For those with challenged constitutions I would urge taking precautions before reading this. Because the amount of nausea inducement is high.
The latest winner of the Doofus of the week award is given to Fairfax reporter for writing an article with a level of hagiography that even surpasses that displayed in John Roughan’s biography of John Key. Pravda would be proud of the level of obsequiousness displayed.
The subject of her writing was former Minister Jonathan Coleman. Her piece reads more like a second rate PR puff piece than a serious piece of journalism.
Kirk has some form. In 2016 she published an attack piece on cancer sufferers who had been lobbying Coleman for the funding of a caner drug which showed promise in treating the cancer they were suffering from. Kirk basically said they were being offered financial inducements to front a PR campaign by the drug company which owned the patent to the drug.
The article had a real Dirty Politics feel about it. The article also smeared Andrew Little and implied there was something untoward in his having dinner with Drug company executives. Unnamed sources clearly from within the Government leaking information to denigrate the credibility of people brave enough to go public as well as Labour. Stuff had to write a retraction of some of the allegations made against the cancer sufferers, essentially withdrawing the claim that they had been paid by the Drug Company to front the campaign.
Te Reo Putake eviscorates the article in this post. His conclusion was strong:
Kirk and her employer may have decided to attack Labour as a diversion from the more obvious hypocrisy of the National Party. In opposition, National bellowed long and hard about the need for Pharmac to fund Herceptin. In Government, they’re happy to watch women die.
Shame on you, Stacey Kirk. Shame on you, Fairfax.
We deserve a free, fearless media, with stories anchored to the verifiable truth.
What we’ve got is Stuff all
On to her latest article. Get ready with the barf bags.
It starts badly with the headline, “Jonathan Coleman, quiet achiever” and goes downhill from there.
Here are some of the more nauseous inducing passages:
The vitriol on social media has never really fazed Jonathan Coleman.
He understood it, he methodically sifted through that which was political and that which was genuine, and never lost sleep over the former.
Cigar in the face blowing Coleman never impressed me as someone who was the sensitive pragmatic sort.
“Coleman’s a this, that and the other, and a killer and all this sort of crap. I mean, you know seriously, reasonable people don’t think that,” says the former health minister of the more rabid sect of the Twitter commentariat.
Stacks of “thank you” emails to him from members of the public, following his shock resignation announcement, provides a weighty counter.
It is not clear if the emails are thanking him for his service or thanking him for going at last. And I guess he does not regard the chorus of people complaining about the underfunding and run down of the health system as being “reasonable”.
Up until six months before the election, Coleman says health was reasonably uncontroversial.
Not on planet reality. And hiding the bad news such as the $14 billion deficit in health infrastructure funding is as controversial and as expensive an action by any Minister I have ever witnessed.
He might be speaking politically; there have always been fires to dampen within health. Major financial blunders by Health Ministry officials, vocal campaigns for brand-name drugs, DHB deficits and staffing woes – the controversies never end.
No mention of the $14 billion infrastructure deficit. And it is interesting that the financial blunders are always someone else’s fault. So much for the idea that the Minister is ultimately responsible.
“But Labour eventually just turned all guns on it. And they campaigned hard on funding and of course they couldn’t make a dent in the economy. In health you can always find cases to illustrate the point that you’re trying to make.
The election result would suggest otherwise.
“When you’re dealing with people in desperate situations and, frankly, without the power to help them without fundamentally changing the model to favour some individuals over others. That is really difficult. You’re in charge of a big system – $17 billion, that’s bigger than the dairy industry. Ultimately, in the health system you are looking to deliver the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
“Over time, the test of that is in the big statistics.”
Here is one big statistic. $16 billion in unmet infrastructure costs. The symptoms are sewerage seeping out of hospital walls. And another. A $2.3 billion annual deficit when the ageing population and population growth are taken into account.
“But if we were going bad in health, I tell you what, we wouldn’t have polled 46 per cent on election night.”
Funny I thought the final result was the important one.
A chronic case of over-achieving, that can’t be done without a steely-cold focus.
I am feeling queazy …
He also worried about how people would feel about his leaving the electorate so soon. Costing the country $11 million in by election costs because you decide to go shortly after you have been elected should cause worry,
“I was concerned how people would view that I was leaving Parliament, I was concerned how people would feel in my electorate.”
But he says the overwhelming response has been positive.
I feel positive he is going too. I am not sure this is a good thing for him.
There is no mention of the controversies, (did I mention the $14 billion infrastructure deficit), the failure to allow for population growth, the appearance of third world diseases of poverty in pockets of New Zealand. Just this superficial, uncritical, once over treatment of one of National’s more contentions Ministers. And it is not as if she has been told about the multitude of problems the Health Ministry is facing.
Stacey Kirk for your obsequious, servile, ingratiating, sycophantic, and fawning treatment of one of the country’s most important issues you are doofus of the week.