Open Mike 06/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 6th, 2017 - 136 comments
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136 comments on “Open Mike 06/04/2017”

  1. TAT Westie 1

    Big Data Question. I took my daughter to the doctor, vary rare event but needed for allergy medicine occasionally. The receptionist asks me to confirm her ethnicity because it “doesn’t match”. Doesn’t match what? DHB? IRD? How many databases have her data? We have been at the same GP/practice since before she was born. Are they cross checking the data of every child? Maybe every child who has “NZ European” and some other ethnicity? Maybe in one database she is only NZ European because I filled in a form casually, I don’t know. Or are they only checking flagged children by some criteria? I have never been a subscriber to conspiracy theories but now I feel watched and it is weird.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.1

      This is kind of related. I’m not sure how much data is currently shared with GPs. Maybe ask your local MP for clarification?

      From RNZ today: Data for funding ‘excessive and disproportionate’

      Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has come out against the government’s plan to require community groups to hand over clients’ private details if they want state funding.

      The policy will kick in from July for most community agencies seeking state funding.

      The new arrangement has already come into effect for budgeting advisors. Sexual violence groups have been given a year’s reprieve after they argued it could scare off people from coming forward.

    • dv 1.2

      AND add to that the MSD data leak recently.

    • mpledger 1.3

      All about the National Health Index
      http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/health-identity/national-health-index/national-health-index-overview

      She was probably checking that against their own records.

      However, as I understand it, GPs can look at all your (relatively recent) medical records online e.g. see what happened to you in hospital, at another GPs, at a district nurses clinic. And you can see a very much lighter version of that via “Manage My Health”.
      https://www.managemyhealth.co.nz

      There are also the MoH “Collections” (of data)
      http://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/national-collections-and-surveys/collections

      And, you might be interested in this…
      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/snapshots-of-nz/integrated-data-infrastructure.aspx

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        However, as I understand it, GPs can look at all your (relatively recent) medical records online e.g. see what happened to you in hospital, at another GPs, at a district nurses clinic.

        And I should bloody well hope so. I most definitely want the medical professionals helping me to look after my health to have access to that information.

      • weka 1.3.2

        “However, as I understand it, GPs can look at all your (relatively recent) medical records online e.g. see what happened to you in hospital, at another GPs, at a district nurses clinic.”

        Are you sure about that? That’s a massive privacy breach if true.

        • TheExtremist 1.3.2.1

          I have moved around a lot recently and when you see a new doctor they have to request the information from your previous doctor and do not have automatic access to it.
          You have one file that all your medical history, hospital admissions etc are added to but they just can’t be pulled up willy-nilly by any medical professional.

      • McFlock 1.3.3

        The collections are usually for after the fact analyses, and can take six months to two years for the data to be finalised. I doubt the GP office would be looking at those.

        That “manage my health” place doesn’t seem to be an official programme, am I wrong?

        I do know that lab tests and prescription history are accessible by a variety of healthcare folks, for obvious reasons. So it was either that profile the medical receptionist was looking at in order to get the records for the doctor, or it was just that in their own patient management system the child’s ethnicity didn’t match from one attendance to another.

        Ethnicity data in official records is notorious, because people turn up several times over the years and might have a different ethnic identity each time, or friends/parents provide the data because patient is unconscious, or the cops fill it in because the person is drunk and tells them to f-off, or there are three ticks on the form and it’s always entered in a different order…

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      Genetics does apply when we’re talking about drugs and treatments and so having that information be correct is essential.

    • mary_a 1.5

      @ TAT Westie … I had a similar experience renewing my driver’s licence. In 2009 I went renew it, but was told I need a security clearance because of my place of birth! I was born at sea. Despite producing a current NZ passport, a birth certificate was demanded to prove my ID. I refused and was told my licence will not be renewed until I have clarified my birth details. When I queried the issue further, I was advised my place of birth does not fit their criteria of being an acceptable birth place. In other words there wasn’t a box on their forms to be ticked!

      I wasn’t aware a person’s place of birth became an issue for a NZ citizen, particularly if they have held a legitimate NZ driver’s licence for 40 years, without incident, as was my case!

      Went to the government, who did manage to clear up the issue. But it did alert me to wonder if we are under some kind of surveillance! I suspect we are being watched!

    • left_forward 1.6

      The other national database not yet mentioned is the National Immunisation Register – the NIR.

  2. Cinny 2

    Re Syria…

    USA and our media are speaking of a ‘chemical attack’ as a result of airstrikes saying that Assad is responsible.

    Meanwhile RT are saying that a chemical weapons depot site was destroyed, apparently the ‘air strikers’ did not know chemical weapons were being stored there when they blew it up.

    So who is correct? And who is broadcasting fake news or using the news to spin their own narrative in an attempt to manipulate the public? One thing we all know is that people and children are suffering and they sure have suffered enough over the years.

    “Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria, said reliable evidence would be needed to confirm the alleged use of chemical weapons, let alone establish who was responsible for it.”

    • Johan 2.1

      To Cinny,
      “Meanwhile RT are saying that a chemical weapons depot site was destroyed, apparently the ‘air strikers’ did not know chemical weapons were being stored there when they blew it up.”
      If the chemical depot was hit, this would cause the chemicals inside the projectiles to be ineffective as an airstrike weapon. RT is merely an extension of Putin’s Russian regime.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Lemme get this right.

