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Open mike 08/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 8th, 2022 - 239 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

239 comments on “Open mike 08/03/2022 ”

  1. vto 1

    Finally, a relatively mainstream media highlighting the ugly and credibility-sapping hypocrisy of the west and in particular the USA

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/07/us-sanctions-against-russia-but-not-israel

    Wake me when the Israelis are similarly sanctioned

    … what a pile of bullshit keeps stinking up the whole planet from washington

    • Hongi Ika 1.1

      This is where the problem lies, the Isreali's have been causing trouble in Palestine since 1948 and the UN and the USA have done absolutely nothing about the situation, hence Putin feels justified in his course of action in the Ukraine. and is hence thumbing his nose at the UN, NATO and the USA.

      Likewise the Saudi & USA involvement in Yemen however I am not totally up to speed on the Yemeni Situation.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        All Palestinian territories are now under de jure military occupation, although Israel has illegally and unilaterally annexed East Jeruslaem and the No Man's Land between Israel and the West Bank. Israel's right-wing government doesn't give a shit about their rights

        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Israel

        During World War I, the British and Ottoman Empires were opponents. As part of their fight the British sought the help of Arabs under Ottoman rule, including the Palestinians, making promises of a free and independent country for them at the war's conclusion. However, the British also promised Jews a homeland in Palestine. Neither of these promises were fulfilled; the British only delivered on their promise to deliver the area to themselves (and Syria to France). When the Allies won the war, the League of Nations gave Britain a Mandate over Palestine. Both the Palestinians and Jews were understandably displeased by this.

        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Palestine

        Some History of the whole shit fest. As usual…no particular CAUSE of it all…but plenty of reasons why. And yea the Israeli govt EXTREMELY right wing hawks. Many Israeli’s against them…and protest too.

    • SPC 1.2

      In 2000 Palestinians were offered a nation state on near 67 borders with East Jerusalem as a capital …Arafat said no (because he required that 1948 refugees be allowed right of return to Israel)

      In 1948 Arab nations attacked the state of Israel at its founding by the UN (apart from Jordan, they have refused to give 1948 refugees citizenship, confining them to camps and denying them jobs).

      • Barfly 1.2.1

        And nearly 90 years after the Nazi's achieved power we still read of Jewish people retrieving treasures and property stolen from them by the Nazi's.

        But the 600,000 to 700,000 Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed during the formation of Israel and had literally everything stolen from them by the founders of the Jewish homeland …..well that's the sound of tumbleweeds – they get nothing apart from continued theft, oppression, assassinations and apartheid.

        • SPC 1.2.1.1

          How many Jews were expelled from ME nations after the failed war against Israel in 1948 and without compensation for property they left, but because they got citizenship in Israel, it's no longer an issue.

          (minor quibble – some of the 1948 refugees chose to leave and were denied right to return home after the fighting).

          continued theft, oppression, assassinations and apartheid

          Sure its tough living in refugee camps, and being denied access to jobs and home ownership by the governments of Arab nations.

          If Arafat had taken the deal offered in 2000 (near all of the WB, a capital in East Jerusalem) those refugees could have got Palestinian passports – and there was compensation for property lost in 1948.

          Clinton was speaking of the two-week-long Camp David conference in July 2000 which he had organised and mediated and its failure, and the eruption at the end of September of the Palestinian intifada which has continued since. Halfway through the conference, apparently on July 18, Clinton had "slowly" – to avoid misunderstanding – read out to Arafat a document, endorsed in advance by Barak, outlining the main points of a future settlement. The proposals included the establishment of a demilitarised Palestinian state on some 92% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip, with some territorial compensation for the Palestinians from pre-1967 Israeli territory; the dismantling of most of the settlements and the concentration of the bulk of the settlers inside the 8% of the West Bank to be annexed by Israel; the establishment of the Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, in which some Arab neighborhoods would become sovereign Palestinian territory and others would enjoy "functional autonomy"; Palestinian sovereignty over half the Old City of Jerusalem (the Muslim and Christian quarters) and "custodianship," though not sovereignty, over the Temple Mount; a return of refugees to the prospective Palestinian state though with no "right of return" to Israel proper; and the organisation by the international community of a massive aid programme to facilitate the refugees' rehabilitation.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/may/23/israel3

        • Hongi Ika 1.2.1.2

          It's okay if you are Jewish as they were persecuted by the Nazi's, that is why Putin wants to flush them out of the Ukraine.

