Open mike 07/09/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 7th, 2015 - 135 comments
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135 comments on “Open mike 07/09/2015”

  1. North 1

    Trev’ in the Herald……

    Wow ! Crosby Textor must be only a few stitches away from completing the Ponce Key’s new crimplene ‘strutting’ suit, his ‘preening’ suit.

    Rejoice Rejoice !……All Praise to the Ponce Key !……World-Famous-In-Parnell-Friend-Of-Humanity !

    Truly……this is Nobel stuff.

  2. The lost sheep 2

    The Guardian on the UK Labour Party….

    Could this comment be equally descriptive of NZ Labour?…
    “….they became trapped in a technocratic, desiccated, uninspirational account of social democracy that is hopeless at making emotional connections with people.”

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Clayton’s flag choice and the All Blacks fouls:

    “Key’s close personal friend McCaw has recently committed a foul by entering into the flag debate, speaking of his preference for a flag that bore the silver fern as worn on rugby jumpers, the sacred frond also the personal favourite of the Prime Minister.

    The tweets by certain All Blacks during the last election day suggested that the players had voted National.

    And Key reading out McCaw’s ‘Yes we can’ tweet to him during the campaign were totally off-side – but the ‘Key’ players involved weren’t properly carded or even relegated to the bench.

    What I want to know is where is the rugby union and the All Black coach in all of this? It goes against the grain – and the discipline – of the sport for individual players and a team to effectively be hijacked and used as the personal super hero army of a prime minister.

    To look back into the annals of National Party history, it also flies in the face of the late Sir Robert Muldoon, that sporting-mad prime minister who so bitterly divided the country by allowing the 1981 Springbok tour to proceed on the notion that politics should never enter sport.

    Now politics is so far up the backside of sport and our national game you can see the flag bearing the wretched silver fern waving from the back of the tonsil tunnel.

    Giving us only four flags to peruse – and three of those bearing the silver fern – is not a real choice.

    Sometimes you can lead the horse to water but it won’t take the pre-ordered drink. Even though I don’t like the old flag, I too like many others will vote to keep it, purely out of protest.”

    • vto 3.1

      “Now politics is so far up the backside of sport and our national game ”

      Must be getting a bit crowded at the right wing National Party parties ….. what with McCaw having Key’s nose up his arsehole, and with Hosking jowls well entrenched up the cheeks of Key …. it is becoming something of a conga-line

      continue to dwell on at your peril …

    • Chooky 3.2

      ‘Flag change opposed by two-thirds – poll’

      “The poll, taken before the final four potential flag designs were announced, shows 66 per cent want to keep the current flag, up 2 per cent from 18 months ago….

      ( a waste of the $26 million …jonkey’s vanity project…could have gone to helping refugees from the MIddle East)

  4. Undecided 4

    Personally I think we could have helped thousands more people by helping build and resource refugee camps in Europe as opposed to bringing in a couple of hundred people into NZ

    Also the UN should be applying pressure to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to be taking in more of these people as they certainly have enough money to be doing More

      • Karen 4.1.1

        How about reading this one instead:

        Funding more refugee camps is a stupid idea. Refugees need somewhere that that can create a new life, where they can work and where their children can get an education. Refugee camps are just holding pens.

        • Undecided

          Sorry but the link didn’t work

          I just think that for the amount of money it will cost to bring over a couple of hundred refugees we could help thousands more even if it meant sending the money directly to the european countries itself

          Although it really should be the oil-rich middle eastern islamic countries picking up the slack on this

    • weka 4.2

      “Personally I think we could have helped thousands more people by helping build and resource refugee camps in Europe as opposed to bringing in a couple of hundred people into NZ”

      No reason we can’t do both (assuming that our input in that is useful). Refugee camps should be interim measures. Utlimately the people in them are still going to need somewhere safe to live.

    • Bill 4.3

      What about the refugees on our own doorstep? Those fcking ‘camps’ in Nauru and Manis Island need to go! We’re talking a handful of thousand at most. Split proportionately with Australia, NZ would likely be looking at less than 1000 people. But then, Syrians are de rigueur, yes?

      As for refugees from Syria and elsewhere in Europe and the USA apparently not stepping up after they’ve, in some cases, bombed their countries back to the stone age, well…

      • maui 4.3.1

        Yeh, it was quite alright for many European countries to give the go ahead to America’s foreign policy in the middle east for years, now the chickens are coming home to roost.

        Great to see the hard hitting journalism from our media on what the real cause of this crisis is… If the States/UK put as much money into humanitarian aid now as they did into bombs, problem solved.

      • Lanthanide 4.3.2

        “Split proportionately with Australia, NZ would likely be looking at less than 1000 people.”

        Yeah, that’s a really good disincentive to stop people getting in boats and crossing to Australia – resettling all of them.

        • Bill

          Lacking as I do any ‘fuck off and die’ mentality for people in desperate straits, yes, it’s the perfect disincentive.

          • Lanthanide

            So your strategy is an entirely short-term one, then.

            Just help these 1,000 refugees (or however many there are), and when they get replaced by 10 times as many, what then?

            I heard a snippet on the radio a week or two ago about Labor in Australia having to grit their teeth and agree with the government’s policy on boat people, because although they found the human rights angle of it abhorrent, it had actually stopped the boats from coming.

    • infused 4.4

      The gulf states do take them, it’s just not counted under the UN.

  5. North 5

    Ha ! The Ponce Key such a strong and resolute leader when it comes to maintaining his personal vanity project……

    “We would have to go back to Parliament and we’re not doing that……”

    Oh really ?…… so Parliament’s just another piece of furniture in the castle of his personal feifdom is it ?

    I think the insufferable child/bankster is losing it……’hubris for breakfast’ ? Probably. Look whom he took breakfast with.

    Catch Seven PM Sharp tonight for more of the same. Appallingly they’re now quite unashamed at the shonkery, the pathology of it.

    • dv 5.1

      YES but We need urgency to pass a booze law for the RWC!!!

    • weka 5.2

      Not sure what the homophobia has to do with it. Yes, yes, I know you don’t hate gay people, but the use of the word ponce to describe Key merely adds to the idea that there is something wrong with being gay instead of a good bloke.

      • joe90 5.2.1

        Not sure what the homophobia has to do with it.


        edit: since you’ve edited your post, in my world a ponce has always been either a strutting rich boy or a pimp.

        • weka

          in mine, ponce was a name for an effeminate man, implication is gay.

          • weka

            Both meanings here, although it’s saying a ponce is not a pimp in that they’re employed by the prostitute. Ponce meaning effeminate is classed as derogatory usage.


          • North

            You’re welcome to ‘your’ implication Weka……if you care to pick up your dictionary you’ll find mine… “ponce”, then read “pimp”, then see how easily those terms extrapolate to “TPPA”.

            In my view the Ponce Key is poncing and pimping New Zealand off to his foreign masters, oh…..and selected members of the Cabinet Club.

            In any event, how possibly could a man who’s ‘besties’ with Richie suffer ‘your’ implication ?

  6. save NZ 6

    The MV Rena caused our worst maritime environmental disaster when it ploughed into the Bay of Plenty’s Astrolabe Reef. Nearly four years later, a round of hearings – starting today – will determine whether it stays there.

    Four years on, he believed it was essential that authorities and the shipping industry learn from an incident that cost the lives of at least 2400 birds and an estimated $1.2 million each day in local business losses over what was a ruined summer.

    The penalty
    Rena captain Mauro Balomaga and navigator Leonil Relon are jailed for seven months for offences including altering the ship’s documents.

    Rena owners Daina Shipping are fined $300,000 in the Tauranga District Court for discharging harmful substances.

    The Rena’s owners lodge a resource consent application to leave much of the ship.

    Gosh it sounds like a slap on the wrist, – polluting pays in this country. There does not seem to be any audit on how much it cost the taxpayers to clean up the spill, all the reports, the council and legal cost, insurance costs, etc and the long term effects on the community as well as the costs to residents, (were they even compensated) and there is no remedy for the harm and death of the animals and environment at that time.

    Meanwhile exploitation of oil into extreme situations in this country is still going on and if they spill or cause damage, clearly they do not have to worry about being held to account for the ‘$300k fine and jail for a few people (paid for by NZ taxpayer) for falsifying records.

    • Gosh it sounds like a slap on the wrist, – polluting pays in this country.

      I guess a reader could come to that conclusion if they don’t realise you’ve left out the costs of the cleanup and the effect on the company’s insurance premiums.

      • save NZ 6.1.1

        I’m more worried about the victims – mums and Dads and the kids and the ocean and the wildlife in the community than a liberian flagged oil tankers increases in insurance.

        By the sound of it the NZ army and community did most of the clean up. Why because they had too!

        Also what about the effect on the NZ business premiums when all the Kiwi businesses were collectively losing 1.2million dollars a day?

        Somehow all this corporate welfare does not seem to pay. The total cost will be massive to this country and the community but it is all swept under the table and the focus in environment court is, should the poor oil company be made to do a clean up or is it impossible?

        If it is impossible to clean up then it speaks for itself, they and others are not held to account and also it occurred in 2011 so 4 years later the wreck is not gone from the ocean and Kiwis are having to fight to be rid of it.

        • Psycho Milt

          …the focus in environment court is, should the poor oil company be made to do a clean up or is it impossible?

          The shipping company has been made to do a clean-up, one that’s run to hundreds of millions of dollars. You may have noticed the news footage of floating cranes hauling up huge pieces of the wreck so they can be brought ashore. The focus in the Environment Court is on whether there’s any point in trying to recover the remaining parts of the ship that haven’t been removed because they’re stuck in the reef, given the risk to the lives of the divers involved, the technical difficulty of achieving success, the enormous cost involved and the mimimal benefit gained from the exercise.

          But yeah, if the shipping company ignores the fact that it lost an expensive ship and a full load of cargo, then had to spend hundreds of millions removing the wreck, it could possibly come to the conclusion that “pollution pays.”

    • Naki man 6.2

      “Gosh it sounds like a slap on the wrist, – polluting pays in this country”

      What a load of bollocks, the clean up has cost $300 mill US so far

      • save NZ 6.2.1

        Yes but nothing for the community but $300,000 fine. What about all those businesses losing 1.2m a day and the loss of natural environment.

        The fact is cost the business to pollute to clean up is not the point.

        No real compensation has been made to the community when the oil spills.

        Perhaps the company should have better ship and captain next time and not be complaining what it cost them when it is nothing compared to a minimum wage family who actually live there and have to bear the true cost of the negligence.

  7. mac1 8

    “This is the problem with the Red Peak or anything else, there will always be a range of views about whether to change and a range of views on what to go to, and that’s what makes the process immensely difficult,” John Key told TV3’s Paul Henry this morning.

    After reading that, I have to admit to wrong thinking. I have always thought that Key used the “I can get you another opinion on that” as a way of not answering a question.

    Now it is revealed. He has trouble dealing with more than one opinion at a time. This is why he needs a “focus group”- these groups help him to intellectually grasp the issues and enable him to focus enough to decide.

    John Key has UFO, or Un-Focussed Opinions, a disorder which means that he exhibits the mental equivalent of verbalising “Woo Woo! Woo Woo!” until he gets a metaphorical cheek-slapping to help him choose.

    This means that the country is eksshully run by people with enough reach to slap the PM’s face.

    UFO is very common on Planet Key.

  8. arkie 9

    “Treasury has warned dairy prices may not rebound by as much as first thought, which could mean the Government’s books remain in deficit for three more years.

    Some economists argue the Government should have a back-up plan if the economy stalls, which the Prime Minister has ruled out.”

    No back-up plan for us! Headlong into the breach…

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Sooner or later Treasury may get round to joining the rest of us in the real world.

      Chances are that dairy prices won’t recover at all.

      • Naki man 9.1.1

        “Sooner or later Treasury may get round to joining the rest of us in the real world.

        Chances are that dairy prices won’t recover at all.”

        Not sure which world you live in Draco but dairy prices have recovered 30% since their low.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Seems that you’re talking out your arse again:

          Weaker dairy products in the first-half of August led the decline, with prices falling to their lowest level since mid-2004.

          And that was all of four days ago.

          • Naki man

            “Seems that you’re talking out your arse again:

            Weaker dairy products in the first-half of August led the decline, with prices falling to their lowest level since mid-2004.”

            Draco that was early August its now September, there have been two more auctions and as I correctly pointed out milk powder prices have increased around 30%. 19% in the first auction and 11% in the last auction. Do try and keep up old boy.



            • Draco T Bastard

              “My feeling is that we need to see less milk production to provide enough support for the market,” he said. “We have not got to a point of supply-demand balance yet,” he said. “This market has not turned around – it is still a bear market.”

              “For now, the income they’re getting from Fonterra via the $3.85 milk price is still not a lot and it’s not going very far. Their cash flows are very tight and that will continue for most of the season,” Penny said.

              He said there was some prospect of the price being lifted closer to $4.50 later on but that still meant farmers would be losing money.

              “From here to get further gains we need to see a material slowing in New Zealand production and later on a material slowing in global production,” he said.

              Yeah, I’d say that you’re still talking out your arse.

              Sure, there’s been an increase in prices but it’s still below production costs and further increases are based upon global production decline. Personally, I expect the only real decline to come from NZ as the cheaper producers, i.e, everybody else, keep producing.

              NZ’s dream of dairy heaven has come to an end but our farmers don’t want to hear that as it means that they’ve wasted billions building plant that is now worthless.

              • Naki man

                You can try to spin it any way you like Draco
                All I said was prices have increased 30% from the low
                I know farmers will be making a loss until global production falls
                but that’s already happening.

  9. Morrissey 10

    Great Moments in Broadcasting No.1
    Vileness live on air: Linda Clark and John Tamihere, 2005

    This excruciating encounter happened on Radio NZ National back on Friday 16 September 2005, 9:20 a.m.

    Looks like JOHN TAMIHERE is gonna be tipped out of his Tamaki Makaurau seat in favour of the Māori Party’s Pita Sharples. He discusses the situation with SEAN PLUNKET and LINDA CLARK….

    JOHN TAMIHERE: It’s a tribute to the way the Maori Party has politicised our Maori education system.

    SEAN PLUNKET: Are you conceding, John?

    TAMIHERE: Oh, hey, it’s not over till the fat lady sings!

    LINDA CLARK: Well that’s not me!

    ALL: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    PLUNKET: It’s not Linda, John! She’s not fat!

    CLARK: If you hear me singing, you’re still okay!

    PLUNKET: Well, whatever happens, John, you’ve got a GREAT career in broadcasting just waiting for you!

    TAMIHERE: Yeah, if Willie Jackson can do it, anyone can.

    CLARK: I’ve always got a slot here just waiting for you.

    ……[Protracted, stunned silence]…..

    PLUNKET: Moving right along….

    Transcribed by MORRISSEY BREEN for Radio Transcripts Ltd, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.!searchin/nz.politics/%22radio$20transcripts$20ltd%22/nz.politics/Eg7-wOFG2-0/6aKZNDluPAwJ

  10. greywarshark 11

    Radionz is redesigning its web site. We are invited along.

    We are about to start re-designing and we want you to help us.
    Most websites re-design every few years. It’s a process that rarely involves the public at large, or if it does the input you can have is minimal.
    We aren’t like that. We’d like you to be involved. The process will take months, and before we get started we’d like to hear from you (see at the foot of this article).

    Radionz is a taonga. We must take care of it, support it.

  11. The Chairman 12

    The unintended consequences of taxing tobacco

    The ever escalating price of tobacco is adding to the financial stress of individuals (and their families) that are strongly addicted.

    Smoking is strongly addictive and I personally know of a number of individuals that have no intention to quit, thus are literally paying the price.

    Is it time for a rethink of this heavy taxing approach of pricing people out of the market?


    • JanM 12.1

      Subsidise their tobacco intake while they are on an effective (free) plan to quit. No reason this couldn’t come out of the health budget considering what smoking costs us all

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Smoking is strongly addictive and I personally know of a number of individuals that have no intention to quit, thus are literally paying the price.

      It is addictive but that doesn’t stop people from quitting. The people who choose to continue to smoke are choosing the costs themselves.

      Is it time for a rethink of this heavy taxing approach of pricing people out of the market?

      Have you ever considered that that is the reason for pricing?

      • weka 12.2.1

        “It is addictive but that doesn’t stop people from quitting.”

        But the reasons why people smoke (or take any drug) might stop them from quitting. This isn’t just a question of will power or intention.

        Most people working in the field accept that addiction has a physiological component, but also social and mental health components. We’re not just our nicotine receptors.

        • Draco T Bastard

          This isn’t just a question of will power or intention.

          Yes it is and that includes looking at your life and changing it so as to remove the other issues.

          • weka

            Not everyone has that degree of agency. What you are suggesting is akin to saying that poor people can really afford to feed their kids they’re just not looking at their life right. Or everyone can get a job if they try hard enough.

            For some people, making the changes that would mean they didn’t need the support of a drug is beyond their capacity.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Not everyone has that degree of agency.

              As far as smoking goes they do. It’s their decision to smoke.

              What you are suggesting is akin to saying that poor people can really afford to feed their kids they’re just not looking at their life right. Or everyone can get a job if they try hard enough.

              Not even close. The situations you mention there and smoking aren’t in any way comparable.

              • weka

                Tobacco is not that different from other drugs that are physically and psychologically different. Do you think that herion uses just decide to use and could just as easily decide to stop?

                “The situations you mention there and smoking aren’t in any way comparable.”

                They are in the way I compared them, whereby some of the people in all those situations don’t have the agency that you are claiming they do. For many people stopping smoking is a matter of will power (it was for me). For others it’s not that straightforward. You can’t take the addicted person out of their lives and it’s the lives that are going to largely determine if someone can stop or not. Even something simple as access to a stop smoking programme can make the difference. Not everyone has that.

                But there are those that do and who are just too overloaded and stressed in their lives to successfully manage the intense process of getting off a drug and staying off (the second but is often the more difficult). It takes many factors lining up for that to work, and that’s not in the reach of some people. Which is why I relate it to other situations where people have things outside of their control that impact on them negatively.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  They are in the way I compared them, whereby some of the people in all those situations don’t have the agency that you are claiming they do.

                  No they’re not. People do have agency over their own actions. They do have agency over who they associate with.

                  So, yeah, people who smoke and want to quit have the agency to do so. Those who don’t want to quit can pay the higher prices.

                  • weka

                    But the reasons that people smoke are sometimes outside of their control. You appear to think that addiction is a matter of personal choice. It’s not.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But the reasons that people smoke are sometimes outside of their control.

                      Then they need to remove themselves from those reasons. This is still their choice.

                    • weka

                      but if those reasons exist because of things outside of their control, how can they remove them any easier than finding a non-existent job or not having enough money to feed their kids? Can’t say that too many other ways than I already have, so let’s try this. Evidence suggests that for some people addiction is not an issue of choice and that they need more than will power in order to stop using. That’s a pretty standard understanding within addiction support services, including smoking cessation.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Evidence suggests that for some people addiction is not an issue of choice and that they need more than will power in order to stop using.

                      Such as removing themselves from the social environment that encourages them to continue using…

                      Oh, wait, that would be their choice as well.

                    • McFlock

                      poverty, for example, is not a personal choice.

                    • yes and I believe draco said it was the refugees own decision not to overthrow their horrible governments didn’t you draco – all their own fault too

                    • weka

                      But Draco quit smoking, so everyone else can too.

                      Yeah, I saw that marty.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      poverty, for example, is not a personal choice.

                      Poverty isn’t, smoking is.

                      draco said it was the refugees own decision not to overthrow their horrible governments didn’t you draco

                      People have agency:

                      Lebanese Communist Party members are taking up the fight against Islamic State and al-Nusra Front in the regions of the country affected by unrest in Syria by forming an ad hoc guerrilla group.

                      Fighters of the Lebanese Communist Party formed a guerrilla group to patrol the Beqaa Valley in the east of the country, RT’s Paula Slier reports.

                      Unfortunately, these people probably will be on the receiving end of Western bombs rather than getting help they need because they happen to be communists.

                      And people like you sitting there in your comfort telling them that they don’t and that they should all just run away aren’t helping them realise that agency.

                    • is the point that if they got killed instead of ‘running away’ there’d be no refugee problem?

                    • weka

                      I’m not telling them anything, you are the one doing that.

                      Re cigarettes, you can keep asserting personal choice all you like. You can also ignore the real life things that affect people’s addiction (eg poverty), but your ideas are in direct contradiction of the people who work with addiction recovery and the people who struggle with addiction they can’t overcome. You are making value judgements about people you don’t know and don’t appear to understand and from what I can tell those judgements are based on your personal experience of being able to quit smoking.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, the point is that if they banded together and stood up for themselves they’d find that they could bring the conflict to an end and wouldn’t have to run away or get killed.

                    • McFlock

                      is the point that if they got killed instead of ‘running away’ there’d be no refugee problem?

                      And they’d also stop smoking.

                      I guess that makes refugees who travel thousands of kilometres weak-willed as well as fiendish job-stealers.

                    • we should send them guns and shit so they can have ‘agency’, plus motivational videos and for those too stubborn a few nicotine patches /SARC

                    • weka

                      I had a feeling we were at the increasing sarcasm stage of the conversation.

                      Shall we find something else to talk about? 🙂

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ Draco:
                      “No, the point is that if they banded together and stood up for themselves they’d find that they could bring the conflict to an end and wouldn’t have to run away or get killed.”

                      But, in doing that, it is very likely that at least some of them will be killed.

                      There truly aren’t a huge number of people who are willing to put themselves in mortal danger in an attempt to change their government, without any real assurance that the new government or regime will be better than the one they’re wanting to change. That’s why dictators stay in power – theoretically you can’t stop a riot of 4M+ people (at least not forever), so the trick is to ensure one never starts.

          • Bill

            Christ Draco, think about this a little, will you? If it was merely a case of will-power and decision making, then there would be no such thing as addiction!

            Some people can smoke for 20 or 30 years and then just drop it. Same with drinking alcohol, sugar, heroin or whatever. Meanwhile, other struggle and some just can’t.

            I don’t know all the factors that contribute to something being addictive, but it’s far more complex than everyone overcoming it with a simple “I’m not going to do this any more.”

            Here’s a thought for you. I smoked for years. Tried will power and all the patches or what not. Couldn’t give up for any length of time. Always craving.

            Sugar is addictive. I was brought up on a fairly sugary diet. Don’t touch the stuff.

            So maybe addiction is a complex relationship between a given substance and a particular individual that follows no universal set of rules?

            • Draco T Bastard

              I don’t know all the factors that contribute to something being addictive, but it’s far more complex than everyone overcoming it with a simple “I’m not going to do this any more.”

              No, actually, it’s not.

              I tried to give up for years before I decided to just stop. Took me about 6 months to get over the craving for them but I didn’t have a smoke in that time and did get over it.

              I found the difference was in mindset. Previously I had been trying to give up and failed at it whereas I when I quit I simply said no more.

              Do. Or do not. There is no try

              • Bill

                So, you weren’t one of the people who could give it up at the drop of a hat. Some can. I think you’ve just reinforced my point that addiction is comprised from a broad spectrum of various interactions, and that we just don’t know what it comprises of or, obviously, all the things that can contribute to it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, you weren’t one of the people who could give it up at the drop of a hat.

                  No, I was – once I decided to actually stop.

                  I think you’ve just reinforced my point that addiction is comprised from a broad spectrum of various interactions, and that we just don’t know what it comprises of or, obviously, all the things that can contribute to it.

                  Nope, you’ve just proven that all you can do is make excuses rather than making up your mind.

                  • Bill

                    Erm…not sure what you think I’m making excuses about. This is a conversation about the nature of addiction, yes? And whereas you say it’s a ‘one size fits all’ type of a thing, I’m saying it’s far more varied and nuanced than that.

                    Take nicotine – widely regarded as the most addictive substance out there.
                    Some people just stop, even after years of smoking, with no craving or withdrawal – nothing.
                    Some people smoke only when they’re having a social drink and don’t think twice about it otherwise.
                    Others smoke once or twice and are viciously hooked.

                    As far as I can see, you’re suggesting a world of humans as automata, where a simple ‘correct’ thought, thought with sufficient force, belief or conviction will produce a tidy, standard result.

                    But life – the hugely complex array of dynamic environmental interactions, of which our thoughts or emotions constitute only a small part, would suggest otherwise.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      As far as I can see, you’re suggesting a world of humans as automata, where a simple ‘correct’ thought, thought with sufficient force, belief or conviction will produce a tidy, standard result.

                      Not a correct thought, no need for force or belief – just a decision to be made.

                      And of course the result will be standard. We’re talking about giving up smoking with the only two possible results being either that a person continues smoking or that they don’t.

                      But life – the hugely complex array of dynamic environmental interactions, of which our thoughts or emotions constitute only a small part, would suggest otherwise.

                      And you can either wait around till all those complexities are resolved (ie, never) or make the decision to stop smoking now thus resolving one of those complexities. Your like a RWNJ demanding that everything be proven to work perfectly before it be put in place.

                    • Bill

                      There’s absolutely nothing in anything I’ve said that could reasonably be taken as a flat out rejection of some-one ‘making a decision’ being a possible way out of addiction. (The ‘at the drop of a hat’ quitters being the most obvious opposite to what you’d like to claim I’ve said.)

                      A mere ‘decision’ doesn’t work for everyone though.

                      I just can’t see what’s either right wing or nutty about that observation.

                      But since you want to insist that there’s ‘only one way’ and anyone failing is, presumably, just not making the decision in ‘the proper manner’ ie, so as to make it conducive to the ‘only one way’, then…well, bang away on your drum, eh?

                    • Ad

                      Dubai Airport still has great duty-free cigar stores.

                      And smoking rooms!

                • weka

                  True, and I would add that the people who actually work in the field, including addicts themselves, do have a pretty good idea of the range of things that work and don’t work. I agree that’s not complete knowledge, but it’s clear that for some people will power is not enough, they need other things to be in place and not all of those things are within their control. When those things are in place, some of those people are able to stop.

      • Northshoredoc 12.2.2

        Draco is essentially correct in that the reason for the increasing pricing/taxation on tobacco is that this has been the easiest and most effective way that the health authorities and government have found to discourage smoking.

        • McFlock

          I don’t doubt that this is one of the reasons for it these days.

          However, I also recall that the cost of NZ1’s free healthcare for preschoolers after the 1996 election was also astonishing similar to the extra revenue gathered by the excise increase in the next budget. And it was several years before the government offered even token quit support for free.

          There were a few years where excise increases were basically the government shaking down addicts for cash without helping them quit.

          but tobacco is one of the topics that makes me a tad… irritated and ranty 🙂

          • Northshoredoc

            I think i remember some data to suggest the government takes in considerably more revenue from tobacco they they spend on its downstream health effects.

            i’ve always thought the most sensible way to deal with it is to progressively raise the age of sale and supply as from a health perspective you want people to never start a habit with it rather than trying to stop a habit and treat the consequences.

            On another note did you see this story (the comments read like some of the threads on here)


            • weka

              It’s a natural consequence of the increasingly authoritarian approach that governments and health authorities are taking in regards to vaccination. There are other ways this could be managed.

              “i’ve always thought the most sensible way to deal with it is to progressively raise the age of sale and supply as from a health perspective you want people to never start a habit with it rather than trying to stop a habit and treat the consequences.”

              I started smoking at 15 by stealing smokes from my parents 😉 I guess once the buying age was inline with alcohol it would be easier to control because there’s already an ID/age system in place. Still, we’re never going to get around teens having older friends/siblings who supply.

              • Lanthanide

                “Still, we’re never going to get around teens having older friends/siblings who supply.”

                Yes, we are, if we steadily raise the age as Northshoredoc suggests.

                If the age to buy cigarettes is 45, then the average 15 year old is not going to have siblings or friends of that age to supply them.

                Eventually the age to buy them would be 75+, and again the average 15 year old would not have siblings or friends of that age.

                Is it a quick fix? No. Would it be effective? Yes. Would it completely stamp out the problem of underage smoking? No.

                • weka

                  Lolz, I stole cigarettes from parents. Having the buying age at 45 will just encourage teens to be more creative in accessing their supply.

                  I think raising the age to 20 is a good idea (and alcohol should have been left there), but I suspect that beyond that there will be resistance from the public who generally believe that all adults are allowed to make the same kinds of decisions.

                  I don’t know if nsd was suggesting raising the age to 75.

                  • Lanthanide

                    He said:
                    “i’ve always thought the most sensible way to deal with it is to progressively raise the age of sale and supply as from a health perspective you want people to never start a habit with it rather than trying to stop a habit and treat the consequences.”

                    To me, that means raise the age of buying them by 1 year every year. Or at least a large amount, and keep it going up-up-up and not stop at some arbitrary and ineffective age like 20 or 21.

                    Yes, you stole cigarettes from parents. But eventually, with such strict controls on availability, kids just won’t be interested in smoking, especially when it’s something “only people over the age of 40” do…

                    • weka

                      I didn’t read it that way. I took it to mean we really want to stop young adults from starting, because that’s the most at risk group in terms of uptake.

                      I’d love to see the govt that would try and tell a 45 yr old or a 60 yr old that they’re not allowed to buy cigarettes 😉

                    • northshoredoc

                      Lanthanide has correctly interpreted my intent – I probably should have been more explicit.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @weka: well the idea is to raise the age 1 year for every year.

                      So there will never be a case of someone who used to be able to buy cigarettes, losing the right.

                      Instead, people who havn’t ever been legally allowed to buy them because they were too young, would never be legally allowed to buy them because the age of purchase would rise by 1 year each year.

                      Actually the way this would be implemented, would just be to say “no one born after the year 2000 is legally allowed to buy cigarettes”.

          • weka

            how long since you stopped McFlock?

            • McFlock

              since they cut my hours at the same time the revenue went up – either begining of the year or last year sometime. It wasn’t a big milestone, just the frequency got less and less until it’s practically nil. Maybe had a cigar on my birthday.

              Funnily enough, I expected at least some general improvement in lifestyle, but allergies mean my sense of taste is dulled anyway, and even the coughing after a night on the piss seems to be caused by alcohol because it still happens. I always figured it was smoking too much, but nope, it’s something else I do at parties. The only thing now is that my mouth doesn’t taste like an ashtray so much the next morning – but I seem to be more aware of the beer/whiskey coming out of my pores.

              All a bit meh, really. I feel like I bought one of those amazing mattresses from the ads where everyone snaps awake to jump up and smile like maniacs, whereas I still wake up as grumpy as ever, lol

              • The lost sheep

                Do you exercise much McFlock?

                My personal experience is that if you are 40+ and feeling less than sparkling, nothing even comes close to the positive change that locking in 30 min’s of sweat 6 days a week makes…

                • McFlock

                  I think I’ve mentioned just today that I like to smoke, drink, and eat.

                  Those are the choices I make. My body is a temple, but I worship Dionysis.

                  As for exercise, it’s a bit like masturbation: most people do it to some degree but good taste suggests that it should not really be discussed, let alone performed, in public.

                  Although if people want to go to private clubs and exercise with each other, that’s their business.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  I certainly felt better after giving up smoking and then after I took up cycling.

        • Bill

          Putting up taxes punished people with addiction and has only led to a burgeoning market for home grown and cured tobacco. Subsidised pharmaceutical products simply do not work for many, many smokers.

          Meanwhile, I’ve yet to meet a smoker who took up vaping who hasn’t cut their tobacco intake substantially or completely.

          Vapourising nicotine laced vegetable glycerine at around 30 or 40 degrees might not be entirely safe, but is certainly safer than tobacco, only costs a couple of dollars a week and, unlike patches, gum or pills, actually works in either cutting back nicotine intake or eliminating it altogether.

          But then, the pharmaceutical companies don’t get all those public subsidies for their less than effective products. And that’s a bad thing.