        You’re saying that a storage facility that contained precursors or/and premixed chemical stocks that were going to be packed into improvised projectiles (eg – water heaters, gas canisters) and launched at the Syrian army and/or civilians (as happened in Aleppo), would be rendered useless by dint of being damaged or punctured or whatever by an air-strike?

        RT definitely isn’t the only broadcaster calling bullshit on the western narrative btw – far from it.

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1

          RT should be calling bullshit on its own government’s narrative. From the Guardian:

          Russia, which is heavily backing the Assad government, said a Syrian government airstrike had hit a “terrorist warehouse” holding “toxic substances”.

          That claim does not fit with facts on the ground, for several reasons. An airstrike on a weapons depot with high explosives would have destroyed much of the sarin immediately, and distributed any that survived over a much smaller area.

          “The pattern of casualties isn’t right for the distribution of materials that you would get if you had a location with toxic materials breached by an airstrike. It’s more consistent with canisters that have distributed [chemical weapons] over a wider population,” Guthrie said.

          While it is impossible to assess the exact amount of chemical agent used immediately, the extent and distribution of the casualties are consistent with the use of hundreds of kilos.

          Sarin is too complicated and expensive for rebels to have manufactured themselves, and while they might potentially have obtained some supplies of stolen nerve agents or other gas, it is very unlikely to be more than a few kilos.

          “If they have [sarin], it would be in minute quantities, maybe a kilo or so,” said De Bretton Gordon. The high numbers of woman and children among the casualties was not consistent with a military depot, he added.

          Finally, the Syrian manufacturing process for sarin involves creating and storing two key components, both far more stable than the nerve agent itself. They are mixed to create sarin hours – or at most days – before it is used, said Dan Kaszeta, a chemical weapons expert and former officer in the US Army’s chemical corps.

          So an airstrike on a storage facility would be unlikely to release sarin itself. And because one of the two components is highly flammable isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, you would expect a fireball, which has not been observed.

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.1

            That is my viewpoint as well. The facts of the video of the event, the methods used, and the known requirements for the type of organophosphate nerve toxin that was obviously used (I remember going through some stuff on this when I was a army medic) do not appear to be in anyway consistent with either the Russian or Syrian government statements.

            Both governments appear to be lying in concert. That makes me highly suspicious about why? Did the frigging Russians drop this crap?

            Of course there is an easy way to show that there is nothing to hide. The Syrian government needs to cooperate fully and wholeheartedly with international investigators. However based on past experience, they only do that when it is those other arseholes from ISIL using their primitive mustard gas.

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.1

              If it was sarin (as opposed to other chemicals or no chemicals), you just might want to bear in mind that Jihadists in Syria likely do have sarin.

              Delve into the Khan al-Assal sarin attack and the Ghouta sarin gas attack and even ignoring Carla Del Ponte’s findings, reflect that the UN (not the independent body many western liberals like to believe it to be) finally concluded that sarin had been used but wouldn’t/couldn’t apportion blame.

              That’s an odd conclusion to reach if Jihadists don’t have sarin, don’t you think?

              While you’re at it, you may want to do a wee bit of basic google searching on both John Cantlie and at least one of the men, Shajul Islam, charged over his kidnapping – the same Shajul Islam who is now acting as a major source of information regarding this incident in Idlib.

              • lprent

                …finally concluded that sarin had been used but wouldn’t/couldn’t apportion blame.

                You are completely full of shit when it comes to this. Dancing on the head of a pin and selectively summarizing a rather long report (which BTW I have read).

                They also didn’t state that any ‘jihadists’ had any primitive mustard gas. Which by your very low standards of ‘proof’ must mean that it is was impossible for ISIL to have used it even after they boasted that they did.

                The report was a judicial report and meant EXACTLY what was said. They could not apportion blame for the Ghouta sarin attack because they didn’t have definitive proof. Among other reasons because they were denied access to where and by whom they think that the attack was most likely launched from. The Syrian military denied ALL access.

                What you are carefully ignoring was their conclusions about the most likely source – which was probably the nerve gas program by the Syrian military. Coincidentally, and of course having (according to the Syrian government) nothing to do with the UN investigation, the Syrian government joined the convention on war gases soon after the reports release and is still apparently engaged years later in trying to prove that they no longer have any. They have apparently ‘forgotten’ that they had several labs producing the stuff.

                There has been no evidence of any of the ‘jihardist’ groups having any access to being able to manufacture, acquire or any ability to store any nerve agents. That latter is a pretty tricky task.

                Essentially, anyone who isn’t blinded by wishful thinking as you seem to be would have to point to the Syrian military as by far the most probable attacker in this case, and their close and active was ally Russia as being a direct or indirect collaborator in the dreadful deed. Apart from anything else, Russia appears to be providing almost all (if not all) of the type of warplane support to the Syrian armed forces at present that would have been required for the type of attack.

                With wargases, my burden of proof is simple. It is that the people and countries most likely to be able to perform the action have to prove their likely innocence.

                Playing dumbarse word games and claims of plausible deniability rather than jumping to disprove their complicity is (in my view) tantamount to a plea of guilt.

                • Bill

                  They weren’t denied access at all.

