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rolling out neoliberalism in New Zealand

While the opposition party engages in spectacular self-immolation, the governing Labour Party, under Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern, despite a stated commitment to rolling back the worst of neoliberal measures towards privatisation, decentralisation, marketisation and financialisation, continues to roll out policy consistent with the neoliberal agenda of the Mont Pelerin Thought Collective. The latest is a “new independent infrastructure body” steered by corporate interests, independent, as far as possible, from government and public oversight.

Submissions have been called for in a gesture towards public consultation. But the move has been given little publicity. The media are part of the problem. Having become a part of the market they are supposed to critique, they eat their own young.

Please go here: https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/infrastructure/new-independent-infrastructure-body/consultation

Please go here: https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/infrastructure/new-independent-infrastructure-body/consultation

And this what it says here: https://treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-statement/have-your-say-new-independent-infrastructure-body:

“Until 26 October the Treasury is seeking public and sector feedback on what a new independent infrastructure body might look like, Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf announced today.

“In August, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones announced the creation of a new independent infrastructure body, to ensure New Zealand gets the quality of infrastructure investment it needs to improve long-term economic performance and social wellbeing.

“A consultation document released today outlines proposed functions and features for the new body.

“Treasury Deputy Secretary Jon Grayson said that over the next three weeks the Treasury, working in partnership with the National Infrastructure Advisory Board, will meet representatives from the sector to discuss the proposals.  There will also be an online survey and the opportunity to make written statements, to ensure a wide range of views are canvassed, said Mr Grayson.

““I know the sector will welcome the chance to be directly involved in the detail of how this new body will work. The market, wider construction industry and local government all agree with the Government’s view that we need far greater visibility over our long-term infrastructure needs.

““The sector needs certainty about where and when investment will occur, so it can organise to meet demand. The new body will help provide that certainty while also ensuring Ministers get better advice to improve our long-term planning and investment.

““This is really important for New Zealand’s future and I strongly encourage the sector and the wider public to share their views with us by 26 October.”

“Mr Grayson said a panel of private and public sector experts would guide the Treasury in shaping advice on key issues, and support the Treasury in the delivery of the project.

“The new body will be up and running by mid-late 2019.  In advance of that date, an interim Infrastructure Transactions Unit will be established within Treasury from 1 November 2018, to provide support to agencies in planning and delivering major infrastructure projects

“Media contact: all media enquiries should be directed to media@treasury.govt.nz

“Notes to editors:

“The consultation document can be found at Consultation on a new independent infrastructure body, along with details on how to make submissions, and background papers. Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones’ August media release announcing the creation of a new independent infrastructure body can be found here.

“The panel members are:  Simon Allen (Chair, Crown Infrastructure Partners), Jim Betts (Chief Executive, Infrastructure New South Wales), Jenny Chetwynd (Strategy, Policy and Planning General Manager, NZ Transport Agency), Fiona Mules (Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Board), John Rae (Chair, National Infrastructure Advisory Board) and Sarah Sinclair (Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Lawyers and Board Member, Infrastructure New Zealand) Biographical information on the panel can be found at Experts supporting and guiding establishment of the new body).”

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what began as neoliberalism ends in fascism {or: FAKE NEWS=TWO TRUTHS}

once there are two truths, established by Friedrich Hayek in 1954, then the way is clear: all the ingroup has to do is maintain control over economic policy–and the outgroup, even to the whole of Brazil, can be told this is freedom, Bolsonaro’s fascism is fake news.

see here

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06.08.2018 Shinjuku, Roppongi

The galleries and the art—you might as well say all other ends—are as nothing to the city. Benesse’s ethically informed and ecological business, putting the engine of capitalism to scaling up a public and cultural interest, are nothing beside the electricity bill of a single district, beside just the electricity bill of Shinjuku.

We went to Mori Art Museum today—again the policing of photography, so few snaps, an exhibition tracing genealogies of architecture in a Japanese cultural context—and the idea of scale was given graphic representation, of human scale: the measurement of a standing body, the reach of an arm, the height of a seat under a seated body, the headheight of one sitting on the floor, the length of a footstep and a stride. But there is also a scale to human dreams; there is a scale to a life: and to the dreams of one living. The question What is to be done? is abstract, purely speculative, beside the question What do you want to do? What do you want to do? expresses a human scale. However What are they doing? What are they doing behind their counters? What are they doing walking in the streets? What are they doing working? What are they doing paying for the service provided? What are they doing looking at the local colour? What are they doing using the subway? What are they doing at the nuclear plant? These are questions that scale up rapidly to encompass other ends: What? What, the energy you draw from the thermonuclear reaction is just for the trains? It is just for the lights? It is just so at night you can carry on selling yakotori at night? (The energy for the hibachi barbecues comes from charcoal … but the charcoal is shipped into the centre of Shinjuku … and so is the meat, as are the vegetables, the drinks. The glasses are from factories. The beer is from an industrial brewery. Consider the size of Asahi: Asahi also supplies streetvending machines; it manufactures peppermints … at least its brand is on peppermints.)

