web analytics

Ignoring the warning signs

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, November 6th, 2012 - 17 comments
Categories: disaster, john key, national - Tags: , ,

Our human cognitive systems are a flawed hodge-podge of evolutionary hacks. Among our many failures of reasoning, we tend to believe what we want to believe (irrespective of the facts), and we tend to be bad about taking future consequences into account (we focus on short-term factors). Put these two failures together, and we people, both individually and collectively, have an astonishing capacity to ignore “warning signs”.

Individually everybody does this to a certain degree. Collectively we see it in politics all the time. Both “Left” and “Right” are guilty, though study after study has shown that the Right / political conservatives are especially good at seeing the world through their ideological filters, ignoring the facts and warnings, hence for example their wide-spread refusal to accept the reality of climate change.

We’ve seen two particularly clear and strong examples of ignoring the warnings in NZ politics in the last two weeks. The MSD ignored multiple warnings about vulnerabilities in their computer security. And of course the Department of Labour ignored multiple warnings about mine safety.

There are plenty of other cases ongoing. The National government is determined to ignore warnings on the damaging effects of its economic “austerity” programme, “standards” in schools, the risks of off-shore drilling, the dangers of climate change, the unsustainability of superannuation, and so on and so on. In fact Key seems to make it a point of “pride” to ignore warnings from professionals and scientists (such a tough guy eh).

The legions of the dangerously deluded keep Key popular, so that proves that everything is fine, right? We can ignore all the warning signs, we can carry on with destructive economic, social and environmental policies. We can carry on with short-term, ideological thinking. Everything will be just fine and dandy. Right up until the point where it isn’t.

17 comments on “Ignoring the warning signs”

  1. Adrian 1

    About the deluded keeping Key in such an elevated underserved status my 18 year old made an interesting observation on the “gay” and Beckham remarks. His opinion is that it is that little personal stuff that will be his undoing particularily among the young. They are a generation who have been bought up on the non bullying regime, it won’t be the big ( to us ) issues of accountability and bullshitting because in their opinion thats what politicians have always done, so he’s just true to type.

  2. PlanetOrphan 2

    Healthy paranoia is a good thing, eyes open, well said Anthony.

  3. ianmac 3

    Yes Anthony. When you line up the series, and join the dots, a pattern has emerged. It may fit in with John Key’s declared “pragmatic” approach. This may cause the multiple contradictions as one position obstructs another.
    Freedom of choice + Trust = Leaky Homes.
    Self regulating + Hands off = Mine disaster.
    Self regulating + Economy = Polluted sick Rivers.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    Key assumes that everything that has been proven a disaster in other parts of the world will be different in his and his country’s case.

    Of course the Right generally pursue short term “solutions” which will mostly benefit the already powerful and rich.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Remember Key comes from a corporate executive class used to destroying the organisations they lead and clients they serve, and still walking away with massive remuneration in salaries and bonuses.

  5. I remember hearing an early news report on National Radio just after Pike River explosion that the Clark Government had signed off on plans to increase the air flow in the mine, but the incoming Government had put all assigned work on hold until they had accessed the situation.

    Only heard it once, but that often happens hearing something important on the early news then it is deleted or modified throughout the day.

    • burt 5.1

      I heard something like that and I though the Green’s had requested the new vent be scrapped for environmental reasons… Snails or something similar might have been upset by the process of installing a new vent….

      • One Tāne Huna 5.1.1

        Funny how the Royal Commission report fails to mention it. Perhaps you’re full of shit or something.

      • Rob 5.1.2

        Some people only hear what they want to!
        You are one of them you are in good company with John Key just keep clipping the ticket and don’t add any think of value.

  6. Good article thanks

    Incidentally, I find the link between the word ignoring and the word ignorance entirely profound.

  7. KJT 7

    Agree with most of this.

    However I am surprised at the equally ignorant repeating of the right wing meme, “we cannot afford super (the dole, welfare, social insurance, State infrastructure)!

    Code for we cannot afford to feed and house our elderly. Yeah right.

    In fact super has been so successful in removing poverty amongst the elderly it should be extended to everyone else.
    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/on-new-zealands-retirement-income.html

    Stopping the 3.5 billion profit the banks take out of our economy would help pay for it.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Stopping the 3.5 billion profit the banks take out of our economy would help pay for it.

      Yep, the only reason why we can’t afford anything is because of a few people taking all the wealth and leaving the country with nothing.

  8. Lloyd 8

    How about increasing the time between WOF checks?
    Reminds me of how freeing up the sort of material you could build your house from would reduce the cost of building houses and help reduce bureaucracy…..
    Remind me how effective stretching out the time between WOF checks is when a car with bald tyre skids out in a storm and kills me…

  9. Glg 9

    You realise John Key wants no oversight of deep sea oil drilling. companies will only have to say they will adhere to ‘best practise’. No regulation at all.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Plumber shortfall highlights gaps in trades training
    A shortage of skilled plumbers highlights major gaps in the Government’s trades training which is having serious implications for our construction industry, Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa says. “Information obtained under the Official Information Act shows an undersupply… ...
    1 day ago
  • Plumber shortfall highlights gaps in trades training
    A shortage of skilled plumbers highlights major gaps in the Government’s trades training which is having serious implications for our construction industry, Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa says. “Information obtained under the Official Information Act shows an undersupply… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rates rebate on the cards for retirement village residents
    People living retirement villages could be entitled to a rates rebate after a Labour Member’s Bill was today pulled from the ballot, Labour’s Senior Citizens spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. “Most residents in retirement villages cannot currently claim a rebate because… ...
    2 days ago
  • Rates rebate on the cards for retirement village residents
    People living retirement villages could be entitled to a rates rebate after a Labour Member’s Bill was today pulled from the ballot, Labour’s Senior Citizens spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. “Most residents in retirement villages cannot currently claim a rebate because… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government’s weak trusts inquiry lambasted
    The weak and absurd scope of the Government’s inquiry into foreign trusts has been lambasted by Transparency International, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In a scathing statement released today, the anti-corruption watchdog warns that the John Sherwan-led inquiry into foreign… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government’s weak trusts inquiry lambasted
    The weak and absurd scope of the Government’s inquiry into foreign trusts has been lambasted by Transparency International, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In a scathing statement released today, the anti-corruption watchdog warns that the John Sherwan-led inquiry into foreign… ...
    2 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Bill passes first reading
    Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Bill passes first reading
    Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wellington Town Belt Bill becomes law
    The Wellington Town Belt will grow by 120 hectares after the passing today of the Wellington Town Belt Bill, Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson says. “The Town Belt is loved by Wellingtonians as a green and open space… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wellington Town Belt Bill becomes law
    The Wellington Town Belt will grow by 120 hectares after the passing today of the Wellington Town Belt Bill, Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson says. “The Town Belt is loved by Wellingtonians as a green and open space… ...
    2 days ago
  • 26 weeks paid parental leave the best Mother’s Day present
    If National truly values motherhood, they would drop their threat to scupper 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “As New Zealand prepares to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, John Key should remove his threat to… ...
    2 days ago
  • 26 weeks paid parental leave the best Mother’s Day present
    If National truly values motherhood, they would drop their threat to scupper 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “As New Zealand prepares to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, John Key should remove his threat to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Peering through the Huntly coal smokescreen
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges revealed in Parliament this week he has no idea what majority state-owned power companies are up to, when he wrongly claimed that Genesis Energy would not burn coal at Huntly unless there was a shortage of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Peering through the Huntly coal smokescreen
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges revealed in Parliament this week he has no idea what majority state-owned power companies are up to, when he wrongly claimed that Genesis Energy would not burn coal at Huntly unless there was a shortage of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Burger King dumps caged eggs!
    I’m not a fan of fast food companies, but a few days ago I was thrilled to see fast food multinational Burger King announcing that they are going to dump caged eggs in New Zealand. They join other food companies,… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Burger King dumps caged eggs!
    I’m not a fan of fast food companies, but a few days ago I was thrilled to see fast food multinational Burger King announcing that they are going to dump caged eggs in New Zealand. They join other food companies,… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Smoke and Mirrors on Pharmac funding
    Today’s announcement by John Key and Jonathan Coleman on Pharmac funding is a classic piece of financial jiggery-pokery, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “While I welcome any boost to the Pharmac budget this does not go far enough. ...
    3 days ago
  • Firearms Inquiry calling for submissions.
    Parliament’s Law and Order select committee (of which I am a member) has today called for public submissions to its firearms inquiry. This conversation should have been live since last year, when the Police Association started talking about their concerns… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    3 days ago
  • Firearms Inquiry calling for submissions.
    Parliament’s Law and Order select committee (of which I am a member) has today called for public submissions to its firearms inquiry. This conversation should have been live since last year, when the Police Association started talking about their concerns… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    3 days ago
  • National playing politics with children’s lives
    John Key’s Government is playing political games with the lives of children by refusing to support a bill which will ensure every home in the country is warm and dry, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “National says that… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unemployment rise demands Budget response