                  Åke Sellström was heading a UN team that was slated to investigate the chemical attack in Khan al-Assal, Aleppo that the Syria government had requested the UN to investigate. They (the UN team) were in Damascus at the time of the Ghouta attack and secured access to the area.

                  But step back for a sec.

                  Why would the Syrian government launch a chemical attack on the eave of the Brussels Conference? In case you missed it, calls for regime change have been weakening of late. Are we being asked to believe that the Syrian government would stupidly reverse that drift because of a lack of awareness over the propaganda effect of launching a chemical weapons attack at this time?

                  They are winning the war on the ground. Official western calls for regime change have weakened. There may even have been talk of relaxing sanctions (I don’t know if that’s been the case, but given the background, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest it was a possibility) The US President had publicly backed away from regime change.

                  Now this.

                  • The question “Why would the alleged perp commit such a sickening violent crime that serves no purpose? It makes no sense” is all very well, but has to be weighed up against evidence that Alleged Perp did actually commit the crime. Also, the question’s relevance diminishes somewhat if Alleged Perp has extensive previous form for pointless, sickening violent crime. Because, in that case, the answer may well be “Yes, Perp really is that stupid.”

                    • mauī

                      The mainstream media who spend their day berating Assad and pinning anything on him is not evidence. Neither are videos from the questionable white helmets organisation evidence.

                      Enter former British ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford who calls your evidence fake news:

                    • The mainstream media who spend their day berating Assad and pinning anything on him is not evidence.

                      Well, no, but the content of their reports, ie witness statements, video footage and still photos, is evidence. Likewise the expert analysis on why it’s likely the chemical agents were dropped from aircraft and highly unlikely they were a released via an air strike hitting a storage facility. If you’re inclined to dismiss that evidence, consider the evidence Hager and Stephenson have for the NZDF having killed civilians in Operation Burnham – would you dismiss them as lightly as you dismiss these journalists?

                      And Peter Ford knows as much about who carried out this attack as you or I do, so spare us the appeals to authority.

                    • Bill

                      Interesting. So bastards are bastards and will commit heinous acts if they’ve committed heinous acts. That’s you’re way of evaluating stuff, right?

                      Well, that the Al Nusra affiliated White Helmets crowd have released their own video footage where (according to analysis carried out by the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights) they are either a) killing living babies with the faux treatments they administer or are b) using dead babies as props…

                      I could be kind and opt for the latter option given they have other videos where babies in obvious states of rigour mortis are passed to mothers from incubators and a whole charade of ‘normality’ is played out.

                      These pieces of footage are easy to find if you do even a basic search and all are produced by the white helmets

                      Then there’s their penchant for head chopping and of cheering on head choppers and attending executions carried out by head choppers (again, all on video and none of it contested).

                      Call me a fool, but I can’t see any reason for the Syrian government to do what is alleged. I can imagine a dump was hit. I can imagine it all being ‘a have’. And sadly (somewhat darkly) given the void of humanity displayed by Al Nusra, I can also imagine them simply slaughtering shi’ites (by chemical or physical instrument) and then using their corpses for propaganda purposes.

                    • mauī

                      It’s highly questionable evidence because it’s coming from a source such as the white helmets who are funded to the tune of tens of millions by western governments (who publicly state they want Assad gone) and are seen posing with terrorist fighters. You know that. Its been pointed out to you many times.

                      Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett are acting as independent journalists in Syria, yes equivalent to the likes of our Hager of Stephenson. Their work isn’t owned by the mainstream press which is your go to source and includes commentators towing the media line.

                      Your dismisal of the ex-ambassador to Syria as knowing as much as anyone else is.. enlightening to say the least.

                    • Bill

                      What journalists PM?

                      All the video footage (as far as I can tell so far) is being provided by the White Helmets and one of the principle sources for claims is Shajul Islam (look him up ffs!). There are no journalists. There is only the spoon-feeding of journalists.

                    • Call me a fool, but I can’t see any reason for the Syrian government to do what is alleged.

                      There are various possible reasons: violent murderers aren’t rational to start with, the Assad regime’s spent the last five years learning it can act with complete impunity, etc. You can imagine all kinds of things about what happened, but there’s a fairly obvious explanation that has some pretty good evidence for it and doesn’t require a whole lot of baseless speculation about dastardly plots.

                    • Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett are acting as independent journalists in Syria, yes equivalent to the likes of our Hager of Stephenson.

                      They are claiming to be independent journalists while working as regime shills. You can tell the extent of their independence by the fact that they never once mention the regime minders who are issued to journalists and monitor what the locals tell them. Actual journalists mention that in their stories and remind readers to take it into account when assessing what the locals are saying in front of these minders. You grossly insult Hager and Stephenson by putting them in the same category as these two appalling propagandists.

                      Your dismisal of the ex-ambassador to Syria as knowing as much as anyone else is.. enlightening to say the least.

                      He knows as much about this attack as anyone else.

                    • There are no journalists. There is only the spoon-feeding of journalists.

                      One could say the same of any reporting from regime-held areas or anything published by Russian media. Conflicts don’t issue us with easy answers.

                  • joe90

                    Why would the Syrian government launch a chemical attack on the eave of the Brussels Conference?

                    Trying it on?.

                    WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials were left confused after President Donald Trump appeared to signal a potential future policy change toward Syria with tough words against the government’s deployment of chemical weapons.

                    […]

                    The three defense officials told BuzzFeed News they believe Assad may have launched Tuesday’s attack to test the president, particularly after members of his administration had indicated Assad could stay in power. Most notably, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that: “I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.”

                    https://www.buzzfeed.com/nancyyoussef/the-pentagon-is-confused-over-trumps-apparent-about-face-on?utm_term=.stbvvvexqN#.drpMMMvweY

    • Bill 2.2

      Hey Cinny (and anyone else) – for a number of weeks I’ve been unable to load anything from RT. I can get youtube RT reports and what not, but no access at all to RT.com (or any of their subsidiary sites).

      Any ‘heads up’ would be appreciated.

      The message I always get is “www.rt.com took too long to respond”

      Obviously the link you provided is dead to me.

    • Bearded Git 2.3

      The experts I heard on the BBC overnight said it was farcical to claim that bombs had hit a rebel (actually that should be freedom fighter) store of chemicals which had caused the gas cloud. Not feasible.

      Assad started the war. Assad tortures en masse. Assad uses chemical warfare, which is a war crime. He must go.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        The reasoning behind the claims being made by these BBC experts, what was it?

        That punctured or scattered chemical agents would be inert? That it was preposterous to claim Jihadists had access to chemical weapons?

        Did they offer any reasoning and if they did, did they back it up?

        Large numbers of Jihadists seeking to create a Caliphate = “Assad started the war”. Hm. k.

        A government that attempts to open up safe corridors for its citizens in occupied cities, that offers amnesty to anyone who lays down their arms, that gives safe passage for Jihadists surrendering cities they occupy, that has overwhelming popular support from the Syrian population … that stacks up against claims of “tortures en masse” how exactly?

        There have been previous claims made that the Syrian government used chemical weapons. Not one of those claims was ever backed up by proof. There have also been claims that Jihadists have used chemical weapons. Given that Syria surrendered its stock of chemical weapons and given that chemical stock-piles were found in eastern Aleppo after its liberation…..

        • McFlock 2.3.1.1

          The jihadists wouldn’t have had an opening if Assad hadn’t been a dictator whose first impulse had been to crack down rather than address the problems back in 2010.

          • Bill 2.3.1.1.1

            He ceded to every demand made in those initial demonstrations. (If you’re aware of any demands that were made and not met, feel free to list them)

            The problem (it’s argued) is that Jihadists were already integral to the protest movement, playing an increasingly leading role and didn’t give a hoot for any compromises.

            And as we know, there are now swarms of Jihadists throughout Syria and Iraq seeking the formation of a Caliphate that would involve a dissolution of the Syrian state (something a number of western governments are quite keen on).

            • McFlock 2.3.1.1.1.1

              lol that’s one position, I guess.

              here’s another.

              Yes, now there are caliphists. That’s what happens when a defunct regime can’t control a nation but can hang onto some bits long enough to be bailed out by a fellow dictator. Extremists fill the void that would have been filled by the regular civil power structures during a genuine transition away from the failed regime.

              • Bill

                wikipedia. I see.

                • McFlock

                  well, in these days of cartesian doubt about current events, isn’t there a universal equivalence between information sources? Everyone has an agenda, everyone with an agenda is distributing at least some biased “news”, and everyone distributing biased news is distributing propaganda. And anyone who tries to elevate one news source over another in terms of reliability (or lack thereof) does so in order to protect their worldview. Isn’t that how it goes?

                  So what’s your fragile worldview that you need to protect – that we can know nothing and therefore do nothing?

                  • Bill

                    That a straw man constructed from tetchiness?

                    Wikipedia is good for info on objective stuff – physics, chemistry and what not, but generally not much use for anything beyond a cursory glance when it comes to politics.

                    There are some sources of news that are generally more reliable or better informed than others, and some that are more reliable or better informed in specific areas or on specific events – so no, as far as I’m concerned, there is no “universal equivalence between information sources”.

                    As for my world view, it’s pretty much indicated by what I write here. And I certainly don’t ascribe to any such notion that “we can know nothing and therefore do nothing”. (I actually just wish more people would be more critical, less receptive and as a result, hopefully better informed)

                    As for my take on the so-called “fake news” phenomenon that you linked, yeah, I stand by that.

                    • McFlock

                      So which bit of the wikipedia article is wrong: were people not shot? Had his regime existed under a 50 year state of emergency?

                      Your comment “He ceded to every demand made in those initial demonstrations.” completely ignores everything his regime did right up until it was obvious that the country was going to burn. A smart dictator would have jumped in his chopper and fucked off to Switzerland or somewhere. Assad’s dicking around with that and getting bailed out by the Russians has fucked the country for the next few decades, and yes it’s down precisely to his decision to cling to what power he could.

                    • One Two []

                      You can’t know what would have eventuated to Syria had Assad ‘jumped’…

                      PNAC appreciates the ignorance, however!

                    • McFlock

                      Know? No.
                      Make an educated guess based on contemporary and past events of a similar nature? Yes.

                      Thanks for playing. You can’t know I’m wrong, by your measure.

                    • One Two []

                      Taking an educated guess using unrelated, and in its essence, third party ‘srories’

                      Your so called educated guess is as useless as those stories you use to make it…

                      Quality!

                    • McFlock

                      Well, it’s the same educated guess that makes me suspect that you’re a pretentious fuckwit in real life as well as online. You’re just an expanding gas ball of ego in an infinite vacuum of ignorance.

                      Why do you even come here if not to wank? You can never know anything, so therefore you will never acquire new information. Other people share ideas, debate positions, and thereby develop and expand their perspectives. Whereas you’re just a dollop of jizz plonked on top of a chocolate brownie, and you expect us to believe it’s cream.

        • Johan 2.3.1.2

          Keep digging Bill, your desperate line of thinking is flawed.

          • Bill 2.3.1.2.1

            You haven’t answered my question above. I didn’t see the BBC footage and bar a link would appreciate you sharing what, if any, reasoning the experts you refer to based their conclusion on.

    • mauī 2.4

      if we go back 4 years wasn’t it Obama that was ready to invade Syria due to another chemical attack. Wasn’t Syria also one of seven countries that the US wanted regime change in. Syria was invaded anyway by what we know are terrorists backed by the likes of Saudi and the US.

      Interesting comments by journo Seymour Hersh and there appears to be a good amount of deja vu from what happened in 2013.

    • Bill 2.5

      Wouldn’t be nice if a chemical weapons attack on the eave of a peace conference was to shift the US President’s stance from one of not seeking regime change to one of seeking regime change?

      Oh look! How propitious!

      Damn that cunning Syrian government.

    • Peter 2.7

      All of them, you cannot believe any of them after all it is war and shit loads of money to be made.

      • Cinny 2.7.1

        I think you maybe right Peter, it’s a bloody circus of contradicting info, people suffering and arms manufacturers profiting.

        • exkiwiforces 2.7.1.1

          For someone like me who’s teaches CBRND and a who is trained to do CBRND reconnaissance/ surveys (In plan English a human guinea pig) its a pain in the ass ATM shifting through the data. But it did make very interesting day when I was talking to a couple Combat engineers about what happen over there and to us it looks like sarin base chemical agent and no doubt we will find out what agent it was in the coming days. If it was a VX nerve agent the casualty rate would’ve gone through the roof as it takes just one droplet to be absorb onto the skin is enough to kill you within a minute and VX very nasty stuff.

          Have been watching footage of the attack and it appears to me it was delivered from the air. The first bomb was your typical HE explosion followed by two sinister looking gas clouds, one laying low to the ground and the other one forming a mushroom type cloud formation which collapse on itself. This was very standard chemical attack using a HE bomb to mask the two Chemical bombs as make popping sound when the sort of explode. It the same for artillery bombardment as will be a mix of HE and Chemical agent.

          I hope this helps anyone out.

          • Cinny 2.7.1.1.1

            Thanking you once again EKF, that’s why I enjoy TS, the knowledge base of those who contribute is super valuable and helpful.

  3. As this has come up here and elsewhere in social media I wish to advise that I am now allowed by the Court to reveal a limited amount of information about legal action started against me in July 2015.

    “The private prosecutions brought by Mr Dermot Nottingham against Allied Press and Peter George have been withdrawn by leave of the District Court. Allied Press Limited and Mr George face no further charges. Details of the evidence and submissions filed in the case are suppressed until further notice of the Court.”

    The court deems the withdrawal of charges to be an acquittal.

    Due to matters I am not involved in those are the only details I can disclose about it ‘until further notice of the Court’, and this limits what anyone else should say about it too.

    • lprent 3.1

      Hi Pete,

      I found the comment in the Trash. I have no idea how it got there if you didn’t put it there.

      The moderators aren’t meant to be able to use Trash – it is meant to be restricted to users with their own comments only. So I’ll have a look at the history later.

      However this is very good news for a number of personal reasons (that I am unable to discuss due to ongoing court actions and court orders). It will be quite good when the lid can be lifted on this whole sorry saga.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      I remember that nut case from reading ACC forum.

    • weka 3.3

      That must be a relief for you. Thanks for posting that Pete.

  4. Its a fluff piece. The more important question is why the hell is Little in court on trial in election year ? Surely this could have been averted earlier on ? where is Littles management team on this ? Come in Matt McCarten ? Really, having the leader of the opposition on trial in election year is not a good look whatever way you spin it.

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

    [lprent: Banned until one month after the election for a deliberate post diversion. The post was not on the Hagaman case. ]

    • Rufus 4.1

      Charen – Unless there’s a miracle in court this week, Jacinda will be buying the pizza and whiskey from now on. Andrew will be lucky to still be on the road with her.

      • They are saying the Sarin gas attacks in Syria are a war crime.

        So is not giving medical assistance to wounded civilians, destroying property without a military objective and handing a prisoner over to a third party knowing that they will be tortured…

        And it only takes ONE COMPLAINANT to trigger an investigation / trial by the International Criminal Court.

        I wouldn’t be gloating too long or loud just yet if I were you….

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2

        How that going to work? Labour will change their leader because he upset some right wing asswipe?

        Yeah that sounds likely 😆

        • srylands 4.1.2.2

          It will work. Come next Monday it is all over. Of course 12 months ago you ridiculed my assertion that the corruption allegations about Earl and Lani would be taken seriously. Not looking too flash now is it?

          I expect an apology from you.

          BTW the Hagamans are not to my knowledge members of the Party. Your recent comments suggest the contrary.

