Obesity policy ignores elephant in the room

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 20th, 2015 - 182 comments
Categories: health, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Obesity is a difficult topic to write about, so some quick preliminaries. First, people have a lot of natural variation in healthy body shapes and types, it is perfectly possible to be “fat” and healthy. Second, obesity is in part a socioeconomic issue and a function of the way that poverty limits options. Third, “fat shaming” is nasty, unhelpful, and far too prevalent.

Having said that, one doesn’t need to pick on individuals to acknowledge that collectively the incidence of obesity in rich countries is increasing, that it represents a significant public (and in many cases personal) health issue with multiple consequences, and that NZ is doing particularly poorly in these respects. As a society we have a problem.

Back in the heady days of opposition National regarded cynically portrayed government attempts to tackle obesity as nanny state meddling. One of the first things they did as in incoming government was to scrap Labour’s effective Healthy Eating-Healthy Action programme and guidelines around junk food in school (such a blow for freedom!). But looking at health costs in government isn’t so funny, and even the Nats have been forced to take action. Of a sort:

Government targets overweight mums, toddlers, to combat childhood obesity

The Government has announced a wide-ranging package to tackle childhood obesity, which is set to overtake tobacco next year as the leading preventable health risk.

A total of 22 separate initiative announced by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman include referring more overweight children for dieting and exercise interventions from the age of 4.

“At the core of the plan is a new childhood obesity health target. This target will be part of the health targets programme from 1 July 2016,” Coleman said. “By December 2017, 95 per cent of children identified as obese in the B4 School Check will be referred to an appropriate health professional for clinical assessment and family based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions.” …

National’s policy is to try and shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.

But Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, a paediatrician, says the moves will not cut obesity and could even harm children. He said on Monday there was no evidence that referring more children to health programmes would shrink their expanding waistlines.

“Until we address the underlying drivers of obesity, counselling and referral to programmes, however well intentioned, will have very little effect.”

Exactly.

There are probably several “underlying drivers of obesity”, but one of the big ones is the sugar that is increasingly built in to our diets. It is well studied in the academic literature (eg eg eg eg). It is widely covered in the popular literature (eg eg eg eg). So what do we do about it?

One of the common suggestions is a tax on sugar. Taxes work for reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption (here’s the MSD recommending alcohol tax, the government using tobacco tax to reduce consumption, and the Public Health Association recommending both taxes). But the Nats have ruled out taxing sugar (and fat), despite the advice of their own chief scientist:

Don’t rule out sugar tax – PM’s chief scientist

The Prime Minister’s chief science adviser says it is “silly” to rule out sugar and fat taxes to tackle the obesity epidemic.

But that’s essentially what the Government has done, with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman last month saying there were no plans for any kind of regulation, and Prime Minister John Key claiming there was nothing wrong with eating junk food, “as long you just don’t do it every day” …

So why use tax as tool to reduce alcohol and tobacco, but rule it out for sugar? Could it have anything to do with the National connected sugar lobbyists like Katherine Rich, the “Taxpayers Union”, and Dirty Politics star Carrick Graham? Surely not.

Whatever, as it happens I agree with the sugar lobby – to an extent. Taxing sugar isn’t the general solution. It works for alcohol and tobacco because these are inessential “luxuries”. Food is different. The problem with taxing sugar is that manufacturers will keep adding it, and pass on the cost to the consumer. Highly processed sugar rich food will get more expensive, and that doesn’t help families who are eating such food because it is the cheapest option and makes their limited dollars go further. So by all means tax unnecessary items like sugar drinks, but I think a tax on sugar in food would be counterproductive.

What we need is regulation. Reduce the sugar content in processed food by law without increasing the cost. If more can be done to bring down the cost (and increase the availability) of healthier food options then so much the better. Can I leave you with the words of Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, as quoted above, once again:

“Until we address the underlying drivers of obesity, counselling and referral to programmes, however well intentioned, will have very little effect.”

182 comments on “Obesity policy ignores elephant in the room”

  1. Paul 1

    Radio New Zealand gets heading wrong.

    Writes ‘Government tackles childhood obesity.’

    Should have written ‘Government fails to tackle childhood obesity.’
    Or maybe the French tackled Julian Savea.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/287423/government-tackles-childhood-obesity

  2. RedBaronCV 2

    As I posted in daily review yesterday (please feel free to shift it) the current policy heavily targets about 16,500 women & children to blame and shame leaving the remaining 1,000,000+ to continue eating chips and drinking beer and coke while they laugh at them and assume no personal responsibility

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    National regarded government attempts to tackle obesity as nanny state meddling.

    That’s pretty charitable. I’d say they saw an opportunity to score political points against the nation’s interests. Their subsequent behaviour demonstrates that they have zero philosophical objections to state intervention.

    cf: Katherine Rich’s conflicts of interest.

  4. Benby 4

    At a kids clothing store, part of a large chain, my 3yo was almost offered a lollie last week. At least the lady asked me first. Please discuss.

    • Kiwiri 4.1

      Zzzzzz

      • The Fairy Godmother 4.1.1

        But it is a good point. If we as a society want to blame parents for obesity its hardly fair if random people in random places hand out kids sweets.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          Why do people look to ‘blame’ at all? Judgement being such a massive part of the problem. It’s a pernicious narrative, from “personal responsibility” to “bad choices” to “bad parents” and down into the mire.

          As for candy, I just looked up its history…and medical origins… 🙂

        • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1.2

          In the dairy the other day.

          A plastic toy in the shape of a baby’s bottle, complete with nipple…full of lollies.

          Arrrgh!

          Most fun?

          Take small children to the supermarket late in the afternoon and DON”T tell them off when they grab at the chocs and lollies in the checkout aisle.

          Serves the supermarket right.

      • Benby 4.1.2

        Not sure you have kids. Let me tell you that one lollie can ruin a whole lot of things. So many levels.

        * The sugar and the colouring gets that small body all hyped up, then after about 15min super cranky, throwing a long hard tantrum. That nice Sunday with daddy is then dead.

        * Habit forming. What if everyone on the street offers them lollies…

        * Diabetes inducing. Ask your GP about that.

        * The next meal of veges and chickpeas may just not happen.

        etc
        etc

  5. heather tanguay 5

    Ffs wake up Coleman, it is not that hard. HEALTHY FOOd is too expensive, low income and beneficiaries can not afford to but it.
    take the gst off fresh food, do not humiliate low income people any more.
    when you can not buy milk, have to buy $1 bread, eat cheap filLing burgers which are discounted, of course you and your children will be chunky.
    the cost of fresh foods are prohibitive.
    yes, stop advertising and the selling of fizz at schools
    do not persecute people can not afford anything else.

    • infused 5.1

      It’s actually not that expensive if you educate yourself on healthy food.

      Unless you want to buy organic/free range everything.

      • tracey 5.1.1

        HEHA educated on healthy food, from the very young. But your government didnt support educating the very young on the right way/things to eat.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.2

        Of course it’s expensive: if National start educating people on healthy food, Cabinet Club takings will fall and those MPs pushing the policy will find themselves deselected.

      • tracey 5.1.3

        yes, and they should be reducing their debts too.

        it’s like some people just don’t know how to use $14.50 per hour properly

        🙄

        • infused 5.1.3.1

          Sounds like it.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.3.1.1

            Why is the vile blame culture you espouse so full of hate?

            • tracey 5.1.3.1.1.1

              cos everything infused has was achieved with no state support and just through his/her extreme hard work and intelligence. never got abreak from anything or anyone.

            • tracey 5.1.3.1.1.2

              The minimum wage rates are reviewed every year. The current adult minimum wage rates (before tax) that apply for employees aged 16 or over are:

              $14.75 an hour; which is:
              $118.00 for an 8-hour day or
              $590.00 for a 40-hour week or
              $1,180.00 for a 80-hour fortnight. ($994 after tax)

    • yabby 5.3

      In preparing our children for their future we need to dispel the myth that slow and healthy food ways is expensive. It is not expensive to live frugally and healthily – not in the least.
      Fresh bread can be made, rather than bought for less than a dollar a loaf. Porridge and weetbix start the day very cheaply, while bread, grains, pulses with tinned fish with vegetables, cheese can constitute a cheap lunch. Meat for four along with root and leafy vegetables can cost as little as $2-3 p.p and limiting desserts and snacks to dairy (cheap powdered milk based treats)popped corn, rice and fruit – fresh in season or dried is cheap and healthy.
      All it takes is a little forethought and some organisation. I’d suggest that it’s a lot less effort and money than getting in a car and dashing down to Maccas for the burgers you mention.
      Satisfying a child’s impulse gratification over learning the value of preparation and patience is wrong. Patience in the young child is an indicator of success or otherwise in later life.

      *Use dried milk
      *Bake own bread
      *Learn to use pulses
      *Invest a slow or pressure cooker
      *Grow your own food – potatoes grown in tyres feed a family for a year as cana few tomato plants and a freezer

      • McFlock 5.3.1

        what the hell are “pulses”?

      • Ergo Robertina 5.3.2

        I disagree with pretty much all of your comment – you appear to have little understanding of how NZ has changed socially and economically in the past 35 years – but I have to say the typical Kiwi attitude to pulses does rather grate.
        They are a source of cheap protein, easy to use, and vastly under-rated. The typical Kiwi assumes you’re vegetarian if you use them, which is bizarre (for me it’s actually closer to the truth these days, but I used to eat meat once a week or so when I preferred decent quality and less of it).
        I’m a fan of mung beans, which get a bad rap for no reason. They’re easy to sprout, and I’d have them on the go all the time if I didn’t live in the subantarctic climes of the South. But in the warmer months sprouts are a useful addition to any meal.
        And mung bean stew with canned tomatoes, frozen spinach, and whatever else is around is a good standby at any time.

    • Chch_chiquita 5.4

      Agree. A walk around the supermarket will demonstrate all that is wrong with our diet. Too expensive fresh food, too much cheap processed food.
      I would add to that the ever disappearing local vege shop so that people have to drive to the supermarket. Add to that the need to work more and more hours, which cuts into the available free time people have, and voilà you have the roots to start an obesity problem.

      • crashcart 5.4.1

        They had a great line in “That Sugar Film” where they tell you when you walk into a supermarket go to the produce lane which is at the start then go straight to meat and Dairy. Skip every tihng in between.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Singapore conquered obesity.

    How? With strong policies which trampled on multi-national corporations’ “freedom” to sell junk food (poisons).

    When your purpose for being in government is to increase the wealth of the few at the expense of the many, you don’t have options to create a healthier, fairer country.

  7. savenz 7

    I’m pro a sugar tax and regulation. A lot of stuff people are eating that is cheap is full of sugar and has not nutritional content. It should even be allowed to be sold as food and the people eating it, do not understand it is bad for them.

    Has anyone in MSM bothered to point out that the Natz (was it under urgency?) scrapped Labour’s effective Healthy Eating-Healthy Action programme and guidelines around junk food in school and now we need to use taxpayers money to try to clean up the mess, and against their chief scientist and commissioner advice on what to do?

  8. There are probably several “underlying drivers of obesity”, but one of the big ones is the sugar that is increasingly built in to our diets.

    If by “sugar” you mean stuff ending in “ose,” sugar is indeed bad but in overall terms not that big a deal. However, if by “sugar” you mean the stuff ending in “ose” and the more complex ones generally known as carbohydrates (sometimes also by the grotesque misnomer “healthy food”), you’re absolutely right. However, “experts” are the problem, not the solution.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      🙄

      Do you cherry-pick expert engineers too? Why are they not “the problem” in their field? Is the premise distorted by personal bias much?

      • Psycho Milt 8.1.1

        Expertise in the fields of science, maths and engineering is fundamentally different in nature from “expertise” in the social sciences. It’s possible for engineers and scientists to be influenced by correlation = causation errors and confirmation bias, but it isn’t their stock-in-trade.

  9. Chooky 9

    Interesting if you look at photos of kids and adults in the 50s and earlier …they are all skinny

    Interesting also that doctors are saying that a referral for obesity is not going to do anything

    imo for what it is worth:

    ….all kids should be taught vege gardening and how to make easy cheap vegetarian meals using lentils , rice, potatoes, vege soups, pasta, eggs, porridge, salads, fruit smoothies using yoghurt

    …and meat dishes using cheap cuts of meat( eg slow cooking stewing steak, liver, kidneys…)…curries and spices for taste

    …gluten free flour, olive oil and butter for cooking

    ….and water/ milk/tea/coffee for drinking( 1 litre of water a day)

    …with the emphasis that home cooking is best

    taxes and red warning stickers should be put on products…soft drinks and anything supposedly healthy bought with excessive amounts of sugar eg. milo , baked beans,

    …exercising /walking for an hour a day is also good…especially when so much time is spent on computers

    (btw… i don’t follow my own advice)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      walking

      Bingo.

      Oh, and gluten…a bit of a social contagion…better clutch at belief a bit harder ‘cos the facts won’t go away.

      Ditto Aspartame.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Piece of trash reporting there. Of course gluten intolerance isn’t a discrete entity, thus studying it as if it is is a redunancy (if I were to put it kindly). A really good example of where reductionist science fails when it doesn’t need to though.

        “walking

        Bingo.”

        Where the science is getting pretty good is at demonstrating that fat metabolism (and thus managing body size, diet, nutrition, health etc) is far more complex than balancing calorie intake and exericse each day.

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          Ditto…. that puts it very succinctly weka.

          The whole science around human nutrition is complex, evolving and quite fascinating. For instance after decades of telling us saturated fats are bad, it turns out they aren’t. The entire field is slowly being turned on it’s head.

          In far too many debates (from climate change onward) we make the mistake of thinking ‘science = infallibility’. It isn’t. People fool themselves all the time; and between this and their inherent tendency towards reductionism, scientists get it wrong too.

          Of course this doesn’t mean the opposite is true either, that therefore every idle fantasy and crackpot delusion on the internet must therefore be gold-standard verity.

          Combine this with our weirdly unhelpful habit of binary thinking – and we erase all the nuances and alternate possibilities from far too many debates.

          • weka 9.1.1.1.1

            yep, let’s apply critical thinking to everything 🙂

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            I think part of the issue is the communication of research on complex issues and the state of knowledge we have.

            e.g. “bad” fats vs “good” fats (hell, also where you keep it as well as what types you eat) is the endpoint of the pathway beginning with research, through political intervention, food marketing, and the yoyodiet/healthsupplements industries, and then through the media.

            Hell, a similar example is the number of posts currently in my news feed that have artists’ impressions of the dyson sphere that we’ve apparently just discovered. Well, that or an extrasolar debris cloud, but that last bit is always buried in the small print.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2

          Speaking of good science, I note that the debunking was carried out by the original author, irrespective of the reporting, trash or otherwise.

          I further note the plethora of peer-reviewed articles drawing the same conclusion. Still, special woo is special woo, freedom of religion and all that.

          • weka 9.1.1.2.1

            I bet you still think fat is bad too.

            The thing I find so interesting about such an intelligent person as yourself is the intellectual dishonesty. Try responding to the actual points instead of from your own superstition and prejudice.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1.1

              some people have raised rationalism, materialism and scientism to the status of a high religious faith.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                How would you know? Some people think evidence, despite its acknowledged limitations, carries more weight than belief. Some people think you have to shake it, not stir it, or the woo won’t work.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Some people think evidence, despite its acknowledged limitations, carries more weight than belief.

                  Sure, and that’s a valid belief of theirs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2.1.2

              Try responding to the actual points instead of from your own superstition and prejudice.

              Pot, meet kettle. If I quote evidence I’m a rigid scientism fanatic, apparently. You just lost your wager. How about you read no more into what I say than what’s actually on the page?

              • Colonial Viper

                How about you read no more into what I say than what’s actually on the page?

                You want to be interpreted as being strictly two dimensional? OK.

    • tracey 9.2

      war rationing?

    • AmaKiwi 9.3

      Chooky

      “Interesting if you look at photos of kids and adults in the 50s and earlier …they are all skinny”

      +100

      Only I wouldn’t say it’s “interesting.” It’s damning of the greed of the poison food merchants of slow death.

      • tracey 9.3.1

        and the difficulties of war-time and aftermath in terms of world food supplies

        peeeps deffo more active in those days tho.

    • D'Esterre 9.4

      @ Chooky: “…photos of kids and adults in the 50s and earlier …they are all skinny ”

      No they weren’t: I was around in the 50s. There were just fewer of them…some real blimps though. And they were like that on all that home coking we ate in those days, and despite the fact that we all walked or biked to school, and played outside every fine – and even rainy – day.

      “.all kids should be taught vege gardening and how to make easy cheap vegetarian meals using lentils , rice, potatoes, vege soups, pasta, eggs, porridge, salads, fruit smoothies using yoghurt

      …and meat dishes using cheap cuts of meat( eg slow cooking stewing steak, liver, kidneys…)…curries and spices for taste

      …gluten free flour, olive oil and butter for cooking

      ….and water/ milk/tea/coffee for drinking( 1 litre of water a day)”

      Some of this is counsel of perfection, some just wrong. Only celiacs need gluten-free anything. The rest of us benefit nutritionally from gluten. Nobody needs to drink a litre of water a day; by and large, we get what we need from our food and drink.

      Teaching kids to grow veg: a good thing to do, but not everyone has either the space or environment in which to grow stuff. Vegetarian meals: children in particular have difficulty keeping up B12 levels on such a regime, unless the diet is carefully managed.

      Liver and kidneys? Good luck with that sort of food in many households: I can’t get offal past the noses of this household. And I wouldn’t force it on my worst enemy.

      The issue of weight is very complex. None of us should blame parents and children for the nutritional environment in which we now live. The Clark administration had begun on the necessary macro-environmental changes we desperately need. But those measures were overturned by the current administration, so now we’re more than half a decade behind the eight-ball, and in a much worse situation. We also need more regulation and food-related taxes; people may scream about it, but we’re in desperate straits now. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  10. Chooky 10

    In the crusade against sugar we have to be careful that we also warn absolutely against ‘diet sugars’ eg Aspartame…which do not cause weight loss and which can be lethal

    https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=aspartame%20danger

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      “Lethal”.

      Ghoulish fearmonger with no ethics makes false statement on blog.

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        Try an alternate search “aspartame stroke” and you will get a long list of pretty respectable results.

        My mother used aspartame sweetners for decades – and died of a basal stroke. On the basis of this bit of ‘anecdata’ I’m willing to contemplate there may be a problem with the sodding stuff.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          😆 That’s the search I would do if I wanted to find out who’s been duping Chooky.

          So I searched for “stroke lifestyle” instead. This from the National Stroke Assoc.

          A healthy diet can help you reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve your overall health, and help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Eating healthy includes making informed decisions about food choices and balancing your calories. The latest guidelines from Dietary Recommendations for Americans 2010 include the following:

          Eat more foods from plants, such as vegetables and beans, whole grains, and nuts.
          Eat more seafood in place of red meat, poultry, and eggs.
          Limit the intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains.
          Reduce calories you eat and drink and increase calorie you burn through physical activity.
          Excess weight puts a strain on the entire circulatory system. It can also make people more likely to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which can increase stroke risk.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            really misses the point though.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Which point would that be? That anecdata fosters strong beliefs?

              • weka

                Shall I make a list of all the times that the scientific method got it wrong? Or where people used anecdata to make good and useful choices in their lives because they applied intelligence to it?

                Not a comment on aspartame, although I wouldn’t touch the stuff myself and there are plenty of good arguments to be made against its use in trying to control obesity even if its not lethal.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Therefore we should let fearmongers dictate food safety laws? Ban dihydrogen monoxide?

                  • RedLogix

                    Mr Strawman is still real busy…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How do you propose to regulate food (or any other) safety without collecting evidence? When the evidence contradicts the fearmongers (as now) how much influence do they deserve?

                    • weka

                      sure is, getting boring too. Just to try and drag it somewhere in the vicinity of being on topic, it’s people working with anecdata intelligently that have often pushed health understandings against the status quo and then ended up being right. I’ve been listening to people talk about the problem with the fat is bad message for many years and it’s been a pretty good mix of renegade scientists, health practitioners (mostly alternative) and people applying intelligence to their own health management. Eventually science started to do more research, and more mainstream practitioners picked up the ball. Public health officials are the last to catch on.

                      Teaching people criticial thinking skills and educating people on how to apply health information in their own lives in an individualised way will do more to solve obesity than anything else (that and reducing poverty).

                      (*I don’t actually think obesity is the problem though).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      On topic? You mean the topic where a fearmonger proposed that “we” – ie the Left – “warn” people against the chemical bogeyman?

                      I disagree – I think that espousing such ethics-free gibberish would be a sure vote loser, not to mention a food-safety debacle.

                      If you can’t figure out why that’s “on topic” perhaps you’d be happier in another thread.

                  • weka

                    fearmongers already dictate laws. But afaik neither Chooky nor Red are lawmakers, so again the intellectual dishonesty.

                    ‘banning dihydrogen monoxide’ lines are just lazy argument.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      RL is no fearmonger.

                      Good luck reducing their influence without gathering evidence.

                    • weka

                      No idea what you are talking about now.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You can spot intellectual dishonesty even when you don’t understand the point being made. Super.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The elite moral superiority is strong in this one.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ad hominem remark = white flag of surrender.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That’s your assumption, and of course, an incorrect one.

                    • weka

                      “You can spot intellectual dishonesty even when you don’t understand the point being made. Super.”

                      My comment about intellectual dishonesty referred to your previous statements, not your last one. Your last one I didn’t understand, as I said. That you now make out that I didn’t understand anything you have said just marks you are disingenuous as well. Up your game mate, this is boring and a distraction from the real topic at hand.

                      I’m not going to put too much effot into trying to understand someone who obviously prefers being a smart arse over communicating effectively.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Weka, throw around accusations of dishonesty as much as you like. No-one’s going to react badly to that, I promise.

                      Good luck reducing the influence of fear-mongers without gathering some evidence to help make your case. As you correctly noted, even that won’t guarantee success, since the method isn’t infallible.

                      At least you will have tried though. Which after all, is the whole point.

                      My point is that Chooky’s proposal – that the Left get into the politicisation of health-care, laying down the law to food safety professionals as opposed to taking their advice – is a mistake, not to mention exactly the sort of thing Katherine Rich gets up to.

                    • weka

                      Thanks OAB. I really wish you would say that at the start, because then we can have an actual conversation. Is there a reason you don’t just explain yourself early on and instead go with the smart arsery and ad homs?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Whatever. Perhaps if you weren’t projecting so very very much you’d inquire rather than accuse.

                  • One Two

                    Donald Rumsfeld is also a war monger…

                    Pays to be multi dimensional when “dictating food safety laws”

                • northshoredoc

                  I’ve always liked this quote

                  “The scientific method fails to yield an accurate representation of the world, not because of the method, but because of those who are attempting to apply it. The method fails when scientists themselves, usually collectively, allow their own biases and personal preferences to shortcircuit the hypothesis-testing part of the process.”

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    It’s the worst possible system apart from all the other ones which have been tried. Apparently it’s important to state that every time you cite research or you’re assumed to be mired in scientism.

                  • Grindlebottom

                    The scientific method fails to yield an accurate representation of the world, not because of the method, but because of those who are attempting to apply it. The method fails when scientists themselves, usually collectively, allow their own biases and personal preferences to shortcircuit the hypothesis-testing part of the process.

                    This is from a Christian creationist website?? (See Conclusion). Fuxake.
                    http://www.icr.org/article/exploring-limitations-scientific-method/

                    Or did they plagiarise it from someone else?

                    • northshoredoc

                      Plagiarised I would have thought – very humorous that it’s being used on a creationist website. I imagine they are unable to see the irony.

                    • tracey

                      That they can’t see the irony kinda proves all our points, yes?

                • McFlock

                  Shall I make a list of all the times that the scientific method got it wrong? Or where people used anecdata to make good and useful choices in their lives because they applied intelligence to it?

                  Actually, four lists would be nice: The list where science got it right and anecdata got it right, a list where both were incorrect, and most telling would be the comparative lists where one was correct and the other incorrect, and vice versa.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Voters choose governments based on anecdata and gut feeling, not on facts and evidence.

                    • McFlock

                      well, if that were completely true (I don’t believe it is) then the last seven years would probably be points for the scientific method over quackery.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Does that let National off the hook for ignoring the evidence that their economic and social policies are a blight upon the country?

                      Politicians – especially the electable ones – have a duty to carefully consider facts while making policy. Not to mention self-interest. That some ignore this duty in favour of dogma is all good, no?

                  • weka

                    Actually, four lists would be nice: The list where science got it right and anecdata got it right, a list where both were incorrect, and most telling would be the comparative lists where one was correct and the other incorrect, and vice versa.

                    That might be nice, depending on one’s perspective, but its largely irrelevant to what I was saying.

                    • McFlock

                      Comparing frequency of X=false with frequency of Y = true can’t tell us anything about X in relation to Y. It is meaningless.

                      If you were simply saying that the scientific community sometimes leaps to conclusions before all the evidence is in, and people following anecdata are sometimes better off than if they didn’t follow their anecdata, fine. But again I don’t see how that contributes new information to the discussion.

                      Nobody here is arguing that the scientific method is practised to perfection, nor is anybody arguing that anecdata is always false. Hell, I’d go so far as to say that (at worst) anecdata is no worse on a population average than tossing a coin, and improves in reliability as the issues being judged become less subtle.

                      But I’d place good money on the scientific method being significantly more reliable than individual anecdata, and for longer, and that the scientific method is almost exclusively responsible for our extended life expectancy.

                    • weka

                      It’s that you put the two things in opposition and fail to see the value of not doing that that is the issue. It’s not what I (and many others) do, and the lack of understanding around that, and lack of acknowledgement of bias, is why these conversations never go anywhere.

                      I think of the scientific method as a tool, inert until picked up and used. Many things have led to increases in life expectancy, including that. Many things have led to lower quality of life too. If you want to argue that the scientific method was almost wholly responsible for extending life expectancy then we’d also have to accept that it was almost wholly responsible for colonisation and climate change. End game.

                    • McFlock

                      I think of the scientific method as a tool, inert until picked up and used. Many things have led to increases in life expectancy, including that. Many things have led to lower quality of life too.

                      Indeed. But that applies to people following anecdata, too. So what were you trying to demonstrate with your offer to draw up a list of apples and a list of oranges?

                      If you want to argue that the scientific method was almost wholly responsible for extending life expectancy then we’d also have to accept that it was almost wholly responsible for colonisation and climate change. End game.

                      Or scientific methods, followed earlier, could have stopped colonisation in its tracks by stopping c90% of native Americans being wiped out by disease as well as removing the justifications of racial superiority and god’s will from the colonisers, because colonisation is political and often religious. Heck, one might well argue that colonisation was caused by completely unscientific beliefs.

                      And then if international policies in the late 20th century were led by the scientific literature and not corporate political funding, AGW would not be half the problem it is and will be.

                    • weka

                      “Indeed. But that applies to people following anecdata, too.”

                      Of course. I’m not the one putting up the false dichotomy.

                      “So what were you trying to demonstrate with your offer to draw up a list of apples and a list of oranges?”

                      That OAB was being an arse.

                      Red made a comment suggesting that there was in fact some decent studies connecting aspartame and strokes (I didn’t look, so I have no idea if there is). He also told a story. OAB wrote that off and took the conversation down the boring old science is the only way, everyone else is stupid track. I thought something quite interesting might have come out of Red’s comment (as opposed to Chooky’s), but there’s no room for that when one person in the conversation keeps dropping in ad homs and straw men (plus there should be a Gowdin’s for using DHMO gratuitously and disingenuously in conversations).

                      Or scientific methods, followed earlier, could have stopped colonisation in its tracks by stopping c90% of native Americans being wiped out by disease as well as removing the justifications of racial superiority and god’s will from the colonisers, because colonisation is political and often religious. Heck, one might well argue that colonisation was caused by completely unscientific beliefs.

                      Of course, but are you really trying to claim it is science when it is good stuff and not science when it is bad stuff? I would say that in both cases (and everything in between) that the scientific method is a critical factor, and it gets used in various ways evil and good. Did science make the sailing ships that allowed Brits to colonise NZ? Or did the industrial revolution and how much of that was due to science? How much due to greed? Cultural sense of superiority? etc. Did the push for better living standards that led to increasing longevity come from science or from changes in moral and political perspectives? Or from the need for capitalism to have better performing slaves?

                      And then if international policies in the late 20th century were led by the scientific literature and not corporate political funding, AGW would not be half the problem it is and will be.

                      Yes, and now we’re talking about science the tool and Science the culture. But again, science is responsible when it’s good but not when it’s bad?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      science is the only way, everyone else is stupid track.

                      Nope, that isn’t what I said. What I did was ask you a couple of questions, and you translated that into the above then attacked me as dishonest.

                      Nor did I “write off” what RL said. Stop projecting your visions onto me.

                    • McFlock

                      As far as I can tell, you put forward two statements. Separately they were random observations. Together they were a meanignless comparison. Apparently that demonstrates that OAB was being an arse.

                      science is responsible when it’s good but not when it’s bad?

                      I didn’t say that.
                      Here’s the thing: the scientific method was necessary to extend lives across the globe. It could not have been intentionally done without science, and provided demonstrable benchmarks and objectives in order to measure our progress.

                      Colonisation? Invasion? Shit, they were around way before any scientific period. We don’t need the scientific method to kill each other. It really helps that objective, but we can still kill hundreds of thousands of people simply with machetes. Heck, Columbus showed we can kill millions by accident.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ”Or scientific methods, followed earlier, could have stopped colonisation in its tracks by stopping c90% of native Americans being wiped out by disease as well as removing the justifications of racial superiority and god’s will from the colonisers, because colonisation is political and often religious. Heck, one might well argue that colonisation was caused by completely unscientific beliefs.”

                      Science can oppose political oppression, but more often it reflects the prevailing political, social and imperial forces and powerful institutions of its time, as evidenced by the fact ”scientific methods” were deployed in full force to justify the claims of racial superiority that you say it could have debunked. You’re viewing it in isolation, which is somewhat spurious.

                    • McFlock

                      was that justification necessary for the beliefs in racial superiority to exist? Or was it merely applied after the fact to justify those beliefs (in itself a violation of the scientific method)?

                      Nobody’s arguing science or scientists are perfect. But even when performed imperfectly it’s not usually necessary or sufficient for the bads of the world to exist.

                      But practised repeatedly, the scientific method was necessary for and the driving force behind our extended lifespans and improved standard of living. The same cannot be said of anecdata.

                    • weka

                      actually it can, and again I point to the problem of putting up science and anecdata in opposition like that and not acknowleding the bias that is inherent in that.

                    • McFlock

                      If anecdata “was necessary for and the driving force behind our extended lifespans and improved standard of living”, why was life expectancy at birth pretty constant until the last couple of hundred years?

                      Damned if I know what you mean by “bias” being inherent in even making a comparison. What, is comparing evidence that X and Y works somehow unfair?

              • Grindlebottom

                Interesting. The first couple of links from Chooky’s “aspartame danger” google search result list didn’t open (web page not available).

                The next couple that I did open both indicated that most of the detailed research into a pretty vast volume of studies showed the various claims of aspartame dangers were not true.

                https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/aspartame-truth-vs-fiction/

                https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/aspartame-truth-vs-fiction/ (this one notes: “However, people who have a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should not use aspartame. People who are taking medications for schizophrenia should also avoid aspartame.”)

                I stopped at this point.

          • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.2

            All of which is true – but quite independent of whether aspartame use is a stroke risk by itself.

            You’re welcome to do an internet linky war on this all day OAB – I just don’t care.

            My view is simple – there is no need for any form of sweetners in the human diet. And there is certainly no need for an artificial chemical with a dubious background and questionable safety to be used on a regular basis. My choice is to apply the precautionary principle.

            I’ve not added any sweetner to any of my food or drink for a decade now. Never miss it. Sure I’m nowhere like 100% pure on this, but the odd cake or sugary thing I do eat is weekly treat — not a daily consumption.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1.2.1

              My view is simple: fearmongers are responsible for far more (possibly infinitely more) deaths than artificial sweeteners.

              • weka

                True in a limited, false argument kind of way. Google Ancel Keys.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Or perhaps you’re just assuming that I think scientists can’t be fearmongers, and drawing fucked up conclusions as a result.

                  Actually, there’s no perhaps about it.

                  • weka

                    No, I assume that you prefer to make implied statements that bend the truth where it you want it to go rather than communicating clearly so that we can disuss things fully.

                    And of course, yet again, you side step the point.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No doubt on account of my intellectual dishonesty and limited false arguments.

                      You didn’t actually clarify those cutting observations though, so who can tell what you’re getting at?

                      I’ve already clarified my point elsewhere on the thread.

                    • weka

                      the people that want to know ask for clarification. I get that you don’t want to know.

                    • weka

                      btw, just in case it’s not obvious, as a general rule I wouldn’t follow links that Chooky put up about most things (maybe some of the links to TDB etc but certainly not health related). These conversations are anti-intelligence and cul de sacs of the worst kind. You end up being as bad as each other.

              • Colonial Viper

                My view is simple: fearmongers are responsible for far more (possibly infinitely more) deaths than artificial sweeteners.

                And there is no more pervasive and officially enabled money making fear monging death inducing industry than Big Pharma.

  11. infused 11

    Lets ban sugar.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Mr. Strawman is very busy right now, but if you leave your name and contact details he’ll be in touch.

  12. Smilin 12

    If anyone can remember growing up in a fast food free society and only having fush n chups for takaways ,will know the difference as to why we now have an epidemic

    • Ffloyd 12.1

      Smiling. Absolutely agree!

      • Grindlebottom 12.1.1

        True, I think. There was only one “fatty” (sorry phil) in a class of about 30 in my secondary school years.

        • tracey 12.1.1.1

          we had a couple in my class at primary school. Both often had potato chips in their lunch boxes. In fairness one was either on crutches or in a wheelchair

    • Rosie 12.2

      Yes. Remember as a kid in the 70’s. Fish and chips was the only treat food takeaway. No chain fast food outlets. Only cities had McDonalds and KFC. Having fizzy drink in the house was reserved for kids birthday parties, and other celebrations, like xmas.

      Think about the supermarket aisles then and compare them to supermarket aisles now and you see the marketing power and huge influence of manufacturers of high sugar foods/low nutrient content. Once they were in a fairly small section, now the entire aisle on one side is dedicated to fizzy drinks.

      Hence this statement is so true:

      “National’s policy is to try and shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.”

      A caring govt would resist the lobbyists and stop a major contributing factor to the problem in it’s tracks with regulation on marketing and perhaps taxation.

      (Although I’d prefer the abolishment of GST but retain it on fags, booze and certain foods and drinks – that would make healthier food more affordable for all and have a number off spin off benefits, but thats another story)

  13. tracey 13

    This is like so many others things this government does. It takes away resources, then a few years later puts it back and touts itself as effective government. They took away 7 years of HEHA … where might we e today.

  14. kiwigunner 14

    One of the very first things this government did when elected (for the first time) was to remove the healthy eating policies that Labour had put into schools. At the time it amazed me that they saw this as some real need for immediate change when in power.

    This latest stuff is like lots of things that they have done (professional development in schools for example) where they have immediately dismantled the very things that were helping to create positive change and now, having the effects of their policy settings pointed out to them trumpet their half arsed ideas for fixing the problem they themselves created.

  15. The Chairman 15

    It seems National are planning to criminalise obesity.

    What are the consequences for those unwilling to partake?

  16. Bill 16

    Food. All wrapped up in social urban myths and scientific research that has been bent and twisted by monies interests.

    Example 1. Who funds low fat research in the UK? Well, I’d read it was an outfit called the ‘Margarine and Spreads Association’ or some such. Do you think such a lobby group might be connected to some company like Unilever? And that they might have skin in the game?

    Example 2. Where did the idea come from that eggs, being full of cholesterol, would result in people becoming full of cholesterol?

    Example 3. Why would fat make you fat? Because the word’s the same? Try eating a breakfast consisting of fat and do something requiring stamina. Repeat the experiment after a breakfast consisting of cereals and/or other carbohydrates. Given that you’ll flag far faster after breakfast number one, draw your own conclusions on which type of food is more likely to store up in your body as fat.

    btw – Highly processed sugar rich food ain’t cheap. (I certainly can’t afford it.) And I’d suggest the sugar acts as a preservative as well as a sweetener – so dropping the sugar content won’t be happening. Hmm. Last night’s tea had no sugar, was cooked from scratch with no more than three minutes prep time and cost about $1. Can’t imagine finding a substantial pre-pack in the supermarket containing the same range of protein, carbs and veg for that price. Anyways…

    • tracey 16.1

      and let’s not get started on the notion that some food producers may put substances in their food to increase your cravings for their food…

      Probably would never happen cos tobacco producers never put something in their product that as addictive.

    • weka 16.2

      Example 3 is apparently nonsense because it’s based on anecdata, which for the rest of us is applying intelligence to how we live our lives. Not allowed.

      • Bill 16.2.1

        No. Example three is based on a field experiment. Regardless, I really cannot be bothered with either side in these sand-pit arguments around science and how good or bad/worthy or worthless/ useful or useless it is.

        • weka 16.2.1.1

          Fair enough about the sand pit, although I will say that the validity of science, field research and anecdata are at the core of fat politics (all health politics). Which is why its a shame the conversation went this way.

  17. Clean_power 17

    Why treat people like children? Why is new and higher taxation a solution to everything? Why?

    • Grindlebottom 17.1

      Nobody’s saying taxation is a solution to everything.

    • Bill 17.2

      On the basis that you might be being genuine here – when a population has lost its knowledge, it can be misled and abused.

      Many people can’t cook or bake any more. Many more people wouldn’t know where to begin if a rabbit was placed in front of them. Go back a few generations, and it would be unimaginable that such a reality could ever come to pass. Hell, on more than one occasion I’ve had a check-out operator genuinely stumped as to what the vegetable I was trying to buy was (on one occasion it was beetroot).

      Is the answer to that higher taxes? No.

      • maui 17.2.1

        My grandparents were making their own butter, doing their own homekill of sheep and lived without a refrigerator. Not so long ago really, and unimaginable to the urbanites of today. I think were heading back that way and it probably won’t take 60 years to get there.

    • tracey 17.3

      Because some adults operate their industries in deceptive ways.

      Life is so simple from where you sit on your comfortable well-heeled pedestal

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.4

      Why is new and higher taxation a solution to everything?

      It isn't. However, according to Friedman, price signals are the best way to help people make good decisions. He has more credibility on your side of the political divide, so maybe you should ask him rather than pretending you’ll get sympathy for his opinions here.

  18. Smilin 18

    Really doesn’t matter what this govt does because none of what they do has any genuine social commitment except to protect the rich
    And all you got to do is think about the last 7 yrs .This is a govt is way out of line, fascist and covering up the white collar criminal culture that subjugates the masses into a Dirty Politics state of mind so that they have no power in democracy
    This govt should be overthrown now not 2017

  19. Ad 19

    1. Campaigns

    The intergenerational social marketing campaigns work best.
    They take a dumpload of government commitment, and are coordinated by centralized agencies not decentralized ones like DHB’s.

    The standout examples are the long term road toll campaigns, and anti-smoking campaigns.

    NZ has one of the most effective food lobbies in the world – what we lack in the scale of Washington, we gain in legislative and regulatory power and influence to stop reform. So any campaign worth doing long term would be a fight.

    2. Money
    The only other point I’d make is that raising the minimum wage raises the food choices of the poor. Obesity (where it’s sufficient to be a high health disbenefit eg diabetes) IMHO is a poverty issue. Poverty of money, poverty of time to exercise, poverty of choices.

    Those rich areas full of choices in their lives – such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Auckland’s inner suburbs, and Wellington’s inner suburbs, are full of toned people with the time and daycare options to run every morning, drink liquefied grass, and sustain the Paleo Diet with their Yoga classes.

    So a future Labour government should re-do Working for Families completely and re-tilt it as a benefit top-up system. Which will be about as popular as reforming welfare was last time.

  20. Mrs Brillo 20

    For the Nats to have taken such a swift and punitive overturning of a sensible healthy food provision law as soon as they occupied the treasury benches means that they were keeping a promise to a major political funder.

    Follow the money.

    The booze industry pours almost as much into funding the Nats as it pours sugar into its beer and wine. The links between the supermarkets and the Nats are well documented. Follow the sticky trail.

    Teaching the poor to prepare healthy meals is left to voluntary private organisations with little or no public funding – I volunteered at one such till it lost what little funding it had and packed up. Some of its clients were people with learning difficulties in assisted living situations. Cooking was a real challenge to them, but fast foods were everywhere and cheap.

    Preaching is cheap, too. But doesn’t put help where help is needed.

  21. Richard@Down South 21

    Everyone should watch http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3892434/ That Sugar Film (2014)

    Very good watch about the effects of sugar in our diet

  22. A.Ziffel 22

    Now that the “Feed the kids” movement has become a resounding success & exceeded all expectations, it might be time to switch to a “Feed the kids less” strategy.

  23. Blue Boy 23

    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond

    Find light in the beautiful sea
    I choose to be happy
    You and I, you and I
    We’re like diamonds in the sky

    You’re a shooting star I see
    A vision of ecstasy
    When you hold me, I’m alive
    We’re like diamonds in the sky

    I knew that we’d become one right away
    Oh, right away
    At first sight I left the energy of sun rays
    I saw the life inside your eyes

    So shine bright, tonight you and I
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky
    Eye to eye, so alive
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shining bright like a diamond
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Shine bright like a diamond
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    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Palms rise to the universe
    As we moonshine and molly
    Feel the warmth, we’ll never die
    We’re like diamonds in the sky

    You’re a shooting star I see
    A vision of ecstasy
    When you hold me, I’m alive
    We’re like diamonds in the sky

    At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays
    I saw the life inside your eyes

    So shine bright, tonight you and I
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky
    Eye to eye, so alive
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shining bright like a diamond
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shining bright like a diamond
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond
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    So shine bright, tonight you and I
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky
    Eye to eye, so alive
    We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky

    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond
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    Shine bright like a diamond
    Shine bright like a diamond
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    Shine bright like a diamond

    Read more: Rihanna – Diamonds Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  24. Ad 24

    And in breaking news, flossing your teeth is totally useless.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11532132

    This goes on the top of piles of junked health warnings I head when I was child:

    – Cholesterol was bad for me
    – Fat was bad for me
    – Meat was good for me
    – Margerine was healthier than butter
    – Eggs were bad for me
    – Sunshine was good for me

    …and a good mother always always always had loads of baking in her tins!
    (if I could have a “tea and madelines” moment over my mother’s Louise Cakes!)

    hard not to be skeptical with all this fat-people hate I get in every magazine cover, every film, every fashion article.

  25. Whispering Kate 25

    So may factors contribute to obesity,

    Time Scarce – today many couples with kids work two jobs on very low wages – this slow creep has entered the middle tier of society, not just the unskilled which we automatically consider. Cheap meals take long slow cooking and mums come in exhausted with tired kids and the last thing they want to do is put on the slow cooker and start a meal for the next evening. Even the most dedicated will just look for pre-cooked stuff which is rubbish to eat.

    Expensive Food – people who come in from overseas often comment about the cost of our food here, my own kid who lives overseas and in many countries cannot believe some of the prices we pay. No excuses in the world justify why two thirds of the population cannot avail themselves of healthy food for themselves and their kids. Milk dearer then drinks full of sugar, its bloody disgusting really. I see Mums at the supermarket looking at the meat prices and juggling mince or nothing at all, sausages which are crap are now $9-$10 for a 500gm pack and this is Pak & Save. What do they feed their kids these days, I just can’t imagine.

    Raw material versus processed garbage. Why is meat straight off the animals with no processing or labour added value so darned expensive, Why are fresh fruit and vegetables more expensive than in a can, it beggars belief how we are just suckered in over here. Whose raking in the money on this racket.

    I am now retired and can have the luxury of doing my shopping in the perimeter area of the supermarket, I hardly ever go in the centre aisles where the processed junk is. I have time leisure to use cheaper cuts of meat and cheaper species of fish to cook but even when I did work part time I always managed to try and keep the budget down by shopping in the outside perimeter area of the supermarket, these days mums and dads have no option. My kids never suffered and now in their 30’s and 40’s have fantastic teeth – again no option these days for parents.

    Its a waste of time teaching cooking skills in schools until they give the population a decent living wage so that they don’t have to work such long hours and can afford decent honest bloody food which is their birth right in this country.

    This Gov prefers to hump the legs of political campaign donors and industry lobbyists before it will consider its citizens health. They treat us with contempt but the rooster will come home to roost when they are overwhelmed in the future with type 2 diabetes patients needing dialysis for sometimes years at huge cost to the ever suffering tax payers plus other western world diseases which are expensive to the health budget.

  26. Whispering Kate 26

    ps I want to add this gov is gutless, they have no cajones, the only time anything really big ever gets done whether it be good or bad (Roger Douglas there) is when a left wing government is in power. Why is it so hard to stand up to these food producers and make them take responsibility for what they produce. We used to be so independent and stood up to people and countries far bigger than ourselves and it made us feel good about ourselves, now we are just cringing cowardly creeps who pee in pockets, it makes me mad that we are all dumped in the same basket – I never asked for a new flag or any of these disgusting laws that are being passed in WINZ with the sick and disabled- I think its time we took our country back and soon.

    • tracey 26.1

      thanks for jumping in WKate

      • Whispering Kate 26.1.1

        Thanks Tracey – I could add appeasing to Australia and their disgusting deporting laws, what has happened to our backbone – why do we have a Government at all – it does f…. all constructive. We are just a pee in the pockets nation these days. Even Labour are too scared witless to make a stand on issues which are abhorrent. I truly think we are being trod on by powers greater than little ol’ New Zealand and it scares me to death.

    • D'Esterre 26.2

      Oh, Whispering Kate, I so agree with you! It is indeed time we took our country back from these pissant pocket-pee-ers. Grovelling little weasels!

    • Chooky 26.3

      +100 again Whispering Kate

  27. Michael 27

    Tax unhealthy food. Use the money to fund healthy lifestyle education programmes & subsidies for healthy food. Healthy fruit and veg is often out of reach for low income earners and beneficiaries. We need to reduce both incentives to have extremely unhealthy sugar-sweeted drinks, fatty foods etc while ALSO making the alternative more affordable.

  28. Rosemary McDonald 28

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0015977

    “Simultaneous exposure to various POPs in the general population may contribute to development of obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance, common precursors of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Although obesity is a primary cause of these metabolic abnormalities, POPs exposure may contribute to excess adiposity and other features of dysmetabolism.”

    http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Luc_Van_Gaal/publication/44683992_Obesity_and_persistent_organic_pollutants_possible_obesogenic_effect_of_organochlorine_pesticides_and_polychlorinated_biphenyls/links/54045cf60cf2c48563b080a9.pdf

    ” Given the current worldwide epidemic
    of obesity, the possible effects of endocrine disruptors on body
    weight are an imperative field of future research”

    http://www.diabetesandenvironment.org/home/contam/pesticides

    shit loads more research and discussion on the possible link between obesity and diabetes and chemicals in our environment.

    Something to think about, considering NZ’s high use of pesticides.

    And our non existent enforcement of the Standard (Management of Agrichemicals).

    And our poor monitoring of MRLs.

    • It’s possible that pesticides cause diabetes, just like it’s possible that cutting your toenails causes diabetes. All kinds of things are “possible.” What counts is whether that possibility is more likely than others: for example, more likely than the fairly straightforward one that Type 2 diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance that tends to manifest itself in people whose diet gives their insulin production system a constant hiding, and therefore the diet is what needs looking at as a cause.

      Obesity is likewise a condition largely determined by insulin, so the fact that obesity and Type 2 diabetes tend to go together isn’t surprising. A sure sign of idiocy in anyone writing on this subject is contained in one of the quoted passages above: “…obesity is a primary cause of these metabolic abnormalities…” Obesity doesn’t cause Type 2 diabetes – they’re both effects, not causes.

      You’re on less tinfoil-hat ground with Type 1 diabetes – it’s an auto-immune disease, so could potentially be triggered by chemicals. Good luck proving it, though.

    • Chooky 28.2

      on this subject…more scary stuff on glyphosate ‘Round Up’ and wheat production….another reason to go organic

      http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/real-reason-for-toxic-wheat-its-not-gluten/

  29. Incognito 29

    Fats, especially saturated and trans fats, used to bad and got banned and often replaced by carbohydrates. Smoking got banned and the result was that many ex-smokers gained weight. The Law of Unintended Consequences is perhaps not very scientific but nevertheless it does seem to hold some truth.

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  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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