Open mike 01/09/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 1st, 2019 - 188 comments
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188 comments on “Open mike 01/09/2019”

  1. Robert Guyton 2

    Genetic engineering is not required when organic farming has the solutions, writes Philippa Jamieson.

    "Former chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman has said that New Zealand could become a ''backwater'' if we don't loosen up our laws governing genetic engineering. The ODT editorial (19.8.19) also claimed we are ''in serious danger of becoming uncompetitive''.

    On the contrary! We stand to gain by remaining GE-free, and even better, by transitioning towards organics. Demand for clean, green, GE-free, safe, healthy, ethical organic food is increasing year on year – around the world and here in Aotearoa New Zealand."

    https://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/no-ge-needed-new-zealand?fbclid=IwAR3agtF9RZbn0H9BAt6J2IW_i3cyfNO94wEVhYHZkoKyPElyIPDzUX2kXxU

    • francesca 2.1

      You're right there 

      A small country like ours could be a niche provider of good quality food

      We're an island, we don't have the problems of continental borders We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this preference in the market 

      And apart from all that economic blather  primarily we could do it through our commitment to more natural farming. Genetic selection and breeding , yes, forceful splicing( a kind of rape of a plant's integrity) , no

       

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Industry will use climate change as a lever to dislodge the organic argument around GE.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.1

          Good to see a rebuttal of Sir Peter Gluckman the scientist that Gnats love to love.   I think John Key made some comment about specialist advisors – that for every gambit that the Left could produce, he could produce a different one from the Right.   So it is all a battle for whoever will prevail, and the devil take the hindmost despite real outcomes that need precaution to prevent, or positive input to create and encourage.

          • Incognito 2.1.1.1.1

            He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview.

            John Key on Dr Mike Joy.

            • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Key got away with comparing legal opinions – which are just etheria- and science which is more rigorous and  has a defined process to become  peer reviewed .

              The closest example is a court judgement after  the opinions and facts have been presented.

    • Given that she's an organic food industry lobbyist, "Well she would say that, wouldn't she?" I expect a GE industry lobbyist would take a different view.

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        She would and they would. It's a nuanced discussion, that of organically-grown food in relation to that which is not grown that way. Some human industries might have been better to have been left as theory, rather than pursued, by humans; "germ warfare" for example, and I wonder if there's a bona fide way of knowing, at the outset, whether any particular path is a wise one to follow, or not. Clearly arguments can be made and won, even though the results might ultimately be catastrophic. Is there a way to judge, in the early stages, the wisdom of such proposals? The GE proposals are some that are met with strong feelings of opposition by people such as Philippa; is she correct in her position? Is it just "reasoned debate" that can determine the suitable path to take? Are the views of indigenous peoples the true measure of such proposals? I think that needs exploring.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          The precautionary principle seems a useful frame to judge emerging tech. Do we actually *need GE foods? I can't see any reason why we do. If some consider it a nice to have, let's work with the precautionary principle first. Should have applied that to dairy conversions too.

          • Stuart Munro. 2.2.1.1.1

            There are some quite useful possibilities that come with the technology – soybeans modified to synthesize lysine for example, a protein chiefly found in fish, the absence of which slows growth rates in a number of domestic animals.

            Unfortunately the technology seems to have been first adopted by the ravening loons at Monsanto, so they went after terminator genes and "roundup readiness". The former is a fairly reasonable use, the latter two not worth taking chances for.

            • weka 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree that Monsanto has taken things to whole new heights. However the soybean example would be a decades long experiment until we get large long term studies. If we look at the fat hypothesis, we can see half a century now of bad science and worse public health response and despite the problems with the hypothesis being well known for a decade we're still not moving on changing.

              I just don't think we are anywhere near close to being able to responsibly assess and manage GE tech in the food chain. Part of that is capitalism and Monsanto culture, but those dynamics are throughout society including science and medicine. 

               

              • Stuart Munro.

                The lysine soybeans were done long ago – Big Ag twisted Monsanto's arm.

                Actually I think it can be assessed responsibly without too much trouble, the difficulty is once you say yes proponents will try to bring in everything, a very undesirable tendency.

                There is also the thing that plant geneticists are possible well paid skilled occupations for a sustainable future society. NZ used to be good at that stuff, even without these new technologies.

                • weka

                  "Actually I think it can be assessed responsibly without too much trouble"

                  How?

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    An assessment of value versus risk, with a field trial imposition or exclusion for not meeting value minimums. So that a crop field tested for twenty years or so might be okayed for general release – if it has no complaints against it in that time.

                    The difficulty would be to create a system robust enough to remain operative under the reckless stupidity of the current opposition – and that would certainly be an almost insurmountable challenge.

                    • weka

                      crop tested 20 years for what? I'm not sure what you are assessing there.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @Weka

                      It's a catchall.

                      The field test is to reveal problems not anticipated in the design phase. So going back to the lysine soybeans – have they any cultural (ie are they invasive or do they cross fertilize to a problematic degree) or do they develop toxicity or provoke allergic responses. If twenty years say no, they're not so different from comparable non GE soybeans and need not be restricted.

                      Plants designed for high pesticide resistance or to resist insect pests by accumulating toxins might have to reach a higher standard. But for example the GMO designed to restore the American Chestnut  does not seem to be problematic, and subject to a trial, might be released.

                    • weka []

                      “have they any cultural (ie are they invasive or do they cross fertilize to a problematic degree) or do they develop toxicity or provoke allergic responses”

                      How do you assess provoking allergic responses? Or other health issues? It sounds good in theory, but we know that people already have various reactions to eating soy, and that food intolerances seem to be increasing and we don’t yet know why. Add to that that science isn’t *that good at assessing combined and culmulative effects, nor understanding the synergistic aspect of plants that has come about via natural selection and how that impacts on humans (eg what’s the relationship of lysine to the other amino acids and other components and processes in the plant?), and I’ll invoke the precautionary principle again.

                      What’s the point of the lysine manipulation?

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      The point of lysine is that stock that lack it in their diets have their growth constrained – it need only be about 0.5 or 1 %. Traditionally this shortfall was made up with fishmeal, but growing demand versus declining supply has made that very expensive, and it promotes 'kill everything' fishing habits. I'm not sure if it is used for salmon feeds or the cooked legume based fish feeds they've developed in Oz, but in principle it would be sensible.

                      Allergy testing is usually by scratch tests, there are well standardized protocols.

              • greywarshark

                This from weka is a very well put piece of truth that should be absorbed in every brain cell by those positing that increased technology and experimentation of any sort is what we need to overcome all our present and future problems.

                I just don't think we are anywhere near close to being able to responsibly assess and manage GE tech in the food chain. Part of that is capitalism and Monsanto culture, but those dynamics are throughout society including science and medicine. 

                There is an interesting example coming up for consideration that perhaps we could look at and that is a new version of ryegrass that has been trialled for NZ (I understand) in the USA.   Has every downside of its use been examined carefully and objectively?  If we did decide to use it, would we have complete ownership of it?   Or have we foregone that by not doing the trials ourselves.    Can we trust the firm to maintain their integrity and commit themselves and their employees to handing back to us all our material and renounce any interest in it?

                • KJT

                  The main problem is the current separation of responsibility, of the people making the money, shareholders, and the people who end up paying for the fuckups, us!

                  Simply changing company law, so that those who profit from any technology, or any business activity,  are jointly strictly liable personally under criminal law, with penalties commensurate with the costs, for any consequent damage, would stop a lot of enthusiasm for untested technology.

                  Monsanto would fast lose their enthusiasm for roundup, if they knew there is a certainty of having to prove dead bees wasn't them.

          • Psycho Milt 2.2.1.1.2

            The precautionary principle seems a useful frame to judge emerging tech.

            The precautionary principle is a handy tool for opposing the introduction of a new technology, because it demands the inventors prove a negative.  It's not very useful outside of that context.

            Do we actually *need GE foods?

            Nope.  But then, given that we made it through half a billion years of evolution without using any technology at all until the last hundred thousand, the same answer applies to all technology – from stone tools through to artificial intelligence.

            • weka 2.2.1.1.2.1

              That's not what I meant though. I mean us, now, in the middle of the post-industrial revolution. Some tech we need eg how to maintain nuclear reactors so they don't cause mass damage. We need cancer treatments. We need ways of growing food. We don't have a lot of alternatives for preventing nuclear fallout or cancer, we do have perfectly adequate alternatives to GE for food growing. If half the effort (science and political) went into that instead of GE, we'd be well on our way to reducing ag GHGs by now.

              "The precautionary principle is a handy tool for opposing the introduction of a new technology, because it demands the inventors prove a negative.  It's not very useful outside of that context."

              You say that like it's a bad thing.

               

              • Requiring people to prove a negative is a bad thing, both in this particular instance and as a general principle.  

                • weka

                  not in this case. Proof of a negative isn't required. Pro-GE people might frame it like that but that misses the point of the precautionary principle. If there's reasonable grounds for caution because of the unknown nature of the proposal, then the inability to prove a negative is useful. It slows us down so we can make better decisions.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Still wondering it it might be easier/better to ask someone wise smiley

                    • weka

                      who did you have in mind?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Someone uncivilised.

                      Someone who hasn't suffered a cultural "death-by-a-thousand-cuts".

                      Someone who knows plants in the way you might know a family-member.

                      Maybe someone long-passed. Perhaps such a person has left words that we can apply to this situation.

                      Anyone spring to your mind?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Wrong spot!

                  • Opposition to GE is essentially religious in nature, so no amount of testing will ever be enough to convince opponents that the precautionary principle has been satisfied.  I don't see a difference between that and asking people to prove a negative.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Opposition to GE is essentially religious in nature,

                      Rubbish.

                       

                    • Sacha

                      Opposition to rubbish is essentially religious 🙂

                    • Brigid

                      "Opposition to GE is essentially religious in nature"

                      Oh bullshit. Those who opposed to GE actually understand what the process is and how the result is an organism that cannot be proven to be safe, as opposed to organisms that we've been consuming for thousands of years that have only been changed by natural or specific selection. And if you claim GE is the same as selection by trait you don't understand what Genetic Engineering is. Though the name should give you some clue.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Support of GE is likewise, religious.

                      So, how to make the decisions?

                      Consult the religious leaders?

                      Or ask someone not contaminated by any religion?

                    • Support of GE is likewise, religious.

                      If we define "religious" so broadly as to make it a meaningless term, sure.

                      So, how to make the decisions?

                      Evidence and rational argument is always a pretty good start. A demand to prove a negative isn't.  

                    • Incognito []

                      Evidence and rational argument is always a pretty good start.

                      I fully agree. But it can never be complete, conclusive, definitive, and absolute. Nor can it be the be-all-end-all. Nor can it nullify emotions. Nor can it decide moral dilemmas.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "If we define "religious" so broadly as to make it a meaningless term, sure."

                      Not everyone is religious, nor every world-view religious. We could find someone untainted, I'm sure.

                      "Evidence and rational argument is always a pretty good start. A demand to prove a negative isn't.  "

                      Lets start with evidence and rational argument then. I don't demand that anyone prove a negative.

                    • KJT

                      Bull. Any science that is carried out by people who want to make a profit from a technology should be treated with suspicion.

                      And the cost benefit ratio to the community should be assessed. Including the degree of risk if it turns out like the introduction of rabbits, down the track.

                      After enough testing to ensure that it is safe enough. 

                      Not forgetting what companies did to farmers over patented crops.

                      There are also commercial reasons to remain GE free for export crops. There is a huge market around the world to people who don't want to be lab rats.

                    • Incognito: I understand that. It's why evidence and rational argument is a good place to start, not the be-all and end-all.  

                      Robert: if we start with evidence and rational argument, it's up to GE opponents to explain what harm they envisage from GE, not to issue an impossible demand for GE researchers to prove that no damage could possibly occur. 

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Robert: if we start with evidence and rational argument, it's up to GE opponents to explain what harm they envisage from GE, not to issue an impossible demand for GE researchers to prove that no damage could possibly occur. "

                      I agree. Will you put forward your evidence and rational argument so we can have a discussion? It would be interesting to start with one simple claim/aspect, rather than a general one; much easier to contain the discussion and hopefully, reach agreement.

                    • Robert: it would be simpler to start with one simple aspect if GE opponents were only opposed to particular individual instances of it and unopposed to it as a general principle, but that isn't the case.  Blanket rejection of GE as a technology requires evidence and rational argument for that blanket rejection.

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.2.2

              Don't you think that sellers of technology should show that it is safe.

              We even have safety requirements for car manufacturers. Crop and pesticide developers, especially in the USA, are largely self regulated, with only the threat of individual law suits. As with tobacco, those take decades to affect profits enough to have any effect.

              • Don't you think that sellers of technology should show that it is safe.

                I certainly do. Technology like this requires thorough testing in a rigorous regulatory environment. Which we have.

                The flip side of that question is equally valid: don't you think that once thorough testing in a tightly-regulated environment shows a technology is safe, its use should be permitted?

    • Heather Grimwoood 2.3

      to Robert  at  2:  " Demand for…..safe  organic  food  is  increasing  etc"   is  why  this  great  gran  is  (after  early  swim  to  keep  fit  enough  to  accomplish it) going  to spend  this  gorgeous  Dunedin  day  attending  to  my  vegies and  berries  as  have  done  for decades.  wherever  my  home.  Importantly,  the  taste  of  food  fresh  from  the  garden is  inestimably better than  almost  anything  from  supermarket  shelves,  conveniently  at  hand  and  cheaper. 

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.1

        "Are the views of indigenous peoples* the true measure of such proposals? I think that needs exploring."

        *Or great grans smiley

        • Heather Grimwoood 2.3.1.1

          to  Robert  at  2.3.1. :  enjoyed  the  smile…..NB  that this  great  gran  has  enjoyed  home grown  food  since  babyhood  and  knows  her onions  regarding  development  in  GE. Had  gardens  for my  classes  for  decades …..also  taught  about greenhouse  gas  threat as  soon  as was  in  science  journals.

  2. Sacha 3

    At last, a genuine prospect of undoing the damage Max Bradford did to NZ's electricity system: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/115323041/loyal-customers-set-to-benefit-from-electricity-review-but-gas-users-may-pay-more

    Structural separation and a re-merger would mean the electricity industry would have approximately the same market structure that the National government imposed on the telecommunications industry when it forced Telecom to split into Spark and Chorus and decided that retailers of ultrafast broadband (UFB) should compete on an even footing.

    Reintegrating the 51-per cent stated-owned generators and spinning off their retail arms into fully privatised businesses may ultimately prove necessary. That is if the industry is to meet the challenge of increasing electricity supply by 43 per cent to generate the 57 terawatt-hours (TWh) that Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials believe will be required by 2050, and the Government's goal of 100 per cent renewable generation by 2035.

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      You forgot one part about 'forced separation' of Telecom and Chorus

      National government  paid around $950 mill to buy 45% of Chorus AND  provided  'soft loans' for Chorus to build Fibre  street network PLUS  tax payer funded installs ( $2000 each ?)  from street backbone to ‘ fibre terminating unit’ inside the house.

      There is a multi billion dollar public  funded utility in  controlled by a private business.

      I always thought years ago that when Telecom was sold off  ( so taxpayers wouldnt have to bail it out or fund  its capital for expansion) that one day we would  have to 'buy it back' –  like we did with Kiwirail and Air NZ.

      And  by various means ,  we paid for it but didnt get the ownership !

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        Steven Joyce, negotiating genius. Even with Cunliffe having done the legwork on separation, his successor still managed to transfer more state money into private pockets to sweeten the deal.

        • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.1

          Treasury must have had a seizure when they  were asked to evaluate the proposal, dont recall much at the time .

          Not only that but the whole fibre broadband tender  from Chorus  at the time was , as they say, 'non conforming' which it meant they  didnt meet the terms and conditions.  But they jacked up a  backroom deal with Joyce with a few titbits for others to give a semblance of  open tender.

          Curran has been dragged over the coals for a meeting or two with Carol Hirschfeld and yet  Joyce was in deals  'off the calendar' worth 'billions' and nothing in the media ( mostly because  the main media journalists were  'his chooks' who were regularly fed inside stories- except the likes of Road Oram who were  forced out)

      • The Chairman 3.1.2

        And  by various means ,  we paid for it but didnt get the ownership !

        Indeed, Dukeofurl. Nor did we (taxpayers) get the return, which of course were privatised.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/102708888/way-to-be-cleared-for-big-electricity-players-to-prey-on-lowincome-households 

    • millsy 3.2

      Don't hold your breath. It doesn't look like much will change out of all this. 

  3. Hanswurst 4

    Am I the only one who wishes Martyn Bradbury would shut the f*** up about everything 'woke'. He honestly has some serious obsession issues in that regard.

    • could someone please tell me what 'woke' is/means..?

      and as a leftwing vegan – who doesn't use alcohol – but who does smoke pot..

      am i automatically one of these 'woke'-people..?

      i fear i might be – so need some clarification here..

      (i feel a t-shirt coming on – 'am i woke?'..)

    • Rapunzel 4.2

      No you're not and he hangs out with some very funny people too.

    • Gabby 4.3

      Just about everything, really.

  4. Sacha 5

    And haven't we seen similar lines here recently.

    https://www.salon.com/2019/08/30/misogyny-meet-hypocrisy-climate-deniers-go-after-aoc-greta-thunberg-with-sexist-attacks/

    Unfortunately, Thunberg was also greeted by a wave of misogynist nastiness, largely coming from allegedly grown men in both Europe and the United States. The attacks on Thunberg were in the same vein as those on Ocasio-Cortez, accusing her of being too stupid to know what she's talking about and denying that her voice is one worth honoring. A writer for the conservative Washington Examiner claimed that Thunberg is a victim of "child abuse" and that her mother "pimps their kid out," explicitly drawing a line between forced sex work and climate activism. 

    • Heather Grimwoood 5.1

      To Sacha  at  5:  that  comment  about "child  abuse" towards  Thunberg's  parents  reminds me of  a  BBC  reporter  at  the  Auckland  CHOGM  conference  who  asked me  why a  woman  like  me  (  not  defined)  was  holding an  anti-nuke  banner. In  discussion  I  told  him  of  young  grandson  also  very  perturbed  about  nuclear  testing  at that time,  whereupon  he replied  that children  shouldn't  know about  such things!  
      I suspect he had no idea that the protest was about Mururoa in particular but British and French interest in nukes as well, and was there to report clamour for arriving dignitaries.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        'pimps their kid out'.    Vile comment.   We have had a few slurs here also. Some brains need to go in the wash and be hung to dry in sunlight.   A natural disinfectant for some very degraded, besmirched humans.

    • Gabby 5.2

      Hopefully they'll sue.

  5. Herodotus 6

    With this trial of supplying lunches to some test schools, I ask why lunch, would not breakfast have a greater result? As then the students are in a better place for the entire school day not the last couple of hours.

     

    • weka 6.1

      Good point. I assume the theory is they get breakfast at home but might not be given any lunch or lunch money.

    • Incognito 6.2

      I assume it’s harder to organise in the morning.

      • Herodotus 6.2.1

        i thought breakfast would be easier to make available and would also be able to more easily be adapted to cover most if not all dietary and cultural needs and can be provided on site. Lunch time is more compressed and I would imagine require heating of food with pre prepared being needed off site and food would be more difficult to cover varied needs.

        • Incognito 6.2.1.1

          Getting kids to school on time and settling them into a routine is not an easy task. Maybe providing breakfast is a good way of achieving that but it will cut into class time. Indeed, it would be better to provide sustenance at the beginning of the day but I think the practicality of that works against it.

          • KJT 6.2.1.1.1

            Definitely the Kids are much easier to settle down in class if they have had breakfast. I found running them around the field first thing, especially the Boys also helped.

            On Spirit of Adventure the kids started with star jumps and swimming around the ship in the morning, followed by a full cooked breakfast. No trouble getting them to pay attention.

    • Sacha 6.3

      There are already breakfast programmes in many schools.

      • JanM 6.3.1

        Yes, and in some pre-schools too. They are mostly cereal and milk and the children can often help themselves. No big fuss is made about them, hence many people might not know. It's been hapening for years – at least 10 I would say

         

        • The Chairman 6.3.1.1

          Yes, JanM and Sacha.

          But clearly, while feeding kids at school/preschool helps somewhat, it hasn't done enough to stop the growing queues at food banks nor the growing demand for hardship grants.   

          • Sacha 6.3.1.1.1

            It is not intended to. That takes other actions.

            • The Chairman 6.3.1.1.1.1

              That, evidently, are lacking.

              What’s the hold up? Could it be our politicians are paid too much, thus are out of touch?

              • KJT

                It requires actions like, actually paying people enough money to live, instead of tax payers subsidizing underpaying employers. But that option doesn't seem to have arrived on Labours radar, and is anathema to National's "socialism for the rich".

            • In Vino 6.3.1.1.1.2

              Schools I have been in (Secondary sector) recognised that most kids ate most of their lunch at Morning Interval, so lengthened Morning Interval a bit, shifted Lunch back one hour, and had only one period after lunch instead of the old two periods, when difficult classes could be at their most nightmarish.

              Because of this, I would seriously hope that these so-called 'lunches' will be given out at Morning Interval.  

              Lunch time is too late, and would minimise the benefit.

  6. The Chairman 7

    Suicide rates are 90 per cent higher in areas of high deprivation

    http://features.nzherald.co.nz/teen-suicide-an-untold-story/

    Hence, when I called out Cinny & Rosemary on their denial of the impact of poverty on the high number of suicides it wasn't without good reason 

    We have families where people are living with no hope and no opportunities. When someone feels like they have nowhere to go, one of the consequences is suicide.” –  Far North Mayor John Carter.

    http://features.nzherald.co.nz/teen-suicide-an-untold-story/

    The Morgan Foundation have been researching what works (see below) to ensure  lower income families get the chance to thrive.

    The evidence shows it is poverty itself that is at the heart of why lower income children and parents experience greater levels of mental distress.

    In the book Pennies From Heaven, I describe research showing that being poor affects parents and their children’s wellbeing through increased stress.

    Stress affects the way parents interact with children, it affects their family relationships, and the brain development of children themselves – all of which impacts on parents’ and children’s mental wellbeing.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/09-07-2017/we-already-know-how-to-help-prevent-suicide-when-will-we-start-taking-action/

    Cash with no strings attached is a very powerful tool.

    We researched the effectiveness of intensive in-home pre-schooling, parental training, housing interventions, food in schools and nurses in schools, additional cash for families with children, compulsory employment programmes for parents and more.

    Nothing was as powerful in improving lives and preventing negative outcomes as unconditional cash.

    Unconditional cash lifts the stress – other interventions may not

    Cash without strings allows parents to alleviate their family’s particular source of stress – no family has exactly the same sources of stress or the same set of support needs. Cash does not proscribe or prescribe solutions.

    Conditional or in-kind assistance (e.g. food in schools, welfare to work programmes) assume to know the source of all struggling families’ needs, or else place conditions on parents in return for that support (like low-paid casual work attendance). These assumptions and conditions can simply increase stress.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/02-03-2017/pennies-from-heaven-why-we-need-to-give-all-parents-cash/

    [It is nice that you feel vindicated.

    Hence, when I called out Cinny & Rosemary on their denial of the impact of poverty on the high number of suicides it wasn’t without good reason

    However, IMO you are misinterpreting if not twisting their words and using this to vindicate yourself and/or your judgemental opinion in some way. Get over it! Sensitive topics such as suicide are not for scoring points of any kind.

    You stubbornly refuse to listen and taken on board suggestions and advice. You stubbornly refuse to change your style and MO. You can get quite shitty when challenged. You stubbornly refuse to take responsibility for your role in the frequent pile-ons. Your hypercritical negative comments are nothing but your biased opinion and judgement but you don’t acknowledge or accept that.

    I am getting fed up with your judgemental criticisms because they do not make for good robust debate. I’m giving you yet another warning to change your ways, because you can make a (highly) positive contribution here on this site even or particularly if it is criticism of the Government, past or present, instead of diverting attention away to yourself. Please take heed or sooner or later I will take away your privilege of commenting on this site irrespective of you being a leftie, which you most likely are; you are not the first leftie to receive a ban – Incognito]

    • totally support what you are saying about poverty as a cause of depression/suicide..

      it does my head in how journalists don't seem to have the nous to ask emoting politicians that question..

      it also does my head in how so many of the unblinking/in-lockstep supporters of this gimmint shift uneasily in their seats at this question – knowing their labour gummint (except for sole-parents) has done s.f.a. to address poverty…
      which – can only be done – not by more emoting – but by increasing the incomes – by a substantial amount – of those poorest/most likely to kill themselves…

    • Dukeofurl 7.2

      While the general point may true ,  comparing  raw numbers with high numbers of teens/younger adults  may just produce relatively  higher numbers than areas with  far less  of those  groups. Guess what  demographics have large families  ?

      Its the equivalent of saying  very busy roads have more crashes because they are 'dangerous', when the clue is they  have massively higher numbers of cars.

      • The Chairman 7.2.1

        Clearly, you overlooked this: Suicide rates are 90 per cent higher in areas of high deprivation. Thus, we are not only talking about the number of youth suicides.

        • Dukeofurl 7.2.1.1

          What does your headline say?

          teen suicide an untold story …hmmm what group  could that be about. They even say its so high for that group it  causes a noticeable  bump in stats

          Love to see your reference about ALL  age groups that invalidates my claim

          • The Chairman 7.2.1.1.1

            Yes, that is one headline of the links provided. And more than one link was provided 

             But the statement clearly states suicide rates are 90 per cent higher in areas of high deprivation.

            This comes down to the associated stress that comes with being poor, thus losing hope. And families are made up of more than just children.

            Denial much?

          • David Mac 7.2.1.1.2

            In a search to try and make sense of what is happening we look for common denominators. Poverty check. Brown check. Young check.

            But none of this is why we take our own lives. As Mike King says "We harm ourselves when our inner critic gets the upper hand."

             

            • The Chairman 7.2.1.1.2.1

              In search of finding solutions we seek reasons why the problem is occurring.

              And one common denominator in this problem is suicide rates are 90 per cent higher in areas (note, areas, not just the far north) of high deprivation.

              While I have respect for Mike and know he speaks from experience in this matter, he doesn't speak for everyone. Moreover, the negative impacts of living in poverty helps form and develop ones inner critic. Putting people in that dark space.

    • Incognito 7.3

      See my Moderation note @ 11:22 AM.

  7. greywarshark 8

    I looked up archives for TS wanting to see ratings for this site which I know we have and couldn't strike the right heading.    Could someone give me a steer for where to find them please?   ( I was looking at Open Parachute and remembered that lprent mentioned that some other meter was being used.)

  8. joe90 9

      On how the rhetoric used by conservative apologists mirrors that used by pre-war  supporters of the south.

     

    After the El Paso shooting, Ben Shapiro — a popular conservative podcaster — asked Americans to draw a line between the few conservatives who are white supremacists and those who, like him, aren’t. Almost all Americans are “on the same side,” he said, and “we should be mourning together.” In his telling, we aren’t, for “one simple reason: Too many on the political left [are] castigating the character of those who disagree,” lumping conservatives and political nonconformists together with racists and xenophobes.

    I grew up in a conservative family. The people I talk to most frequently, the people I call when I need help, are conservative. I’m not inclined to paint conservatives as thoughtless bigots. But a few years ago, listening to the voices and arguments of commentators like Shapiro, I began to feel a very specific deja vu I couldn’t initially identify. It felt as if the arguments I was reading were eerily familiar. I found myself Googling lines from articles, especially when I read the rhetoric of a group of people we could call the “reasonable right.”

