecuted for homosexual acts, which remained illegal under British laws that weren’t wiped from the books until 2003. Turing was granted a posthumous pardon in 2013.
In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a very eccentric Turing in a role that earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor. The film garnered eight nominations total, including including best picture, best director and best screenplay. But for years, it looked doubtful that the film would ever even get made. Our guests, director Morten Tyldum and writer and producer Graham Moore, may seem like an unlikely matchup on this project. The Imitation Game is Tyldum’s first film in English and former sitcom writer Moore’s first film period. They tell Kim Masters about the film’s creation story, from how it grew out of a chance run-in at a cocktail party, to a “lost year” at Warner Bros, to a hungover casting conversation held via Skype. Throughout it all, they were determined to stay true to their vision of telling the story of a genius and a hero, a man who was unfairly persecuted, and whose achievements had been kept secret for far too long.” – 20-minute KCRM.com audio.

Alan Turing 1912–1954

Alan Turing 1912–1954

Alan Turing: The Enigma biographer website.

AlanTuring.net computing history archive.

The Turing Digital Archive TuringArchive.org

Wondering why anyone should care to write this? – There are legion amateur computing fans and everyday users not even knowing that they are (upon smartphones and touchpads). We don’t all look up to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates for inspiration, and often find, when we do look, Alan Turing’s versatile AI ideas to deify instead.

The closing scene of The Imitation Game, positing a broken Turing in love with Victory machine (somehow renamed “Christopher”) as pitiful and demented substitute for true human bond, is worse than fiction. It is sheer insult, making fetish of the individual.

The gratuitous fantasy can only serve to provoke comments like “F___ you, Weinstein. Just what are you trying to hide?” …

[Text under development – more editing likely.]

Dry dry dry

Ye desolate land

Where farmers flounder

And as politicians filch

To scratch a way

Through nature’s limit

Where there is none

To be found

Under ground

Over burden

Aquifers empty

Rivers a ruin

Thy cows do curse us

Dry dry dry

New Zealand drought

Irrigation storage depleted - just-food.com pic

Irrigation storage depleted – just-food.com pic

Graphic: “Global Risk Perception Survey of 900 experts rated water crises as the ‘greatest risk’ facing the world” http://www.just-food.com/comment/new-zealand-drought-could-hit-dairy-sector_id128857.aspx New Zealand drought could hit dairy sector, 16 January 2015
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Opuha Dam Feb2015 pic - Stuff

Opuha Dam, Feb 2015 pic – Stuff

Graphic: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/66084122/drought-declared-for-larges-swathes-of-south-island Drought declared for larges swathes of South Island, 12 February 2015

References:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/10713427/Opuha-near-low-record Opuha near low record, Concern at dropping lake level, 7 Nov 2014

Flounder invasion hits Caroline Bay http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/flounder-invasion-hits-caroline-bay-2015012318 23 Jan 2015 + “a ‘boom year’ for flounder.. the best flounder season in the past 21 years” http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/65287871/Couple-face-fines-for-huge-flounder-catch Couple face fines for huge flounder catch, 22 Jan 2015

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/265927/drought-declared-in-south-island Drought declared in South Island, 12 February 2015

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/266040/opuha-dam-to-stop-all-irrigation Opuha dam to stop all irrigation, 13 February 2015

https://www.niwa.co.nz/climate/information-and-resources/drought

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/climate

Last year was Earth’s hottest on record, U.S. scientists say http://www.trust.org/item/20150116194647-nykz3 Reuters, 16 Jan 2015

Kern River, California - No Diving irony

Kern River, California – No Diving irony

Graphic: “An estimated $1.2bn (£790m) in maize, soy and wheat crops may be at risk in US states where competition with industrial water users, especially fracking, is high” http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/feb/10/us-food-oil-gas-water-shortages US harvest threatened by water-intensive oil and gas boom, 10 Feb 2015

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_27419553/driest-january-history-bay-area-swings-from-boom Driest January in history: Bay Area swings from boom to bust after wettest December

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/12/science/ap-us-sci-worse-droughts.html Study Sees Even Bigger Longer Droughts for Much of US West, 12 Feb 2015

http://drought.unl.edu/DroughtBasics/DustBowl/DroughtintheDustBowlYears.aspx

Starved for Energy, Pakistan Braces for a Water Crisis http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/13/world/asia/pakistan-braces-for-major-water-shortages.html 12 Feb 2015

The fake-left dirty politics exposed in my previous post can be seen as Labour’s as well as Mana’s fatal flaw: trade union corruption distorting the public realm. The historic task of the New Zealand labour movement is to cast representative failings aside, and chart a courageous new course for honest direct democracy today.

