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Open mike 04/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 4th, 2020 - 202 comments
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Step up to the mike …

202 comments on “Open mike 04/10/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Danyl Mclauchlan has written an excellent political history of Winston: https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/04-10-2020/the-boxer-and-the-towel-a-short-history-of-winston-peters-politician/

    The school was reached by walking along the estuary. When the tide was high the students rode horses, or were ferried by the headmaster in a rowing boat. He suffered from chronic asthma.

    He spoke with a stutter, which he worked to correct. He did his homework in an upturned corrugated iron tank in the paddock, to shelter from the sun and rain. His childhood ambitions were to be an All Black, own a racehorse and become prime minister.

    Origin stories are always the key to the person. Ten out of ten, Danyl. Ought to be compulsory reading for political science classes in all our academic institutions.

    But he also struck the only decisive blow the National opposition won against Labour by uncovering the Māori Loan Affair: a bizarre scandal in which the secretary of the department of Māori Affairs attempted to borrow a staggering amount of money from two international con artists, and the minister appeared to have authorised this and failed to inform cabinet.

    All this “racial separatism” would lead to a backlash, Peters predicted. He warned of violence on the streets and in a speech entitled “We are all New Zealanders” that would serve as a template for Don Brash’s Orewa speech, Peters advocated “one law for all”.

    The message was enormously popular with the older, provincial voters in National’s base, and Peters was soon ahead of his leader Jim Bolger in TVNZ polling preferred prime minister rankings.

    National won the election – the greatest landslide in New Zealand political history – by campaigning for “a decent society”, as opposed to the radical new neoliberal policies of the Labour government.

    New Zealand politics in the mid 1990s was consumed by the winebox debate, a vast and sprawling, summary-defying political, financial and legal scandal about the sale of government assets and the bailout of the Bank of New Zealand. This happened under the fourth Labour government and during the first term of the Bolger National government. The merchant bank Fay Richwhite advised the government during its sale of some of these assets, and it had also been a part purchaser of the same assets, in a series of transactions and bailouts in which the state and minority shareholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars but Fay Richwhite made an estimated half a billion dollars.

    Peters brought a winebox of leaked documents to parliament that were alleged to show financial transactions allegedly involving Fay Richwhite being routed through the Cook Islands in an alleged tax evasion scheme involving the Bank of New Zealand – which was still half owned by the New Zealand government. Inland Revenue and the Serious Fraud Office had investigated and found nothing suspicious and this, Peters announced, pointed to fraud and/or incompetence in both of these organisations.

    There was an inquiry which dragged on for three years. Defamation cases and court cases branched off from it. There were appeals which ruled against the findings of the inquiry. No one ever figured out what happened, or who won, or what it all meant.

    The establishment won, obviously!! Obfuscate & cover-up continuously, and you can always defeat any sham attempt at justice put up by the Nat/Lab collusion team.

    At least Winston managed to expose how the establishment operates, and if Labour had taken a moral stand with him instead of colluding he probably would have defeated the establishment and Aotearoa would be in vastly better shape. Has Labour learnt it's lesson?

    • Ad 1.1

      Winston Peters is one of the finest regulators we've ever had.

      We are a weakly regulated country dominated by a handful of oligopolies and cartels, who have taken rent off our backs for four decades.

      Just look at Labour saying they will launch a review of supermarket and building supplies prices in the next term. It will be as effective as their review of petrol suppliers. That is, it will achieve fuck all because they are timid and have near zero trusted networks within industry networks to leak the critical goods. Winston has a lifetime of them.

      We've never had any institution like the strength of the ACCC. Instead we've had Winston Peters.

      If there were more like him, we would have a water price regulator, we would have electricity regulators who were regularly scorched, we would have milk and meat cartels who would quake, and we would have insurers who begged for our custom. Instead they make sure we just take it and have no power to stop it.

      For his sustained service to New Zealand Winston Peters had been regularly and mercilessly hunted down. Few others across senior leadership in New Zealand could have withstood it. Certainly none in Labour except perhaps Clark and Anderton. Mostly Winston was hunted down by National, who are employed by their donors to sustain these rentier cartels just as they are.

      Sure he isn't perfect, but he's a patriot to his core.

      I only wish any of New Zealand's regulators were half as tough, tenacious and smart as Winston Peters.

      Should we have to eulogise his political career shortly, his legal and prosecutorial tenacity will have to be just one of the posts that we do here.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Yes … that's a very insightful view of Winston. While I'd never vote for his party and what it stands for, I've never been opposed to the man himself. He's certainly served New Zealand diligently for many decades as you so richly outline.

        His big weakness, and compared to Anderton it's fairly obvious, is that his legal background inclined him to express himself in highly qualified, sometimes convoluted terms, that didn't connect easily with the 'common man'. A bit of a populist at times, he oddly lacked that populist gift of the gab which otherwise might have propelled him over that polling hurdle he never leapt, to 'most preferred PM'.

        • Ad

          He has for brief periods been the Prime Minister he wanted to be.

          Jim Anderton also led a breakaway party, but it was nowhere near as successful, and his legacy is much smaller than Winston's.

          Winston's regulatory achievements to hold governments put to one side, the really big achievements will be twofold.

          Firstly in foreign affairs, where he basically rebuilt the entire Ministry. That's a major untold and largely invisible story.

          Secondly in winning the Provincial Growth Fund. The difference that each of those deals will make in the many hundreds of small towns and regions will be quite lost on the city-based mainstream media and 99% of the Wellington-based public servants. But they will never be lost on the leaders and citizens of those businesses and towns who saw what that fund brought.

          IMHO he had plenty of populist capacity – he just used it sparingly. Witness the lines hew threw out a decade ago about immigration. They got notice, but nothing like Don Brash's Orewa speech which gained a temporary poll bump but otherwise lives in infamy.

          In the Helen Clark terms and in this term Winston has been more of a complete insider: still plenty of rage and fight left, but mostly focused on delivering the money and the deals.

          • RedLogix

            IMHO he had plenty of populist capacity – he just used it sparingly.

            Fair call, I once found myself seated pretty close to him at the Green Parrot. It was an entertaining evening devil

            His combative relationship with much of the media probably contributed to much of what I’m trying to convey here.

            • KJT

              Peters was perfectly correct about the media.

              Unfortunately NZ media has too much power and not enough competence, or honesty.

              • RedLogix

                Yes, I'm on Peter's side in this. I should have been clearer on that.

                Here in Australia, the media is far more developed and diverse; every outlet does have it's biases, but collectively you get a more useful picture. On those occasions when I've been back in NZ, the contrast is dismal.

                And I'd argue that much of this 'lack of competence' you refer to, is less about individual shortcomings, but can be sheeted back to institutional weakness and the gutting of traditional journalism by Google and FB.

        • swordfish



          A bit of a populist at times, he oddly lacked that populist gift of the gab which otherwise might have propelled him over that polling hurdle he never leapt, to 'most preferred PM'.

          Pretty sure Peters was Preferred PM (in TV1 Heylen Polls) briefly in early 1991 (vying for the title with Oppo Leader Mike Moore in a closely-fought contest … with PM Bolger well behind) … and then – for more than a year – from mid-1992 right through to a few months before the 1993 Election campaign he was Preferred PM by some margin (sometimes rating close to 30% & up to 12 points above Moore), with Bolger & Anderton well back, competing for 3rd place.

          But, wouldn't you know it, Winston's personal popularity began to dip the moment he launched the Party needed to realise his Prime Ministerial ambitions … probably because a segment of dissatisfied but ultimately loyal Nats could no longer support the leader of a competing Party. By 1994, he'd fallen to 3rd place, more popular than the newly-elected, horrendously-rating Clark, of course, but behind Anderton (the rising star) & Bolger.

          Winston was essentially the popular politician of 92-93 … with Anderton taking over that role in 94.

          • RedLogix

            lol … well done. I just knew I should not have been so bold as to say 'never'.

            • swordfish

              Ha ! … have a strong feeling Winnie rose again to most Preferred PM (albeit briefly) in the run-up to the 1996 campaign … have the data somewhere … would've been around mid-96 as NZF skyrocketed into 2nd place behind National in the polls but then – like a flash in the pan – quickly fell back below Labour again.

              Was in the context of enormous dissatisfaction with Clark's leadership among Labour supporters … but then, of course, she massively redeems herself with a stunning performance in the 1996 Leaders Debate … & a year later she's the undisputed Leader of the Party & the Opposition & hurtling headlong towards victory in 99.

              So Winstonian definitely Preferred PM in 92 & 93 … and probably again for a short spell in 96.

      • aj 1.1.2

        Mostly Winston was hunted down by National, who are employed by their donors to sustain these rentier cartels just as they are.

        Dead right.

        • Stuart Munro

          It's not quite so straight forward – the same forces wheeled him out to scupper the CGT.

          Of course the CGT needed to be split into several parts – the small engineering firm whose capital value increased with plant and capacity and goodwill was not freeloading like the slumlords.

    • Treetop 1.2

      Peter's has been a successful politician within a main political party and as a coalition partner and leader of his own party in his own right more than any other politician in the history of NZ politics. Probably NZF will not return to parliament after the election. Peter's will need to find something exciting to do after the election like being an ambassador.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Dr Mark Boyd lectures on Communications and Politics at the University of Auckland. He reminds us why tv leaders debates are part of our democracy process:

    Debates should be about the politicians putting forward their visions, and policies, for the future of the country. They should challenge each other on the viability of those, but not according to the rules, or lack of them, of a playground slanging match. And the hosts should be there to guide the discussion, not dominate it.


    Instead, we got this:

    I’ve analysed to the second the debates in the last three election cycles. This year, with each debate running just over an hour when you take out the ads and promotional waffle, John Campbell on TVNZ interrupted either Judith Collins or Jacinda Ardern 22 times. On Three, Patrick Gower chipped in 28 times.

    Judith Collins interrupted Jacinda Ardern 13 times, but stepped it up to 26 on Three. Jacinda Ardern was much less aggressive – just six interjections on TVNZ, 14 on Three.

    However, the Labour leader was no angel in 2017. On both networks she interrupted Bill English far more than he talked over her. And the master interjector, not to be seen this time, was TVNZ host Mike Hosking – 46 times in 2014, 41 in 2017.

    Lamentable as those New Zealand statistics are, they’re eclipsed by Donald Trump’s performance. He interrupted Joe Biden 73 times in the 90-minute debate. That trashing of the rules has prompted expressions of horror across the media and politics in the United States, and calls for the format to be rejigged, including cutting off the microphones of repeat offenders.

    The kill button, they call it in the US. Not surprising Trump took refuge in a pandemic retreat! His ego couldn't stand getting killed in nationwide media primetime.

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      You missed out the most important quote:

      On Three, Patrick Gower took up more than a third of the speaking time – more than Jacinda Ardern, and almost as much as Judith Collins. John Campbell was slightly less loquacious – 28 per cent. Once again, this year isn’t an anomaly. The hosts’ shares of talking time were similar in both 2014 and 2017.

      Gower spoke for longer than the Prime Minister.

      • Chris T 2.1.1

        Does this include all the introduction, saying there are ad breaks and the bit at the end summarising?

        As if so, it is a fairly scewed and stupid stat.

        • Incognito

          If Moderators of TS would dominate the commentary on this site with more than a third of all comments or of the word count then you may realise that it might not be such a “fairly scewed [sic] and stupid stat” 😉

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    John Pilger: Julian Assange’s Crimes Are Truth Telling & Making War Criminals Look in The Mirror!…though it seems all over our media are no longer interested this aspect of news telling or in the fate of Assange, totally blacked out in New Zealand media, it an an absolute disgrace, and has really exposed our media for what they really are and who they really answer too…Manufacturing consent has run natural it’s course and now our media have become just talking heads for the powerful and nothing more, and sadly including once great reporters like Kim Hill who has become one of the worst offenders.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      They haven't always ignored him. Back in 2013 his persecution and suffering provided a great source of mirth for the likes of Jim Mora and Chris Trotter….

      SUSAN BALDACCI: Julian Assange is a little bit paranoid.
      MORA: Oh yes? Hur, hur, hur, hur!
      SUSAN BALDACCI: Yeah, he claims that being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, he is deprived of his human right of getting enough sun.
      MORA: Is it a human right to get enough sun?
      SUSAN BALDACCI: That’s what he claims! He claims that being not allowed to leave London is violating his “human rights”.
      MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      CHRIS TROTTER: Haw haw haw haw haw!
      SUSAN BALDACCI: He thinks he should be allowed out of his Ecuador embassy hideout to sunbathe.
      MORA: He can get out on the balcony, where he gave that speech!
      LISA SCOTT: Yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha!
      CHRIS TROTTER: Yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha! Or get him a sun lamp! THAT’s what he needs!
      LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha!
      SUSAN BALDACCI: He he he he he!
      TROTTER: I suspect the ambassador’s just sick of the sight of him! “Are you ever going to LEEEEAAAVE?
      MORA: Sun lamp! Get him a sun lamp!!!
      LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha!
      MORA: Back after the news!



      • Incognito 3.1.1

        What is the point of this transcript of inane drivel? It addresses nothing in and of Adrian Thornton’s comment. Your comment reads like the usual Spam with the inevitable links to the same old site (i.e. toi’s) angry

        • Brigid

          " inane drivel"

          That is the point. From the mouths of Baldacci, Trotter and Mora while reveling in the persecution of Julian Assange.

          • Incognito

            If I wanted inane drivel, on any topic, I’d go to the gym and do some kind of trendy class with lots of loud music and uplifting banter by some personal trainer who’s OD-ed on energy drinks and thinks they’re funny – the post- exercise protein-shake conversations make me want to read Mr Breen’s blog. To me, this is simply adding more inane drivel to an increasingly noisy world and a dead-cat approach. At least Statler and Waldorf were funny and they weren’t even real, but don’t tell some here 😉

            • Sacha

              They were fantastic! Well, most of the time. I guess they had some dull patches. Terrible. Boo boo boo!

              Youre right, it's uncanny.

        • Adrian Thornton

          @Incognito, I assume Mossissey is showing us how RNZ had plenty of time to assassinate Assange's character, however have strangely fallen silent (as have ALL NZ media) now he is being publicly humiliated and destroyed in a UK kangaroo court…don't you find this all very disturbing, no matter what your personal thoughts are on Assange?

          • Incognito

            I think Morrissey is showing us that he’s more interested in the side-show that’s called the Mr Breen & Mr Morrissey show and his views on media channels and media personalities – it is a reoccurring ‘theme’ and his MO. I find it disturbing that you seem to think that this is somehow about Assange. But hey, people read what they want to read so, knock yourself out on the Breen Blog – links were conveniently provided, as usual, for your perusal.

        • Morrissey

          With respect, my friend, I did address Adrian's comment. I posted up that inane and dreadfully unfunny—-vide Trotter's best efforts at a Mexican accent—drivel to remind people that many in the New Zealand media have indeed commented on the political dissenter whose suffering and obscene show trial they are choosing to studiously ignore. Their commentary constituted laughing at his plight and pouring filth on his character.

          • Incognito

            I’m sure you have done an in-depth study & analysis of the NZ media and their reporting of and on Assange over the years and kept a well-documented record of this in your archives. I’m also sure your comment at 10:05 AM (@ 3.1) is a textbook example of this, highlighting their moral and intellectual shortcomings on said topic or any worthy topic, for that matter. I’m also convinced, just as you and Adrian are, that nothing has changed or improved since 2013 so, indeed, it makes perfect sense to dig up some inane drivel from 2013 to make ‘your point’. However, I can clearly see how this is going to help Assange’s plight.

            I don’t think you and I have ever met. I can’t be sure because such an occasion event would have induced an instant soporific state with me followed by deep chronic amnesia. In any case, I don’t believe we are friends as such.

            You have spammed TS with five links to your personal playground blog today and I think that suffices. Please get a better hobby, thanks.

            Alternatively, write a Guest Post here. Mike Smith’s latest one on Assange was excellent but your contribution under that Post was somewhat wanting, if I may say so, but maybe you were on holiday?


            • Morrissey

              Incognito: I don’t think you and I have ever met. I can’t be sure because such an occasion—no, make that such an EVENT— would have induced an instant soporific state with me—

              Breen: [attempting to light-heartedly demur] Oh come now, things aren't that bad, surely?

              Incognito: [grimly ploughing on] followed by deep chronic amnesia.

              …..Awkward caesura….

              Breen: Hmmmm. I think maybe we HAVE met, Mr. Cognito. In fact, I'm working on the play script for it at this very moment.

              To be continued….

              • Incognito

                Maybe leave that draft where it belongs: the bin. Nobody, not even you, would be interested in something so utterly boring that only took place in those empty windy halls of residence inside your skull on a dull Wednesday afternoon during a power outage. Not even Sir Peter or James could work that into something remotely interesting let alone appealing. As I said before, please get a better hobby.

            • Morrissey

              Mike Smith’s latest one on Assange was excellent but your contribution under that Post was somewhat wanting, if I may say so, but maybe you were on holiday?

              In what way was my contribution, short as it was, "somewhat wanting"? I firmly refuted poor old Andre's attempt at an attack on the reputation of the Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook.

              Was that not enough? Once again: please specify how my contribution was "somewhat wanting."

              • Incognito

                Yeah, you defended the reputation of one just like you’re happy to attack the reputation of another.

                I didn’t think Assange was on trial for his reputation but what do I know?

                If one reputational defence and the parroting of inane drivel is enough then I can safely assume we will not have the pleasure of a Guest Post by you on Assange. This is a real shame because you have undoubtedly followed him since 2006 if not earlier. I think you could make a valuable contribution and possibly help Assange’s plight with a carefully considered post of and with your insights. The choice is yours. Would you rather remain a sideline critic or be a heroic opinion leader and defender of freedom of information?

                Through action, a Man becomes a Hero

                Through death, a Hero becomes a Legend

                Through time, a Legend becomes a Myth

                And by learning from the Myth, a Man takes action

                – Unknown

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Latest update on Trump conspiracy theories: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/03/trump-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-qanon

    Does it really matter what some disturbed QAnon supporters on the internet believe? I’m afraid it does. QAnon isn’t just a niche movement any more; it’s tiptoeing its way into the American mainstream – and Trump’s Twitter feed. It’s also creeping into the halls of power: there are 24 candidates running for Congress in November who have endorsed or promoted QAnon content according to Media Matters, a disinformation watchdog. Only two of these are fringe independents – the other 22 are running as Republicans.

    Sadly, the latest is merely a rerun:

    Trump communicated his intentions via a tweet on Friday morning where he announced he and Melania had tested positive and declared: “We will get through this TOGETHER!” When you pull apart TOGETHER it spells out TO GET HER. Boom!

    Covid-19 is a hoax designed to deflect attention from a Satan-worshipping pedophile ring operated by Hillary Clinton and liberal elites. Trump, their reasoning goes, is pretending to have Covid-19 as part of a grand plan to arrest Clinton.

    Jeez, this is adolescent retard-level theorising, surely there must be better stuff around?

    The first lady has been caught on tape asking: “Who gives a fuck about Christmas?” She also complained about being criticized for her husband’s child separation policies.

    That's better. Sticking it to the christians after he used them to get elected. And blaming her for not being controlling enough is out there. Since when has anyone successfully controlled the Don??

    There’s a secret female-only language in China. It’s called Nüshu. According to the BBC: “It rose to prominence in the 19th Century in Hunan’s Jiangyong County to give the ethnic Han, Yao and Miao women who live here a freedom of expression not often found in many communities of the time.” Now the language is making a comeback.

    Much better! Xi must be shitting himself about this. I presume he has already delegated loyal female infiltrators to deal with it.

    Five trouble-making African grey parrots at a Lincolnshire zoo have been separated after encouraging each other to swear at visitors. “When a parrot tells you to fuck off, it amuses people very highly,” the CEO of the wildlife park said.

    Well I hope each separated parrot has been given a bunch of other parrots to teach. Such upskilling is an excellent tourist crowd-control strategy.

  5. Morrissey 5

    Colin Peacock fails to do his job, yet again

    RNZ National, Sunday 4 October 2020, 7:40 a.m.

    In 2003 Colin Peacock publicly supported the preposterous claim of Tony Blair that the media were unduly harsh on him. In 2011, Peacock tried to defend some astounding comments made by John Key about the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. [1]

    A couple of years later, Peacock interviewed the BBC's Lyse Docet, and complacently let her claim that she and the BBC were there to represent "those without a voice." [2]

    This morning he was back in his empty receptacle mode. Filling in for Jim Mora, his guest at 7:40 was one Nick Fisher, who is a "travel vlogger". Fisher has somehow made a career for himself out of travelling to countries around the world, without doing any research, possessing no particular knowledge, and making bland and unremarkable observations to camera. His comments this morning were not particularly interesting, until Peacock asked him to explain why he claimed Venezuela was a dangerous place to visit. It was like throwing a match on petrol: the Venezuelan was a "criminal regime", he stated, which had "hijacked the election." As he did when faced with bald faced lies by far smarter and more cynical operators, Peacock did not utter a word in dissent.

    I sent a quick email to the ever agreeable, uncritical host…

    Nick Fisher's ignorant and incendiary remarks about Venezuela

    Dear Colin,

    Your "Calling Home" interview with the vlogger Nick Fisher was astounding. He claimed that the elected government of Venezuela was "criminal" regime which "hijacked the election." It seems he was extremely confused: perhaps he was thinking of Bolivia or Honduras or Brazil.

    I am surprised and disappointed that you did not even slightly demur at his extraordinarily ignorant remarks.

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen

    Northcote Point

    Ironically, the next guest interviewed by Peacock, the historian Paul Moon, has just commented about the danger of "being an impostor, claiming expertise even though you haven't done any research on the matter." Perhaps Moon had heard the "Indigo Traveller" indulge in a rant exactly matching that description a few minutes earlier.


    [1] https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/colin-peacocke-defender-of-john-key-and.html

    [2] https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2019/01/liars-of-our-time-no-27-lyse-doucet-i.html

    • Adrian Thornton 5.1

      Glad you did the comment to Peacock, saves me the time…though I did just send him this one…

      Good morning Colin,

      I have listened to your show for a long while as it is probably the only programme on radio or TV that actually makes any attempt to hold our media to account in this country at all, so by default one of the most important shows on air in New Zealand.

      It because of your long history of fearless reporting on the imbalances and outright ‘misdirection’ on the part of our media that I am appealing to your sense justice and fair play in the case of the NZ media blackout of the current Julian Assange court case.

      Without going into the details which I am sure you are familiar with, don’t you find it unusual that all our media and especially RNZ found all the air time they needed to cover the alleged sexual misconduct of Assange, but now that he is actually in court (and being treated quite horrifically by all accounts) there is only complete silence?

      Only a programme like Media Watch could possibly have the weight to maybe embarrass the local media out of their apparent reverie…I leave it to your conscience.

      Best Regards

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        Thanks for that, Adrian. Please let us know if he replies to your excellent letter.

        To compound the wretchedness this morning, one of his guests was Richard Harman who last year, just weeks after Assange had been dragged out of asylum by the police, participated in the Orwellian "celebration" of World Press Freedom Day, organized in Wellington by the British High Commission.


      • Bearded Git 5.1.2

        Adrian. Nice letter-keep up the pressure on Assange issue. A deathly silence in NZ on this issue.

        (I was snow-shoeing on the Pisa Range 2 weeks ago wearing a "Free Assange" t-shirt and a woman skiing in the other direction said she thought it said "Free Lasagne")

  6. weka 6

    lol, best conspiracy comment on twitter this morning is did Trump escape to Russia?

    • Morrissey 6.1

      You see the funny side of that weka, but in the context of the ridiculous Russiagate fantasy that has been foisted on the public for the last four years, that's a sane and reasonable suggestion.

    • Andre 6.2

      Don't fleeing fascists usually prefer Brazil or Argentina?

  7. ScottGN 7

    The candidate vote numbers in the Colmar-Brunton Auckland Central poll are getting all the attention but the party vote numbers must be absolutely terrifying the National Party leadership.

    • Scott-agreed re the party votes where in Akl Central it is Labour 47% and Greens 13%

      But I disagree the focus is wrong to be on the candidate vote as this has massive strategic implications. If Chloe Swarbrick wins for the Greens, and she has cut the margin with Labour's Helen White from 18% to 9 % in a couple of weeks, Chloe could hold this seat for the next 20 years probably giving Labour a safe coalition partner for this period.

      The situation in the latest candidate vote poll (4% margin of error):

      Helen White (L) 35%

      Emma Mellow (N) 30%

      Chloe Swarbrick (G) 26%


      Time for Labour voters to vote strategically-a 5% shift will do it.

    • swordfish 7.2


      the party vote numbers must be absolutely terrifying the National Party leadership.

      Only somewhat … if you made the assumption that Colmar Brunton measured the Party-Vote in Auckland Central accurately & that this 2017-20 swing was mirrored throughout the entire Country (always a dodgy assumption … but humour me just this once … throw me a friggin bone, for Chrissakes) … then … the nationwide Party-Vote would be:

      Lab 46%

      NZF 5.0%

      Green 5.4%

      Nat 33%

      ACT 5.4%

      Which isn't quite as good for the Left as some might have hoped.

      Greens precarious, Lab a little lower, Nats a little higher than you may have desired. …. Ha ha ! and NZF the fly in the ointmentthe unwanted guest at the Party … just when you thought you were rid of them forever, they turn up drunk as a skunk & throwing wild punches … confounding all expectations by just making it over that threshold by the skin of their teeth

      Which isn't to say it'll actually pan out this way on the national stage (see: always a dodgy assumption) but that was the broad implication underlying your comment … & if the Nats are focussed more on consolidating their core support & avoiding the dreaded death spiral than pursuing any realistic hope of actually winning … then these results may not be quite as terrifying as they first appear.

      Mildly Spooky at best.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Herald photographer gets it right:

    • Uncle Scrim 8.1


      Just a couple of questions:

      • Collins has been around NZ politics for two decades. I don't recall her ever really talking about 'God' before, and unlike some of her colleagues she is known to be fairly socially liberal on some issues such as abortion, end-of-life choices etc. In the last two weeks she's become Mike Pence?
      • Why did she do a special vote in Kohimarama today? Not going to be in her own electorate at all between now and 17 Oct?
      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        Her praying pose is like something out of a Disney movie. Practicing Christians just don't do that. Embarrassing.

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        Pure opportunism. Trying to claw back voters from NewCons, et al. Maybe more of them in the east than the south?

        • Uncle Scrim

          Odd though, as most party leaders make a big deal of voting in their home electorate, showing they are part of their community. I can see why leaders/MPs will want to vote early these days, as it is another photo op/campaigning moment at a time when it might still influence others (unlike the traditional photo op vote on election day itself). I can't recall seeing a leader casting a special vote outside their own electorate before though.

          Perhaps there are no advance polling stations in churches in Papakura?

          • Sacha

            I'd be surprised if she was ever genuinely part of the community she claims to represent.

        • Gabby

          Maybe there's some funding available, conditional on a public display of sanctimony.

      • Incognito 8.1.3

        JC has figured that the best way to win votes is to be her true genuine authentic Self. So, she’s has dropped the many Personae of firm and righteous gun-toting gang-crushing lawyer, loving finger-suckling knuckle-chewing mother, culturally-appropriate and loyal wife of/to a Chinese-Samoan- Samoan-Chinese non-sexist businessman, forgiving Party Leader to financial and economic screw-ups and utter shambles during the most critical time of the Party, and patriotic New Zealander jumping up & down to tear down the border restrictions, to name just a few of her many faces but all with the exact same eyebrows. So, talofa, yeah-nah, and Amen.

      • Wensleydale 8.1.4

        Opportunism. If there was a huge cannibal voting demographic she'd be claiming she loves nothing more than a 'long pork' roast on a Sunday evening. Whatever it takes to win… or at the very least, not spontaneously combust never to be heard from again.

        • woodart

          shades of blenglish climbing into a stock car, and a boxing ring. give collins some stick on tattoos and she could be the worlds oldest roller derby newbie(known as "fresh meat').

      • Collins is getting alot of negative press for her praying antics, clearly trying to appeal to the right wings christian vote, although most will see this for what it is worth – a stunt

        • Uncle Scrim

          Yeah it's the brazenness (or desperation?) of it. Imagine if John Key had knelt in a church before an election! Bill English or Jim Bolger never did such a thing, and they were known to be religious.

          Honestly I've never seen a major party leader in NZ arrange such a photo op in the last 40 years. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    • Robert Guyton 8.2

      They're out, for Judith!

    • Incognito 8.3

      Sharp knives – blunt knife.

  9. aj 9

    Auckland domestic terminal evacuated and explosive detection dogs on site apparently

  10. Pat 10

    A long era of stable resource competition is thus rapidly ending. Historically, empires locked in their economic supply chains and managed competition. And in the long post-1945 cycle of decolonization, the United States, as the global economic hegemon, backstopped the rules and norms of world trade. At the same time, supplies of critical resources – in particular, fossil fuels – became more dispersed as improved geological information and new technologies (like deep-sea drilling and fracking) helped to loosen OPEC’s grip.

    But today, conditions have flipped. Critical minerals for the digital and post-carbon economy are highly concentrated geographically, while the end of US unipolarity and increasing global trade uncertainties have triggered a rush to secure them."


    Energy…the basis of everything we do and why in a world of 8 billion mass starvation and conflict has remained subdued….so far.

    • Andre 10.1

      Yeah, nah.

      Consider batteries – much is made of lithium and the concentrations in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. But Tesla gets its lithium mostly from Australia, and has purchased mineral rights in Nevada which is expected to supply much of its demand. Then when it comes to nickel and cobalt, there's other chemistries that don't need either. Tesla is even using nickel and cobalt free LFP batteries in some of its made in China cars. Let alone alternatives that are a bit further out, such as lithium-sulfur. Or beyond that, sodium or potassium, or, or …

      Similarly for rare earths – they're not actually particularly rare. It's more that extracting and refining them is environmentally nasty, so in most places it's not worth complying with even minimal environment protection standards to get set up. Particularly when places like China DGAF so it's easy and cheapish to set up and just make a mess. But if the price gets high enough, then it becomes worthwhile to set up. So there was a bit of a supply/price crunch a few years back IIRC, but things have settled back down since then. Then for a lot of applications that use rare-earths, there are in fact substitutes that only carry small weight/efficiency/price penalties that are quite viable to substitute in if rare earth supply becomes too hard.


      Bottom line is, that article makes the mistake of looking at what the situation is now and extrapolating out to what the problems might be if the status quo just massively expands. But that doesn't happen, technology changes, substitutes are found, the entire situation evolves to become very different to previous conditions. Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

      • Pat 10.1.1

        Over 80%of the worlds energy is currently provided by fossil fuels….replacing that energy with electricity, even if just for private motor vehicles will exhaust known lithium reserves in less than 20 years…thats just lithium, never mind all the other elements involved.

        Additionally there are the geo-political implications of preferential access and control of those reserves.

        • Andre

          Sodium batteries as just one alternative:



          Or maybe someone develops a viable method of extracting lithium from seawater. Or maybe geothermal brine. Or … Or …

          Or maybe my skepticism about hydrogen is unwarranted, and it will in fact be viable to build enough renewable generation to support a hydrogen economy.

          But one way or another, there's enough alternative paths that a shortage of lithium or any other specific resource won't bring the world to a halt.

          • Pat

            'or maybe ' aint really a sound strategy is it though….if the indications are that the amount of energy available to the world is going to decrease then the sensible thing to do would be to redesign the world to use less energy and not blindly base all our systems on the expectation that (at least) the current level of energy will continue well into the future.

            As many in the field have pointed out, as these reserves decrease the energy required to extract, refine and transport increases….an ever decreasing spiral in EROI.

            We can plan for that energy decline or we let it hit us like a freight train

            • Andre

              Big energy efficiency improvements are going on all the time. Just about everywhere.

              A big one is that every time something that uses mechanical energy gets converted from fossil to electrical, the primary energy needed for that application decreases by around 2/3. Because using fossil fuel for mechanical energy requires going through a heat engine, which the laws of thermodynamics immediately tell you the majority of the chemical energy going in gets wasted as rejected heat.

              There is plenty of renewable energy out there, we just need to choose to harvest it. And we are indeed making that choice, new installations are heavily biased towards renewables rather than fossil.

              As an example of how much is out there, just consider: last time I worked it out, if we were to replace all the world's energy use from all sources with just electricity from PV panels, how much would we need? It turns out, a desert area 700km x 700 km would do it, even with generous discounts for PV efficiency and 50% ground area coverage etc etc. That doesn't include discounting for the thermodynamic losses in using fossil fuels for mechanical energy.

              But we're not limited to harvesting solar, there's wind, geothermal, hydro (although a fair proportion of worldwide hydro capacity is already harvested), nuclear etc.

              Satisfying our energy wants is not a problem. It's just a matter of choosing how to do it in a way that doesn't fuck up the planet.

              • Pat

                We are indeed limited in harvesting solar…that is the point….the panels and infrastructure dont just magically appear, they require energy intensive operations to produce and deploy not to mention considerable additional energy sacrifice (storage) to make them fit for purpose.

                Currently they are are the tiniest of a fraction of our energy source and already there have been supply issues


              • RedLogix

                It turns out, a desert area 700km x 700 km would do it,

                While that may well look good on paper, in reality it's still a damned big ask. Not to mention that you'd need either a truly monstrous amount of storage, or to replicate it at least 3 – 5 times over in order to provide continuity.

                Then there is the question of distribution from such facilities to every other location on the planet. A really nice HVDC grid could do it, but there's another cost and bunch of political considerations.

                The of course this installation only provides for the current global energy needs. With maybe up to another 9b humans seeking to enter the fully developed world this century, demand is only going to grow by at least a factor of 3 – 5 times in the next 80 odd years.

                And still we haven't accounted for the the increasing energy intensity that inevitably accompanies evolving technologies, materials and closed loop resource systems really need in order to fully flourish.

                Overall I fully agree with everything else you've written here, except on this one point … that diffuse renewables while a useful source of energy … are not on their own going to be a sufficient solution. You did put nuclear onto the list, and I appreciate that. Whether fusion finally delivers or it’s my personal punt on MSR fission based tech, is really neither here nor there. My point is that that some form of next generation nuclear really is the only option that escapes the fossil fuel trap, and opens up a genuinely unconstrained development future.

                And of course the reliable, base load continuity of nuclear, reduces the discussion around battery tech to their use in mobile applications, that while important, is far less fraught than mass grid scale storage.

                • KJT

                  I don't think Andre was proposing to put all the world's solar power plant in one place LOL. And using less power overrall also has to be a big part of the equation

                  • RedLogix

                    I don't think Andre was proposing to put all the world's solar power plant in one place LOL.

                    Well yes he was; the clue is where he states 'desert area'. That directly implies two things; the land can be covered up with relatively little ecological impact, and that it's sunny.

                    Of course what you are thinking of is that all these panels could be distributed closer to the population centres where the energy would be consumed, but the moment you do that you lose these two characteristics, suddenly you are covering up a lot of valuable land, and it's no longer nearly as sunny. In many places in the world solar/wind really makes no true economic sense, as the Germans have discovered to their dismay.

                    I've linked to this presentation before, but it's critical to understanding the physical limitations of solar PV.

                    And using less power overrall also has to be a big part of the equation

                    So how do you propose to do that exactly? Without demanding that a large fraction of the world's population stop developing?

                    • Pat

                      "So how do you propose to do that exactly? Without demanding that a large fraction of the world's population stop developing?"

                      To do so it would first be needed to define 'development'

                    • RedLogix

                      I've no doubt that the USA scarcely makes for an ideal model of 'development'. Their particular evolution of an industrial economy was built on a geography so rich that they had little incentive to be especially efficient.

                      For instance, their shale oil production has so much natural gas being produced as a by product, that at some terminals it's virtually free. Vast amounts of it are flared off in places like Nevada because they have no way to transport, store and use all of it. This is just one example of why they're so relatively wealthy.

                      As the rest of the world develops however, there is no reason to think they have to copy the US model. As we saw with telecommunications for instance, some stages like landlines can be leapfrogged directly to more efficient stages like cellular mobile. The same idea applies in many areas of development.

                      But of course your comment is silent on what you think 'development' should mean. If what you have in mind is de-industrialisation and a regression to conditions that prevailed before say 1800 … then I reject that proposition entirely. Because you can't undo industrialisation and then imagine you can cherry pick the 'good bits' that you'd like to keep.

                      For instance, next time you wind up in a dentist chair, take a moment to consider everything, and I mean everything, in that small room and moment, that had to come together to make the experience safe and miraculously effective. It's an astounding story of complex linkages that could be traced in literally thousands of directions. A fat book could be written on just outlining them, and almost all of them dependent on science, tech, engineering and industrial production at every point.

                      Note carefully; I'm not arguing that our future development has to be literally just more of what we're doing already; that would be impossible. In order to escape the resource trap we're facing, we need to take what we're already doing well, and evolve it to the next stage.

                    • Pat

                      so in one breath you accuse me of failing to define development (yet project your own interpretation as pre industrial revolution)…and despite 6 paragraphs you dont attempt it yourself.

                      As said until such time as you define development then your argument is going nowhere…somewhat like the current paradigm. Hard to get somewhere when you dont know where you want to go.

                    • RedLogix

                      As said until such time as you define development then your argument is going nowhere

                      I've commented on this theme many times before. I've made it clear that my definition of development is predicated on evolving our industrialised economies toward their next logical stage.

                      This definition states that the best way for humans to stop harming the natural world is to stop being dependent on it. This means decoupling from the natural world's photosynthesis cycle (which includes no longer unbalancing the carbon cycle by using fossil carbon), stop encroaching on wilderness and wildlife habitats, and develop closed loop industrial models that gradually reduce our dependency on extracted resources.

                      The critical tool that unlocks this model is cheap, abundant nuclear energy.

                      If you want to demand a more detailed definition, beyond the scope of a single comment, then this link is a good start.

                      Now what was your definition again?

                    • KJT

                      The "slippery slope" argument.

                      No. just because I say use less power, doesn't mean I'm proposing to go back to the dark ages. That is ACT!

                      In fact, just using electric motors on trains, buses, trucks and cars uses less energy for the same output, simply because they are more energy efficient.

                      We are already starting to do it. An LED bulb uses a fraction of the power for the same output. Thyrister controlled industrial motors save power over motor generator sets. Rails use less power than roads. Distributed generation is getting more efficient and cuts distribution loses. A 25 thousand TEU container ship uses much less energy per ton of cargo than the 2500 TEU which was standard. Even our local one, which carries your groceries and building materials, which was 200 TEU, is now 2500, with the consequent savings.. 10 times the cargo and just thrice the fuel.

                      There are myriads of other examples.

                      Sustainability does not mean replacing processes and operations like for like.

                      There are more ways of skinning a cat…

                    • Pat

                      I make no connection between technology and development…development is progress and positive change, technology is not necessarily either.

                      What I do subscribe to however is a different form of rationing, our current form is neither progressive nor positive.

                    • RedLogix


                      If you are unable to make the connection between technology and development … please stop typing on the internet right now.


                      Absolutely no-one has anything against improved efficiency. Keep in mind the list you mentioned would be my bread and butter for decades.

                      Thyrister controlled industrial motors save power over motor generator sets.

                      Well no-one actually sells a thyristor controlled VSD controller anymore, far too inefficient. They almost all use IGBT devices that switch at much higher frequencies. I've probably either sold, or implemented several thousand of VSD's (Variable Speed Drives) in my working life.

                      The point is industries are generally quite motivated to pursue efficiency where it makes good business sense to do so.

                      Yet for a bunch of reasons I can't be quite arsed to fully detail here (Jevon's Paradox being one), it's wrong to think that energy efficiency alone is going to be the silver bullet. The numbers just don't stack up the way we need them to.

                    • Pat

                      Suggest you make use of that internet Red and access a dictionary and find the meaning of the word 'development'

                    • RedLogix


                      So far I've made two substantive response to you, outlining (and a mere comment can only attempt such a thing) a broad and effective path that will enable all of humanity to continue to engage and build on what we have achieved so far. From you all we get is sour negativity and ‘making yourself a small target’ … it’s an old tactic and a boring one. So this will be my last response to you unless you prove capable of lifting your game.

                      Unfortunately the social sciences are riddled with ignorant fools who lack even the most basic insights into how the modern world actually works. They'll prattle on about ideas like equity, sustainability, productivity, empowerment, cooperation and security, yet ignore the simple fact that none of these higher level values are of any importance absent the material wealth necessary to enable them.

                      The left is in love with it's own wonderfulness about things like women's rights and equality, ignorant of the simple fact (that your grandmother could have told you) that it was things like plumbing, electricity, hot water cyclinders, air conditioning, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and cars that transformed their lives more than anything else. Electricity enabled women, for the first time in human history to escape the household and it's routine chores, become educated, travel and seek employment as equals with men. It was industrialisation that created work that wasn't so physically demanding and dangerous that women could choose to do it. Suddenly the world needed teachers, nurses, typists and shop assistants. Their daughters found that every job was open to them if they wished.

                      We went from a world where 95% of people worked on the land in primary industry, or roles like mining, transport and the military which were all such tough, dirty and dangerous jobs no-one imagined women could or should do it … to another world where most work is entirely accessible to women. And the reason for this is completely due to cheap and abundant fossil fuels and the technologies which exploit it. And this is before we even account for contraceptive technologies which for the first time ever, gave women choice over their reproduction.

                      Your assertion that there is no connection between technology and human development is a risible nonsense. The 50% of the human race that is still living in deep poverty don't give a shit about "equity, sustainability, productivity, empowerment, cooperation and security", they just want clean water and reliable electricity connected to their home.

                    • Pat

                      Two substantive streams of invective and little in the way of argument may be a more accurate description……and your ability to take cues leaves something to be desired.

                      "What I do subscribe to however is a different form of rationing, our current form is neither progressive nor positive."

                      The solution to too much consumption is not more consumption…be it energy or any other resource. If you wish to provide sanitary living conditions to the world then we best stop wasting limited resources on unnecessary crap….and that has nothing to do with being anti technology, it is a recognition that relying on technology to provide the world you say you want is a fools errand…it hasnt to date simply because it cannot, but it is exceptional at providing a system with all manner of methods of financialising resource extraction.

                      The limited ( and diminishing) resources of the world cannot continue to distributed by the markets because we know they do not go where they are needed and that requires systemic change, not incremental improvement.

                      Which brings us back to energy…we have a very limited carbon window (not to mention peak oil) to use that irreplaceable dense mobile energy to set the world up to cope with a very much more diffuse and less productive energy source while maintaining a population that only exists because of that previously available energy until such time as the new population/energy equilibrium is met

                      None of that can happen if we carry on as we are hoping that tech will save us…..though I fully expect thats exactly what we will do because we believe it is a right to have whatever we can 'pay' for and to hell with the consequences.

                    • RedLogix

                      Two substantive streams of invective

                      That you either don't understand or don't like my argument isn't invective. As for 'not taking clues', make your own argument directly and openly, I'm not going to be suckered into trying to guess what you mean, only for you then attack me for guessing wrong. Gaslighting 101.

                      The solution to too much consumption is not more consumption

                      Consumption is a characteristic of the young adult phase of life, which in most of the developed world no longer dominates our economies. This comment here expands on this theme.

                      Moreover consumption is not a bad thing; after all it is what fundamentally eliminates poverty. The problem is that as human population grew so dramatically over the past 200 odd years, the necessity of meeting their new demands overrode the need to account for all the costs involved. So we didn't properly account for our drawing down of natural capital. And for much of that period we lacked good tools to measure and price these costs, which made any explicit accounting impossible.

                      Well the good news is that population growth is effectively over in the developed world and we can see the end of it globally. And we now have a far more developed toolkit in the natural sciences to allow us to start to allocate resource costs.

                      Which brings us back to energy…we have a very limited carbon window (not to mention peak oil) to use that irreplaceable dense mobile energy to set the world up to cope with a very much more diffuse and less productive energy source

                      While I agree the carbon window is limited, the idea that renewables are the only possible replacement is silly. All renewables are merely an indirect form of capturing energy the nuclear reactor at the core of the sun. They come with real constraints, yet we have on the planet another source of the same energy that we can use directly, nuclear fission or fusion.

                      And this source is not subject to the constraints and limits that renewables are. It's my contention that science and tech are the fundamental drivers of human social development (which is not to negate the importance of higher level values that can be overlaid on this progress), and for this reason abundant, affordable energy absolutely changes the game, for both humanity itself and the planet that gave birth to us.

                      But for the time being it seems the so-called environmental movements around the world are largely set against such a possibility.

                    • Pat

                      I understand your argument perfectly….we are to continue as we are until the unproven and decades undelivered thorium reactors arrive to save the world…the epitome of wishful thinking.

                      You continue to ignore the relationship between energy and work (and the direct relationship between that energy source and population), and that the exploitation of fossil fuels is a two century long aberration in the course of of human development that is rapidly coming to an end and cannot be replaced by the far less productive electricity no matter its source….and that includes non existent reactors.

                      The enabler of your 'technological development' is set to suffer a series of step declines.

                    • RedLogix

                      cannot be replaced by the far less productive electricity no matter its source….and that includes non existent reactors.

                      Two mistakes. One is that from a thermodynamic point of view electricity is a very high quality form of energy. It can be used either directly (such in electric furnances or motors) or indirectly (creating hydrogen or non-fossil carbon fuels) with high efficiency. All this requires is a relatively modest re-jigging of existing industrial infrastructure.

                      As for your 'non-existing' claim, it overlooks that the first MSR was built and tested very successfully in the 1960's. It was the politics of Nixon's administration that killed the development, and the idea remained buried until 2000 when an engineer named Kirk Sorensen literally rescued the original data from the 60's and started a one man campaign to give new life to the technology. (It’s actually a rather inspiring story.)

                      And since around 2010 there have been numerous government and private entities all hard at work developing fresh designs using modern tools and materials. All of them however report that their single biggest hurdle so far is not technical, but regulatory. The problem is that all the rules were written around the limitations and innate flaws of large PWR reactor designs, that simply do not apply to MSR's. It has taken time to negotiate with national safety bodies a fresh path through this problem to correctly evaluate the risk profile.

                      Once the regulatory puzzle is solved, the funding will arrive at the scale necessary to deliver. And these machines can be easily built in very short time frames. These guys are in process to delivering a pilot machine to Indonesia.


                      Further to this, fusion development is showing good signs of delivering in our lifetimes as well. It’s been a tough nut to crack, but we shouldn’t discount it as the long term solution either.

                    • Pat

                      Electricity may be a 'high quality form of energy'…at the point of production, but it loses that 'quality' when transmitted and stored….and crucially it is not easily mobile…its efficiency cannot remotely match fossil fuels in almost all applications.

                      And your reactors remain just over the never reached horizon despite the decades of investment and spin


                    • RedLogix

                      See below.

                  • RedLogix

                    and crucially it is not easily mobile

                    There are two technical aspects to this.

                    The obvious one is constantly improving battery tech that keeps pushing the boundaries of what is possible. To the point now where even short range electric aircraft are now a realistic possibility, with numerous industry players working hard to deliver. Not to mention the runaway success of ordinary EV’s.

                    But the broader mobility problem just goes away when you use electricity to either hydrolise water to produce hydrogen, or perhaps even more interestingly, extract CO2 from the atmosphere and create carbon based 'electro-fuels' that directly replace fossil liquid fuel.

                    Your link to the Indian program refers to a completely different type of sodium cooled reactor that is entirely different to the molten salt designs I am talking about.

                    Your assertion that MSR's have not delivered after decades of failed development is just wrong on the facts. Literally nothing useful happened from 1970 through to about 2010. Almost all the relevant new work has happened in the past decade, and much of it in just the past four years. Apart from the regulatory/funding problem … a simple shortage of qualified people who understood MSR's properly has also hindered progress. Amazingly two of the men who did work on the ORNL MSRE machine in the 60's are still alive, and still contribute where they can.

                    • RedLogix

                      Obviously I replied to the wrong person on this; it's meant to be at the end of the longer thread above.

                    • Pat

                      Lol…that hydrogen with an EROI of 0.25….thats worse than bio fuels.

                      We are going to consume 4 units of (in short supply) energy to create 1 unit…and in the name of 'mobility'…brilliant!…and so sustainable.

                      Whether the Indian thorium reactor is your current poster child or not is not the issue…and the linked article is of more use than the advertising brochure you linked to re Indonesia.

                    • RedLogix

                      EORI thats worse than bio fuels

                      EORI doesn't matter so much if the cost of the source energy is low enough, or if you price fossil carbon fuels correctly.

                      More interestingly there is a real possibility that MSR's can be run at high enough temperatures to drive a process that directly captures CO2 from the atmosphere to produce an 'electrofuel'. I don't have a direct link for this, but the idea was embedded in a video I watched a while back.

                      Thorcon have signed a commercial MOU with the Indonesian govt to deliver, and their principal backer is a very large Sth Korean shipbuilder who will be using the same methods and plant they use to build supertankers. They actually see the Thorcon design as easier to do. You can sneer at their website all you like, but there is a real company, real people and real money behind them.

                      As for the wider position with MSR's right now, here is a nice balanced overview. Scroll down past the technical material if you like and look to the descriptions of the top half dozen contenders busy working on real machines right now. Your view that nothing will ever be delivered is entirely unjustified; it's the the equivalent of someone in the 90's saying that EV's would never be feasible.

                    • Pat

                      "EORI doesn't matter so much if the cost of the source energy is low enough, or if you price fossil carbon fuels correctly."

                      Good grief..is your misunderstanding of physics really so fundamental? economics has no bearing whatsoever, real resources are what EROI measures.

                      self correction…that should be economics as its practiced has no bearing…market prices are disconnected from reality and the reason why we need a new form of rationing.

                    • RedLogix

                      EROI is not the correct metric to be using here. From a primary energy perspective existing nuclear plants have a perfectly respectable number comparable to hydro. And that's without considering MSR's on some simple projections will be even more favourable.

                      Converting electricity from a nuclear plant to an electrofuel is in fact a form of energy storage:

                      When the EROEI of a source of energy is less than or equal to one, that energy source becomes a net "energy sink", and can no longer be used as a source of energy, but depending on the system might be useful for energy storage (for example a battery). A related measure Energy Stored On Energy Invested (ESOEI) is used to analyse storage systems

                      And the economics of electrofuels as a storage system, largely depends on how we price their competitor fossil fuels (which are in fact also just a form of stored energy from ancient photosynthesis).

                      And the fundamental topic of expertise here is not so much physics, but more accurately a branch of it called thermodynamics.


                    • Pat

                      Thermodynamics is a branch of physics…and you side step from hydrogen to nuclear…EROI is never the wrong measure when it comes to energy and storage costs (in energy terms) are one factor of that equation.

                    • RedLogix

                      EROI is never the wrong measure when it comes to energy and storage costs (in energy terms)

                      Really? Do you demand that you should get out of an EV battery more energy than what was put in? It's a nonsensical question, and if I was proposing that the primary energy source here was say wind power, or solar PV, which it could equally well be, I somehow doubt you would be trying to make this silly argument.

                      All that matters here is the EROI of the primary energy source. Applying the same measure to the secondary storage system which could be batteries or an electrofuel is simply wrong.

                      Storage systems have their own quite different metric.

                    • Pat

                      "EROI is never the wrong measure when it comes to energy and storage costs (in energy terms) are one factor of that equation."

                    • RedLogix

                      Repeating a misunderstanding doesn't make it better the second time.

                      Read this paper and get back to me when you understand ESOI and it's implications. It doesn't say the word 'nuclear' once, so you should be safe from any stray ionising radiations.

                      In the context of hydrogen as an electrofuel this paper shows:

                      The rapid increase in electricity generation from wind and solar is a promising step toward decarbonizing the electricity sector. Because wind and solar generation are highly intermittent, energy storage will likely be key to their continued expansion. A wide variety of technology options are available for electric energy storage. One is a regenerative hydrogen fuel cell (RHFC) system that converts electricity to hydrogen by water electrolysis, stores the hydrogen, and later provides it to a fuel cell to generate electric power. RHFC systems are already operating in several dozen locations. In this net energy analysis, we compare the quantity of energy dispatched from the system over its lifetime to the energy required to build the device. We find that, for the same quantity of manufacturing energy input, hydrogen storage provides more energy dispatched from storage than does a typical lithium ion battery over the lifetime of the facility. On the other hand, energy storage in hydrogen has a much lower round-trip efficiency than batteries, resulting in significant energy losses during operation. Even at its present-day round-trip efficiency of 30%, however, it can provide the same overall energy benefit as batteries when storing overgeneration from wind farms.

                      And that is a very conservative estimate based on proposals now five years old. At this early stage overall costs are naturally high compared to established mature technologies, but these can reasonably be expected to improve.

                      Another good overview of electrofuels is here.

                      And of course nuclear power, with it’s inherent base load 24/7 stability hugely reduces the need for grid scale storage anyway. Then the entire objection you are having here, comes down to quibbling over how we might fuel the relatively small fraction of the transport sector that is hard to directly electrify.

                      Electrofuels do it for me /shrugs

                    • KJT

                      Note that EROI, as Pat says is Energy Return on Investment. The investment being the energy. The energy produced for energy input. Return on energy investment. Physics. Nothing to do with monetary costs.

                      It is not the full story though. A low EROI, may be acceptable if it is something we need to do and there is no suitable alternative. Hydrogen for long range shipping is one possible example.

                      Like fusion it requires new technologies which are not there yet. But they are much less "pie in the sky" than fusion.

                      The oil industry are desparately researching combined cycle gas plants that are zero carbon emissions. They may get there yet, as they have a huge financial incentive to make it work.

                      No new technologies take away the need to use energy more wisely and frugally, though.

                    • Pat

                        EROEI = \frac{\hbox{Energy Delivered}}{\hbox{Energy Required to Deliver that Energy}}

                      note key word…delivered.

                      and I will peruse your article when I have time and comment….at least its not a sales brochure this time.

                    • RedLogix

                      Note that EROI, as Pat says is Energy Return on Investment.

                      Exactly. The frustrating thing is that Pat keeps on muddling up cost into the discussion. It's relevant in terms of economics, but has nothing to do with EROI. Which for nuclear power is generally very high, the paper I linked to for conventional PWR plants gives numbers somewhere around the 50 mark. That's as good as hydro. MSR's which have an much smaller physical footprint will only be better than this.

                      Then Pat fails to understand that EROI is the wrong metric to apply to storage systems like batteries or electro-fuels. It's nonsensical to even try and the conversation just stalls at that point. The metric that matters is something much less well known called ESOI which is the lifetime energy stored and delivered divided by the embodied energy of that system.

                      The whole class of electrofuels is as you indicate the subject of intense development, but in general they offer excellent ESOI but currently offer relatively poor round trip efficiencies. But as the papers I've also linked to shows, this really doesn't matter much, and as you say, "(this) may be acceptable if it is something we need to do and there is no suitable alternative." The round trip efficiency impacts price, and has nothing to do with ESOI.

                      Besides we’re now down to quibbling about the heavy/long distance end of the transport sector. Almost everything else can be readily electrified one way or another.

                      Incidentally MSR's operate at quite high temperatures comparable to coal or gas furnaces, and be used to directly drive quite a few industrial processes directly without any intermediate electrical stage.

                    • RedLogix


                      note key word…delivered.

                      I'm assuming here that you want to aggregate the energy from the primary source (be it wind, solar or nuclear) and then apply the round trip efficiency of the secondary storage system to derive a total EROI.

                      Well for a start while that's a conceptually appealing approach, the papers I linked to show that it's a gross oversimplification.

                      But for the sake of argument if we look at the nuclear power case, if I take an EROI for a conventional nuclear power plant, around 50, and multiply it by a conservatively low round trip efficiency of 30% for an electrofuel storage system, I arrive at a total EROI of 15 or so. Perfectly respectable.

                      Happy now?

                      Edit. I made an error above, ESOI does have round trip efficiency embedded as an input variable. But for all proposed electrofuel systems, the ESOI is still way higher than any batteries.

                    • Pat

                      "Exactly. The frustrating thing is that Pat keeps on muddling up cost into the discussion. It's relevant in terms of economics, but has nothing to do with EROI"

                      Are your comprehension skills really so lacking?

                      "… and storage costs (in energy terms) are one factor of that equation"

                      loses…in energy terms!

                      or even more plainly..

                      "economics has no bearing whatsoever, real resources are what EROI measures."

                    • RedLogix


                      Whatever it is you are trying to say, now would be a good time to make it clear. I honestly can no longer see what point you are trying to make, or what exactly it is that you're objecting to here.

                    • Pat

                      yeah, you did make an error …funny that.

                      And all your article essentially says is that as renewables are intermittent it is advantageous to store that energy produced rather than let it be wasted (and that geologic batteries i.e. pumped hydro are superior to chemical) and that combination can improve the real world EROI of renewable systems.

                      BUT it assumes the oversupply of energy and the whole point is that without fossil fuels there will be no (total) oversupply, and consequently we will not have anywhere near the same amount of energy available ….and if we're already short losing some in storage only accentuates the problem


                    • RedLogix

                      you did make an error …funny that.

                      Yes but the point is that like EROI, ESOI is a measure of real world resource storage system performance in energy terms. And electrofuels perform extremely well by this metric, so there can be no objection on that ground.

                      And that their relatively poor round trip efficiency reduces the total EROI, really doesn't matter all that much if the source fuel was fossil carbon free in the first place.

                      And once again, we're only talking about the relatively small fraction of the transport sector that cannot be readily electrified.

                      BUT it assumes the oversupply of energy and the whole point is that without fossil fuels there will be no (total) oversupply, and consequently we will not have anywhere near the same amount of energy available

                      Only if you persist in ignoring the best energy source available to us. Yes I know you want to write off the new generations of nuclear power as 'fanciful', but all human progress was accompanied by a chorus of naysayers.

                      The parallel with EV's is actually a good one. The first generation of EV's were around in the mid-1800's. They actually did quite well, but the limitations of the materials and batteries available to them, meant they were soon overtaken by ICE's.

                      Well the first iterations of nuclear power plants were based on PWR designs from the 1940's that were originally intended to be used at relatively small scale in nuclear submarines. Scaling them up to 1000's MW for grid scale applications was a mistake, albeit not an obvious one, but nonetheless caused the industry to encounter several major crisis, and it's development stalled.

                      Well as with EV's, the next generation of nuclear machines are going to be based on different principles, use better materials and get built using better CAE tools. They'll get a second chance, just like EV's did.

                      And at that all your gloomy predictions will vapourise like morning mist …

                    • Pat

                      So we are back to where we started….your whole plans is predicated on unlimited power provided by an as yet unsuccessful technology…and thats despite 7 decades of trying.

                      Wishful thinking isnt a plan….or at least not one that anyone with any nous would rely on.

                    • RedLogix

                      as yet unsuccessful technology…and thats despite 7 decades of trying.

                      I really wish you would stop repeating that piece of bullshit. If you want I could link to the material that would explain the history in detail, but I’m fairly sure you’d not bother looking at it.

                      One it was never unsuccessful. The ORNL MSRE reactor ran with excellent success and stability for many thousands of hours over a period of years from around 1967 to 1972.

                      Secondly after Nixon's administration in 1972 shut down the program, purely to divert funds to a pork barrel program elsewhere, nothing was effectively done on it for another four decades, until at least 2010.

                      And finally if you were up to speed with the developments in the field you would know that it's only been in the past four years or so that sufficient funding has been made available to do any real work. Not to mention that Thorcon have just signed a real MOU with the Indonesian govt to deliver a real pilot plant, with a real date and real budget, backed by a major Sth Korean industrial ship builder. None of this is 'fanciful'.

                      I've explained this in detail above, and that fact that you repeat the same wrong claim tells me I'm pretty much wasting my time here.

                    • Pat

                      "Some people believe that liquid fluoride thorium reactors, which would use a hightemperature liquid fuel made of molten salt, would be significantly safer than currentgeneration reactors. However, such reactors have major flaws. There are serious safety issues associated with the retention of fission products in the fuel, and it is not clear these problems can be effectively resolved. Such reactors also present proliferation and nuclear terrorism risks because they involve the continuous separation, or “reprocessing,” of the fuel to remove fission products and to efficiently produce U-233, which is a nuclear weapon-usable material. Moreover, disposal of the used fuel has turned out to be a major challenge. Stabilization and disposal of the remains of the very small "Molten Salt Reactor Experiment" that operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s has turned into the most technically challenging cleanup problem that Oak Ridge has faced, and the site has still not been cleaned up. Last updated March 14, 2019"


                      No country has built a commercial MSR (though plenty have been trying) …and a MOU for a study isnt a commercially operational MSR.

                    • RedLogix

                      I wondered if you would find that particular short document; it's really a few hundred words of unsupported allegation from anti-nuclear activists with no technical references. The issues it raises are misrepresented assertions that :

                      Stabilization and disposal of the remains of the very small "Molten Salt Reactor Experiment" that operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s has turned into the most technically challenging cleanup problem that Oak Ridge has faced, and the site has still not been cleaned up.

                      Which explains why these days ORNL regularly tour groups of interested people through the facility eh?

                      The reality is quite different to the impression being given here; because the program was shutdown abruptly for political reasons, the team operating it were unable to defuel the core as they had planned. This led to the subsequent clean up effort being far more costly than was ever necessary. Several quite simple procedures would have avoided this problem altogether.

                      Moreover one of the main advantages of reactors with fuel in a liquid form is that it is possible to consume virtually all of the fissile fuels (>99%) in the course of normal operation, leaving relatively little waste to clean up. The MSRE (the E stands for experimental) was was closed down long before it could reach this point.

                      You have to keep in mind that Alvin Weinberg, the man who had originally proposed the first PWR reactor design in the 40's, was also by the early 70's effectively whistleblowing that it was wrong to scale this system up to grid scale. For his efforts he was effectively kicked out of the industry, and was removed from the leadership position he had at ORNL MSRE program.

                      Interestingly Weinberg was also decades ahead on climate change:

                      In June, 1977, Weinberg testified at a congressional hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Environment and the Atmosphere concerning the impact of increasing carbon dioxide emissions on global average temperatures. He stated that a doubling of global carbon dioxide emissions by 2025, which some scientists predicted would occur, would lead to a two-degree Celsius increase in global average temperature.

                      The other objections around retention of fission products and potential weapons grade materials are highly technical topics I'm not going to go into here. Suffice to say they're well understood questions with well developed answers; no-one would dream of trying to get one of these machines past a regulator if they couldn't answer them.

                    • RedLogix

                      This document (p13) backs up my claim around the MSRE shutdown:

                      When the reactor was first shut down, the assumption was made that the facility and the fuel and flush salts would probably be utilized again at some later date. Therefore, the shutdown procedure was essentially a mothballing operation followed by surveillance and maintenance (S&M) procedures. These procedures were designed to ensure safe temporary storage and to maintain the operational capability of the facility.

                      Most of the clean up problem could have been avoided if the program had been allowed to continue to it's logical conclusion, rather than shutdown for purely political reasons.

  11. Pat 11

    Fire destroys around 30 houses at Ohau.


    Beginning of October and the ground is as dry as.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Empire strikes back: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12369744

    Family First has pitted the debate as one between the Green Party and the Drug Foundation, against medical professionals. But a number of doctors have come forward to RNZ to say that simply is not the case.

    One doctor has quit her membership and others are speaking out because of the New Zealand Medical Association's stance on the cannabis referendum. The NZMA opposes legalisation of cannabis in this month's referendum because of the harm it can cause individuals and the community.

    She said the NZMA is not representative of the entire medical workforce in this country, and that many doctors have opposing views. Another doctor supporting legalisation and denouncing the NZMA's stance is Dr Richard Medlicott, the medical director at the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners. "I think if you look at the evidence around use in New Zealand which can be harmful, this legislation is well written, puts in protections, and I expect will reduce harm."

    Dr Stephen Graham, the medical director at WellSouth in Dunedin, supports legalisation and said it will take away the anxiety some people feel when needing help regarding cannabis use.

    He said doctors need to be more honest about whether patients are honest about cannabis habits. "I don't think we know if people are being open with us about it," Graham said. "We really can't say. "There are still the legal concerns in there and it does get in the way of open discussion." That was echoed by Dr Sawicki.

    Terrific to see establishment folk rebelling against the closet fascists & closet stalinists! I hope they signify a tidal wave of intelligent thinking that will force progress onto the control freaks. Even timid Jacinda may feel encouraged to speak her view eventually.

    • Wensleydale 12.1

      That's what I love about those fine Christian folk at Family First. They're so excruciatingly honest.

  13. aj 13

    the ground is as dry as.

    Not in the far south sad. As usual, rain but not where it is needed.

    Invercargill this morning

    Rainfall (mm/h) 3.4, 2.2, 0.6, 0.6, 1.2, 3.0, 4.4, 5.0, 2.4, 1.6, 4.0


    • Pat 13.1

      Certainly is in Canterbury….just about forgotten what rain is.

      Not sure about Aussie but if I lived there I think Id be viewing the coming summer with considerable trepidation.

  14. Stephen D 14

    Has Judith always had this religious bent? Or is it new, targetting the Christian right.

    • Cinny 14.1

      Like how her husband is now suddenly more Samoan than Chinese?

      Judith will look for any way possible to find common ground with a voter and exploit it.

      It's absolutely all about votes for her, no matter what it takes.

  15. mary_a 15

    Seen it all now … latest propaganda from National. Judith Collins on her knees praying, wanting to attract the votes of the Christian right! Channelling Bible waving Trump obviously!


    • Cinny 15.1

      No way!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's off the hook exploitation.

      Was there a photo shoot in the church? Wow, I'm gobsmacked. Dang!

      • mary_a 15.1.1

        Who needs Trump, when we have Collins? And to organise media coverage is right off the radar IMO!

        • Uncle Scrim

          To be fair, she probably didn't order the police to clear the church with tear gas.

    • Dennis Frank 15.2

      "Please God, smite David Seymour soon. He's stealing votes that are rightfully mine! The little weasel. A lightning bolt would be good. Can you make someone deputy PM posthumously?"

    • Editractor 15.3

      Why is she praying to the hand sanitiser?

    • Wensleydale 15.4

      She's probably reacquainting herself with the eleventh and twelfth commandments "Thou shalt always give back double." and "Thou shalt be feared if thou canst not be loved."

      I'd have that church reconsecrated once she's gone. Just to be on the safe side, mind you.

    • PaddyOT 15.5

      How 'bout that ? It's a photo of Judith 2 hours late to the 9am Sunday service at St. Thomas. Crossing several electorate boundaries and bypassing hundreds of polling stations to find one with a coincidental Anglican church attached.

      https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theophile_Lybaert_-_Old_Flanders.jpeg#mw-jump-to-license" Please God let me make it through the day without evil thoughts of choking that # Ms.Adern."

      But those prayer hands Judith, really? Of course, gods only listen when the body is in awkward positions. If only she knew those pointed fingers and palm to palm were probably founded in non Christian religions such as mudras in Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. A derived ritual, then widely mimicked with varied made up rationale by humans.

      Does Judith do her hand steeple at prayer time in Parliament?


  16. Reality 16

    Perhaps Judith Collins was praying to become someone who displays genuine Christian charity and kindness. Hmm. Desperate is Judith, and creepy.

  17. joe90 18

    Good news.

  18. Incognito 19

    A well-integrated holistic package by the Greens. Although it is a no-brainer, considerable thought has gone into it.


  19. greywarshark 20

    These are peepholes into the space where the 'adults' play.

    BBC – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/03/departing-womans-hour-host-jenni-murray-scathing-attack-bbc/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr
    Departing Woman’s Hour host Jenni Murray in scathing attack on BBC as she reveals Brexit ban
    Dame Jenni Murray told of her fury at "younger, less experienced" broadcasters earning significantly more money than her


    Britain sees record number of single-day coronavirus infections with nearly 13,000 cases
    As of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 12,872 lab-confirmed cases of the disease

    Analysis: What hospital admissions in Europe say about the next stage of Covid in the UK
    The fact that Europe, including the UK, is fighting a second peak of Covid-19 is undoubtable, but the outcome could differ this time around
    "Almost all the indicators are on the rise," warned Sophie Vaux, an epidemiologist and programme director at Santé Publique France last week; the virus was once again in an "ascendant phase", its spread “exponential”….

  20. mac1 21

    Have the Nats given up?

    In the pub Friday evening. Two Nat MPs show up. Sit at my table with two National mates already there. They make no move to get around the tables. No electioneering. Just sit at a table with political friends, acquaintances and foes.

    80 people in the pub. No effort to meet and greet on the day before voting begins………

    • Morrissey 21.1

      National Party friend tells me their internal polling is extremely bad. For them.

      • Incognito 21.1.1

        How would they know? Internal polls are not even shared with the Party Caucus …

      • mac1 21.1.2

        I don't doubt that. Two meetings Friday for two Nat MPs. One hosted by the local chamber of commerce for finance spokesman. Small attendance of about 20, mostly National party members. Later in the day, same venue, party meeting held by same MP, similar numbers and mostly same people.

        When Finance minister spoke here after the Budget, there was the maximum attending as allowed by C0vid-19. A meeting of seemingly contented business people who did not seem it worthwhile to attend a meeting for small business by the National spokesperson outlining what they would do for small business.

        The spokesman gave us his policy for small business. $10,000 to employer to hire new worker. Technology boost. A manufacturing spokesperson to be appointed. Raise GST threshold to $75000. Tax changes. Bring back the 90 day hiring clause. Make the tribunal process easier for employers. Remove "No Fee No Win" deal for lawyers. Ensure agencies pay bills on time. Encourage businesses to pay bills on time.

        Disparaging of the tax on the top earners above $180,000. Says $500 million is insignificant. Mournful of the fact that 13% of taxpayers pay 25% of the tax take. (Did not mention the top earners who sought a greater tax payment on the top earners.)

        Talked of the need to cut spending. Pull back, retrench, ride it out was his advice to small businesses as he predicted a recession lasting 3-4 years, even with a vaccine. He predicted more infection with further outbreaks and that debt would double from $100B in twelve years.

        He wanted to encourage venture capital into the country and was very much in support of more roads, even against advice from attendees who saw petrol prices limiting travel and more public transport as future needs.

        No wonder small businesses were not interested in hearing small business policy.

  21. swordfish 22

    • Muttonbird 22.1

      The letter T represents the Model T Ford, the first car Henry Ford mass produced. People trace this sign when they are speaking of the car manufacturer who developed automated production through the assembly line. To them it shows Ford's contribution to the industrial field. They use the T to show their devotion to the power of mass production, as Christians make the sign of the Cross to honor Jesus's sacrifice.


      While the World State doesn’t have a conventional religion, it does have a symbolic and revered father figure: Henry T. Ford. Thus, Huxley’s use of “Ford” as a kind of deity throughout Brave New World (characters instinctively refer to “Our Ford,” “fordliness,” and other such variations on the name) argues that Ford’s 20th-century technological advances shaped a future in which mass production would be applied to human society. Ford is the perfect “god” for World State society because, in developing his Ford Motor Company, he invented mass production by means of the assembly line and the specialization of workers, each of whom has one single, specific job. The World State takes Ford’s ideas about mass production and the assembly line and applies them to biologically to human beings. World State citizens, therefore, deify Ford as a vaguely remembered, distant historical figure who literally created the world as they know it.


  22. What a bloody laugh Collins is.

    On her knees talking to the invisible man, all she is up to is trying to win back those on the religious right in the National party who has deserted the Nats and gone flicked over to ACT.

    Jeez, she is desperate.

    • Uncle Scrim 23.1

      Some push back on this too: Election 2020: Judith Collins accused of 'politicising' her faith to win over Christian voters (paywalled).

      Quotes Ben Thomas, Neale Jones and Bryce Edwards expressing surprise at her newfound faith. Edwards says:

      "Collins' use of her faith is entirely strategic, rather than heartfelt," he said, adding that she has chosen to "politicise" her religion.

      Leighton Baker was quoted as saying he has 'suspicions' she is going after his party's votes. Thomas concluded the new tactic was a 'gamble'.

    • woodart 23.2

      I thought most of the religious right who are wandering the desert, would be looking at bishop brian, billy tk, the new cons, etc. but, yes, desperate. don brash climbing into a race car moment. what will be collins gangplank moment???

  23. Dennis Frank 24

    The Secret Melania Tapes (shock, horror)! A dagger into the heart of the Save Melania Movement! https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/10/secret-melania-trump-tapes-just-like-donald.html?via=recirc_recent

    “Who gives a fuck about Christmas stuff and decorations, but I need to do it,” Melania Trump told her friend in a recorded phone conversation released by CNN Thursday night.

    In the tape, recorded in July 2018 by Melania’s former aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who recently published a tell-all about her friendship with the first lady… She also told Winston Wolkoff that said she wore her “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket on a plane to visit a child detention center purely to troll the libs. “I’m driving liberals crazy, that’s for sure,” she said, per the CNN report. “And they deserve it, you understand? And everybody’s like, ‘Oh, my God. This is the worst. This is the worst.’ After, I mean, come on. They are crazy, OK?”

    Melania’s phone conversation vindicates Occam’s razor: She’s not staying with Trump because she feels trapped. She’s not uninterested in politics or hostile to Trump’s views. Their marriage is not a simple exchange of money for beauty.

  24. observer 25

    Some bad news in the Pacific, and a timely reminder to those who think a pre-flight test is the easy answer we're looking for (cough Judith Collins):

    "The Solomon Islands has announced its first case of Covid-19.
    A student who recently arrived from the Philippines on a repatriation flight carrying 96 passengers had returned a positive test.
    The student, who tested negative three times in the Philippines before boarding the flight, was found positive in a routine test on return to the capital Honiara and is now in isolation. (AFP, via Guardian Live, my italics)

  25. Muttonbird 26

    Paywalled, but good to see Wong Tung's fake prayer being scrutinised in the media.


    It’s all Trumpism though, isn’t it? She won’t care. Throw out something completely ridiculous like this for the attention and the framing looks after itself.

    • Uncle Scrim 26.1

      Yes I noted this article above. But none of the commentators have mentioned that she went out of her way, she chose to go there and do a special vote outside her own electorate. She would be expected to vote (early or on the day) in her own electorate but perhaps there are no polling stations in churches in Papakura. Schools are so boring. Out of all the hundreds of polling stations in her own electorate and across Auckland (or even the whole country as she travels in the next two weeks), she decided to find a church.

      Guess there were no polling stations in gun shops or polluted rivers.

  26. Muttonbird 27

    Farrar watch:

    David is furiously masturbating over Emma Mellow's improvement across two completely different polls. It is sad time for the National Party when their pollster celebrates a candidate on 30%, which only just matches their party vote nationwide.

    It is interesting that White + Swarbrick = 61%, while Mellow = 30%. This is the true story of both Auckland Central and the election overall.

    David also insinuated Helen White might believe 5G causes Covid. I think this should be pushed back against.

    • observer 27.1

      It's also really tiresome that every 3 years so many commentators ignore the fact that there is only one election result, and it isn't on election night. (Jack Tame)

      I wouldn't be at all surprised if the numbers change significantly after a high percentage of special votes are counted in Auckland Central, and strongly favour the left.

      (I would be surprised – but also amused – if Mellow thinks she's won on election night. There would be a painful hangover a fortnight later. 2 Nats disappeared in 2017).

    • Alan 27.2

      are you scared mb, two vile comments in close succession.

      • Muttonbird 27.2.1

        A commenter on another forum drew attention to Matthew 6:5. Here is a description of what Wong Tung did this morning:

        What our Lord’s words point to, was the custom of going into the synagogue, as men go now into the churches of Latin Christendom, to offer private devotion, and of doing this so as to attract notice, the worshipper standing apart as if absorbed in prayer, while secretly glancing round to watch the impression which he might be making on others who were looking on.


        It's terrible what JuCo did (as if if she cares) and practicing Christians will know this…

        • Incognito

          HT to Sacha:

          • Muttonbird

            Good to see everyone pulling up this fake worshipper. I'm not a worshipper myself but I respect those who do and I hate it when I see someone highjack expressions of faith for personal gain.

            • Incognito

              Good on you!

              I’ve been biting my tongue about the disrespectful comments here on TS towards people who believe in their God(s) and towards religion in general. In one fell swoop, every religious person is mocked and ridiculed for their faith. For the same reason, I’m uncomfortable with JC’s apparently insincere antics in church today. It is awkward when somebody appears to prostitute something as deeply private and personal such as their faith and conversation with God to score political points.

              “That’s between me and God, actually,” she said. [the order of words is telling]


              That is no excuse for this cynical ploy. However, I need to remind myself that I may not judge others least I be judged. Nevertheless, I can vote as I wish and with a free conscience 😉

              • SPC

                The dead guiding hand of Hooton. Remind all those infant baptised children of the Anglican Church that we are the Tory party at prayer. And add that you are a feminist, voted for continued choice – we need women of the centre back, not alienated by this. Now lets find an polling booth near a church first Sunday after voting opens.

          • Sacha

            All over twitter, to be fair. My own speculation given how predictable the blowback would be:

            • Incognito

              I don’t use Twitter and the only time I visit is through some links here, if I think they’re any good 😉

              • Sacha

                Bonus on this topic:

                • SPC

                  So true. It was a call for infant baptised white race people to vote for their class. The Anglican (Tory Party at prayer) form of what is in the USA, prosperity religion.

                • Incognito

                  True, but the difference with a dog-whistle is that no-one other than the dogs can hear it. JC’s clarion call was so loud and obnoxious that the woodpigeons fell out of trees at the other side of town and the hoons couldn’t hear their revving engines despite forking out thousands on their boom-tube mufflers.

          • joe90

        • Gabby

          So she's done her Donnie, hopefully her Beggin' Lindsey isn't too far off.

  27. Peter 28

    Satan lives! Seen in a Church today!!

    [Please keep it seemly, thanks – Incognito]

    • Incognito 28.1

      See my Moderation note @ 6:04 PM.

      • Peter 28.1.1

        Noted. My strong (and long) religious upbringing and education sometimes lead me to comment on events where religion, churches and God collide. Or are driven into secular realms.

        I have been used and abused by those who claim religious protection by dint of claimed religious beliefs and some sort of higher standards. Those did not preclude them from acting in a vein which could most charitably be described as that of 'amoral heathens.'

        • Incognito

          Thank you for acknowledging the note and your personal explanation. Obviously, we cannot know what is behind comments even though we have seen the commenters many times before on this site – they remain enigmas. Happy commenting!

  28. PaddyOT 29

    Tv1 news tonight, Judith's soundbite ( after hearing god today). People have to be afraid because Labour is in bed with the Marxists – the Greens !

  29. greywarshark 30

    It is interesting how the UK news aiming at the higher intellect I think, can drop the pretence when it suits them. They are so high and mighty, they feel no compunction to draw back from tittle-tattle and noseyparker comment as being unseemly.

    So The Telegraph is allowing its writers to expand on Harry and Meghan, and now implying that she is leading him away from his position in society. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2020/09/26/does-poor-prince-harry-fit-meghans-masterplan/

    And this on their Covid-19 response, downcrying 'champagne lockdowns' and noislily promoting 'herd immunity' despite scientific opinion backed with statistics, that it is a pipe-dream. But snippy young journalists know better; they are up to playing Covid roulette as pawns pushed around by shadowy figures in the casino with loaded cards, bank ones. I think they give women these jobs more than men, women do outrage better. Sherelle Jacobs penned this: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/10/01/selfish-hypocrisy-champagne-lockdownism-demolishing-society/
    The selfish hypocrisy of champagne lockdownism is demolishing our society
    Duplicitous virtue-signalling is now the biggest obstacle to a sane response to Covid

    • SPC 30.1

      It's partisan politics.

      What gets in the way of middle class self interest – the well being of the underclass/paying for state provided education health housing and welfare or now an effective pandemic response for all when that impacts on the lifestyle of those with better health/health insurance and gated community isolation form the herd.

      They miss mingling in the Rose Garden with their country club peers – then again there is the story (New York Times) of the person ostracised from society for hosting a dinner party that infected the guests.

  30. greywarshark 31

    Orstrylia we like you from afar. But you like to be in our front and back pockets. You own a lot of our banks, and play with our economy, and business to suit yourselves. And you like our money.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/427515/trans-tasman-bubble-best-news-or-a-big-blow "This first phase of a travel bubble with New Zealand is the best news the industry has had in months.

    "New Zealand was Australia's second-biggest source of visitors before the pandemic. It's obviously about to go straight to number one," Joyce said. [Qantas' chief executive Alan Joyce]

    Have we got any leverage there? Or will the smiles and wiles change to frowns?

  31. greywarshark 32


    On Thursday Auckland Council's Planning Committee considered a private plan change covering 34.5ha of land in Patumahoe.

    The land is currently zoned for rural production and is prime horticultural land. Developer Askew Consultants is seeking to rezone it for residential, light industry and future urban use. But there is already development taking place on the outskirts of the town and widespread redevelopment planned in nearby Drury, Opāheke, Pukekohe and Paerata.

    As-kew, A-skew, As-queue, arse-skew! This has got to stop. This is 2nd wave colonisation.

  32. Muttonbird 33

    Ah, yep. The Nats have wheeled out Surge-on in support of Mellow. Given the three way race it must be the only trick they think they can win.


  33. Big song and dance number by Jacinda on the first episode of spitting image.

    No link but it'll be all over the news soon enough as she chops the head off someone with a cough in order to claim no new covid cases.

  34. PsyclingLeft.Always 35

    Supermarket Workers still struggling…..Supermarkets certainly aren't !

    Supermarkets were deemed an Essential Service throughout Covid 19….including Lockdown. And the stress loading on the Workers was high.

    And yet…

    " the industrial action followed efforts to get a collective agreement or a living wage for workers at Richmond Pak'nSave.

    Organiser Ross Lampert said the latest offer was 40 cents above the minimum wage – currently $18.90 an hour.

    The living wage rate was $22.10 cents an hour."


    Earlier another Supermarket…arrests !

    'On Saturday, a small group of protesters, and supporters from the community, stood on the footpath at the entrance to New World. They gave out pamphlets that talked about the "disgraceful wages" at New World and urged the public to contact the owner.'

    Police overstepping…to help the Supermarket? wtf ?!

    'The Council of Trade Unions criticised the police and said the FIRST Union officials were exercising their legal right of entry into the Nelson New World and the Richmond Pak'nSave while a community rally was taking place outside.

    Council of Trade Unions secretary Sam Huggard said this was despite New Zealand police's own advice to its officers that it has no role in blocking workers from accessing their union representatives.

    "NZ Police's staff magazine (February 4, 2005) issued advice to officers reminding them that "an employer may not rely on the Trespass Act 1980 to eject the union representative" yet this is precisely what has happened today," said Huggard.

    The advice further reminded officers that in an industrial dispute the police role, if any, was limited to keeping the peace.'


  35. Brokenback 36

    Energy policy -and the sticky question of tar?

    Pat Basket’s recent article in Newsroom about Hydrogen and future fuel options appears to have stimulated little debate


    Hardly surprising though , because we as a nation have been operating in a near vacuum of thought and planning around the single most strategic sector of our economy for the past 15 years.

    What little in the way of “policy” initiatives in the term of this government has been put forward by the Green party and could at best be described as wishful thinking and more accurately likened to fresh seagull guano.

    The announcements across the Tasman last week regarding the ongoing operation of Australian Refineries need to be analysed and discussed thoroughly in the context of the mooted changes to Refining NZ’s long term plans and the future of NZ’s only oil refinery and source of the full complement of liquid fuels and and other essential petroleum based products.

    Whilst a lot of the current energy policies of Australia’s Liberal-national coalition government are arguably out of step with need to address with urgency the reduction of emissions of Greenhouse gasses , the decision to bolster storage capacity and financially support their existing refineries who are experiencing the same difficulties as Refining NZ in operating profitably as a direct consequence of the ‘dumping ‘ of cheap refined fuels from the massive State owned Chinese refineries.




    It is blatantly obvious that China , under it’s current leadership , is intent on controlling all aspects of it’s massive trade to the best of their ability and Canberra has at least recognised that liquid fuel security is essential to avoid becoming a dependant client state.

    As a consequence to the economic upheavals caused by politically induced oil shortages in the 1970’s the International Energy Agency agreement was put in place , which commits Nations to having 90 days worth of fuel reserves, but Australia and New Zealand use offshore and on sea in transit oil as part of its reserves. i.e. a significant part of our treaty commitments are either stored overseas or in transit , mainly as unrefined crude in large tanker ships.

    Any possibility of actual warfare , trade warfare & embargo demands that we must prioritise our strategic reserves and ongoing access .

    The strategic nature of liquid fuel supply was the the reason for building and subsequently upgrading the refinery at Marsden Point and that is more relevant today than it has been at any point in the past 30 years.

    Political and economic uncertainty grows daily and the the advantages we have created through a well managed response to the pandemic will quickly disappear in the next 2 years if we adhere blindly to free market philosophies in strategic areas of our economy.

    The closure of the Mardsen Point refinery will increase the energy cost of all the classes of the Petroleum products we consume and will have to import separately .

    A Role for Government?

    Fuel is a significant source of government revenue

    The fuel excise portion on petrol includes:

    • 70.024 cents – National Land Transport Fund
    • 6 cents – ACC Motor Vehicle Account
    • 0.66 cents – Local Authorities Fuel Tax
    • 0.6 cents – Petroleum or Engine Fuels Monitoring Levy

    In addition, GST is collected on the overall price of fuel including excise. The GST on excise amounts to an 11 cents per litre "tax on taxes”

    Refining NZ’s financial performance has been reduced by lower margins on refined petrol and diesel as result of foreign refined product , aka ‘the Gull effect’.

    Greatly increased Electricity costs resulting from the Key government’s electricity ‘reforms’

    -“electricity accounts for around a third of the Company’s cost of operation. Refining NZ uses around 31% of the electricity consumed in Northland.”


    The inevitable rise in the cost of Natural gas , a consequence of declining supplies resulting from government policy to ban ongoing Hydrocarbon exploration . The relatively low cost of gas over the past 6 years , the result of shutdown of gas powered electricity generation has insulated Refining NZ from the increasing over production in Asia and had the benefit of utilising an indigenous resource as a component for the liquid fuel production consumed here.

    The greatest effect from Covid -19 is a 60% reduction in demand for Jet Fuel and likely significant reduction in demand more Marine Fuel Oil , both of which will continue to be effected until boarder restrictions are reduced , though when and why that occurs is anyone’s guess right now.

    The final major product which needs to be considered is Bitumen .

    Until the Covid induced production shutdown Marsden Point processed sour Arabian heavy crude with it’s relatively uncommon Hydro-cracker units which produces ample Bitumen for the NZ road making sector.

    Under the current restricted refinery operation Bitumen production is irregular and if the Refinery closes down it will cease.

    The announcement today that the Refining NZ will cease Bitumen production and handling altogether needs serious consideration

    2020 ushered in the new IMO Marine fuel regulations which have eliminated the cheap but dirty [ sulphur] Heavy Fuel Oil which the globe’s Merchant fleet has used for over 70 years ,replacing it with Light Fuel Oil [ low sulphur ] which differs from automotive diesel only by specialised additives.

    Bitumen production was tied very closely to Heavy Fuel Oil production and the changes underway have had significant impact on the availability and the logistics of transporting Bitumen from the fewer remaining Refineries that produce it.

    The bulk of the Asia Pacific refineries are geared towards plastic production and possible alternative suppliers of Bitumen are in Malaysia , South Korea or California.

    Consumption in Asia is predicted to rise significantly over the next 5 years and the price is predicted to rise accordingly.

    The option of sourcing from the much cheaper suppliers in California carries significantly higher energy cost to NZ as a consequence of the shipping distance and multiple Port destinations required for nationwide distribution.

    With Refining NZ withdrawing from Bitumen production and in all probability not being able or willing to function as an import and distribution terminal , then all Bitumen for the Bay of Plenty , Waikato , Auckland and Northland area [over 50% of NZ population] will have to be imported and distributed through the Port of Tauranga and trucked .

    Given that the text book response to severe economic downturn is an increase in public works of which road making and repair are likely to be prime contenders suggest that Government has big role to play in ensuring that such things are not hindered by shortages of essential materials.

    They need to likewise consider the loss of employment and skills base that the technical , heavy engineering , maintenance , and fabrication functions of the workforce associated with Refining ,contribute to our economy .

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