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Otago politics professor warns of revolution over asset sales

February 22, 2012

Real news for real people – it seems most of us are prepared to fight for our assets.

It is the news the National Party didn’t want to hear: the more we know about asset sales, the more we hate the idea.  Luckily for them, National MP’s didn’t have to read about it in the local media, because Fairfax didn’t bother reporting it.

At a public debate hosted by the University of Otago last night, a crowd of over 200 people crammed into St Paul’s Cathedral to hear the issue of Nationl’s plans to sell state assets debated by politicians and leading academics.

Of those 200, only ten (or five percent) supported asset sales at the beginning of the debate, and, after hearing the views of some highly informed New Zealanders, only five (two and a half percent) supported asset sales by the end of the evening.

In fact, respected academic Professor Robert Patman warned that the same social forces which brought down Arab dictators were now turning against ‘crony capitalism’ in western countries, as reported by Radio New Zealand this morning.

According to Professor Patman: “The idea that the Key Government, or any other government in this country, can hoodwink the public by talking about ‘mum and dad’ investors while effectively selling major state assets to a few big corporate interests, is in my judgement, likely to encounter increasingly stiff and widespread opposition”.

No wonder the National Party’s press didn’t want a bar of anything to do with this story.

The Otago Daily Times reported the debate, and even touched on Professor Patman’s chilling advice, but stopped short of reporting it honestly.  For a more balanced report, check out Radio New Zealand from this morning.

Or, get your real news from real people!  I was stoked and flattered to get three visits to this page from the search engine term “real news for real people” yesterday.  I don’t know much about any of this technical stuff, but I do know a couple of things about news and people, and it’s an honour to know that my work fits that category.  Kia ora, whoever you are.

And kia ora to everyone else who takes the time to read, share and contribute to this increasingly meaningful protest.


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  1. I heard the same report, Neil. It was a very interesting story on Radio NZ ans will be intriguing to see how other media cover it.

    National cannot be very happy at what is happening on this issue. They are on a hiding to nowhere.

  2. and as usual, pre-recorded sound bites from key on national radio, and no shows from ministers. this party has no face and no soul.

  3. This blog is a breath of fresh air. Keep up the important work!

  4. Wowee.
    “A breath of fresh air” – I don’t know if I deserve that, but I’ll take it!
    Thanks Lissa.

  5. Definitely deserved, Neil. *thumbs up*

  6. marsman permalink

    My first visit to your blog. Great stuff. Have long been mightily pissed off with the Dominion Post’s shamefaced partisan bias. In 2008 I blamed them in a letter to the editor for aiding and abetting John Key’s hoodwinking of the public thus oiling his slither onto the Govt Benches.
    When I read the DomPost editor’s letter about a committal to fair and balanced reporting I almost vomited… but laughed hysterically instead–they would have had to look up the meaning of fair and balanced in a dictionary. When the paper talks about asset sales etc. I see them as traitors.

  7. Keep up the good work, we need to inform each other more and more now that the mainstream media has blaitantly begun to omit information. the time is coming to stand up and fight back.

  8. If you are serious about this issue, then join the resistance at

  9. has been set up to help coordinate peaceful, democratic, non-violent resistance to the sale of our assets. We do not want an Arab Spring here. It is our responsibility to act now, if we are to avoid it. We must organise and peacefully assert our democratic rights in opposition to crony capitalism, before it is too late.

    Join us.

  10. Kia ora Linda,

    Here’s the link for that site:

    Cheers folks,


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