    […]

    So it felt frustrating: When I read Weiss, when I listened to Shapiro, when I watched Peterson or read the supposedly heterodox online magazine Quillette, what was I reminded of?

    My childhood home is just a half-hour drive from the Manassas battlefield in Virginia, and I grew up intensely fascinated by the Civil War. I loved perusing soldiers’ diaries. During my senior year in college, I studied almost nothing but Abraham Lincoln’s speeches. While I wrote my thesis on a key Lincoln address, Civil War rhetoric was almost all I read: not just that of the 16th president but also that of his adversaries.

    Thinking back on those debates, I finally figured it out. The reasonable right’s rhetoric is exactly the same as the antebellum rhetoric I’d read so much of. The same exact words. The same exact arguments. Rhetoric, to be precise, in support of the slave-owning South.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/08/29/conservatives-say-weve-abandoned-reason-civility-old-south-said-that-too/

    http://archive.li/HYSqX

  9. arthur grimes is 'owned' on national radio…

    (in fact – he was monstered – came across as irrational/illogical/gdp-doctrinaire..

    the professor has no clothes..)

  10. greywarshark 11

    Brexit – good attempt to summarise the current running by the Guardian's Isabel Hardman.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/31/brexit-weirdest-week-four-scenarios

    and Aljazeera –

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/brexit-thousands-protest-johnson-move-suspend-parliament-190831132616559.html

    A petition calling on the government not to suspend Parliament has gained more than one million signatures, while more than 50 MPs from the main parties have also pledged to set up an alternative House of Commons if the suspension goes forward. …

    In London, thousands of angry protesters on Saturday rallied outside Downing Street, the official residence of the prime minister, to oppose the controversial move scheduled for early September….

    More than 80 protests across the UK on Saturday were organised by the anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe is Possible and were led by Momentum – a left-wing caucus within the opposition Labour Party. The organisers named the protests "Stop the Coup" in reference to Johnson's plans.

    The gathering in London brought together people from a range of backgrounds.

    Paddy Gemmell, 15, a student from London, said the suspension of Parliament is "undemocratic".

    "Since people voted for Brexit many have begun to understand what that actually means and have changed their minds – their voices should be heard," he said.

    • Dukeofurl 11.1

      "Voices should be heard" – which is code for doing the EUs bidding when any referendum vote goes against them , invalidate that vote by any means.

      Ask Norwegians how their vote against Joining the EU went.

      "Paddy Gemmell, 15, a student…" , is that really the voice of the people ?

      • Gabby 11.1.1

        It was pretty much invalidated by the lies told beforehand dookydooky.

        • Dukeofurl 11.1.1.1

          Lies were told before the vote by the Remainers you only read the Guardian who are hyper partisan on   remain at all costs so they ignore all the nonsense they told before the referendum vote. It was so bad they even had a code name  for it  Project Fear

          "In May 2016, then-chancellor George Osborne warned leaving the EU could cause a drop in house prices of 18% – it didn’t materialise and 11 months later, Nigel Farage was crowing as prices continued to rise."

          George Osborne, the then Chancellor, said in a BBC Radio 4 interview that leaving the European Union would cause "financial instability" and leave "no economic plan," which would need an immediate response from the government. "There would have to be increases in tax and cuts in public spending to fill the black hole," he said.

  11. mauī 12

    Good to see the backlash against this odious decision to auction off this significant Māori cloak by the english. This is not the 1840s anymore… This taonga needs to be sent back to the iwi in NZ where it belongs free of charge instead of living in a cupboard.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/08/m-ori-cloak-auction-cancelled-after-kiwis-threaten-owners-with-abuse.html

    • joe90 12.1

      And a hearty well done to the gum-sucking morons who thought vile abuse and threats would somehow see a taonga returned.

      FFS.

      • weka 12.1.1

        It did stop the auction. Not a good social dynamic that, but I doubt that the cloak was going to be returned to Iwi.

      • Brigid 12.1.2

        Indeed vile abuse and threats are not the best way to negotiate but I'd say that since Maori tried negotiating respectfully with English settlers 200 years ago and were treated to vile abuse, their descendants feel no obligation now to conduct themselves with much decorum towards these English.

        Hurt people hurt. For generations.

        This cloak meant nothing to these people for a hundred years and now that it's been valued in monetary terms they no longer  care to return it to Ngāti Maniapoto. It means money to them, nothing else.

        Hurt people hurt.

  12. greywarshark 13

    The Cancer Society have won the media furore race.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/397898/government-to-establish-a-cancer-control-agency-and-give-pharmac-an-extra-60m

    What about others like those with endemitriosis? – just affects women.  Or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – they're too tired to get up and do something for themselves,    No cancer is the in-disease at the present.

     

    • Dukeofurl 13.1

      It was labour party election policy to establish a new 'agency'  Look it up

      Maybe cancer is the  'in disease' because it has  in some instances  high death rates compared to your ridiculous 'chronic fatigue syndrome'  ( Is there even a  established treatment or  new medication that can be funded – didnt think so)

    • mac1 13.2

      Those of us who have cancers would prefer it not to be the in-disease 🙂

      I have a resection due in ten days, so I have a stake in the matter. My fourth diagnosis so far. It does have an emotional component for many people and I can see that others with life threatening and serious diseases would feel the same about their particular affliction.

      Money does help. Last night I attended a support group meeting of fellow sufferers and partners. One man has a three monthly drug to take. He saw the price tag once. $1003 for one dose. Effective though. A good man and husband is kept alive and functioning by the state's expenditure.

       

      • greywarshark 13.2.1

        Is it possible that someone who has had cancer can understand that others are aching for assistance, who are not faced with a terminal disease.   Such a lot of cancer sufferers wish to have a longer life without consideration of the cost.   They don't want to die, they don't want to pay out their own money to buy the expensive nostrums, and they don't care that the country already is not providing basic services for young needy people.  

        Perhaps we should have a voucher system, a lifetime allowance with a few allowances for rare cases.    And age needs to become of importance.    Once you are over 70?   If not then, what would be reasonable, 75, 80?   And then palliative care only.

        • mac1 13.2.1.1

          Thanks for the response, greywarshark. This is a difficult issue, not because I have again an operable cancer, but because it gets into issues such as you have raised about age, whether we should countenance triage with age as a consideration, use of available resources with a voucher system to restrict overuse of resources, and more assistance to people with non-terminal but needed services.

          Firstly, I reject the ageism. I am about to turn 70 but a form of selectivity based on age is a very dangerous notion considering what else may be used as a criterion like mental health, cretinism, genetic disorders, putative contributions  to society, membership of social outgroups based on ethnicity, lifestyles, religion, immigration status. You see where this can lead?

          I also reject your assertion that older people don't care about provision of services to needy young people. That is also ageist, wrong and unworthy.

          I reject your assertion that they don't want to pay out of their own money for what you dismiss as 'nostrums', which is defined as "a medicine prepared by an unqualified person, especially one that is not considered effective."

          greywarshark, your style of argument is very difficult to wish to continue with. I thank you for your response but earnestly ask that you full consider how you argue and what you are actually espousing.

          I understand that you are arguing for a group either young or missing out in your view on adequate services and treatment. If you have someone in that situation, then I feel for you.

          There are other answers than dumping on other groups.

          A huge amount of what we argue about concerns allocation of resources.

          The resources are there. Do we want to do this or do that? Defence or health? Bailouts for failed businesses or education? Tax breaks or prison reform? Support for films, world rugby and yachting cups or mental health?

          Maybe there is still not enough money. And consider that old folk have children and grandchildren that they wish the best for. And vice versa. I am unhappy to see this discussion descend into an "us versus them" scenario. 

          Better that we promote our causes, acknowledge the shortfalls and discuss how we best justly allocate our resources based on reason, actual need and fairness.

           

           

        • phillip ure 13.2.1.2

          @ g-shark..

          'and they don't care that the country already is not providing basic services for young needy people. '

          what a vile unfounded accusation/generalisation…

          sit down – why don't you..

    • Gabby 13.3

      There'll always be plenty of waddabouts graysie.

  13. The Chairman 14

    Are we getting value for money out of our parliamentarians (from all parties)?

    Or do we pay them too much?

    The PM currently gets about nine times the average wage. While others receive less, they still receive more than the average worker.

    And considering the poor state of the nation (and not just of late) is paying them so much really attracting quality representation?

    Moreover, is paying them so much (putting them in the top one per cent of income earners) a problem (as in, with high incomes as such, so many of them are now out of touch with your average voter) thus continually fail to improve life for the majority?

    Is it long past time we reset (lower) the incomes of our MPs?

    • mac1 14.1

      The Chairman, I'll tell you just one story I know to be true. A former MP had two terms in a marginal seat. The night he lost the seat someone burned down the barn on a little farmlet he had. No employer would give this former MP a job. He had to subsist on his farmlet. He was generous with his own money whilst an MP. I know. 

      There are risks involved in being an MP. It's a hard life. A British MP was murdered, remember.

      Tne last point I make is one I made to Geoffrey Palmer many years ago. We pay our MPs, judges etc well to lessen the threat of corruption and bribery. It is one of the fair prices of democracy.

      • The Chairman 14.1.1

        So we are paying them exorbitant amounts of danger money? When others (such as police officers) in dangerous jobs aren't paid nowhere near as much.

        As for averting the potential for corruption, some would argue that's largely a fail. Moreover, we can and should better police that.   

        [Attributing words, feelings, emotions, beliefs, or motives to other commenters does not make for a constructive debate. If you feel the need to make assumptions, you must check these before you take them as a given. Please pay close attention to mac1’s first sentence in his response @ 14.1.1.1 to you – Incognito]

        • mac1 14.1.1.1

          I think you have taken one part of what I said, exaggerated it hugely, and attributed to me beliefs that I do not  have.

          To respond to your point re corruption, yes we need to have and I believe do have sufficient safeguards regarding police and the judiciary.

          But, paying well enough that there is no temptation to augment the income with a little under-counter extra is a good strategy. Better than paying very good salaries to incorrupt guardians to oversee our guardian police, judiciary and MPs because if the guardians of the guardians are corruptible through insufficient financial independence, then we're back worse than when we started. Whew!

          "Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?"

          • The Chairman 14.1.1.1.1

            There are risks involved in being an MP. It's a hard life. A British MP was murdered, remember.

            The above quote were your words. 

            Therefore, I asked (not exaggerated it hugely and attributed to your beliefs) if we are paying them exorbitant amounts of danger money?

            Which you have yet to clarify.

            But, paying well enough that there is no temptation to augment the income with a little under-counter extra is a good strategy.

            If our policing of this was/is fully robust we wouldn't require this strategy.

            Moreover, regardless how much we pay our MP's they could still be open to corruption as those (affluent multinational corporations for argument sake) that wanted to bribe them would merely offer them more to sway them.

            Therefore, it really falls down to how well this type of corruption is policed.

            • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I don't think the salaries are particularly exhorbitant. It's an important job with significant responsibilities, and for every one who walks into a highly paid lobbying or directorship job related to their political life, there are several who simply go back to their homes and former careers.

              And yes, there is a reputational (and sometimes physical) risk associated with the job.

              Should they be paid more than cops or whatever? I think a better equivalence would be between politicians and upper management. 120 people in charge of a $300 billion, 4.7million person organisation? From that perspective, they're cheap.

              • The Chairman

                I don't think the salaries are particularly exhorbitant.

                In comparison to the average worker, it's exorbitant.

                In comparison to a CEO, not so much.

                I'm not denying there is a risk to the job. But there are risks with many jobs that don't reward nowhere as much.

                And just because they oversee a lot (money/population) doesn't mean they are doing a good job of it, thus they should be rewarded on performance on top of a far lower base salary, which takes into account how well those on the bottom are impacted from their decisions/oversight.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I prefer pay-based performance; employer unions generally aren't too keen on performance-based pay.

                  And then there’s the opposition. Where are they?

                  National has lost the CGT as an attack weapon against the Government – they’re going to have to pony up for a bit more than the great slushy machine scandal of 2019.

                  They should be all over Tomorrows Schools – why are National MP Nikki Kaye’s public meetings in school halls not getting more coverage or cut through? Why is her voice not louder?

                  What about NZ First’s view on Tomorrow’s Schools? Why are they so quiet on this? Are they keeping their powder dry until the last minute, much like they did on the CGT?

                  Another concern out of the discussion being flushed through the public domain currently is the focal points of conversation. Why are we talking about yet more increased bureaucracy, when we should be talking about teacher shortages, teacher churn, the ageing teaching cohort, lack of male teachers, teachers being under-paid.

                  What about the hefty union involvement in teaching? Union leaders blocking discussion around performance-based pay? Making good teachers feel as though demanding money based on productivity is criminal. Worse, ensuring under-performing teachers are a protected species.

                • McFlock

                  Re-election is their reward.

                  Let me put it another way: someone works 40hr/wk for $50k. Would you expect them to throw their hat in the ring, quit that permanent job for maybe three years on the same rate, mostly working longer hours based in another town, and bunging you in the public eye?

                   

                   

                  • The Chairman

                    They are still paid rather well (albeit less) if they aren't re-elected.

                    Let me put it another way: someone works 40hr/wk for $50k. Would you expect them to throw their hat in the ring, quit that permanent job for maybe three years on the same rate, mostly working longer hours based in another town, and bunging you in the public eye?

                    On performance based pay they still have the opportunity to do a good job and be better compensated. Giving them the incentive to do better.

                    • McFlock

                      It's performance-based job retention. Judged by their employers, the electorate.

                      "Performance-based pay" is a stupid idea for anything that doesn't have clearly quantifiable benchmarks with simple inputs that are largely in the control of the worker. But it sounds good when applied to teachers and politicians, even if the people calling for it have no idea about how to implement it fairly both for the employee and the people the employee is supposed to serve.

                      Reading and thinking over the thread, I'm just getting fucked off. If we pay MPs fuckall, then only the rich can afford to be MPs. If we pay them an average wage, then no average worker would risk their livelihood or the family's income for precarious employment that has no financial advantage.

                      Not that you've stated how performance would be judged (or by whom), or the vague ballpark of payscales you'd like to see for politicians.

                      You're just, yet again, spouting right wing platitudes that serve only to make the rich more powerful and the poor more easy to get removed from the political system.

                      I’m off to bed.

                  • The Chairman

                    It's performance-based job retention. Judged by their employers, .

                    Unfortunately, the electorate (their employers) don't currently set or have any input on their salaries. Nor can the public fully dismiss them. Whether or not they are re-elected they are still employed in opposition.  Unless of course they don't make that 5% threshold. Therefore, it's not really (albeit to a very limited extent) performance-based job retention.

                    I agree, clearly quantifiable benchmarks are vital in performance base pay. Hence, it's not suited to all work places/professions. However, I think we could make it work for politicians.

                    I disagree that only the rich would be able to afford to be an MP. As the base rate would be reasonable.

                    Moreover, it’s a privilege to serve the people. We should be seeking those that are not only capable but have a genuine passion and desire for it. Not those only seeking a huge salary. Additionally, there is little risk. The average wage is alright (albeit they would be getting above that) and the job is fairly secure. Even in opposition, one would be paid. On top of that, some like to travel and the down times (holidays/breaks) are rather generous. Making up for time away from home. And their pension scheme is good. It may not suit all, but not all are suited to every job. So I don't see any justification for your anger.

                    Not that you've stated how performance would be judged (or by whom), or the vague ballpark of payscales you'd like to see for politicians.

                    That would be up for public debate, after all, we are their employers.

                    • McFlock

                      I agree, clearly quantifiable benchmarks are vital in performance base pay. Hence, it's not suited to all work places/professions. However, I think we could make it work for politicians.

                      How? Why do you think that? Every quanta for a politician I can think of is either easily rortable or doesn't reflect quality of performance.

                      And the public does get to dismiss them every three years.

                      I disagree that only the rich would be able to afford to be an MP. As the base rate would be reasonable.

                      Reasonable for a permanent average job. Not for someone to risk their family's livelihood on by quitting steady, permanent employment. That's why it would be a folly for the rich, not a realistic proposition for the average person.

                      I’m angry because I think you should know this, whether you are genuinely left wing or a tory in disguise.
                       

                       

                  • The Chairman

                    Reading and thinking over the thread, I'm just getting fucked off. If we pay MPs fuckall, then only the rich can afford to be MPs.

                    Currently, once one becomes an MP they become one of the elite (the rich) hence part of the problem we need to solve.

                    And the public does get to dismiss them every three years.

                    Not if they merely end up in opposition, thus still on the payroll.

                    How? Why do you think that?

                    Glad you asked. By further empowering voters.

                    Being an MP is a extremely unique occupation. As in, your employer is all of us.

                    Therefore, I suggest along with the public having input on their base rate, we should also be given the opportunity to determine their performance rate. This could be done every three years at election.

                    The public could/should be allowed to have input in setting a performance scale range and decide on how they individually feel the Government/MP's have performed. Giving the Government/MP's a further incentive to better work for the majority.     

                     

                    • McFlock

                      If we pay MPs fuckall, then only the rich can afford to be MPs.

                      Currently, once one becomes an MP they become one of the elite (the rich) hence part of the problem we need to solve.

                      That doesn't address the point I raised.

                      And the public does get to dismiss them every three years.

                      Not if they merely end up in opposition, thus still on the payroll.

                      Which they can only do if they maintain the support of their electorate or their party. Otherwise, they're out.

                      Therefore, I suggest along with the public having input on their base rate, we should also be given the opportunity to determine their performance rate. This could be done every three years at election.

                      🙄

                      How? You're not actually stating a position.

                      In today's gig economy, not many are lucky enough to have a permanent secure job. Moreover, if one enters parliament via Labour or National their employment is largely secure by either being in Government or in opposition, thus on the public payroll.  

                      That doesn't address my point.

                       

                  • The Chairman

                    Not for someone to risk their family's livelihood on by quitting steady, permanent employment. 

                    In today's gig economy, not many are lucky enough to have a permanent secure job. Moreover, if one enters parliament via Labour or National their employment is largely secure by either being in Government or in opposition, thus on the public payroll.  

          • KJT 14.1.1.1.2

            If MP's need lots of money to refrain from unethical or corrupt behavior, then I think they are not the sort of people we need in Parliament.

            Obviously, having some of the highest MP salaries in the Western world, has failed in this regard. With many instances of unethical and dis honest behavior.

             

            Salaries do make it affordable for normal people to be in Parliament. Before MP 's were paid, Parliament was almost exclusively idle absentee landowners.

            I don't see why they should be paid more than a school senior teacher, however.

            Pensions commensurate with those paid to military personnel would be more appropriate than the current fortune.

            The other problem is the make up of Parliament. A distinct lack of tradespeople for one. And way to many lawyers and failed businessmen.

            • The Chairman 14.1.1.1.2.1

              If MP's need lots of money to refrain from unethical or corrupt behavior, then I think they are not the sort of people we need in Parliament.

              Indeed, KJT.

              The other problem is the make up of Parliament. A distinct lack of tradespeople for one. And way to many lawyers and failed businessmen.

              Yes, we do lack diversity in the make up of our parliament in that regard. 

        • Incognito 14.1.1.2

          See my Moderation note @ 4:16 PM.

      • David Mac 14.1.2

        In the grand scheme of things, the money is a drop in the ocean. Many public servants are paid more.

        The role needs to be something capable people aspire to. Spending weeks away from home and pulling a living wage would result in representation that would have you posting non-stop.

        • The Chairman 14.1.2.1

          The role needs to be something capable people aspire to

          Yet, considering the poor state of the nation (and not just of late) are we really attracting capable people? I think not.

          I’m not suggesting we lower their wage to a mere living wage, but to a more reasonable amount.

          As for many public servants being paid more, it's long past time we reset (lowered) their income too.    

          • David Mac 14.1.2.1.1

            "Poor state of the nation."

            Chairman, I think if you lived in The Garden of Eden you'd spend your time lodging complaints. "Dear God, I saw a weed amongst the Lavender yesterday."

            I'm sorry you find living in New Zealand such a grind. I don't suppose it's going to make you feel much better but I love it.

            • Sacha 14.1.2.1.1.1

              Satisfaction, can't get no.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jLIRJwfZhg

              • David Mac

                Marvin the robot is my favourite character in Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide. He has a delightful Eeyore persona. "Life, don't talk to me about life."

                Yeah, there's a bit of Chairman in Marvin.

                Surely you don't want to be perceived as a doomster Chairman? Optimism is sexy.

                • The Chairman

                  Optimism is sexy.

                  Reality is priceless

                  • David Mac

                    Your reality is a steaming pile of poo.

                    I'll run with my reality thanks.

                    • The Chairman

                      I'll run with my reality thanks

                      You are free to run with whatever you like.

                      However, it's doesn't change the reality of the stats – i.e. the rich are getting richer as more people are queuing for food and hardship grants, while a growing number are sleeping rough.

                      Ask them if they think politicians are value for money and working hard for them. 

                    • David Mac

                      The mildly rich are 1% of us Chairman. 99 in every 100 people are you and me.

                      A rich person trading their Ferrari in on a Corolla and building a state house with the change will not shorten the list for emergency housing.

                      How soon do you think we would see a marked improvement in our governance after we put MPs on $65k pa?

                      If I started sending you $300 a week would you stop moaning?

                       

                       

                    • The Chairman

                      How soon do you think we would see a marked improvement in our governance after we put MPs on $65k pa?

                      If they all had to live on the same incomes of the majority, I suspect policy improvements would come about rather quickly.  

                • @ d mac…

                  are you dismissing the link between poverty/suicide..?

                  and that this govt has not done very much about – poverty..?

                  • David Mac

                    Yes. I'm dismissing the suicide/poverty line.

                    It's underwritten by "If you don't want me to top myself, give me money."

                    I think a better approach is…"Of course you have value and can make as much money as your imagination will allow you to. Come with me and I'll show you how."

                    As Mike King says, it's about our inner critics. We all have them, it's about where we're at with our inner critics. We need to learn to be there for those that are carrying obese inner critics. Poor, rich, brown, white, whatever.

                    • 'Yes. I'm dismissing the suicide/poverty line'

                      wow..!

                      you are able to stare down the stats showing the much much higher rates of suicide amongst the poor..?

                      of not for that reason..why..?

                      and..have you ever been poor/struggled..?

                      and given your age/generation/attitude..i doubt it…

                      'cos if you had you would know what that stain is like…

                      and the miseries/despair it brings..

                      and would not be so callous – to boot..

                • In Vino

                  Well spotted, David Mac.  I suspect that for many years The Chairman's diodes have been aching all down his Left side.

                  • The Chairman

                    Pile on in, In Vino.

                    Bet you can’t wait for my next post (political donations) and my solution. Keep tuned in for that one. Or as they say, keep it locked

                    I expect you will be piling on in on that one too. As the mob runs wild.

              • The Chairman

                Money For Nothing

            • The Chairman 14.1.2.1.1.2

              Chairman, I think if you lived in The Garden of Eden you'd spend your time lodging complaints. "Dear God, I saw a weed amongst the Lavender yesterday."

              The discussion isn't about me. Try addressing the points I made.

              Not all are doing badly, The rich are getting richer.

              And some may argue (which I am) that this comes down to (in part) because of policy made by politicians that are out of touch with the needs of the majority.

              Additionally, re mac1's claim re threats being made on politicians, perhaps they wouldn't be threaten as much if they better represented the majority and not the elite (like them) getting richer .

              • David Mac

                I think The Chairman's problems with NZ would be all fixed if the government gave him an extra $1000 a week. I think it's more about you than you acknowledge.

                The government is never going to make anyone well off Chairman. Those that want to be comfortable will need to make their own arrangements.

                 

                 

                 

                • The Chairman

                  I think The Chairman's problems with NZ would be all fixed if the government gave him an extra $1000 a week. I think it's more about you than you acknowledge.

                  Again, it's not about me. Try again.  

                  The government is never going to make anyone well off Chairman

                  Well, no CGT sure helps property flippers build their wealth. And don't they (a number of politicians)  along with their high incomes have property investment?

                  Self serving much?   

                  • David Mac

                    Geez, you seem very concerned about other peoples' money. How much have you got?

                     It sort of is about you. It's you that is perpetually disgruntled. I'm cranking snapper and singing 3 chord anthems at the pub.

                    I'm quick to poke finger at a politician in here, but life in NZ? I don't slag NZ, I love living in New Zealand.

                    You seem to be having a crappy time of it Chair. You care too much to be a mere observer. I fear the shortcomings you highlight are more to do with your poison ivy coloured glasses than the targets you're quick to zero in on.

                    But hey, this is the sort of conversation we should have mano on mano. You need a reboot from someone you love….Unless you aspire to be known as the perpetually negative person that is an expert at finding fault and useless at identifying solutions….nobody wants to be that guy. 

                    Life in NZ doesn't suck any where near as much as you would have us believe.

                     

    • Gabby 14.2

      It's less than some of the useless pricks they appoint cherry.

  14. Macro 15

    In his upcoming memoir, newly appointed Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III describes the private tour he gave President Trump of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, recalling that Trump’s reaction to the Dutch role in the global slave trade was, “You know, they love me in the Netherlands.”

     

    🙄

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/what-happened-when-trump-visited-the-african-american-history-museum-according-to-its-former-director/2019/08/30/5471494e-cb5a-11e9-a1fe-ca46e8d573c0_story.html?noredirect=on 

  15. Robert Guyton 16

    "A plant-based diet with less meat and dairy could transform the country's health while also slashing emissions,  MPs have been told.    

    OraTaio: NZ Climate and Health Council co-convenor Dr Alexandra Macmillan said if New Zealand reduced emissions from farming and dairy it would also boost the health of the population.  

    "New Zealand's diet at the moment is really unhealthy, it's causing a huge amount of disease," she said. "

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/115370156/plant-based-diet-could-cut-disease-hospital-costs-and-emissions-nz-health-sector-says

  16. The Chairman 17

    This one (track below) goes out to all those that want to rain down on me. I've got my waterproof coat

  17. greywarshark 18

    Latest on Brexit.   EU sets a line in rock.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49540681
    Brexit: Michel Barnier [EU lead negotiator] rejects demands for backstop to be axed

    and

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-war-erupts-tory-mps-19118531
    Brexit war erupts as Tory MPs face down Boris Johnson's threat to cast them out.

    Boris Johnson could withdraw the whip from Tory MPs who vote to block no-deal Brexit. But today the rebels faced him down – in a move that risks a historic split in the Conservative Party and the country…
    MPs will table a law on Tuesday to stop Boris Johnson crashing the UK out of the EU on October 31 without a deal.

    The Prime Minister, who has a majority of one, faces defeat if the MPs can pass the law in the tiny period of time before he suspends Parliament for five weeks, from around September 12….

    A Government spokesperson said: “All options for party management are under consideration.”
    The warning is an echo of David Cameron’s tweet four years ago that the country faced “a simple and inescapable choice – stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband.”

  18. marty mars 20

    bastards 

    The video footage that flooded social media and television screens was harrowing: passengers cowering on the ground inside a train carriage, huddling and hugging each other.

    Black clad special forces police storm through the train, wielding batons. More police, dubbed "raptors" by Hong Kong's protest movement, stand at the doorways of the carriage – the only escape route – and spray pepper spray directly at screaming passengers.

    A station announcer calls out repeatedly that it is an emergency.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/115453626/protesters-return-to-barricade-hong-kong-airport-after-riots-shut-down-train-services

    • greywarshark 20.1

      Voice from shadowy figure in the distance – 'Take care.  You are making me angry.   We have ways of dealing with outrageous dissent.'

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