What is every good effort at improving human life compared to the dreams of one living now? Who is not Japanese, serving in Memory Lane, at a yakotori counter barely over a metre wide. But who is Chinese, as are the two women working with her. They are studying at university. What you asked was—put in mind of the women running the ramen place in Kyoto—Is this business yours? The answer given: We are not Japanese. We are Chinese. I am a student. What are you studying? Business studies.

Where do you come from? New Zealand. I would like to go there. To New Zealand? Yes. It is big. It is bigger here! No—more… space. Yes.

To try and get closer to the question: Will you find a Japanese man? No. Japanese man drinks too much. In New Zealand… No. New Zealand men don’t drink at all! Laughter.

Another of the young women was also studying business. In Japan for 4 years, she dreamed of going to New Zealand. This was her dream. She was shy, shy about not having very much English.

Stepping out into the street, after the most expensive meal we’ve had here, we were immediately among the throngs of tourists, all attracted to these few lanes and alleys—Memory Lane!—by a recommendations of others. Look at them, with their cellphones, getting as close as they could to the natives in the area, in their tiny bars, doing their native things in their native tongues, drinking and eating and talking—pressed tightly together in their native humanity. But we are not Japanese.

And then the play of lights above, in the streets, the signage, the displays just for the sake of display: the scale of the city.

The press of people is Japanese. Genealogies of architecture in Japan, from Japan, and the Japanese influence on the contemporary world—of architecture and architectural thinking—did not include the press of bodies, the scale of one compressed on the subway. I felt the bones of the short woman in front of me, in the squeeze.

We were trying not to panic. It was the Oedo line, Roppongi to Shinjuku, the return trip from Mori Art Museum, just after 6pm. The first train that pulled up, although we were only three or four people back in the queue, we did not board. The way to board, when the press is so great, is backwards, pushing back first into the others in the doorway cavity. Then, use the door jambs and overhead lintel for leverage to pull in your legs and arms. If the doors can’t close, they will reopen, so you can push harder back, and pull in the remaining foot or hand. You are holding your bag close against you.

The second train came and J. was determined. The price of success was to be squashed tight in the door area—those standing in the aisle protected their space; those seated were safe. We were squashed so tightly I could not raise my arms. And with a righteous indignation that is embarrassing, when the press increased, with one large guy determined to get on, we yelled Hey! This did attract attention. But the large guy, using the lintel to pull his body in through the door, did get on—the skin of his face would have been pressed against the glass windows of the door, like we had seen with the earlier train: vacuum-sealed skin, faces, arms, bodies.

The fear was that at the ensuing stations—we had seven to cover—more people would be waiting, more would squeeze on: and what if the train broke down? Or what if there was some kind of scare and the crowd got spooked? What if we lost our footing and fell?

At the next station, a few got off, and more got on, but we had made our way, like those puzzles where you slide letters around a square with only one space free, to the corner, to the door opposite the one where we boarded. We had breathing space. I could grab the hanging strap and handle. Another gaijin next to me: he was using his back as a baffle and concentrating on his phonescreen.

What we decided we had meant by Hey! was Hey! That’s enough! That’s not how we do things! … And it was really unnecessary. These people, determined to board, to the discomfort of others, would know there would be another train along in minutes. Another question—because once on, J. said let’s get off, at the next station; we didn’t: If we had not got on the train, had known what we were in for, how long would have had to wait before the commuting press subsided? Or would we have walked? Right across Tokyo.

The Golden Gai, like Memory Lane—tourist gaijin prowling, cellphones at eyeheight.

But the snaps you want—the world is not designed for you either.

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a kind of record is xx

XX.

do you see the bird cross the path the rainbow on the cup the chainsaw behind the curtain the thin boy the screw perilous bridge the leaping heart the choice of many the flare of absolute conviction the style of noone but yourself the slouching police the distracted mother the ignorant the soft screenlight the milky fingers in the milky face the blue dapple the green diode the dabbing palp the paddling in buckets the pus burst the gangrene flood is it the nitrous laughter flush complete recognition so I agree I strongly agree I slightly I curvature of night I paroxysm of spine I access of weakness and and exhaustion I rub the edges off the eyes lose all abrasion the face smoothes the critic cuts the wrist the only wrist to ever hold you the wrist falls the words defeat limping we run after for a survey for a souvenir the sample jar half full is it and half again and half in our economy the craze the care the flight no flight where to name is to name again chemicals break it down the elements to praise the elements

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another joint in the phalanx of a kind of record follows (the rest on the right hand, if you like; if you do, contact using the contact top right)

XVIII.

the tongue coils across the beach you can see its pattern

can you

17 thousand bucks just to put the two pipes together

licks inside

rim of the bay and at another juncture

the tongue curls around can you do it like this

you can scream if you want to

but you cannot change back

 

why with everything over everything I thought at one juncture I’d say everything

still leave pain intact

the still the leave impact recoil or kick 17 thousand bucks

just to put the two

the just the put the pipes together you’re talking in a voice

everything over

at the unknown university with everything over

everything still

still you can

 

say tuesday why does he kill me with his love

say tuesday why does he does he

accuse me with his love

say tuesday why

use me with his love

 

the just just the two I could say everything I found your hair

a short pin with a berry red top the second most powerful man in Auckland

short

statuesque

you can see its phlegm

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#XVII for akindofrecord …

XVII.