      • swordfish 1.2.2

        .
        SPC (1.2 & 1.2.1.1)

        Congratulations on regurgitating the official Israeli version of Camp David 2000 … unfortunately it differs fundamentally on crucial points from analysis & recollection by a range of neutral / objective participants … both in terms of core detail & in terms of the apparent belief that Palestinians should compromise their basic rights grounded in International Law by accepting Israeli annexation & a West Bank shattered into a maze of fragments.

        In other words, you're indulging in banal Israeli propaganda, exemplified by your decision to cite a Benny Morris polemic in The Guardian … Morris, once one of Israel's New Historians (ironically enough, they collectively demolished the Old Zionist historiography on the 1948 War that you've just mindlessly repeated above) – has, since the early 90s, moved steadily to the Right, becoming a cheerleader for the most hawkish tendencies within the Israeli Establishment.

        Zero credibility or reliabilty as some sort of putative independent analyst.

        • SPC 1.2.2.1

          the Old Zionist historiography on the 1948 War that you've just mindlessly repeated above

          Really.

          So that consisted of these two factual observations

          In 1948 Arab nations attacked the state of Israel at its founding by the UN

          minor quibble – some of the 1948 refugees chose to leave and were denied right to return home after the fighting.

          What exactly about those facts was questioned by new historians?

          differs fundamentally on crucial points from analysis & recollection by a range of neutral / objective participants … both in terms of core detail

          In what core detail?

          & in terms of the apparent belief that Palestinians should compromise their basic rights grounded in International Law by accepting Israeli annexation & a West Bank shattered into a maze of fragments.

          You mean annexation of 8% of the WB. Most of the 92% remaining was contiguous Palestine sovereign territory, the complexity was in the Old City area.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.3

      @VTO, “what a pile of bullshit keeps stinking up the whole planet from washington”…Roger That.
      And what about sanctions on the Saudi's for their invasion of Yemen, or the USA, UK, France for arming the Saudi's in their illegal war in the sovereign state of Yemen? …oh that's right, that will never happen because they are protected by the Western mafia…and they are Black so who gives a fuck right?

      Yemen war will have killed 377,000 by year’s end: UN
      https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211123-yemen-war-will-have-killed-377-000-by-year-s-end-un

      Just so we are all clear about this…it is OK to fuck up another country if you are an ally of the West, but it is not OK if you are not…message received, loud and clear.

      It’s time to stop US arms sales to Saudi Arabia
      https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2021/02/04/its-time-to-stop-us-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia/

      British arms sales prolonging Saudi war in Yemen, says Oxfam
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/22/british-arms-sales-prolonging-saudi-war-in-yemen-says-oxfam

      • SPC 1.3.1

        It's hardly an invasion when there have been no SA armed forces in Yemen.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.3.1.1

          You can call an intervention then if that makes you happy?

        • Adrian Thornton 1.3.1.2

          @SPC, Just for the record..what would you call the Saudi, Western backed operations in Yemen?…and also out of interest, why does the semantics of the wording of their illegal destruction and torture of one of the poorest countries in the World matter to you in particular?

          Saudi's coalition in Yemen: Militias and mercenaries backed by western firepower
          https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudis-coalition-yemen-militias-and-mercenaries-backed-western-firepower

          • SPC 1.3.1.2.1

            I would call the bombing the equivalent of the Russian action in Syria. It's no more an invasion than that.

            why does the semantics of the wording of their illegal destruction

            Is it illegal to render military aid requested by a nations government (this is a separate matter to war crimes)?

            More to the point why would anyone call something an invasion, when that is not the case.

            and torture of one of the poorest countries in the World

            Is bombing (which can be a war crime) an an act of torture of a country? That point has not been made in international law as far as I know.

            matter to you in particular?

            You mean why did I bother to note an invasion is not an invasion. Because this is a debate blog and not a place where PC nonsense is pandered to.

        • Hongi Ika 1.3.1.3

          Please explain however there have been SA & US weapons in Yemen.

          • SPC 1.3.1.3.1

            The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen is an intervention launched by Saudi Arabia on 26 March 2015, leading a coalition of nine countries from West Asia and North Africa, responding to calls from the president of Yemen Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi for military support after he was ousted by the Houthi movement.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian%E2%80%93led_intervention_in_Yemen

            The bombing is a lot like that of Russia of militants opposed to Assad's regime in Syria. SA and the USA justify it the same way Putin does in Syria providing support requested by a nation state government.

            The irony is that Gulf states supported the militants in Syria, but oppose the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Whereas Iran supports the Assad government in Syria but the Houthi rebels (fellow Shia Moslems) in Yemen.

            • Barfly 1.3.1.3.1.1

              Assad is secular most of his enemies are Sunni so no irony at all – Iran is consistent there.

              • SPC

                Assad is Alawite Shia (not insignificant as a faction in the secular Baath Party regime).

                The Gulf states supported Sunni rebels in Syria and support a government against Shia rebels in Yemen. Also consistent.

                And outside parties get invited to support a government by bombing rebels, or supplying weapons to rebels.

                • Barfly

                  I think the consistency is greater than any "irony" that's all

                  • SPC

                    Both support rebels against government and also government against rebels. Which is inconsistent. Their consistency is two tribes of Islam warring on each other. Salaam, the irony.

                • Hongi Ika

                  Good target practice bombing the rebels and you keep the market fluid by putting more weapons into the rebels hands, also you can off load old stocks of weapons into the Third World Countries.

            • Barfly 1.3.1.3.1.2

              "The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen is an intervention launched by Saudi Arabia on 26 March 2015, leading a coalition of nine countries from West Asia and North Africa, responding to calls from the president of Yemen Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi for military support after he was ousted by the Houthi movement."

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian%E2%80%93led_intervention_in_Yemen

              Lovely bunch that coalition

              "More than 233,000 people have already died. The Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade, restricting the flow of food, fuel and medicine. The conflict has caused a chain of reactions, including internal displacement, economic collapse, the destruction of health systems and multiple disease outbreaks.1/03/2021"

              But those in the west don't really give a shit do they?

              • SPC

                NATO was committed to the Afghanistan at the time.

                Some called for Biden to get involved in Yemen, at least provide some surety to food delivery early 2021. There is another problem in Ethiopia (famine in Tigray – centralisation or federal regions) but it seems there is post Somalia syndrome in DC.

              • Hongi Ika

                Well fair enough Barfly than are concerned about the Yemeni Rebels who are operating out of Yemen. Same problem Bush Family had with Osama Bin Laden in Aghanistan after those filthy SA terrorists bombed New York in the 9/11 Attacks.

    • gsays 1.4

      I largely keep clear of these ructions, especially when the large corporations go to war.

      What surprises me, is our reaction, passing laws under urgency and the outraged korero from all the talking heads.

      I don't recall this much action from the pollies and media during the conflict in East Timor. (Please forgive me if I have an incorrect name there.) Can't help but feel a marionette is getting it's strings pulled. Who could possibly be the marionettist?

      None of this is to diminish the human suffering and terror.

    • Sanctuary 1.5

      While supposed leftists engage in liverish do-nothing whataboutism, a little girl sings "Let it go" in a bomb shelter in Kharkiv. Perhaps Mike Smith considers her a Fascist in need of urgent de-Nazification as well.

      • Incognito 1.5.1

        That was an ugly and cowardly low blow comment aimed directly at an Author of this site.

        The irony is strong too.

        • Sanctuary 1.5.1.1

          Ugly and cowardly? Good. I hope it hurts like hell.

          I didn’t bother commenting in his post. But this is what his sophistry means.

          • Incognito 1.5.1.1.1

            If that was your intention, i.e. to “hurt” the Author, then maybe you want to reconsider commenting here. The less you say now, the better.

      • Hongi Ika 1.5.2

        Sanctuary I think/hope you are being sarcastic ? Evidently Poots has called a Ceasefire, gives him a chance to refuel his tanks and get some more supplies to his troops. Evidently allowing a Human Corridor into Belarus-Could be a Honey Trap ?

        • McFlock 1.5.2.1

          It's a nice little trail of tears into prison, and I use that term with consideration.

          I doubt any Ukrainian refugees will be able to speak freely of their thoughts of, and experiences during, the Russian invasion while in a Russian-controlled camp with Russian-controlled media and NGO access.

      • North 1.5.3

        Well said Sanctuary. I've been on here for maybe 5 minutes. After these congratulations to you I'm outa here. I am disgusted that the whataboutists should need to focus first and foremost on the hypocrites they denounce rather than on the people of Ukraine. It is not the fault of the people of Ukraine that there are hypocrites with double standards. To hover righteously around and over it all is an hypocrisy in itself given the perfect purity claimed by those who are doing it. It certainly does nothing to honour the hypocrites' historical victims or today's Ukrainian victims. Shameful really. I wonder when we're going to get hard out rationalisations of Putin on The Standard as we did the rationalisations of Trump a few years ago.

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    Well at least someone is prepared to say something……and remember friends, our own RNZ gave up reporting on Afghanistan pretty much as soon as the last white soldier left that country (RNZ has proved again and again, it is produced by a bunch of reactionary Liberal racists), and our own compassionate govt has remained silent……

    China calls for lifting of unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan

  3. Adrian 3

    The basic difference between the Russia/ Ukraine situation and Israel/ Palestine is that Palestine is not seen as a first step to the invasion or destabilisation of the other countries bordering it. Putin is trying to put the Soviet Union back together but none of the ex-Soviets want a bar of it, they do not want to be ruled byMoscow and the consequences of a successful invasion means that this destabilisation will be repeated in Romania and Poland etc.

    For all the anti Americanism, and I am certainly no fan, the US is seen as the only entity that can have meaningful influence there. There is a certain irony there.

    The sooner most countries have a renewable indigenous energy supply and don’t need oil the calmer the whole world will be.

  4. aom 4

    Here we go again, the same old neoliberal non-answers from Luxon! It is a pity that the Government relies on tax bracket creep that is ultimately recycled to further enrich the wealthy rather than pull the levers to create a fair and equitable society. The 'greed is good' mantra is playing out well. Where else in the world would an owner of a supermarket, a moderate ranking developer or trade supplier feature on a rich list? Why, with one of the comparatively largest fisheries in the world and a healthy agricultural sector do we pay so much for the bounties of the ocean and the land? Typically, how have we come to the point that a firm can randomly quote $8000 for a sand-blasting job (actual case) then do the job for $3000 supplying four workers for less than four hours for a job requiring two workers? How come a few small roading contractors became major empires on the backs of Government roading contracts? Why do overseas owned banks get away with creating data entries which lead to billions being pilfered off-shore while we have to rely of tax-creep that hits the poorest and moderate earners the hardest, to keep the country solvent during a pandemic, during which the wealthiest New Zealanders are "creaming off" ever increasing fortunes? National is misguidedly selling the dream of a fair and equitable society on the back of a failed financial philosophy that Labour is too gutless to change.

    • Hongi Ika 4.1

      Fletchers here in NZ made a truck load of $'s holding hands with the Government of the day, then when they got in the shit the Government helped bail them out.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Fletchers also built much of modern New Zealand.

        • Blazer 4.1.1.1

          If you examine Fletchers performance in the last 30 years or more it has been diabolical.

          Has had virtual monopoly product sectors and managed to destroy s/h value with acquisitions that did not reflect the prices paid for them.

          Has been an old boy network sinecure mostly…Hugh Fletcher,Sir Ron Trotter,Sir Roderick Deane,Sir Ralph Norris.

          The perfect example of over paid ,under performing directors imo.

        • Hongi Ika 4.1.1.2

          After the Settlor Government drove te maaori back to the Stone Age and decimated them with disease and the theft of their lands.

      • aom 4.1.2

        Also Hongi Ika, the story goes that Fletchers built up their Placemakers chain by delaying payment to suppliers until they were against the wall. In a spirit of philanthropy, they subsequently made offers that the poor bastards could not afford to refuse.

        • Hongi Ika 4.1.2.1

          Fletcher's have been pretty brutal here in NZ, evidently they caused the collapse of NZ Forest Products who at one stage was NZ's largest company.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.2

      Yeah, but it "trickles down", don't you know.

      If we can just get the super rich that much super-richer, NZ will become a utopia for everyone. That's just science.

    • Hongi Ika 4.3

      Both adhere to the Neoliberal Dogma, and fiddle while Rome burns, they have had an opportunity to make some really transformational changes in this country, however they have spent the last two years wringing their hands over this flipping Covid flu thing ?

  5. hamish 5

    Some real odd things in the Scottish data.
    (follow on from my post .https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04-03-2022/#comment-1870995)

    The populations for any given week for the unvaccinated should be the same in the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths tables

    But very oddly they vary by up to 580,000

    For example the given population of unvaccinated week starting 1 Jan in the cases table is 1,006,025

    but for the same week, in the deaths the unvaccinated population is stated to be 1,567,709

    The differences are well spread, only 3 pairings have the same population…

    Another oddity is the age standardisation.

    They say this is to account for the fact that the un vaccinated population is younger than the other populations. Fair enough.

    On the assumption that it ends up as a simple multiplier, taking the 'Raw” rates derived from the weekly number and the current population of that group, I worked out what the age standardisation factor is.

    It was different for each week ( understandable as some people move between groups )

    For the boosted in the death table it was 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7

    For the unvaccinated for cases table it was 1 1 1 0.8 0.7 0.8 0.9

    But unvaccinated deaths it was 4 4 2.8 6.1 6.9 4 7.9 8.1

    looking at the jump 4 to 7.9 The population dropped by 8%

    In the cases table the change for that same period was 0.7 to 0.8

    I cannot think of any logical reason for these levels of adjustment variations

    Absent any logical suggestions from someone here, I will begin to suspect that someone has been fiddling with the data, beyond that stated adjustment parameters, in an attempt to hide the poor performance of the vaccine.

    Any explanations for why such big adjustments????

    • Incognito 5.1

      Any explanations for why such big adjustments????

      Windmills!!!!

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.1

        I haven't dug in to all of this.

        It would be standard practice in an epidemiological study to also remove effects from other potential risk factors – e.g. other health conditions, smoking, obesity etc. For example, if the vaccinated and unvaccinated population had an equal death rate, but the vaccinated population were all fat with diabetes while the unvaccinated population was not, then the vaccine is working.

        Not sure that is happening in your data, but such correction is a valid thing.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      "Another oddity is the age standardisation.

      They say this is to account for the fact that the un vaccinated population is younger than the other populations. Fair enough.

      On the assumption that it ends up as a simple multiplier, taking the 'Raw” rates derived from the weekly number and the current population of that group, I worked out what the age standardisation factor is."

      Its not a simple multiplier. I already linked you to the formula and method used in that report.

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/methodologies/weeklycovid19agestandardisedmortalityratesbyvaccinationstatusenglandmethodology#age-standardised-mortality-rates

      I also highlighted its derived from combined age group + vaccination status data. You can't do the same calculation from the aggregate raw data because you don't know what the age group breakdown is of the populations which your trying to standardise the age groups of.

    • Barfly 5.3

      Hamish

      Scotland Scotland Scotland

      "an attempt to hide the poor performance of the vaccine."

      Which vaccine is that? There is no "the vaccine"

      Meanwhile in New Zealand with only 65 deaths so far I am very thankful for the New Zealand Governments response and for our society's general adherence to the recommended practices and precautions. (including vaccinations)

      The worst pandemic in a century Hamish and here you are writing endless anti-vaccine drivel complete with conspiracy mutterings. I suggest you either find New Zealand Covid statistics to discuss here or try to talk to the Scottish health authorities as you obviously have problems with understanding their presentation of their data.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.3.1

        Aye ! We In NZ were literally saved by Jacinda and Team. Never forgotten.

        • Hongi Ika 5.3.1.1

          Agree 100% however we have had an advantage through us being 2 months behind the rest of the world hence we have been able to learn from their mistakes.

    • McFlock 5.4

      Now's a good time to start referring to tables and charts by their heading numbers or at least page numbers, so people have some idea of what you're talking about.

      Secondly, link to the document each time, rather than the previous thread, please. Will help newcomers get to the point.

      Thirdly, in the Scotland report where are you getting your denominators from? If you're trying to reverse-calculate them from the numerators and age-standardised rates, they should give different results because the distribution of cases and hospitalisations across age groups will vary. And none of those will add up to the total Scottish population.

    • Hongi Ika 5.5

      I suggest you get hold of the Scottish Ministry of Health and get them to double check and audit their data.

  6. Alan 6

    Feb. Roy Morgan is interesting

    • Pataua4life 6.1

      Do you think MS will do a post?

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Yeah he'll relish the intellectual challenge of explaining why the right are 6% ahead of the left. Labour supporters love such intellectual challenges!

        He'll probably also note that the glass remains a third full (a third of the electorate still supports Labour).

        However the two main polling companies will inevitably paint a different picture in a week or two…

        • Hongi Ika 6.1.1.1

          Jacinda had a c*** of a week last week to be fair, she looked a bit rattled on TV the other day her hands were going everywhere. They are trying to blame her for the Cost of Living going up.

          • pat 6.1.1.1.1

            "They are trying to blame her for the Cost of Living going up."

            Comes with the job…if you want the impression of leadership you need to accept responsibility.

    • Interesting because there is a clear trend in the recent RM polls.

      Granted, other polls may not show as much support for the Nats, but the worry for Labour will be if other polls are trending in a similar direction.

    • Hongi Ika 6.3

      Very interesting the Nats/ACT party members will be salivating and will be smelling blood on the horizon.

    • James Simpson 6.4

      I don't accept those results as reflecting anything that resembles the mood of New Zealand.

      Luxon is a bald weasle who has only one trick. "I used to run an Airline". Nobody is buying his BS.

      I am yet to meet a person who has a remotely positive thing to say about him. He is political toxicity and will be remembered in a worst light than that numpyy Key.

      • Barfly 6.4.1

        I think Luxon is doing better than Collins did and may be doing about as well as Bridges did. I base this on my rapidly developing hatred for (IMO) this man's duplicity, deception and contempt for the least fortunate.

        • Patricia Bremner 6.4.1.1

          yes I agree Barfly. His implacable hatred for Jacinda was in his stance in his first Q time. I called him "Gimlet Eyes", as he radiated hate!! He can turn on the charm as silly old Trev found, but he has no time for the left or the "less fortunate" those he is promising $2angry

  7. Blazer 7

    Gummy, gummint unleash toothless Labourador on Supermarket duopoly.

    The default tinkering approach.

    Live: Moves to improve competition but no supermarket split | Stuff.co.nz

  8. A very interesting article on why the apparently overwhelming Russian airforce hasn't been able to gain air superiority in Ukraine.

    "While the early VKS failure to establish air superiority could be explained by lack of early warning, coordination capacity and sufficient planning time, the continued pattern of activity suggests a more significant conclusion: that the VKS lacks the institutional capacity to plan, brief and fly complex air operations at scale. There is significant circumstantial evidence to support this, admittedly tentative, explanation."

    https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-defence-systems/russian-air-force-actually-incapable-complex-air-operations

    A very informative read.

    One of the implications for this war is that the Russian military machine is proving not to be very good. Despite overwhelming odds in nearly every respect, it hasn't been able to deal to a much weaker opponent.

    So, the rest of the world is starting to see that the Russian military is not the force to be feared that it was once thought to be. If the Russians didn't have the threat of nuclear weapons, the rest of the world would probably be laughing at it by now.

    • aom 8.1

      The US got dorked by a rag-tag bunch of Taleban and Russia is having a hard time with Ukraine. Around the world, the same sort of shit proliferates. The simple reason is that it is hard to deal to people who 'belong'. No doubt, the simple answer is that the big players should disarm and leave countries to sort out their own of ways of dealing with their political realities.