    The rise in unemployment shows the Budget must contain concrete plans for job growth that deliver for all New Zealanders, not just the few at the top, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After eight years under National it is… ...
    3 days ago
  • School funding falls by $150 per student
    Parents are having to fork out even more for their kids’ education after the Government cut school funding per student by $150 in the past year, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “According to the Education Ministry, its total per… ...
    3 days ago
  • School funding falls by $150 per student
    Parents are having to fork out even more for their kids’ education after the Government cut school funding per student by $150 in the past year, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “According to the Education Ministry, its total per… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government must clamp down on dodgy PTEs
    The Government must ensure all international students coming to New Zealand are legitimate after a survey of those approved in Mumbai found only 9 per cent had genuine intentions and met English language requirements, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government must clamp down on dodgy PTEs
    The Government must ensure all international students coming to New Zealand are legitimate after a survey of those approved in Mumbai found only 9 per cent had genuine intentions and met English language requirements, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Chance to crack down on foreign speculators
    If John Key is serious about stopping foreign speculators driving house prices out of the reach of Kiwi families, he will support Labour’s Member’s Bill to ban offshore investors from buying existing homes, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “My… ...
    3 days ago
  • IRD had foreign trusts review on action plan
    The IRD was so ready to review foreign trusts it had the review on its action plan in November 2014, just before the Revenue Minister met with John Key’s lawyer, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The IRD… ...
    3 days ago
  • IRD had foreign trusts review on action plan
    The IRD was so ready to review foreign trusts it had the review on its action plan in November 2014, just before the Revenue Minister met with John Key’s lawyer, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The IRD… ...
    3 days ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Māori
    I wrote this blogpost sitting in Parliament listening to the Attorney General’s first reading speech on the Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress and Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Ranganui Claims Settlement Bill. He has acknowledged the impact of colonisation that made… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Rebuilding Christchurch – a lost opportunity?
    In rebuilding Christchurch, the city has a rare chance to build in a sustainable, creative and people-centred way. We can create a city that is so much more than a simple re-construction of buildings and transport links. Christchurch could be… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    4 days ago
  • Rebuilding Christchurch – a lost opportunity?
    In rebuilding Christchurch, the city has a rare chance to build in a sustainable, creative and people-centred way. We can create a city that is so much more than a simple re-construction of buildings and transport links. Christchurch could be… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    4 days ago
  • Minister must ensure 111 issue is fixed
    The Police Minister must ensure the 111 fault is fixed as an urgent priority as a 40 minute wait can be the difference between life and death, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. “The Police have said the fault lies… ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing
    The National Government has made New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The latest International Monetary Fund report shows New Zealand had the world’s second fastest growth in house prices at the… ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing
    The National Government has made New Zealand a world leader – in unaffordable housing, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The latest International Monetary Fund report shows New Zealand had the world’s second fastest growth in house prices at the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Hospital meals making you sick
    I don’t know about you but I felt a bit sick watching Health Minister Jonathon Coleman eat supposed Dunedin hospital food last week.  Dunedin people have tolerated a crumbling hospital, lower access to services, longer waiting times and gross food… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    5 days ago
  • Hospital meals making you sick
    I don’t know about you but I felt a bit sick watching Health Minister Jonathon Coleman eat supposed Dunedin hospital food last week.  Dunedin people have tolerated a crumbling hospital, lower access to services, longer waiting times and gross food… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    5 days ago
  • Key needs to stop shifting and come clean
    John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Yet again information has to be… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key needs to stop shifting and come clean
    John Key’s position on his lawyer’s offshore trusts lobbying has changed yet again with the Prime Minister admitting he told Todd McClay that Ken Whitney had approached him, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Yet again information has to be… ...
    5 days ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Revolutionary art in Palmerston North
    Last night I was a judge at the May Day Cup, an annual theatrical event which celebrates International Workers Day. The event was organised by stalwart unionist Dion Martin and included a range of performers competing for the Cup. This year… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits Zaatari refugee camp
    Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, Zaatari in Jordan, a day after seeing New Zealand troops at Camp Taji in Iraq. Mr Little spent several hours in the camp, meeting… ...
    6 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    7 days ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    7 days ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    1 week ago
  • OIO must explain Argentine pollution prosecutions
    The Overseas Investment Office (OIO)has questions to answer about how it safeguarded our sensitive land by allowing foreign investors with criminal prosecutions to purchase Onetai Station in Taranaki, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe.   “Rafael and Federico Grozovsky… ...
    1 week ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    1 week ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere