Open mike 01/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 1st, 2024 - 82 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

82 comments on “Open mike 01/02/2024 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Judith Collins is just a boldface liar.

    • Tony Veitch 1.1

      Agreed, but quick witted as well.

      When asked if she and Winnie had buried the hatchet, Winnie pulled an exasperated face, but she replied "Yes, but not in each other."

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        What about Winston’s Superannuation alleged snitch by the Natzos? I have thought about that while watching him poncing about with Mrs Collins on their Aussie trip.

        But, no matter how many skeletons and grudges there are, they are united by class politics–support for local and international capital. Mrs Collins will no doubt though be planning to somehow “pay it back double” to Mr Peters. Never forgot how she knifed Ian Lees Galloway and ended his career on live TV by revealing an affair.

        She is bad news and wait, what… Attorney-General, Minister of Defence, Minister for Digitising Government, Minister Responsible for the GCSB, Minister Responsible for the NZSIS, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology, and Minister for Space!…

  2. Tony Veitch 2

    After watching QT the last couple of days, I think the opposition needs to refine their method of asking Luxon.

    They need to abandon double pronged questions, so he can't evade by just answering one part.

    They need to ask direct, simple questions so he has to give an answer.

    This way they, the opposition, will reveal what we all know: Luxon is lazy and shallow and not on top of the task of being PM.

    After all, he still thinks in corporate speak – using 'companies' instead of 'countries' in one reply yesterday.

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Luxon's big problem is the MSM narrative being built of a weak PM – an inexperienced corporate manager who can't control his coalition partners.

      Once the media narrative has been built shifting it is almost impossible, given how lazy our journalists are.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        It's not a narrative, he is getting dragged round the yard buy the mangy curs he bought home from. The pound.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    This here academic has got it right: https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/01/31/new-zealands-legal-obligations-to-the-world-court-ruling-on-israel/

    As Newsroom has reported, 15 aid agencies have joined forces to call on the Government to do more to encourage an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza, in the wake of the International Court of Justice decision.

    Those 15 agencies are joining an international and increasingly loud chorus of calls for an immediate ceasefire. I would go further, and remind the Government that whatever it thinks of Friday night (NZT)’s ICJ ruling, New Zealand has a number of international legal obligations to inform its response to Israel’s military attack on Gaza.

    In its decision, the court (re)confirmed that all states parties to the Genocide Convention have a “common interest” in ensuring the prevention, suppression, and punishment of genocide. That includes New Zealand, which has a legal obligation to do what it can to ensure that Israel complies with the court’s orders. This is not a question of New Zealand’s choice of foreign policy, but a legal obligation.

    The govt may not act in accord with this legal obligation since it is international and normalcy requires that international law remains merely notional.

    Then she makes this technical point:

    responsibility exists independently of the lack of ICJ jurisdiction

    It's out there, floating in the air! Along with the truth. Moral responsibility hasn't featured much in contemporary society since christians abandoned their habit of waving it around like God's sword. Yet it is part of how humans operate.

    We are legally obliged to step up and speak out.

    Morally obliged to do it too. Such posturing is best done with serious intent, so that it transcends posturing and becomes the serving of notice that something ought to be done – a call to action. Such advisory stances are useful when timely and accurate.

    • Michael P 3.1

      Sth Africa is happy to utilize the ICJ with it's case against Israel. There's nothing wrong with that, good for them.

      But will it be slightly hypocritical of them id they don't abide by ICC rulings and arrest Putin when he visits there this year?

      Assuming there is some sort of benefit for them having Putin visit… money somehow somewhere would seem obvious.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        He was scheduled to visit there last July but Google can't find news that it got rescheduled to this year. If it was, and he flew, I'd expect various attempts to make his plane suffer a tragic event in obscure circumstances…

    • Subliminal 3.2

      Thats a great article and really refreshing to see these sorts of views being published in NZ and from our universities too!

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Performance review from Tova:

    Not one but two ministerial faux pas including a humiliating correction from the police minister to the House (there was a prime ministerial correction too), a random reshuffle in an attempt to eschew responsibility for ACT’s contentious Treaty agenda and a failure to demand clarity from ministers over donations. https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350164527/buck-stops-luxon-after-messy-first-week-back-parliament

    it’s unsurprising the prime minister was defensive when asked if NZ First had hauled National over the coals and forced the major party to set the record straight. Luxon denies the tail is wagging the dog or that Peters is the boss of him.

    Yet her account of the turnaround tells us it really happened just like that. smiley

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Criminal gangs operating at the China/Burma interface taken out by the forces of laura norder: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-68150555

    "For a long time, multiple criminal groups… in northern Myanmar have openly organised armed fraud gangs and carried out fraud crimes against Chinese citizens," China's Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday.

    They are also accused of "multiple and severe violent crimes", the ministry said, such as murder, assault and illegal detention. In December, Beijing issued a public reward for these men and others in their network, describing them as "ring leaders" and sent a team to Myanmar to work with local authorities there… About 44,000 people suspected to be involved in the scam centres have been handed over to China from Myanmar so far, the Ministry of Public Security said. China called Tuesday's development – the arrest of the three heads of the mafia families – a "landmark achievement".

    Footage aired on Chinese-language TV channels show dozens of Swat (Special Weapons and Tactics Unit) officers escorting suspects down the plane in Kunming and into police vans… Laukkaing took on the character of a Wild West boom town, where anything goes and anything can be bought and sold. There were occasional gun battles between rival scam centres, and powerful people kept lions and tigers as pets.

    Wild frontier ethos, invasion by civilising authorities, sudden! I was intrigued at the report that four families had been administering the regional fraud economy apparently under the benign eye of the junta.

    • Bruce 5.1

      And criminal gangs not taken out, a lot closer to home, not in a country ravaged by war. Judging by the tonnes of meth busted on the river bank a threat to New Zealand. A very interesting place.

      https://thediplomat.com/2022/03/golden-triangle-gambling-zone-the-worlds-worst-sez-group-says/

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        So it seems:

        The GTSEZ is run by the sanctioned Chinese-born gangster-tycoon Zhao Wei, originally from China’s Heilongjiang province, whom the Lao government in 2007 granted a 99-year lease over a stretch of prime paddy land fronting the Mekong River, at the point where the borders of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand converge. The zone, which exists under the de facto sovereignty of Zhao’s Kings Romans Group… designed to attract tourists from China, where gambling is banned outside Macao.

        Serlet’s designation of the GTSEZ as “the world’s worst special economic zone” follows a steady trickle of harrowing news from the secretive fief. In early February, Lao police raided the GTSEZ and rescued six local women who were attracted to the zone by the promise of lucrative jobs as telemarketers in the Kings Romans Casino. This followed the daring escape on January 20 of another eight women from the zone through a fence that surrounds the GTSEZ. In both cases, when the women were unable to meet performance benchmarks their employers declared them in debt and pressed them into servitude, either in brothels or in the casino’s laundry service.

        Earlier this month, Radio Free Asia (RFA), possibly the best source of information about happenings within the secretive zone, reported that “hundreds” of Lao women were trapped within the GTSEZ. “Many of our women and girls are exploited, abused and victimized by human trafficking,” it quoted a member of the Lao Women’s Union of Nomo district in neighboring Udomxai province as saying. “They’re from poor families, uneducated, unaware of the risk, and sold.”

        Local culture that multiplies the progress of women into exploitation systems that make them into victims seems toxic and global focus on the situation will have to escalate until global action rectifies their local sociopathy.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Public housing advocates highlight just how mean spirted the conservative, privileged right are:

    Unfair to single out Kāinga Ora tenants over crime complaints – public housing advocates

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/508088/unfair-to-single-out-kainga-ora-tenants-over-crime-complaints-public-housing-advocates

    Yesterday I read this piece on the subject of the Parnell KO housing and was stunned at the framing by Anne Gibson, fucking real estate editor at the Herald or something. Here's an example:

    Businesses in the Parnell area had suffered from the actions of tenants at the Cracroft and Bedford apartments in particular, she said.

    All good until you click the link, actions of tenants, and find that it relates not to the Cracroft and Bedford apartments, but a dispute about car parking in Totora Vale.

    There are three other instances of this deception in the article, where the link is provided as evidence in relation to the Parnell apartments but instead are in Hamilton and another on the North Shore.

    Anne Gibson and The Herald should be ashamed, bet they're not.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Direct correlation between ministers' statements and the tobacco industry. It appears the tobacco industry is writing New Zealand government policy:

    https://www.phcc.org.nz/briefing/tobacco-industry-interference-new-government-meeting-its-international-obligations

    Or perhaps they just think the same way. What a coincidence…

    • Chess Player 7.1

      Pretty disturbing, even for someone like myself who thinks that while some people do need a lot of care wrapped around them, most of us should be provided a standard education and then left alone to make our own choices.

  8. SPC 8

    The NZ Initiative in the Herald like Paula also cares about those on welfare …

    It then makes it clear it is about the politics of getting the public on board to support a neo-liberal policy to manage those on welfare – which is where their organisation and access to the media comes in.

    The crass combination of intellectual ineptitude and cynicism is so blatant that it fails to be credible to any but those disposed to an argument to prejudice.

    First some facts

    There is an increase in the numbers of those unemployed who are on benefits than in 2017 (people finding it an easier process).

    There is an increase in the number of those not work ready on the Job Seeker Benefit since 2017 (the consequence of delayed health care, aging population and impact of long covid – because we no longer have a sickness benefit, only this and Invalids Benefit).

    The why of it is apparently a mystery to New Zealand Initiative, or otherwise not useful to their narrative.

    Super is linked to the net average wage, and benefits usually to the CPI – despite the fact it is a known that the CPI is an average for the whole of society and is not a cost of necessities index more relevant to those on low incomes. Thus decades of increasing benefits by the CPI is a reduction in its real value.

    The New Zealand Initiative wants both super and benefits increased by the CPI.

    In this, it is claiming to advocate for those who are working and pay taxes, but then again it does not support increases in MW or Industry Awards etc or a focus on WFF tax credits, so is it really? Or is it just a shill for the gated community of homeowners who see themselves as blue rinse National?

    In wanting the age of super increased, it makes no mention of the increasing numbers of those on JS Benefit who are not work ready – some will be older workers (the last of the boomers age 60) no longer able to work in their former occupations. The impact on them living on a benefit level income from age 65 to ** not being on the radar of NZI.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/bryce-wilkinson-increased-working-age-welfare-dependency-is-a-problem/NZVIRUU4VNCELMTURJTXZWGNZA/

    • SPC 8.1

      The ACT Party Randian recommends a 1.3% increase, MBIE suggests 4% and its 2% increase for those on the MW.

      It would have been 4% or above under Labour.

      As the NZI put it, as a rationalisation for being tough on those on the MW (as well as those on benefits)

      First, the last Government put the interests of those with jobs ahead of those without jobs. It hiked the minimum wage. This helps those who retain work at the expense of those who cannot find an employer to hire them at the new, higher minimum wage.

      Expressed differently, it helps those with jobs at the expense of those who are hardest to employ.

      The old keep the MW low to enable the easier employment of those on benefits argument.

      https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/02/01/government-announces-minimum-wage-to-rise-from-april-1/

      The difference between 45 cents 2% – $18 and 90 cents 4% – $36 is $18 a week. Labour/G/TPM would have increased by a $1 an hour or more.

      • SPC 8.1.1

        A 2% increase

        despite a warning from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that an increase below the rate of inflation could make it hard for minimum wage workers to keep up with the cost of living.

        Maybe noting a $50 a week rent increase is more than an $18 a week (before tax) MW increase and other costs are also going up.

        The ACT Randian said

        the minimum wage was one of the most generous in the OECD, in comparison to the median wage, and had increased from 62% of the median wage in June 2017 to 72% in June 2023.

        Maybe she should compare the median wage here with those overseas and also note the level to rent costs to MW, whether minimum or median.

        Retail NZ wrote to Van Velden before Christmas, asking her to restrain minimum wage increases to enable retailers to set a level that is more sustainable.

        So retail pays minimum wage …

        The ACT Randian

        “Increases to the minimum wage under Labour far outstripped CPI. Between June 2016 and June 2023, overall, the minimum wage increased at nearly twice the rate of inflation, with a 48.8% increase in the minimum wage and a 25.1% increase in CPI. This Government’s approach sets the balance right.”

        So each and every year and term NACT are in office, the real value of the minimum wage will decline. Industry Awards would allow better pay at the median wage level but they do not want that either.

        They did the same thing 2009-2017, after Labour (1999-2005) and Labour and NZF increased the MW 2005-2008 after it was flatlined in the 1990’s.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/350165587/minimum-wage-rise-2315-despite-warning

  9. Muttonbird 9

    In the YouTube video, the man identifies himself as Mohn and apparently reads from a written statement and at one point holds up what appears to be a bloodied head inside a clear plastic bag. He says his father, who was a federal employee for over 20 years, was a traitor to his country.

    "America is rotting from the inside out as far left, woke mobs rampage our once prosperous cities," he says in the video.

    As authorities wait on more facts to understand the "specific motives, you can make some assumptions based on his claims in the video that he's been motivated by politics," the former FBI deputy director said Wednesday.

    "The bigger picture here is that this is another example of the fact that the kind of overheated, deeply politicized, extreme rhetoric that you hear sometimes in this country from politically elected officials and leaders actually has an impact on these marginalized people with extremist views who might be … driven to embark in acts of violence," he said.

    "Some of the things that he has said on the video – allegedly referring to woke mobs and things like that – that's not dissimilar from rhetoric that you hear from some politicians that we've heard recently in the primary season," McCabe said.

    "So this kind of language has an effect on the … most vulnerable, most potentially dangerous part of our population. And I think it's something that most security officials are really concerned about."

    What. A. Surprise. Right wing nut job influenced by right wing nut jobs decapitates his father and posts it online.

    It's not a bug, it's a feature.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2024/02/us-man-arrested-after-posing-with-severed-head-of-father-in-online-political-rant-video-police-say.html

  10. Tony Veitch 10

    On the midday news – RNZ has seen a document that suggests Costello requested the information about freezing the tax increases on tobacco from the Health Ministry.

    Does this mean she's lied to Parliament? To the Media? To the PM?

    [Note I listed them in order of importance! Lol.]

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    "Notes that New Zealand First Minister Casey Costello sent to health officials on reforming smoke free laws make it clear that a freeze on excise tax for tobacco were her idea.

    The notes, which have been obtained by RNZ, also include proposals for more tax breaks for the tobacco industry, including no excise tax on tobacco products that are heated rather than burned.

    Costello also likens the harmfulness of nicotine to caffeine."

    Gob. Smacking.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350165261/revealed-tobacco-tax-freeze-was-associate-health-minister-casey-costellos-idea

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Most folk know nicotine kills people, and most don't know caffeine kills them too. So all she has to do at this point is supply the missing evidence for her claim.

      Oh, and if she doesn’t, it’s strike #2. Perhaps someone ought to explain to her that this doesn’t mean runs on the board for NZF??

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        Caffeine kills?

        Got proof?

        Waiting…

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.1.2

        Caffeine == Nicotine is a tobacco industry public relations line, it is notable to see the minister using it, more evidence she is captured by tobacco lobbyists.

        The two drugs have some similarities. While the tobacco industry is implying that caffeine is accepted so nicotine is also fine – in some respects (e.g. blood pressure) if you are using one, you should probably use even less of the other (they can add together).

        And of course nicotine traditionally addicts you into consuming a bunch of truly unhealthy stuff, like tar.

        • gsays 11.1.2.1

          While this (Costello clearly in the pay of tobacco lobbyists) is grim, when the dust settles, it can open the opportunity to get a transparent lobbyists register.

          Now that Labour are in opposition, make hay out of the situation.

          I often question how strong the trucking lobby is in Wellington. Hipkins did make a change (too incremental for me though) when he removed swipe cards from them. Starting from this point, propose some meaningful reform.

          • Anne 11.1.2.1.1

            Good idea gsays. There's far too much goes on behind the scenes we never get to hear about. Some forced transparency would go a long way to remedy the situation.

            I don't see this coalition govt. being willing to come to the party though. Too many of their rich donors are closely linked to the lobbyists and that includes some of their ministers.

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.2.2

          Mmmmmm…tar!

          Gimme a pint of that good, sweet tar!

      • Michael P 11.1.3

        "Most folk know nicotine kills people…"

        Only a massive overdose would kill you. But a massive overdose of just about anything could kill you. I've never heard of caffeine killing people either.

    • Michael P 11.2

      Most of it is gobsmacking agreed but she's right about the harmfulness of nicotine.

      • SPC 11.2.1

        Not when it addicts people to a product that includes the carcinogen in tobacco tar.

        • Muttonbird 11.2.1.1

          Yeah, the pitch that nicotine is as harmful as caffeine is straight out of David Seymour's libertarian student debating handbook. Just throw it out there to distract from the actual harm and see who gets taken in by it.

          • Incognito 11.2.1.1.1

            Everybody knows that chocolate is way more addictive than caffeine. Yet, kids eat it without warning!

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Lux thinks the coalition is squeaky-clean:

    Asked about ministers declaring any donations they had received from the tobacco industry, Luxon said there were "incredibly good" disclosure and conflict of interest rules. The other two minor parties had told him (via staff) they had not received money in that regard.

    Every Cabinet meeting started with ensuring there were no perceived or potential conflict of interest issues that needed to be raised. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/508126/watch-prime-minister-christopher-luxon-faces-questions-in-auckland

    "Hey, any of you guys succumbed to a conflict of interest lure since we last met? Stick up your hands."

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      Do fish know they're in water?

      • Dennis Frank 12.1.1

        Apparently not, according to opinionators I have read lately. Do humans know they're in Gaia? Well I've known ever since I read Lovelock's first book, but most humans remain unaware of their niche ambience. Do parts know wholes enclose them? If you believe in the zero-point field, yes. Parts are informed by the whole's matrix effect & ensuing ecosystemic relations.

        • gsays 12.1.1.1

          "Do humans know they're in Gaia?"

          A couple of times now I have shared the observation with my fundamentalist Christian father-in-law, while we are at the beach fishing together, how good it is today in God's cathedral.

          He usually replies tentatively in the affirmative.

          • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.1.1

            He's looking sideways at you, gsays 🙂

            In any case, "Gods' cathedral" is in the forest 🙂

            The beach is something else…

            • gsays 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Looking at me sideways, he wouldn't be the first to pull an eye muscle in my company, usually from rolling them.

              Anytime we are in nature we are in God's cathedral. Denying the beach over the forest sounds a little fundamentalist to me. wink

              • Robert Guyton

                I don't agree 🙂

                Beaches are what they are; you can play on them, relax on them, perhaps forage on them, but there's very little opportunity to establish a symbiotic, beneficial relationship with them; that is, there's little you can do to optimise their potential 🙂

                Forests, otoh, are where the action is; humans can employ their minds for multiplying the energy of forests; increase their diversity, ensure their longevity, create more of them and so on.

                Beach-bum, or woodlander?

                • gsays

                  You don't have to agree. Again, it ain't binary.

                  I feel for you that you don't see the potential in optimising a beach by; fishing, collecting kai moana, swimming, building forts from driftwood (where the forests ultimately can end up), creating tracks and paths in sandhills to roll a golf ball down only to run back up and repeat the exercise, rivermouth's with their biodiversity of flora and fauna.

                  Just letting go and surrendering to the pulse, the energy release of every wave meeting the shore. A constant reminder of ultimately our insignificance. That is without mentioning, depending on the coast you are on, sunrise and sunsets.

                  I get the same in the bush. As you elude to.

                  Fundamentalist or polytheist?

        • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.2

          It took a book, Dennis?

          You've gotta get out more 🙂

          • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.2.1

            smiley Yeah, as in two sorts of knowing. There's inner knowing & outer. I acquired the former when I explored my local bush as a child of 8 or so, and the hippie era revalidated that experientially.

            Social gnosis, as opposed to personal gnosis, is usually driven by media – of which books are an antique form. It transcends the personal dimension by getting humans onto a like-minded view based on common ground.

      • Macro 12.1.2

        They certainly know when they are out of the water!

        Except of course the mudskippers. They much prefer to be out of water.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAQuoH_fOWM

  13. Ad 13

    A low key lobbying campaign is underway to restart live animal transport is underway.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/507389/the-1m-pr-and-lobbying-campaign-to-overturn-livestock-export-ban

    Most will remember the sinking in the Pacific in which 6,000 of animals drowned.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/425171/live-cattle-exports-suspended-after-ship-goes-missing-mpi

    And now …

    More than 16,000 animals are aboard the MV Bahijah anchored off Western Australia, where sweltering heat is adding to pressure on the Australian government to decide whether to re-export the live cargo or allow the vessel back to dock following more than three weeks at sea.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2024/01/31/australia/australia-ship-sheep-cattle-red-sea-intl-hnk/index.html

    • gsays 13.1

      A letter campaign to the Minister of Agriculture is in order.

      As opposed to an easily ignored e-mail.

  14. Michael P 14

    Amongst the briefings to incoming ministers from public servants was the one for Mark Mitchell, Minister for Emergency management and recovery. It included the following statement.

    "Regarding earthquakes, the briefing said there was a 25 per cent chance of “a major Hikurangi Subduction Zone earthquake event occurring in the next 50 years."

    “Indicative national impacts of a major Hikurangi earthquake and tsunami include tens of thousands of people dead, injured or displaced from their homes, and significant damage to the built environment (in excess of $144 billion).”

    Holy crap. If I had a house on the East Coast of the North Island I'd be outta there! That's a pretty high chance of the event occurring anytime from tomorrow onwards and the longer it doesn't happen, the higher the chance gets that it will happen tomorrow.

    Or am I not understanding properly and it's unlikely to happen?

    Whole article here:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/could-happen-tomorrow-government-warned-of-chances-of-catastrophic-earthquake/YEUALN5BOVGKNH7X7F3QC2D25I/

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      am I not understanding properly and it's unlikely to happen?

      Applying stats to quakes is more art than science. I did geophysics long ago & the odds are always indicative of likelihood. My take is that govt ought to do serious contingency planning for the sake of East Coasters.

      The big one is indeed overdue: 3 centuries since the last time. However the nature of stress build-up on the edge of crustal plates is such that variations often make shifts regional rather than overall due to frictional resistance depending on other factors. so that likely explains their focus on Hikurangi rather than the Alps…

  15. Robert Guyton 15

    "“On the question as to whether it reflects something unsavoury, which meddlesome minds might promote…"

    Jones on connections with tobacco companies.

    So, that's a yes, imo.

    "Tobacco lobbyist guest at Ministers’ swearing-in ceremony" – couldn't link – the heading will take you there.

  16. David 16

    The decline of Jacinda Arderns personal popularity from late 2020 is nothing short of astonishing. As an example, the 1News Kantar poll to 2 December 2020, had her polling 58% as preferred PM; in the same poll just before she resigned (to 30 November 2022) her support had halved to 29%. Similarly, the Reid Research poll had her with numbers of 48% in May 2021, dropping to 30% in November 2022. Some of this is almost certainly due to covid fatigue, however the multiple and significant failures of her tenure (e.g. Kiwibuild, Te Pukenga) and the line of MP's who misbehaved under watch (some of which only came out after she resigned) to me demonstrated a person who, while a media darling, was out of her depth in many ways.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [Take two weeks off for diversion trolling – Incognito]

  17. SPC 17

    A group of public health experts …

    Consequences from New Zealand transitioning from world exemplar-to-pariah under the confabulation.

    Examining why?

    Scalpel 1 – follow the money to the source

    Scalpel 2 – identify the people in government and their connection to funded organisations

    Scalpel 3 – what politicians say and who created those very narratives

    Scalpel 4 – wait for the denial and prove it to be a lie.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2024/02/experts-detail-swathe-of-possible-connections-between-coalition-government-politicians-and-tobacco-industry-david-seymour-responds.html

  18. Dennis Frank 18

    Sheesh, did they actually do all that??

    After 17 years as the dominant force in Scottish politics, the SNP is running neck-and-neck with Labour. The reason: it allowed itself to get seriously out of step with Scotland’s voters. The Scots are well-educated progressive people, but they [got freaked out by] a premier, and a party, that saw nothing wrong with incarcerating a convicted rapist in Cornton Vale women’s prison on the grounds that she had subsequently self-identified as a woman.

    Though the Premier, Nicola Sturgeon, responding to public outrage, removed the rapist, Isla Bryson, from Cornton Vale, the damage was done.

    According to The Guardian, Sturgeon’s predecessor (and political mentor) Alex Salmond accused her of “throwing away” the hope of Scottish independence (the SNP’s raison d’être) for the sake of controversial gender recognition reforms. Things went from bad to worse for the SNP – following Sturgeon’s resignation, she and her husband became the focus of a police investigation, and the SNP membership rejected the socially conservative candidate for Premier, Kate Forbes, in favour of the woke Humza Yousaf.

    So now the dumb buggers are led by a wokester?? Time's up for them!

    https://pointofordernz.wordpress.com/2024/02/01/chris-trotter-intransigent-minorities/

    • SPC 18.1

      Except that Trotter's article is more about wanting a referendum so a "majority" can prevent what he has posed as some threat to "democracy" from Maori and supporters of the Treaty continuance.

      He's part of Rob's Mob 50 years on – it is a pity that Murray Ball is not here to send him up with a cartoon – a reprise of Stanley using the visage of Trotter.

  19. Stephen D 19

    The Labour front bench need to go on the serious offensive.

    Hound Costello, and Mitchell relentlessly. Until they force their resignations.

    Then target Reti and Wills.

  20. Chess Player 20

    Interesting to see the 'announcement of the announcement' trend started by the Ardern government has become the standard way of doing things.

    Wouldn't it be good if we had some elected representatives who just got on with things?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350164491/live-chloe-swarbrick-announce-co-leadership-bid

    • Muttonbird 20.1

      I'm not sure why you are so hurt by this, at least hurt enough to comment on it.

      Swarbrick has called a press conference tomorrow, presumably to announce her leadership bid. This is standard, and newsworthy, it's a press conference (there's the clue) so the media have announced it.

      I guess Jacinda still lives in your head.

      • Chess Player 20.1.1

        Not hurt by it at all (and not sure why you feel the need to spin it that way, although given your use of first name I'm guessing you know Ardern well) – just observing the way messaging is being disseminated these days.

        The whole dynamic of how pollies communicate via the media has changed in the last few years.

        I was in the pub when someone else saw this article pop up and told everyone else, and the reaction was similar amongst the group, such as 'why not just stand up and say what you're doing rather than stage an event that gets as many clicks and likes as possible'.

        My guess is it's attention seeking, and feeding the ego, so I won't be tuning in myself.

        Swarbrick was always the only candidate that made sense for the Greens at this time – so it's not really news is it.

        Best of luck to her, as I've voted for her for council in the past, although I probably wouldn't again – talks a lot but doesn't get enough done, for my liking.

        • Muttonbird 20.1.1.1

          I'm not sure you know how press conferences work. A politician wants to announce something to the public so their office contacts the media to be at a certain place at a certain time to they can relay that message to the public.

          You and your friends in the pub would prefer Swarbrick to stand on the steps unannounced? I bet you would…

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