          I ask that you withdraw and apologise. You should also take some meds for your constant aggressive behavior. About everything.

          • WILD KATIPO 4.1.2.2.1

            @ srylands

            ” BTW the Hagamans are not to my knowledge members of the Party ”

            D O N A T O R S – T O – T H E – N A T I O N A L – P A R T Y

            Well , with that logic you display I’m sure the Hagaman’s would also have donated to the McGillycuddy Serious Party had they not disbanded as well…

            As would of members of the then Business Roundtable ( now re-branded as the NZ Institute )

            C’mon mate – pull the other one .

            • BM 4.1.2.2.1.1

              They donated to NZ First and apparently Labour back in the 1980’s.

              • And then realized they were onto a good thing donating to National post 1984 after Douglas gave advantages to the rich.

              • Bearded Git

                How much? And that was to the Labour Party of Rogernomics.

                I remember hitchhiking in NZ in 1985 and getting picked up by a guy with a Jag who loved Roger.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Lots of RWNJ donated to Labour in the 1980s because back in the 1980s Labour made a radical shift to the right. National followed and then went further which is why those people then started supporting National again.

      • BM 4.1.3

        Especially after this, talk about shoot yourself in the face.

        http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/04/labour-leader-andrew-little-gives-evidence-in-defamation-case.html

        I do wonder if Andrew Little isn’t having some sort of mental breakdown?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.3.1

          Lani doesn’t want a cash settlement, she just wants an apology and costs, but then her intentions just sort of inexplicably fell off and she ended up accidentally suing for $2M.

          What exactly is the reputation of National Party scum worth?

          • BM 4.1.3.1.1

            What exactly is the reputation of National Party scum worth

            I’d say about 500k + expenses.

            • DoublePlusGood 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Perhaps, but if you have a clear and obvious reputation of being scum, is it possible to defame you?

              • L00L !… It gets richer and richer…

                🙂

              • BM

                Why are the Hagamans scum?, from what I read they’ve donated a tonne of money to many charities in NZ.

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/79425604/Of-political-sideswipes-Meet-the-Hagamans-of-Christchurch

                • So have a lot of people that have donated a lot to many charity’s – that doesn’t mean they behave in a crass manner by trying to bring down legitimate democratic party’s or their leaders, however . Particularly when it is a democratic and legal principle in this country to question where each party’s donations originated from, the amount and if there is any possibility of any conflicts of interest.

                • adam

                  And yet are unwilling to pay their fair share of taxes.

                  So giving to charity is a crook, and oddly enough it is somthing criminals and the like always bring out as well to show how good they are. When in reality all they would need to do, is pay a fair amount of tax.

                  • BM

                    How do you know they’re not paying their fair share of taxes?

                    • adam

                      The top tax rate. How do you know they are even paying that low amount?

                    • LivinInTheBay

                      @BM

                      Please can you define “their fair share of tax”?

                      I’ve always wondered what this meant? If as is likely they are in the top tax bracket – and well into it – they’ll be paying more tax than pretty much everyone that posts here. How is that not a “fair share”?

                      @adam – too tax rate a small amount? Except it’s likely that their income is well into the top tax bracket. And that’s not even taking into account the fact they’ve invested in business, and therefore people working for them, and services for their businesses as well.

                      No, I’d suggest they’re paying more than their “fair share” both directly and indirectly.

            • bwaghorn 4.1.3.1.1.2

              my pick is wife number 5 isn’t in the will for much money so he’s said you can keep what you win

              [lprent: A rather cynical viewpoint and somewhat tasteless – however within the policies.

              However you appear to be edging up to an edge that I might have to notice as a moderator. I suggest that you don’t do that. ]

        • WILD KATIPO 4.1.3.2

          If I were you , BM ,… Id be watching Blinglish very closely for anxiety and neuroses syndromes over the next weeks and months….

          ONE complainant is all it will take…

        • weka 4.1.3.3

          “I do wonder if Andrew Little isn’t having some sort of mental breakdown?”

          I do wonder if you aren’t using someone’s stressful situation to undermine them politically.

          Is that latest memo meme from Crosby Textor?

          • BM 4.1.3.3.1

            Did you watch the video in the link?

            It didn’t really portray a Man thinking clearly.

            • weka 4.1.3.3.1.1

              Yes I did. It was a selective cut and paste. I’d need to see the whole thing to have an opinion on it beyond it’s a stressful situation.

              “It didn’t really portray a Man thinking clearly.”

              Ah, the backup clause from CT.

            • WILD KATIPO 4.1.3.3.1.2

              I don’t think we’ve ever seen you thinking clearly in the things you post as opposed to Little and most of the other party’s leaders who seem to be thinking very clearly that Bill English has conducted a sham inquiry.

              ONE complaint is ALL that’s needed.

      • Graham 4.1.4

        Sorry folks, but even without this weeks court case Andrew just does not cut it as a leader for the Labour party. Sad, as NZ does need a strong and creditable opposition leader. When he has gone, which he will be, there is no way that Jacinda will be a creditable Labour leader either.

    • Tui 4.2

      andy didn’t say anything anyone else wouldnt have said if they were him. this is going to be laughed out of court!

      ~ tui

    • DoublePlusGood 4.3

      He tried to sort it properly; unfortunately, the Hagamans are thoroughly vile individuals determined to bankrupt a political opponent. Hence the ridiculous court case.

    • saveNZ 4.4

      Does anyone else smell a rat when just before the election Phil Goff was smeared by Warren Tucker head of SIS and made to look like a fool and a liar. He lost.

      Then David Culiffe was smeared about writing the letter for Donghua Liu. He lost.

      And now Andrew Little is being sued right before the election from right winger’s who donate to the National party to try to undermine and distract him right before the election?

      I smell a rat. In every election in the past decade, someone goes after the leader of the opposition to influence the election.

      National love to play dirty, but maybe the tactic is getting a bit old?

      • Peter 4.4.1

        Isn’t it time Labour started doing the same all’s fare in love and war and it is war.

    • JanM 4.5

      A fluff piece is cool – there are plenty of fluffies in our country who read these fluffy magazines and identify with them – whatever it takes!

    • Jenny Kirk 4.6

      charen – Little is in court because the rich are playing dirty politics. As Leader of the Opposition Little was entitled to question the Nats accepting a big donation and then letting the donor have a contract for building. The fact the Nats’ friends leapt onto the chance of playing dirty politics in election year stinks. They know there’s nothing anyone can do to “manage it” when a defamation case is in the court system. It just has to happen. Hopefully it’ll be out of the media range by the time the actual election campaign starts.

      • BM 4.6.1

        Why didn’t Little apologise after the AG cleared the Niue deal?

        Andrew Little only has himself to blame,

        • DoublePlusGood 4.6.1.1

          Because it was entirely correct to bring it to the attention of the attorney general in the first place.

          • BM 4.6.1.1.1

            So when the AG cleared the deal, why didn’t he just apologise? it was obvious that Little was wrong so he should have sucked up his pride and acknowledged his mistake, great opportunely to look prime ministerial gone begging.

            • WILD KATIPO 4.6.1.1.1.1

              I don’t recall you ever showing any interest or giving any credence to Andrew Little as a PM before ? , … so why the faux concern now about a ‘ great opportunely to look prime ministerial gone begging.?’

              Seems Little’s more of a threat to the RWNJ’s than we ever could of estimated. Particularly now he has Jacinda as his Deputy.

            • Psycho Milt 4.6.1.1.1.2

              So when the AG cleared the deal, why didn’t he just apologise?

              For what? Doing his job? I don’t want opposition politicians to either apologise for doing their jobs or be rendered afraid to do their job due to the prospects of vexatious litigation. The fact that he can be taken to court at all for this should be prompting changes to legislation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +111

                • McFlock

                  lol

                  “I’m sorry for being an elected representative”
                  “I’m sorry for being a responsible leader of the opposition”
                  “I’m sorry for holdingthe government accountable for its actions”

            • Draco T Bastard 4.6.1.1.1.3

              So when the AG cleared the deal, why didn’t he just apologise?

              Because there was nothing to apologise for.

        • adam 4.6.1.2

          Why do these gits love money so much? Why do they put so much stock in their relationship to money representing them as humans? And why are they so politically motivated to act like two year old brats?

          • WILD KATIPO 4.6.1.2.1

            Ever seen the biggest piglet pushing aside the smaller ones to suck on the teat?

            Thats why.

            • adam 4.6.1.2.1.1

              That’s an example or amoral creatures trying to survive. Not a real answer to my question, but I get where you are trying to go.

          • gsays 4.6.1.2.2

            Hi Adam, as I am find of saying:
            Tories love money, socialists love people.

        • reason 4.6.1.3

          How can we talkj about Niue and the national party ………… without talking about how they have built a corrupt tax dodging network in the south pacific….

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand

          Is this “foreign aid” hotel for the use of bent accountants and lawyers ????

          They don’t even contribute tax for ……………. foreign aid.

          Haggerman ………… the corpse who sued.

      • LivinInTheBay 4.6.2

        The only problem with this summation is the fact it was an independent trust board that awarded the contract. A board that a certain Mr Ardern was sitting on.

  5. saveNZ 5

    Does anyone else smell a rat when just before the election Phil Goff was smeared by Warren Tucker head of SIS and made to look like a fool and a liar. He lost.

    Then David Culiffe was smeared about writing the letter for Donghua Liu. He lost.

    And now Andrew Little is being sued right before the election from right winger’s who donate to the National party to try to undermine and distract him right before the election?

    I smell a rat. In every election in the past decade, someone goes after the leader of the opposition to influence the election.

    • Sabine 5.1

      if the people of NZ vote for National then they a. must believe they are better, or b. they really don’t care about the last 9 years and want more of it.

      in both cases they would then get what they deserve.

      btw, this case has been in the making since last year at least, and it could as easily backfire against the National Party practice to ‘squander foreign aid’ in order to prop up private business.

      So things happen, and you forget that the National Party this year runs on its own merits rather then the made up persona of a Rock N Roll PM who just ran away.

  6. The manufactured outrage of the 5th wife for the dying husband – its called the gold-digger syndrome – and in this case encouraged by RW political strategists.

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

    • saveNZ 6.1

      Yeah, love how instead of being at his dying side, the wife’s in court trying to claw more money in his name. Say’s a lot about their values and relationship!

      • I wonder if she would have done the same if she donated to the Labour party and it was John Key or now Bill English who asked the same questions as Little asked ?