The clandestine back-room dealing, plots and monopoly tactics, that discredited Mana so badly in 2014, are syndicalist labour methodology that simply has to go. It isn’t good enough to replicate National capital manipulations, on behalf of a counter-posed working class, and expect to win. The world deserves much better, through ethical and modernised inclusion.

David Cunliffe, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little, David Parker and David Shearer contest for Labour leadership, 2014 - Newspix/NZ Herald

David Cunliffe, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little, David Parker, David Shearer? and …? contest for Labour leadership, October 2014 – Newspix/NZ Herald

When the Mana Party imploded in the 2014 general elections, it was from abandoning democracy. Inside Mana, in Te Tai Tonga (the south) electorate experience, Unite union was extending corrupt hegemony over the left through amoral administrators Gerard Hehir and Ben Peterson – as a short-cut image recovery from the P-seller conviction of Peterson’s predecessor. They did this by shutting down any competing leadership voice within Te Tai Tonga, using Stalinist Fightback hatchets led by Grant Brookes. This foul play synchronised Labour campaign strategy, of stopping left candidates from competing with them in any sensitive general seats, making Matt McCarten – National Secretary for Unite and David Cunliffe’s campaign manager for Labour – a master manipulator at the tree top.

All these corrupt and anti-democratic, shady and opaque, trade union dirty politics must go, for New Zealand to breathe fresh and invigorating democratic air.

In the digital age, voter re-engagement and parliamentary bloat necessitate online direct democracy in the vision for a progressive future. Watch this space for more policy details and a whole new credible politics just waiting to be born.

Kia ora.

In the New Zealand general elections of 2014, inability of fake-left leaders to portray a higher integrity than incumbent government strengthened political power in the hands of the right. This outcome shows how the fake left, and their own “dirty politics”, are functionally of the right: Maoist/Stalinist/fascist, about removing democratic choice.

The ex-Alliance / Internet-MANA machine became one for extinguishing democratic choice, on behalf of desired social-democrat legacy partner Labour. In this Internet-MANA has no lasting place at all, when the democratic movement needs to grow.

My previous posts related experience gained within the Internet-MANA campaigns, 2011-2014, that lead to conclusion that the dirty politics of ‘left’ misleaders must be exposed – for credibility to reassert itself as an electoral alternative. For the New Zealand left to become a convincing political force of integrity again, it must clean house assiduously starting now:

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/newzealand-left-recovery-start-bag-fascist-muck-internetmana-elections-threw-up-nzpol-vote2014-nz-dirtypolitics/

Let us not forget the central but opaque role of the ex-Alliance union leader Matt McCarten in this; what root his (Labour) electoral failure? Why is it those closest to Matt have proven themselves the most corrupt, by forcing their professional organising interests illegitimately into (Internet-MANA) politics?

The ex-Alliance-Internet-MANA-Labour corrupt intrigue ran very deep, through Unite Union, removing voter choice

The ex-Alliance-Internet-MANA-Labour corrupt intrigue ran very deep, through Unite Union, removing voter choice

Progress for the New Zealand left starts with ending this ‘Unite‘ troika’s careers in shady duplicity. Speak out against them now!

The Unite union corruption in the 2014 election was demonstrated many ways, but especially when one of their organisers became the only Internet-Mana list-only candidate based within Te Tai Tonga electorate area. http://mana.net.nz/mana-list/heleyni-pratley/

Kia ora

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/internetparty-in-name-only-ows-newzealand-nzpol/

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/internetparty-viability-looks-like-this/

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/internetparty-write-off/

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/new-zealand-green-mana-drift-right-nzpol-christchurch-nz-wellington-chch/

https://riktindall.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/mana-goes-begging-in-te-wai-pounamu-aotearoa-nz-chch/

To be continued..

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10524510/Davis-win-a-critical-blow-for-Harawira-Internet-Mana 20/09/2014

http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/ODA1NA==/National/Mana%20considers%20voting%20claim + http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/ODA1MA==/National/Harawira-wants-voting-blocks-removed 08 Oct 2014

http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/ODA2OA==/National/Harawira%20down%20two%20votes%20in%20recount/ + http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/ODA3NA==/National/Phone%20ettiquette%20lacking%20in%20Te%20Tai%20Tokerau/ 10 Oct 2014

http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/harawira-hired-sex-offenders-with-taxpayer-money-2014102318 23 Oct 2014

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/election-2014/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503581&objectid=11374687 John Armstrong: Mana deal was never ’till death us do part’ 16 Dec 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 560 other followers