          Maybe ‘someone’ should fund studies that routinely or recklessly ‘dry burn’ vaporisers and then measure the toxins that come from scorched wicks and burned coils as a way to claim that vaping exposes users to all types of shit like formaldehyde and what have you? Oh, hang on. Already doing that! 😉

        • Pat

          and conveniently bolster the consolidated fund..I wonder which is the main driver?

      • The Chairman 12.2.3

        Of course it’s the objective. A fiscal incentive to quit.

        The point is, the hardcore addict has no intention to quit, regardless the cost.

        For example, my uncle had emphysema, yet was still smoking on his deathbed.

        Ones I’ve spoken too merely redirect their expenditure, cutting out other consumer goods and services, negatively impacting on the return of other businesses and service providers.

        The real concern is, how is it impacting on the hardcore smoking poor?

        Is it contributing to crime, child poverty, etc?

    • McFlock 12.3

      I get pissed off every doctor’s visit when he has to rehash the lifestyle questions for the DHB, and is always pleased to find I no longer smoke. Sadly it’s moved out of my fiscal reach, and sanctimonious pricks think this is a good thing.

      I liked it. I liked the variety, I liked the rituals, and I liked the excuse to just sit in the garden for an hour. And I liked the fact that I was saving the country money.

    • b waghorn 12.4

      Nope its not time to change it , unless you can prove that the expense has had no effect on young people taking up smoking. We have to break the cycle somehow . BTW I smoked for 17 years

  12. maui 13

    Looks like rower Eric Murray decided against burning the NZ flag on the winner’s podium. A couple of weeks ago he was saying he wanted to take an alternative flag onto the podium to celebrate. The sport and politics meme is running hot at the moment.

  13. weka 14

    For some time my favourite pseudonym on teh standard has been Esoteric Pineapple, but I have to admit now to some admiration for Mrs Brillo.

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Book banned after Christian complaint

    However, the board has now placed an outright interim ban on the book after Family First asked for a review, objecting to the book’s sex scenes, offensive language and references to drug-taking.

    Mr Dawe said he was very bitter about the latest turn of events.

    “The idea that some Christian group can bring about the banning of a book seems to me a hideously unfair situation and something of a miscarriage of justice.”

    The book was trying to reach out to teenagers and young people who would not normally read, he said.

    This obviously falls into the teaching children anything other than Christianity and is thus evil category.

    Personally, I’d call Family First an Anti-Christian group. I certainly haven’t seen them act in any way that could be considered Christian.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Trouble is defining christianity. It has many iterations and like an old body changes as it ages with gradual small failures in its replication.

  15. Molly 17

    Bob McKroskie has managed to get an interim ban for a teenage novel “Into the River”.

    According to

    “…Conservative lobbying group Family First, who pushed for the review and an R18 restriction, applauded the decision.

    “We’ve empowered parents to start expressing their concerns about books more,” leader Bob McCoskrie said. “We believe the censor is out of touch with material parents don’t want their kids to be reading.”

    McCoskrie supported a wider move to a film-like sticker rating system for books.

    “We do it for movies so why not books? I think to be honest parents expect this to be happening.”

    “These books can exert a significant influence. We just think its about age appropriateness.”

    Family First claim the censor has received over 400 letters from concerned parents….”

    I’m assuming the majority of those letters were the result of a campaign by Family First, and will either be from members or sympathisers, rather than genuine self-initiated complaints.

    Books have the rare ability to enable you to process on an intimate level, the lives and experiences of someone else (fictional character or real person).

    As an avid reader throughout my childhood and teenage years, my exposure to dark themes and violence was tempered by my lack of taste for such stories, but also by my ability to pace them at a speed that I could absorb, and to also skip passages that were too emotionally fraught. (Didn’t do that very often that I could recall, but I always had that option).

    I’ve unfortunately met adults who can’t even discuss the straightforward and trite themes of Harry Potter, let alone countenance the Hunger Games. But stories are a great way of introducing people to diversity of thought, action and opinion.

    And our reading public is one shade paler today by the loss of this NZ Post Children’s Book Award’s 2013 winner.

    (I’m going have to consider buying one on Kindle now, just in protest even though it is not on my list of books to buy.)

    • weka 17.1

      I have a feeling this has come up before with this book. Wait until twitter get hold of it 😈

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      But stories are a great way of introducing people to diversity of thought, action and opinion.

      I’m figuring that’s Family Firsts biggest problem with the book – encouraging diversity.

    • Ad 17.3

      One Shade of Grey paler anyway.

      Hardly Farenheit 451 is it.

  16. rhinocrates 18

    Republicans like Obama’s polices a LOT more if they’re attributed to Trump:

    Reminds me of polling here that showed that people actually liked Labour’s more left-wing policies without the Labour branding.

  17. les 19

    just heard Bob Jones is donating $500,000 to the refugee cause…for the education of 16 women refugees.

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  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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