Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Plots thicken

How the end of the month quickly comes to pass. And plots continue to thicken.

The Mega Conspiracy, as the Kim Dotcom copy-fight is now called, has raised issues of how far extradition law should go. Dotcom has never been known to set foot in America, yet still faces extradition. A British student is facing the same situation, as has an Australian national previously.
And given that MU's servers could be imminently wiped, it's been theorised that legitimate users of MegaUpload - including some notable musicians - could open Washington DC to liability claims for lost data. It's also been speculated that Dotcom's latest project, MegaBox, was effectively sabotaged because it cut out the middleman and hence Big Music itself. There's still more heat than light on the saga so far, so it's too soon to tell.

The Teapot Tapes have finally been leaked, and there's not much of a smoking gun to speak of. So if there's nothing to hide, why misuse the police as a tool of censorship? Rob Muldoon and Sir Joh cranked that up to 11 during their peak.

The Ports of Auckland dispute continues to rage on with no end in sight. If talks completely break down, the Port will potentially carry out its threat to contract out its workforce in the name of flexibility, citing a Productivity Commission report on the shipping industry. However, they probably didn't count on the watersiders' union colleagues in London, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), who have warned of declaring PoA a 'port of convenience' - which would essentially impose a global boycott on it.

In quake-ravaged Christchurch, tensions are boiling over with the revelation of its city council CEO Tony Marryatt - or perhaps that should be Tony Marie-Antoinette - pocketing a $68,000 pay hike, despite official reports proving his under-performance. And that's on top of the big hash he made of the loss-making Hamilton V8 Supercar event.
To add insult to injury, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and his hangers-on have defended Marryatt's pay rise in open defiance of all opposition and economic reality, citing 'salaries competitive with the private sector'. They're underestimating public antipathy to such cavalier dismissal at their own peril. And shooting the messenger by blaming leakers isn't helping either. Even with the official retractions - or what passes for them - it's too little, too late.
It's all a symptom of a bonus culture where those with money and power become a law unto themselves, and as a result executive salaries get horribly inflated and disconnected from actual performance. The same kind of bonus culture in Wall Street and the City of London that contributed to the GFC. Time to dust off my old Peoples Republic of Christchurch T-shirt, methinks.

The Occupy NZ crowd appears to have been evicted for good from the central parks of Auckland and Wellington. While their targets are nobly identified - corporate greed and inequality in the wake of the post-2007 Great Recession - their cause has been let down by poor execution. If anyone knows how to do civil disobedience, it's the ITF, WikiLeaks, Anonymous, the citizens of Christchurch, and above all, the Egyptian public - an obvious sign of victory is when your opponents resort to shutting down the Internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment