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Open mike 01/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 1st, 2021 - 167 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 …

167 comments on “Open mike 01/12/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    Has something happened in the background on this blog? When I visit it on my iPad2, since yesterday afternoon, I have to scroll down quite a way to see Post articles & comments.

    The TS banner doesn’t show, nor do posted pics with articles, nor do people’s coloured avatars – just their usernames are showing.

    Things look perfectly normal on my smartphone & my win10 laptop. Just the iPad’s affected?

    • Gezza 1.1

      Oh. Ok just turned on JavaScript on the iPad2 & all’s normal.

      The probs above only appear when I turn OFF JavaScript (which I have to do if I want to keep posting more than twice; after which it usually refuses to let me type any text in address fields & Comments with JacaScript turned on).

      But prior to yesterday, turning off JavaScript didn’t stop the TS banner from appearing, nor pics in articles, nor folks’ avatars from displaying. A bit puzzling…

      • lprent 1.1.1

        It caches things like css and javascript locally on your devices. After they expire it needs to reload them.

        Also when the optimization plugin gets an update (may have yesterday), it resets the cache tag, and you need an cache update.

        The Standard requires javascript for various parts of it's operation.

        I have the comment bug on my radar. But haven't had much unused time.

  2. observer 2

    On the right hand side of this blog there's a link to The Civilian, and a piece of pitch-perfect satire. Very funny and sums up the state of National better than a dozen columns of "serious" commentary.

    Well done to Ben (and TS for the links).

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1

      yeslaugh

      Obviously it’s not the same thing,” he conceded. “But there are similarities. A lot of it, for example, is about managing an organisation that is in rapid decline.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.2

      devil Brilliant "Need to be a friend of John Key"

  3. Jenny How to get there 3

    Heard of immunity?

    Herd immunity for polio is achieved at 80% of the ‘total population‘ vaccinated.

    Herd immunity for measles is reached at 95% of the ‘total population‘ being vaccinated.

    Nobody knows what the level for herd immunity for Covid-19 is, (because it has never been achieved). But it definitely is not reached at 90% of the over 12s, which is New Zealand's current target. If we want to get rid of this scourge, to have any chance of reaching herd immunity, total population immunisation, will mean immunising the under 12s.

    Will Canada achieve herd immunity by vaccinating children?

    Will Canada achieve herd immunity by vaccinating children? (msn.com)

    • Craig Hall 3.1

      The normal calculation is 1-1/R0 (x 100 to express as a percentage), so if R0 for Delta is 6, then herd immunity would 1-1/6 = 5/6 = 83.33%. Since 85% of the population are 12+, as you say that's highly unlikely without adding 5-11s. As at 30 September 2021, Stats NZ thinks that under 5s 304,590 of a total population of 5,126,300 = 5.94%, so the eligible population will be 4,821,710 = 94.06% of the total population.

      5/6 of the total population is 4,271,917 people which is 88.6% of the total population. If 5/6 (or 83.33%) is herd immunity, then 90% of 5+ would get us there.

      Confounding factors include that people can get Delta more than once and that the vaccine is not fully sterilising (it lessens transmission significantly, but at best around 90%, not nearly 100%).

    • Foreign waka 3.2

      How often do you get vaccinated for Polio and Measles and how many times will we have to get vaccinated against Covid of whatever variant?

  4. Jenny How to get there 4

    The anti-vaxxers say it is all about 'choice'

    Meanwhile deliberately undermining choice by sabotaging the vaccine roll out.

    Increasingly anti-vaxxers are deliberating making it harder for people who's choice is to be vaccinated, stacking vaccination bookings with false registrations, threatening health workers and nurses, vandalising health clinics, and even "physical attacks".

    Under 'Urgency' legislation with bi-partisan support in the House, the scum endangering public health by sabotaging the vaccine roll out, need to be threatened with 5 year prison sentences.

    Taranaki vaccination events moving indoors after physical and verbal attacks (msn.com)

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/10/auckland-vaccination-centre-vandalised-staff-targeted.html

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/454007/anti-vaxxers-making-fake-vaccination-bookings

    • Gezza 4.1

      You're saying the govt needs to introduce such legislation urgently into the House? There's not something like that already in progress?

      These pricks need to be videoed, tracked down, & locked up immediately by the police, pending assault & whatever other relevant charges are brought against them asap. Never mind waiting for legislation to do something.

      God almighty! The poor cops. Gangs n guns everywhere. Expected to patrol internal Covid borders & probably to staff iwi roadblocks up North, now they have to also be mobile enuf to catch & lock up antivaxer thugs n nutters! 😠

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        "Never mind waiting for legislation to do something.".

        That sounds awfully like saying "You haven't broken and law but we are going to lock you up anyway". Surely not Gezza?

        • Gezza 4.1.1.1

          Assaults have been reported. Folk can be arrested for assault, n’est-ce pas? Probably also for wilful damage if caught in the act. I’m just saying if you can catch em at it: “Book em Danyl.” Don’t wait till there’s some specific penalty legislated for (which may never get thru the final gate at Parliament).

    • James 2 4.2

      Why stop there?

      Why not ban speech by them? Predictive sentencing in advance?

      Why not whip up more moral fever to justify anything? Why try for nuance or human understanding when hatred helps feed your righteousness?

      And those who care about human rights should shut up. It's just temporary and for our good, right – just like all those laws imposed after the 9/11 "emergency" still on our books, or how forced sterilisation and electro-shock therapy laws enacted on the bladvice of health experts lasted decades.

      They would've all told you in professional tones how this was done for the greater good and required overriding any personal autonomy.

      When gangs (or BLM protestors) lash out its just a consequence of racism and poverty and being so voiceless – when anyone against vaccines does so, its because they're inherently filthy scum.

      You sound just like the law and order brigade now. Hyped up with media fear and self-righteousness – no means is unjustified to pursue the scum threatening every man, woman, and child.

      Sounds like Maragaret Thatcher would approve of your tactics. Ah, the strange bedfellows that the Covid-19 has wrought on the wannabe Authoritarian-Left.

      • alwyn 4.2.1

        "Sounds like Margaret Thatcher would approve of your tactics".

        You were going so well until this comment. When did Maggie ever do something like that?

      • Stuart Munro 4.2.2

        They've got a perfect right to say what they want about vaccines.

        But they don't have a right to be heard, or to public platforms to promulgate their misinformation, and incite refusal.

        Probably the safest indicator that antivax propaganda deserves to be discouraged is its supporters – the anti-government astroturfed extreme right. When Trump weaponised antivax sentiment in the US, and various trolls repeated his nonsense online, they were not acting in the public interest.