  7. stigie 7

    “While I think it is unfortunate that the voting public are likely to respond very well to this puff piece, the reality is, this is how it works, how you win elections.”

    While the Labour leader is in court facing defamation it doesn’t !

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

    • Why was it that John Key could mince down a catwalk , repeatedly pull a workers hair , admit to pissing in a shower on a radio station , get caught out lying about the XKEYSCORE program , publicly insult his opponents like a 12 year old child ,…

      YET !,… here we have Andrew Little and Jacinda Adern demonstrating their political unity and amiability in the Womans Weekly and all of a sudden it is called a ‘ puff piece’ ???

      LEST WE FORGET : THIS is what we had to put up with for 8 long years.

      ( for comparisons sake’s )

      John Oliver – John Key – YouTube

      • It was me that termed it a puff piece. I don’t object as such. I am glad Labour are doing it if it helps us win. I think it only reflects on the the voters (some anyway) ability to think critically about the issues.

  8. TheExtremist 8

    Little looks alright here but jeez he cut a tragic figure in the courtroom. I felt really sorry for the guy.

    [lprent: Deliberate diversion commenting. Banned until one month after the election. I do hope you think that comment was worth posting now. ]

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

  9. Hi Stigie @ 5.

    I am not quite sure what the public are going to make of the court case (and by the public, I don’t mean people who always vote Labour or people who always vote National). That wont sway their voting.

    I think there are three possibilities.

    1. Don’t care, its irrelevant to me
    2. Andrew L has defamed someone, that’s bad.
    3. Find the haggamans (not sure if I have spelt that right) very unsympathetic and
    think that restoring their reputation has already happened and the 2 million is excessive and vindictive.

    Of course these are just my speculations. The jury of course will likely be considering two and three.

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

  10. greywarshark 10

    This woman was in court for wilful neglect of her children in March. Roundly derided by budget advisor who is no doubt on contract to the government. Nobody referred to in this newpaper item saying that she must be suffering depression. Why? Depression is getting featured with John Kirwan on TV but seemingly only to be understood when celebrities get it. Being extremely poor with five children and losing your way and your marbles as it stretches on with no hope for better outcomes, doesn’t enter anyone’s thoughts.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/88439627/Auckland-mother-sentenced-for-wilfully-neglecting-children-who-ate-rotten-bread-t

    She has received a home detention sentence and the children taken away from her.
    Okay, but is she receiving counselling, parental and life skills training, education to increase her work skills and self-esteem? Some caring from our government to restore and enable her?

    What happens to government ministers who neglect the NZ people they are supposed to care about? I suggest that there should be a charge and a jail term for wilfully neglecting their responsibilities and not meeting the requirements of their favoured position. An enquiry by a citizen should result in an immediate investigation and public report of findings.

  11. Alan, you shag someone you have Dad jokes with?

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

  12. AsleepWhileWalking 12

    88 journalists in Mexico murdered – newspaper shuts down saying too dangerous to continue.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/world/americas/el-norte-closes-mexican-newspaper.html

    We are so lucky in this country. Thank you TS.

  13. Alan 14

    Did someone in labour not get the opportunity to see/approve/edit the magazine cover before it was published?
    Who would approve that without raising concern?

    [lprent: Why? Explain. I view idiotic questions like this as a particular astroturfing style. Your comment appears to have nothing to do with the topic of the post. But doesn’t quite edge into diversion.

    Dumping to OpenMike. And if I see you do any further attempts to do a astroturf ‘question’, then you won’t be back here until after the election. I really don’t like trolls who are too scared to actually argue their points and try to hide behind plausible tenability. ]

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

  14. The Chairman 15

    While Little is tied up in court and making himself available for a puff piece, the right have come out with this:

    https://nzinitiative.org.nz/insights/media/the-new-zealand-initiative-delivers-policy-manifesto-to-inform-election-debate/

    Where is the lefts counter piece?

  15. Penny Bright 16

    PROTEST!

    The lack of transparency
    in NZ Courts!

    PROTEST!

    The secret process of appointing NZ Judges!

    (Did you know that the NZ Attorney-General Chris Finlayson alone, appoints all Judges?)

    WHERE: Outside NZ Supreme Court
    85 Lambton Quay Wellington

    WHEN: Friday 7 April 2017
    TIME: 3 – 5pm

    Protest called by fellow
    ‘anti-corruption campaigner’
    Vince Siemer.

    For more information, check out Vince Siemer’s website:

    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz

    I support this protest, and if I was in Wellington, I’d be there.

    Please attend if you can, and if you support NZ judicial transparency and accountability.

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation /
    anti-corruption campaigner’.

  16. Roflcopter 17

    Oh boy…

    http://www.labour.org.nz/auditor_general_must_investigate_niue_deal_for_donor

    … hollow apology, not really sorry after all.

    • greywarshark 18.1

      This sounds bad – like all political moves these days there be deviants and dragons.

      This can’t go on, censorship of blogs, collecting of names of people who use govt funded services. It all comes from the belief among the Gnashional fraternity that they were born to rule, and having a democracy is just a vehicle that allows them to dispense with any noblesse oblige and f..k up anyone they want. We aren’t a banana republic, we are well on our way to being run on South American despotic lines – is it fascism or is there another description more applicable.

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