What about the days we choose to live

Lima’s words

The idea of destiny is a phrase that says

they are coming to get us

it is completed by another

go out to meet them

in Gamboa shadows lighting fires in caves

or is it Bolaño again

lost images

poems and

a lump smells

recoil we do know at least a part of us does

questionable girls

because a girl rolls over

because of a mistranslation the part with no

regret the role of the girl is

in question and

old gods do die and new gods do

appear

appear

Jesus in a hotel room Tosches’s Jesus girls

pay to take him in mouth a part of him

Nick’s word irrumates

a part of us remembers paradise

 

but I told him the date and then said

that I had been running across the street

to help her

when I was hit by the car

Straub is it so strange in both Peter S. and Bolaño

there are casement windows

 

a lump smells

a life swerves

a green stares up

at

lunch

her legs

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here a piece for a kind of record–see lefthand margin for rest & rest

XVI.

can you say it is good travelling with you today love

left out on its centrifugal arms wind rushes in in gales the temperature drops

a severe weather watch is in place

don’t get lost in the void says Roberto good advice spinning out

of control very good I have always been told and by various people in

my life a mortal wound under skin of the air and hot breath of sun chill of a

surgery knife and the fizzing dreck mote and seed caused to infect me a pellet

burning chill and been called to cut it out I lay on my side in the corner I

the stain on the mattress one inseparable from the other heard Nico sing and

felt the pounding of the outside on the inside vein in the needle and knew

knew machine in the ghost no one must grieve over knowledge but must we risk

we must Bolaño this world

 

pop

 love is inside out

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please let me know if you are reading this kind of record by using the contact link on the left

XIV.

define muscle

shoulder whole wheel

week

axle-tree

 

in all things he will excel me

Knausgaard

Karl Ove to his son

as a son from the point of view

of love my son asks me

to reattach the sterile patch

quickly his wounded arm

 

he will be leaving is it for us

is it for us to carry on

quickly to carry on

 

define muscle turning on the axle-tree

I can think of no better thing to say and

have no greater wish to wish him

I will tell him I wish that in all things

he will excel me Karl Ove said so

 

quickly I reattach the sterile plaster

to his open sore

 

 

it is inexcusable to use the phrase mortal weight

in an invented scenario I don’t believe abstraction

gains any height from it I don’t wish to pontificate

and inexcusable to lift the straw man of the left

on the railroad of disappointment China Miéville

imagines is a railway to invent imagine

a wanker in a hotel room or suicide I am her

do I clean do I wash am I soiled it is

from the wound of my mouth justified

wound we share we who have opened

each other’s legs

 

sickles

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so it is week XIII to be added to a kind of record

XIII.

withdraw to the foyers

we shall stay friends

the wind blows hair and papers that

could be skin and human

dust the chaff hulls and seeds that

hands have released fall dismally

from a violent place I sharpened

my eyes fell on them

I can’t explain except that

I’m out of my mind

 

outside on the threshold

outside the threshold a peace

certainly they took a peace that

came from my assurance

a peace comes down to them

it still comes down to them while

I am dismal and uncertain

 

do shadows explain the clouds

do shadows explain the dark

shadows move behind the glass

do shadows explain the monstrous shapes

a monstrosity moves out in the bay

 

is it cooler here yes

you can see my fingers wiggling

from between the louvres

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3 quotes from Santiago Gamboa, sentiments for the season: illustrated with photographs by Sebastião Salgado

… beyond the borders of our beautiful countries there is a terrifying outside world filled with life, a black sun that stretches over a number of continents, only revealing its beauty after the first impact. What you see on the surface is horrible and cruel, but slowly the the beauty emerges; in our world, the surface is lovely and everything is bright and shiny, but with time what we see is the horror.

– Santiago Gamboa, Necropolis, trans. Howard Curtis, 2012, p. 446

… nothing of what we were then can be understood by anyone today, nobody believes in what we believed in; the things that were important to us provoke laughter or curiosity…

– ibid., p. 444

… the best way to live life to the full is to take it to the limits, putting your face in its deepest depths, its edges, its caverns and ruined palaces, only that way will we keep our bodies hot and our heads boiling with dreams …

– ibid., p. 447

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