        • James 2 4.2.2.1

          "incite refusal"?

          Are we into making up imaginary crimes now? Especially ones that involve now criminalising a refusal…which is a basic human right enshrined in multiple treaties and domestic law. "Officer, she incited refusal to vote National and incited refusal to be forced to worship God".

          I'm also fully aware of Margaret Thatchers tactics – as you say, demonise those who disagree as enemies of the state. Something very similar has gone on with those unvacvinated and even those who disagree with mandates and passports.

          Yesterday: "Health officials say Covid-19 hospitalisations and intensive care (ICU) usage have “very much levelled off” in Auckland, despite earlier modelling painting a much gloomier picture."

          Fancy that, a Government adopting a hopelessly exaggerated risk and fear tactics to justify suppression of human rights and discrimination. Sounds a lot like George Bush post-9/11…

          Also (and I dislike him immensely) Donald Trump boosted Operation Lightspeed to create a vaccine and has publicly supported vaccination.

          The public interest is something you don't have a monopoly on defining. Sounds like you've been drinking too much of the Stuff/Spinoff koolaid.

  5. Adrian 5

    Last week the Japanese with admirable modesty were attributing the decline in Delta to it seemingly mutating to such a degree that it is becoming less virulent there. Which is generally the way viruses go. Somewhere that I cant find, I have read that the common flu, another corona virus, may be a remnant of a Russian originating pandemic in the 1800s which mutated down to the manageable disease we know today. Sure, it is implicated in 500 deaths but I can not recall anyone I have known dying of it ( and I'm 71 ) that were not otherwise compromised.

    My first reaction to hearing that Omnicron had multiple mutations was that maybe this is the light before the dawn. Fingers crossed.

    • dv 5.1

      Just a comment about Japans rates.

      Tokyo had 6 the other day, and the whole of Japan has less per day than NZ over the last week or so.

      Remarkable!!!

      • Tricledrown 5.1.1

        Wearing face masks everywhere and handwashing Japan is famous for wearing face masks to prevent the spread of airborne diseases.

        We need more mask wearing in places where there are high concentrations of people.It should become the norm.

      • Red lion seratus 5.1.2

        Dr John Campbell had a good video on this hypothesising that the reduction in numbers was from:

        1)Numerous mutations in the virus

        2) Vaccination rate

        3) Other control measures

        4)/Maybe an antiviral enzyme more prevalent in Japan (very big maybe)

        5):The voluntary use/intro of Ivermectin? Just questioned not really asserted

    • Jenny How to get there 5.2

      Chance is the main driver of evolution.

      Evolution is not a one way arrow.

      Chance mutations can either be good or bad.

      A virus that mutates to become too deadly kills off the host, and cannot replicate and find new hosts and dies off itself.

      The most successful parasites evolve to live with their hosts.

      The 1918 influenza pandemic swept the world in three successive waves.

      The first wave that likely jumped from birds to humans in the American Mid-West, was bad, but not that bad. The second wave which likely incubated in the appalling unsanitary and disease ridden conditions in the trenches of the First World War, was the deadliest and much, much worse.

      The third wave of the Spanish flu pandemic was milder, and it is suspected that the annual flu that sweeps the world every year is a descendant of the 1918 virus, able to coexist with the host population with out killing us off in too greater numbers.

      It is suspected that the Omicron mutation has similarly looked to have been incubating and circulating in a small host population of severely immune compromised and unwell community, possibly aid sufferers.

      Time will tell whether this mutated virus is similar to the Second or third wave of the Spanish flu.

      Fingers crossed.

      • Brigid 5.2.1

        No

        Survival is the only driver of evolution

        • Gezza 5.2.1.1

          No. Chance mutation is the driver of evolution.

          With respect to Jenny’s Chance mutations can either be good or bad, that’s not strictly correct either. Chance mutations can be either beneficial, detrimental or neutral – ie there’s a change but it doesn’t give the altered organism either any advantage or disadvantage in terms of competition or survival.

          Survival isn’t a driver of evolution because organisms have evolved whether they have survived long-term in competition for resources, or in response to environmental changes, or not.

          Many creatures that have evolved have not displaced others; they’ve simply exploited new niches alongside the original, still-living ancestor species.

          • RedLogix 5.2.1.1.1

            Chance mutations are only part of the story – you also need a driver or selection pressure to confer an advantage to one mutation over another.

            The other aspect that gets frequently overlooked is the role of sexual selection.

            Some of the basic ideas of Darwinian evolution are simple, but this doesn't mean that simple explanations are always right.

  6. Gezza 6

    As soon as pooklets are big enuf to fly they leave their nursery sleeping nest (they sleep with their dad, not their mum) and build their own individual sleeping nests some distance from each other. They tidy out their nests daily and build a new one in a different location when the old one gets too "tired".

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x71nu0f

    • Gezza 6.1

      Wondering why that video link didn't display in a playable format. Posted from my laptop.

      Trying again from iPad:

      https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x71nu0f

      • Gezza 6.1.1

        Weird. I posted a similar link from dailymotion just 2 days ago & it displayed here as a click n play video. 🤔 😕

        • Patricia Bremner 6.1.1.1

          Says we need a password to play it Gezza.

          • Gezza 6.1.1.1.1

            I posted that 2 years ago Patricia. Why I added a password I have no idea. Maybe I was just testing how the password function worked.

            Anyway, whatever, I've changed the password. To see the video just enter the password: "pook".

            • Patricia Bremner 6.1.1.1.1.1

              That workedsmiley

              • Gezza

                Industrious little Purple Swamp Hen, isn't he?

                Funny, that's the common name for the various sub-species dotted around the world, but a male would probably be better named as a Purple Swamp Rooster or Purple Swamp Cock. 🤔

  7. Tricledrown 7

    Conehead goes against science wanting less people in MIQ ,Max Plank virus modeller says with Omricon we need tight border control.

    • Sabine 7.1

      Well the easiest way in that dilemma of stranded kiwis elsewhere is to just make them formally stateless. Strip them of their citizenship, send them a 50 NZD gift card for Aldi or something, call the leaders of the countries these stateless people are stranded and tell these leaders that these stateless kiwis are now their problem. These stateless people can then claim refugee status and begin their lifes again.

      My solution is simply, lets all go to R+V in Gisborne, and some big markets elese where, go mingle in pubs and on the beach with gusto and have a right Covid Party everywhere. Once we are all infected we don't need MIQ anymore. Everyone can just come in, as the virus is as rampant as every where else.

      Or, we can look at MIQ and find it the total failure it actually is, and finally come up with an idea that works so that people who are NZ Citizens can actually return to their country.

      Fwiw, our beige suits on all sites have been a complete failure in finding a solution that would allow people to return that is safe and work able and above all human. In the meantime what we have is a lottery that works for no one really. We could televise that misery though, surely would make for some good reality TV for some Kiwis in the vain of Shortland street, bitchy and mean.

      Instead of investing in the Americas Cup, sending people to the Olympics and other assorted crap, we should have build some decent Quarantine Facilities, maybe even invest in a Covid health Facilities, but then…hey, ………..we don't need that, and building stuff is hard hard work. Right? Priorities, have a good party, rub shoulders with the billionaires of the world, win a few medals, never mind the guys overseas that would like to come home. Sucks to be them? Right?

      • Tricledrown 7.1.1

        Sabine there is a massive shortage of builders and materials then land.

        Easy to come up with ideas but putting them into action is the hard part.

        • Sabine 7.1.1.1

          lol, that is the newest idea now?

          We can't build facilities that we need to keep the country safe and allow our citizens to return because we suddenly don't have builders and materials.

          Good fucking grief.

          As i said, the best the government can do right now is simply wash its hand of those stuck overseas, take away their citizenship, declare them stateless and let them fend for themselves, cause we don't have builders nor materials.

          Totally and utterly Pathetic. Labour 2023 – we will build nothing, and then some.

          • Tricledrown 7.1.1.1.1

            No one in WW2 complained about getting stuck.

            We are fighting a pandemic individual rights have to take a back seat.

            You know we have had a housing shortage for 20 yrs.

            People know we have one of the safest responses to covid 19.

            Now everyone wants to come back to the safe bolt hole but don't understand why it's become a safe bolt hole.

            Not to mention where they are going to live.putting more pressure on the building trade.

            It was all very well when those people went overseas to chase better careers and money after getting a highly subsidised education.then not pay back the student loan.

            Now they want instant access to the country they turned their back on.

            • Pete 7.1.1.1.1.1

              "People know we have one of the safest responses to covid 19."

              That is the people who recognise reality.

              On this thread Tricledrown comments on Japan being famous for wearing face masks to prevent the spread of airborne diseases the implication being that masks have positive effects. Yet some over time have rubbished mask wearing.

              Sabine calls MIQ a "total failure." If the 190,000 who've been through it since March last year had simply come into the country and got on with whatever would the situation have been one of "total success"?

              Of course we had the stuff about lockdowns not working. We've had experts on NZ blogsites knowing that and telling the world. More expert that those in more than 100 countries worldwide who have tried various forms of lockdown.

              Handling the pandemic wasn't a 'paint-by-numbers' exercise. There has been plenty of boring, trite, facile 'paint-by-numbers' criticism of the handling of it though.

          • Gezza 7.1.1.1.2

            We can’t build facilities that we need to keep the country safe and allow our citizens to return because we suddenly don’t have builders and materials.

            FFS! This is not a NEW bloody problem. We’ve been nationally short of skilled tradies for at least 2 decades. And the pandemic itself is causing materials shortages across industries becos if lockdowns aren’t shutting down local industries like timber milling some shipping companies can’t be bothered sending vessels here because we’re at the arse end of the world & there are greater profits to be made shipping between closer countries with much higher goods volumes.

      • SPC 7.1.2

        You cannot should not argue for ending MIQ and wanting the building of specialised facilities for this.

        It reminds one of National, they used to want the specialised facilities and now around the time we might have completed them they want to end MIQ …

    • Gosman 7.2

      It is too early to determine if the Omicron is a major risk. Best to wait.

      • Tricledrown 7.2.1

        Agreed Gossie

      • Patricia Bremner 7.2.2

        This Government is doing their best to keep us safe. They can not please everyone, and we got your message long ago Sabine.

        • Jilly Bee 7.2.2.1

          Thank you Patricia – I became pretty agitated at the vitriol directed at the two Auckland MPs yesterday whom I happen to know from my days of living in West Auckland. This attitude among some commentors is making The Standard a hard read for me lately – it has been my go to blog for several years now, but I do notice that a lot of past contributors and commentors (particularly women) have fled the coop.

          • Red Blooded One 7.2.2.1.1

            Totally agree yes

          • Macro 7.2.2.1.2

            yes

            What annoys me wrt to the constant moans from "stranded kiwis" is the fact that just 50 years ago if someone left NZ for overseas if you wanted to return then it wasn't just a matter of hopping on a plane and flying back on a whim – however justified that whim may be. That was just one of the factors you took into account when you left parents and family behind – the fact that you might never see them again.

            The early settlers spent up to 6 months at sea in the 1840's traveling here – some never even made it. Many never had the chance to return to their land of birth and their only communication with those they left behind was by intermittent letter. No texts or video calls then. Even in the early 20th C the likelihood of a return trip or seeing your family again was extremely low.

            We have family overseas – they miss us – and we miss them. But the reality is that the world has changed in the past 2 years and we have to adapt to it and live with it.

            • RedLogix 7.2.2.1.2.1

              Many never had the chance to return to their land of birth and their only communication with those they left behind was by intermittent letter.

              I recall reading somewhere that in Ireland some families would hold a sort of 'living wake' for those about to depart – because it was almost certain they'd never see or hear from them again.

              You make a reasonable point, yet travel has become woven into the fabric of modern life and making an appeal that because our ancestors didn't enjoy something means that we should not either – is fairly wobbly logic.

              Like they didn't have vaccines either.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Local and international 'on demand' travel had undoubtedly "become woven into the fabric of modern life" for some, myself included. This pandemic, however, opened my eyes to the many relatively painless opportunities I have to shrink my travel footprint, and I'll be taking these up. Not for everyone, of course, and, if you must (or choose to) travel, don't forget your shots!

                This created determined opposition in Britain – but it had far less impact in Ireland. The British Anti-Vaccination League, established in 1853, attacked the state’s infringement on personal liberty and the medical risks involved. The law, they argued, was despotic and un-British as it gave the government power over citizens’ bodies. Parents had a God-given right to protect their child’s welfare, enforced vaccination was against Natural Law. (Interestingly, when the Canadian government tried to enforce compulsory vaccination on French Canadians in Montreal, rioters resisted this despotic "English" practice.) Campaigners claimed that animal matter, "the filth of the cowshed", was being injected into their children, along with other diseases such as syphilis. They alleged a cover-up by the medical profession to hide evidence of deaths from vaccination.
                https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/anti-smallpox-vaccination-activism-ireland

                Forging a path to a better normal for conferences and collaboration
                https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-021-01325-z

                Forging a sustainable future for astronomy
                https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-021-01486-x

          • Patricia Bremner 7.2.2.1.3

            yes Welcome back Jilly Bee.

            • Jilly Bee 7.2.2.1.3.1

              I still have a look each day, though sometimes I despair at some of the comments and always enjoy reading yours and Anne's contributions, oh and Mickey Savage's posts. cool

      • lprent 7.2.3

        Hell – we agree again. Wonders never cease.

        😈

    • LILMAN 7.3

      Hes coming………..lol and you cant do a thing to stop him,goodbye all your left woke policies ,hes coming.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment is from Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland and is an expert in political marketing.

    She identifies "four key political marketing and management principles Luxon needs to follow".

    #1 National needs to offer a new distinctive product that meets market needs

    That will roll off the Nats like water off a duck's back. They usually seem barely capable of even doing the lipstick on a pig routine.

    National needs new ideas.

    That's been obvious since I was a kid! Trouble is, the Nats remain perpetually unaware of the fact.

    #2 political leaders do not have as much management power as CEOs

    Different type of social organism, different rules & ethos. Team sports is a closer model to use.

    We ensure doctors, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, builders and hairdressers get training, but our politicians are left to learn on the job. This is also true for staff. A Canadian PM’s chief of staff once told me staff watched West Wing to prepare for their job as there was little professional orientation and development.

    #3 the politician’s personality and personal life is part of the political product

    True. Leader personifies brand.

    Political branding research has shown a leader’s brand personality is very important… The new National leader now needs to build a positive brand personality. This means trying to convey leadership and strength, alongside honesty, energy and relatability, while offering something unique to give voters a reason to switch from the Labour leader.

    The hard task for both politicians and their advisers is how to apply this to Luxon, especially given his socially conservative views on abortion and euthanasia. You can’t redesign a person the way you can redesign an iPhone or a car: we know a good brand personality when we see it, but less about how to create it.

    But don't discount his ability to learn on the job. People morph to fit situations they work in. Character can build accordingly.

    #4 The National Party needs re-branding

    This one is the key. So far, no sign Luxon gets it. Quite the contrary. He got big on uttering trad shibboleths yesterday as if he tacitly assumed he needed to front like someone with training wheels on. Wrong!!

    the reality is all leaders who take over a failing brand are limited by that brand. Simply changing leader won’t improve it. And worse still, this is a management exercise as well as a marketing one. As already noted, party leader power is less than a CEO and their position is dependent on other MPs. Yet the new leader needs to tell those MPs to behave differently; more emphasis must be put on lesser-known politicians to help convey that National has changed.

    He does get the team-building side of this and I'm confident he'll show expertise quite rapidly. However even a smoothly-functioning invigorated team cannot sell a dead brand. Is National really dead or just pretending? Only a rebrand will prove the latter.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/the-rebrand-challenge-for-nationals-new-chief

    • garibaldi 8.1

      What's the bet that the dirty politics brigade are anxiously salivating over fresh opportunities ?

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        If so, they're delusional. Just a question of how long till they figure out that Luxon is their real enemy! Mr Clean, they'll call him. angel

        • Shanreagh 8.1.1.1

          Some in depth poking around in his 'church' may yield some weirdo ideas but they will be a one shot wonder but enough to warn I would have thought. Already I am a bit tired of seeing his face all over the online media. I saw one yesterday taken half on turned slightly to the left and at first glance I thought it was Muldoon. Don't know if that is good or bad.

          Perhaps he could start a fashion for wearing a little headband like some little girls have or as they used to have in the 1970s as hippies.

          • Jimmy 8.1.1.1.1

            He said on the radio this morning that he hasn't been to a church in five years.

            • aj 8.1.1.1.1.1

              he hasn't been to a church in five years.

              Listen carefully, qualified that by saying 'not a conventional church' and the interviewer never picked that up

              • observer

                And that's a good example of how his inexperience will hurt him.

                It hardly matters at all if he's been to a church in the past 5 years. No issue there.

                It only starts to matter if he's evasive/dishonest about it. That changes the issue.

              • garibaldi

                The Upper Room. Look it up.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  Thanks garibaldi, so he will get along with Scottie from Marketing of Hillside brand of Christianity. frown

        • Patricia Bremner 8.1.1.2

          devil without Dirty Politics? THAT would be a change… but I think he will keep apart from that, not actively challenge it. If he had said “We won’t be doing that on my watch” but no.. just the usual plaster over the cracks.

      • Tricledrown 8.1.2

        The Dirty politics brigade have destroyed the National Party and good for them hopefully they continue to do so infact they can't help themselves.

    • ianmac 8.2

      Very useful thanks Dennis.

    • swordfish 8.3

      .

      the reality is all leaders who take over a failing brand are limited by that brand. Simply changing leader won’t improve it.

      Ummm, …

      late July 2017 Colmar BruntonLabour 24%

      August 1 2017 Little stands down / Ardern elected Leader

      mid August 2017 Colmar BruntonLabour 37%

      late August 2017 Colmar BruntonLabour 43%

      If this episode teaches us anything … it’s that a move to the right leader can indeed transform a Party’s fortunes … but arguably only if there is underlying public discontent with the Govt of the day / a tacit mood for change that can’t be fully expressed because the main Oppo Party seems to be struggling under a less than magnetic leader.

      • Dennis Frank 8.3.1

        I agree, her analysis insufficiently factored in context. Generalisations fail when context doesn't support them.

        Her marketing slant is useful for us, but a lecturer will always hew towards rules & principles, and the binary structure of western democracies means binary brand favouritism embeds in the typical voter psyche.

        Therefore the effect of a bright shiny new leader is relative to how bright & shiny the alternative leader looks, and as you imply govt performance can tarnish a PM, so we'll have to wait & see. Despite a few speed wobbles in recent months I still think it's so far so good for Ardern…

      • McFlock 8.3.2

        Yep.

        There's also the argument that a leader needs to be a point of difference from the other parties. To me, blinglish and Little had the same energy/vibe. Not bad, but considered, methodical, an air of competence.

        That type of leadership might work against a firebrand in the process of burning out, rather than trying to copy the firebrand, but not against itself.

        Now, Luxon will have a different vibe to Collins, but the question is whether he will provide a credible leadership alternative to Ardern. There's only so long his media honeymoon will last, and only so long he can hide any dodgy opinions he might have re: everything the OT zealots go for in Leviticus (except all the times crayfish, paua, mussels, shrimp etc are prohibited).

        And even if he's all good as a human being, he needs to keep caucus in line and light a spark of enthusiasm under tory voters. Maybe trying for something more than incessant negativity.

  9. Blazer 9

    Just another day for those community stalwarts…

    'Asic’s litigation showbag includes allegations Westpac charged more than 11,000 dead people more than $10m in fees, charged 7,000 people for two insurance policies over the same property, collected $12m in illegal commissions from 8,000 people, failed to properly disclose $7m in fees it charged to 25,000 customers, kept 21,000 accounts open for companies that no longer existed and on-sold debts to collectors at rates higher than it was allowed to charge.'

    We don't do those things in our NZ operations…though!laugh

    Westpac admits it broke law and agrees to pay $113m in penalties | Westpac | The Guardian

    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      Wow!! Just sickening, and no one goes to prison, yet beneficiaries….

    • Tricledrown 9.2

      The local branches of these banks found wanting in the Australian banking enquiry are doing some of the things the aussie enquiry has exposed.like selling mortgage protection and life insurance to cover mortgages when only one type should be required.

  10. joe90 10

    Less than a tenth and he's off.

  11. AB 11

    First thought on Luxon: when your underlying ideology is essentially shameful, you try to disguise it as operational competence.

    • McFlock 11.1

      So to paraphrase Sir Humphrey, it might have been "wrong", but it was frightfully well carried out. 🙂

      • Patricia Bremner 11.1.1

        Thanks devil Was a well written well acted series. Laughed out loud.

        We always watched, or recorded and watched. Priceless.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          Came in very useful when I was in a disfunctional workplace. I literally had to take notes from it (and checked them off as other people worked down the list, lol).

          But I like that section in particular, having been on both sides of the governance/operational divide. It nicely illustrates both perspectives: bureaucrats shouldn't unthinkingly "follow orders" when those orders are wrong, but nor should they be driving or even overruling policy decisions that are the purview of governance.

          And where would they be if they zealously believed all conflicting policies demanded by governance groups, where consistency is as rare as hens' teeth? I believe the current service description is "community treatment team".

          Lots of fuzzy grey lines in that divide, sometimes.

          • Patricia Bremner 11.1.1.1.1

            Some of our School Board meetings had that flavour. One chap was very fond of saying "the Ministry this and that…." A friend had a habit of muttering "He's been talking to God again" or some similar thing, and I would cough to cover laughter. There is a type of pomposity which went with that and his braces which he would pull while pontificating devil memories make me smile now.

  12. ianmac 12

    Katherine interviews Luxton on 9 to Noon today, and it was very illuminating. He kept on interrupting Katherine and was challenged on the Health failures of the Key years. Not as suave as he would like.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018822779

    • observer 12.1

      He's described the Covid traffic light system as "Mickey Mouse" (Hosking radio i-view). Sounds like something Judith would say.

      He's all over the place on Covid, lots of rhetoric about opening up, little engagement with the reality of the virus and rapid change (a glance at the world news would help).

    • Anne 12.2

      That was indeed illuminating ianmac. So much so, I had to stop listening half way through. The tone as well as the content was so John Key it spooked me. 😮

      Apart from that, for a man who is supposed to have an “enormous intellect” well, let the listener be the judge.

      • Robert Guyton 12.2.1

        The ghost of Sir John the Deceiver indeed!

        Also, he said, "Kumbaya" which to me is the big reveal.

        I've met people like him before *shudders

      • Patricia Bremner 12.2.2

        Oh I am glad you said that Anne. I thought I was imagining it!!

  13. newsense 13

    Luzon: um, no, err, um, no

    7 houses, not fair to ask about, nothing to do with me.

    Being shifty as f about where he has been to church and what his specific beliefs are. Refusing to answer questions about speaking in tongues and so on. I’m just going to be misrepresented- so this is going to be his approach, defensive.

  14. newsense 14

    Key was a chameleon- Luxon feels more like Bridges, cocky, strong, but more a tree than bamboo.

    • observer 14.1

      He comes across as you'd expect from somebody who was gifted a safe seat, done no scrapping in Parliament and then got others (Key) to win the leadership on his behalf.

      Ardern lost an electorate battle twice against a tough opponent, before she was even deputy.

      Luxon is facing non-cuddles for the first time ever. It shows.

      • Alan 14.1.1

        BS. Being the CEO of two major businesses involves daily non- cuddles moments.

        He is a million times more experienced in that department than anyone in the labour cabinet, particularly the PM.

        You are clutching at straws.

        • aj 14.1.1.1

          Daily non-cuddle moments. Funny.

          Being CEO is like being a mafia boss. Any non-cuddling moment tasked to underlings. Cuddle moments (read: PR) are done by the CEO

        • lprent 14.1.1.2

          I have never noticed any business person being competent as a politician who is able to change anything. Your thesis sounds like an idiot parrot sprouting what they think is accepted wisdom – rather than someone who has ever bothered to think about the crucial differences between political work and business work.

          At best some are like John Key, who managed to operate as PM in NZ for 8 years without ever changing anything in a significant way, except to allow existing problems get worse through inattention – like housing, homelessness, education results in providing a skilled workforce, reducing emigration of skills, pollution of waterways, etc. Basically he left the country in a worse state than before he took power.

          The worst are destructive morons like Trump.

          Now before you become like every other dumbarse right fuckwit – let me say that is an opinion of someone who has only worked in and/or for a range of private industries from SME locals with only a few employees to multinational corporates with thousands of engineers. I’ve worked in management (a role that I avoid), have MBA, and also as a highly skilled software engineer.

          I have also have a lot of experience volunteering and helping out in local politics, a vast background of studying history, a lot odf work history across many companies, and a mind that never stops thinking.

          So rather than continuing to wank out your little titbits of inane creamy wisdom – how about trying to justify your stupidity so I can continue to help educate you.

          Because my considered opinion is that there are bad and good professional politicians in terms of looking back at their results from decades later. However the best that I have ever seen from a later stage businessman turning to politics is somewhere between barely competent to total disaster – and mostly well below required competency levels.

          I could describe why I think that is the case. However I don’t think that you are competent enough in business to understand what I’d have to say about business skills.

          • francesca 14.1.1.2.1

            Jesus IPrent

            That comes across awfully arrogant and puffed up

            You could have just kept the fourth paragraph, and dispensed with the insult

            • lprent 14.1.1.2.1.1

              sigh
              Someday you should consider out exactly why I sometimes very deliberately write comments like this. It may or may not reflect my actual beliefs or personality traits. I usually make it so that it does reflect facets of myself because it reads truer (in this case MBA arrogance). But it is done with a purpose.

              It falls out of experience of being online for networked discussions for slightly over 4 decades (I started on university networks in 1978). It has to do with reflecting back my opinion of the the behaviour of whoever I am responding to.

              In this case just being bombastically even more extreme in the assertions, while also saying why. Instead of slyly implying stupidity of whomever you’re responding to – explicitly stating it with reasons. Making it a personal attack rather than hoping that the person you are responding to will see it that way.

              As you say – (even) more puffed up and arrogant that the person I responded to. My experience is generally people who try to play ego-tripping and put-down games on online forums usually have a strong aversion to the same tactics being targeted at themselves. Especially when they are really really exaggerated.

              If you have a look back over the 14 years, you will find a consistent pattern of my targeting people with extreme reflections, usually astonished replies, and changes in behaviour. I prefer using this as a technique because it is far more effective at behavioural change than bans.

              If you look at various other forums (but Kiwiblog in particular), you will find a lot of people who don’t spend much time here whinging about lprent and what a complete bastard he is. They also tend to be more civilised and explanatory about their views when they come here.

              • Dennis Frank

                Reciprocity is known to be extremely effective psychology. It is the basis of tit for tat – not just the trad behaviour but the computer game of the same name that famously won the tournament that led to usage in US foreign policy and was successful in bringing an end to the Cold War.

                Anyone interested in verifying this ought to read Axelrod's book about it.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

              • francesca

                Bullying also changes behaviour.Not sure it's the most evolved way to go

                • lprent

                  What is your point? Because my point is that theory is all very well, however that cruel reality tends dissipates theory almost every time. As anyone who has been around theoretical science will be able to point out happening over and over again.

                  After 14 years of moderating on here, it is my opinion that it might be that moderator bullying not be 'evolved' – but it is extremely effective on controlling the behaviour of comment bullies and dribblers. I suspect that it is also the opinion of every moderator who has moderated here after they get exposed to having to moderate.

                  Most start with the expectation that they can just talk nicely to people with poor behaviour to improve their behaviour. They also usually eventually stop moderating after they realise that they want to start finding a nice metaphorical bit of 4"x2" with which to beat those who just want to crap all over the site.

                  Interactive moderation is a task that destroys pacifists and creates authoritarians of them. Look at all of the sites that require logins or force auto-moderation and effectively run an authoritarian comment policy with silent moderation. This site is one of the few that has an open comment comment policy and open moderation. It is far harder to pull off, but in my view allows for a more open and robust debate.

                  Curiously official bullying is also effective on people who like to crap on the grass verges or have their dogs do it for them, people who like firing weapons into the air, people who like to drive drunk, and just about everything else that is in the crimes and summary offences acts, and local body by-laws. Just drop into any criminal court some time and watch it in action.

                  I can also point to when sysop bullying and moderation wasn't used on this site and when virtually no moderation was used at all – roughly from August 2007 to March 2008. In less than 6 months after startup, the comments section went from being pretty pleasant to unreadable. It then took about 4 years of very hard moderating to bring the comments section back to a readable level.

            • Anne 14.1.1.2.1.2

              Come on francesca. I think you've been around long enough to know lprent.

              He comes up with these diatribes every once in a while when he thinks someone needs to be brought down a peg or two. "Alan" has been asking for it for a while.

              lprent gets in some damn good lines which leave me chuckling with delight. I won't be the only one.

              • francesca

                I prefer(and really rate )his more factual posts.I dislike any kind of bullying, don't think it's ever justified, no matter the political stripe

                That's just me , you of course are free to enjoy and chuckle

                • Anne

                  Fair enough francesca. Each to his own.

                • Anker

                  I agree Francesca.

                  • Anker

                    Actually on this subject i.e Iprent's approach to people he thinks need bringing into line.

                    Yesterday I think I was on the receiving end of this approach from Iprent. I was shocked, because all I had done was asked him a simple question, something like was he referring to gender ideology when he was talking about change taking 30 years or so. It was a geniune question, because sometimes on these threads it can be a little hard to ascertain who is answering who.

                    I have to say I'prent I did find your response to quite intimidating. Partly because of the power inbalance here. You do a lot of work for this blog and I respect that. If you had had been another commentator I would have called you out more.

                    So of course you are entitled to use your technique. But actually I found it intimidating and unnecessary. Especially as all I did was ask a simple question. I suspect it is my gender critical views you object to. If I am correct and that is the case, at least argue with my views.

                    • lprent

                      I have had a series of comments over recent months trying to get me to commit an opinion one way or another on the topic you were pushing. Mostly I have been saying I don't understand what is the issue nor see what in the hell it has to do with me nor see what those involved would explicitly like to happen. All of which I haven't seen any clear answers to when I have previously questioned it.

                      It is very hard to argue with 'views' when the people promulgating those views are pretty inarticulate in saying what their view are, why it should matter to whomever they are talking to, and when they have don't seem to have any idea on a course of action forward – while at the same time they are remarkably insistent at lecturing on what appears to me to be a ill-defined problem.

                      As I said, to me it feels like people trying for some kind of loyalty test or religious dogma from a person by framing questions as the kind of 'when did you kill your mother?' accusations. You'll find that I am remarkably intolerant towards people trying to put words into my mouth.

                      I respond to comments addressed at me when they show up on the Replies tab and seldom read comments in context – I'd suggest getting more careful about whom you answer.

                    • Anker

                      Ok, thanks for clarifying I prent. I apprecate that.

                      I understand why people would not want to be into a roped into a view on this issue.

                      If you did want to hear where I am coming from with my gender critical views, I would be happy to say, but I am hearing pretty loud and clear that that is not the case and I completely support your right to assert that.

                      Cheers,

                    • lprent

                      It is more that I'm tired of being having incidents described rather than what the fundamental issue is.

                      If you ever look at the history of worst of insurgent warfare (I like reading history) back at root causes level, you'll often find this kind of one-way focus where groups talk past each other about the other sides and how bad they are.

                      Meanwhile both sides just irritate everyone else trying to keep one ear open with their myopic tactical focus about others faults and habits of spreading away from whatever they upset about. Why if the hell would I be concerned about who called whom a TERF first?

                      In this case the complete lack of strategic points about what in the hell they're really arguing about. All it is engendering in me is a urge to close down all sport on the basis that no-one should be able to profit from whatever their genetic served them like height muscle confirmation or ATP tolerance levels. And to make all toilets unisex and capable of changing babies hygienically.

          • esoteric pineapples 14.1.1.2.2

            Totally right LPrent. The idea that someone who is a "businessmen" is better at running the country is obvious nonsense, but it does tend to convince a lot of people who tend to be the biggest victims of such businessmen/leaders when they do get in power. It's like how people think National are better at managing the economy.

      • bwaghorn 14.1.2

        He came across likable and easy to listen to on the AM show this am , imho, not slurpy like key, greasy like bridges or deranged like collins, early days but I'd be worried if I was the government and wanted to stay that way.

  15. newsense 15

    Key started by getting on the podium with Clark and solving a problem. Luxon announces he’s going to cause problems for an accord which has been almost the only bi-partisan action towards the decades long housing crisis, undercutting his deputy.

    A good look saying that no, no she’s been right in the meeting as I fix her flawed work.

  16. Adrian 16

    Yeah, nothing like being lectured on the housing crisis by someone with 7 houses. Big on more production…I take that to mean …build me more houses to buy.

  17. Byd0nz 17

    Deleted.

    [RL: Pointless non-witty abuse.]

  18. Puckish Rogue 19

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/swimmer-attacked-lifeguard-held-head-under-water-in-gore-swimming-pool/XF3KTTBOKU2ZWWS5WY3JIQVBYM/

    ‘McGregor Tioti Tume, 44, of Mataura, appeared in the Gore District Court this week and was sentenced to 10 and a half months’ home detention, to be served in Whanganui, with six months’ post-release conditions.’

    'Tume admitted threatening to kill, impeding breathing or circulation, behaving threateningly and injuring with intent to injure after the incident on April 16.'

    Its not hard to lower the prison population

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/125677622/lifeguard-thought-she-was-going-to-die-during-gore-swimming-pool-attack

    'The man's lawyer Sonya Vidal said Tume had been offended after the lifeguard hit him lightly on the head with a rope to gain his attention, because her actions were culturally offensive to Māori.'

    'Vidal said Tume had been racially abused in the past.'

    Yeah…

    • Jimmy 19.1

      Yep that's disgusting. I know the government wants the prison population to reduce, but dangerous people who cannot control their temper need to be locked away to keep the general public safe. He will learn nothing from the home D, other than he can do it again.

  19. Tricledrown 20

    PR hopefully the judge gives him a suitable sentence for the gutless coward.

    Defence lawyers have a job to do as well.

    You may not like what they say in this case its trying to blame shift from an attempted manslaughter.

  20. SPC 21

    The place of luck in politics.

    For some time there has been a strong case for allowing returning Kiwis into Auckland home isolation (and using freed up places for those from other areas of the country and for some of the infection cases). And then from Dec 15 allow returning Kiwis to home isolation in orange areas (on the grounds they were no more of a risk than travelling Aucklanders double vaxxed – and less given the pre flight negative test and week at home).

    The new leadership of National would have attacked on this and hard. But by the time it was made manifest on Tuesday, omicron had made its own global appearance. And so while the eagle may have landed, this prey is no longer to be found.

    • Sabine 21.1

      and the leadership old, current new, and future new could cry until the kingdom comes, Labour has a full majority and can do what it wants.

      Atm, however People are stuck, their 'rights' are disregarded, they have to apply to an inhumane lottery, and are essentially stateless.

      But lets talk not about what Labour is not doing, or to be fair the little they are doing after much kicking and screaming and some really bad press that will get worse btw, but lets talk what a dude says who is on his first day of the Job.

      Funny how it seems that the people with no power seem to bully the people with all the power into doing their bidding. Is labour really that weak?

  21. Ad 22

    Nice detailed historical analysis of the unrest in the Solomon Islands, and why Minister Mahuta may be hesitating before sending our troops in to support the Australian and Fiji contingent.

    Foreign Intervention Complicates Solomon Islands Unrest – The Diplomat

    • RedLogix 22.1

      Excellent – thanks for finding this. Lot's of good info I've not seen elsewhere.

      I'm hoping – although with Dutton involved it may be a forlorn hope – that the Australian govt is very aware of the swamp of contradictions it's stepped into here. There have been mentions in the media around the apparent paradox of propping up a pro-CCP govt, yet I suspect they judged it better to stabilise the situation on the ground first and then see what can be done.

      But yes a remarkable story that still has serious potential to go either very well or very badly.

    • lprent 22.2

      Interesting read. It is another perspective focused mostly on a religious basis than a political or regional or clan. It also reads like justification for differences rather than causation.

      I suspect that Mahuta, the police commissioner, and probably our GHQ will mostly be looking at is if there is any noticeable pathway out of the political morass in the Solomons this time. After all, despite its religious trappings highlighted in the article, the main issue appears to be limited understanding of the local politicians of how to negotiate political compromises and/or being able to lead their own followers to accept them.

      My question and probably our authorising people would be what in the hell are we providing time for… Once you start ignoring the obvious propaganda about what people say that their reasons for conflict are, this feels like a continuation on a slightly different basis of the last conflict about the balance between nation and local interests.

    • SPC 22.3

      It's just the Solomon's bad luck their zone has Oz rather than Norway.

  22. RedLogix 23

    Just finished listening to this exceptional discussion on COVID and it's social implications:

    Starts with COVID but dives into the problems and failures of our materialist society. Best quote: “You’re going to worship somebody – so what is your higher value and purpose ?”

    • SPC 23.1

      Philosphically opposed to passports and mandates and reality

      1 – aged care worker goes to pub gets infected goes to work

      2 – nurse …

      • RedLogix 23.1.1

        It seems you watched the wrong video …

        • SPC 23.1.1.1

          When Kingsnorth said he no longer supported mandates and passports I took him at his word and stopped listening – did he change his mind?

          • RedLogix 23.1.1.1.1

            If you've stopped listening – then I'm under no obligation to explain anything.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 23.2

      You’re going to worship somebody – as they say – so what is the higher value of your society?” [@31:37 mins]

      This may sound contrarian, but you don't have to worship anybody – value yes; worship no. The question reads as a non sequitur to me. And I did like this comment (@31 mins):

      You can make an argument that 'Freedom' is one of the things that's made society disintegrate over the last 50 years – you know – this, this constant obsession with individual freedom in all areas, whether it's economic or cultural, has has had exactly that kind of acidic impact on things.

      • RedLogix 23.2.1

        The merit of this discussion to me is it's even-handedness. Yes it starts in one place and ends in another, but it's not disrespectful to anyone along the way.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 23.2.1.1

          The merit of this discussion to me is it's even-handedness.

          That even-handedness is why we could each pick a different "best quote".

    • francesca 23.3

      Thanks for that

      Terrific!!

  23. SPC 24

    A story about health politics.

    WHO of the past

    Do not block travel from China

    WHO of the present

    Do not block travel from Africa

    WHO of the past

    1. The first world must share vaccines
    2. And if we do not new variants may emerge

    (some scientists claim vaccines will lead to new variants trying to work around the vaccine)

    News

    1. The miracle of Africa – the populated continent least impacted
    2. South Africa has enough vaccines, but there is not much take up

    WHO present

    Says that this new variant occurred because of spread in areas without the vaccine.

    South Africa

    The one place where there has been multi-variant spread – beta and delta, so it checks the variant type and thus picks such new variants as omicron faster than most (as might places with border controls and testing).

    USA, UK and Oz Past

    Now providing booster doses because the immunity against delta infection wanes by 6 months.

    USA UK Oz Present

    Considering booster doses at 2 or 3 months after the second dose, as if an earlier than required booster against delta would stop omicron getting around the vaccine.

    USA UK Oz Future Plan?

    The boosters did not work to stop omicron, which has has spread so fast herd immunity is realised (ignoring health system crisis and spike in earlier deaths). Freedom in our time. Victory.

    • RedLogix 24.1

      One possible outcome is that Omicron becomes the dominant global strain because it is so infectious – but is sufficiently mild that the IFR and long-term health impacts become no worse than seasonal influenza or perhaps even the common cold.

      Otherwise yes – your comment speaks to the loss of institutional trust Kingsnorth was as well.

      • SPC 24.1.1

        Personally I would rather we had all the anti-viral treatments available for all those infected … just in case.

        There is a risk a less deadly strain might kill more by overwhelming the health system with the number of cases – if it gets around before the anti-viral treatment are widely available.

  24. McFlock 25

    University of Otago going fully-vaxxed from next year, regardless of government requirements.

    Staff who choose not to be vaccinated will have their employment options worked through with HR, while students who choose not to be vaccinated may be able to choose from a limited range of online study options.

    lols "worked through with HR".

    It's dependent on the vaccine pass, so anyone who gets a medical exemption will go through that process and it'll come up "valid".

  25. woodart 26

    anybody else notice the inconsistincy, new nat leader doesnt want councils sidelined re 3 waters, new nat #2 very happy to sideline councils over housing. hmm.maybe nat #2 is more forward looking, this weaks leader looking for headlines.

  26. Dennis Frank 27

    She is from Wellington, and grew up with politics – her mother was a member of the press gallery. "It really is a sweet thing, when I walk in the back entrance of Parliament I walk past a photo of my mother in the press gallery line-up and in that photo she's actually pregnant with me … when I walk past it, it really strengthens my resolve for the day because I think about the sacrifices she made as a mum.

    "She sacrificed her work as a journalist at Parliament in order to raise me and my sister and brother – and she was an incredible mother, I've got wonderful parents – and it makes me proud to be doing something I know she sees as making a big contribution to the country. That's how I feel about my work. I don't see Parliament as a place that's all about the house of cards type stuff

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/willis-promises-to-be-balancing-force-as-nationals-new-deputy-leader/UDOCIGDDDKPZ7AK5A7CHDG3D54/

    So she gestated in parliament. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I suspect it could be significant. It has become known that a human foetus gets affected by ambient vibes such as music & argument. A positive take on this for her would be along the lines of being innately acclimatised to the power matrix.

    • Gezza 27.1

      If you’re postulating that Willis was somehow prepared for politics by osmosis in the womb, Dennis, I reckon you’re pulling our legs.

      • Dennis Frank 27.1.1

        smiley The test of a theory is the extent to which reality matches it, so time will tell. If the theory is correct, she'll be more comfortable in her functional roles within parliament than comparable others.

        • Gezza 27.1.1.1

          Only if you deliberately exclude all other possible factors, which, scientifically, you can’t legitimately do.

  27. Dennis Frank 28

    Luxon: "I love country music and that’s not cool to say and I apologise to New Zealand for saying it." He need not. It's country & western that's uncool. Country music is extremely cool because it's authentic. Not like that corny shit made for plastic people & sung by cardboard cutouts. Maybe he's a Garth Brooks addict?? Too ignorant to know the difference, in other words…

    “He’s very green,” says political commentator and former national government staffer Ben Thomas.

    Readers will assume that means he's very Green. Sigh.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/30/who-is-new-zealands-new-opposition-leader-christopher-luxon

    • Blazer 28.1

      He mentioned-Tim McGraw.

      He likes country music,ryobi tools,being a landlord,walking in the rain and the wind in his….hair.

      • Dennis Frank 28.1.1

        McGraw is of Italian and Irish descent on his mother's side, and has Irish, English, Scottish, Swiss, Dutch, Czech, and German ancestry on his father's side… He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_McGraw

        Okay, I'm impressed. Cosmopolitan dude extraordinaire! yes

  28. Gezza 29

    A concerned parent, Robin Redding, said her son, Treshan Bryant, is a student at the school but stayed home on Tuesday. She said he had heard threats that there could be a shooting.

    “This couldn’t be just random,” she said.

    Redding didn’t provide specifics about what her son had heard, but she expressed concern with school safety in general.

    “Kids just, like they’re just mad at each other at this school,” she said.

    Bryant said he texted several younger cousins in the morning and they said they didn’t want to go to school, and he got a bad feeling. He asked his mom if he could do his assignments online.

    One of my Kiwi nephews & his US wife both teach at a school in Baltimore in the USA. I always immediately look to see where school shootings are when I hear of another one in that goddam gun-mad country. ☹️

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/300467177/student-kills-3-people-wounds-8-at-a-us-high-school

  29. Jenny How to get there 30

    After decades of mining a seam of anti-immigrant and Maori sentiment for electoral gain.

    Winston Peters has identified a new seam of Right wing sentiment to mine.

    From Facebook:

    Winston Peters

    13h ·

    It was alarming to hear the new National leader yesterday refuse to give a direct answer to specific questions given to him on the govts hidden unmandated separatist co-governance agenda.

    It is tragic the opportunity wasn’t taken to give clarity and to take a strong opposing stance against this implementation of what is simply apartheid policies by stealth.

    • Maurice 30.1

      A rich and deep seam it is too.

      Makes it very much more likely Winston will be back … is that a good thing?

      • McFlock 30.1.1

        JuCo struck me as quietly working that seam like it was swamp kauri, and it didn't pay much. Toss a coin whether Winston will have better luck stripmining it.

        He might have lost his connection to the zeitgeist. Zooming rather than getting out on the hustings.

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