  9. Ad 9

    Hey everyone, particularly the semi-retired, if you're on this site you have an interest in politics.

    So why not put yourself up for Local Government as a candidate this year.

    Labour are seeking candidates right now. Get in there.

    In the main cities there is plenty of cooperation between Greens and Labour. And yes we also disagree sometimes.

    In the rural areas the Three Waters policies are going to rock your world, and there is going to be a never-ending contest with NZTA over every local intersection and speed zone you can ever think of.

    Reach out to your Grey Power and your RSA's, your Labour LEC's, your local Forest and Bird gatherings, your Facebook groups etc.

    I'm not saying Council meetings are a barrel of laughs, but life is won one cycleway and one children's park at a time.

    The most depressing times in the world – like right now – are when we need fresh minds and good people to renew the political order, one local campaign at a time.

    So make it you.

  10. DB Brown 10

    I'm so confused about this war:

    Like how intent we are on punishing Oligarchs. Is the whole world being dragged in to do the dirty work of a rich people's fight?

    Are we aiding American Corporatocracy?

    I don't know.

    A pox on all their houses.

    I hate being beholden to US their (governments are) f'n mongrels.

    And after all the blowhard BS about how advanced our weapons and intelligence are etc etc – where's the drone strike on Putin? Are we to take the head of the beast, or dance around like idiots.

    Are we full of shit as to our capabilities? Full of shit as to our intentions?

    Are we letting Putin grind Ukraine to dust because 'the wrong rich crowd' are simultaneously getting theirs? Because energy supplies will get rejigged?

    Is it just fucking oil, again?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.1

      By sheer chance, probably this time Western interests align with what is morally right (approximately). Generally morality has zero to do with international relations and certainly nothing to do with motivations for war.

      Such a drone strike would risk WW3, hence you won't see it I hope.

      Beau of the Fifth Column often has measured and thoughtful comment. Here he discusses risks around escalation:

      • DB Brown 10.1.1

        "By sheer chance, probably this time Western interests align with what is morally right (approximately)."

        That's probably part of why I'm so damn confused. Thank you.

      • DB Brown 10.1.2

        That was really helpful thanks. I also enjoyed Beau’s takes on police and BLM.

        So, to avoid further escalation the fight must come from within Ukraine. That's where I'd hope said drone strike (on Putin) would originate, that whole plausible deniability thing again.

        Thinking about it – my sense of us dancing around is likely the dancing round a powder keg they're all doing, you know, it's real.

        I agree that given the right equipment and specialists Ukraine can oust Russia. I'm still concerned that Putin's ego will not allow for defeat.

        And in the interim – Ukraine! broken heart

        I am impressed with the West's solidarity on this. Just, you know, the credibility thing…

        I’d say the opportunistic rich will do what they do war or not. During war you gotta watch the parasites, they get up to all sorts of things while we’re distracted.

      • Hongi Ika 10.1.3

        The US & NATO are trying to de-escalate this Crisis as they realize Poot's is not in a sound state of mind and is not thinking rationally.

    • DB Brown 10.2

      Sorry for so many questions at once. I'm aware of the history between Ukraine-Russia. Aware of what Putin says. Aware of what the West says. Also aware of the grubby hands of the US throughout the world pissing people off. Aware of the tenuous situation of dealing with a nutter with nukes. With starting a world war.

      What I'm clueless about:

      Is our response just more BS to cover more BS rich activity? They saw it coming did they start making wagers, moves in the markets? Did they ratchet up their bomb shares? They saw it coming but nobody saw fit to make Putin go sleep. Only a world war in the making, you know.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        I can only speak for my Kiwisaver which has been crap ever since the troop buildup.

        Also there's not a lot of pension funds who invest in armaments these days.

        Nor is anyone going to be selling armaments to Russia after this. In fact on current performance I suspect there will be fewer international buyers of Russian armaments either.

        I speculated in January that it wasn't the right time to invade because the Russian government would continue to make so much out of the gas price spike.

        How wrong I was. Putin isn't doing anything rational for markets.

        • DB Brown 10.2.1.1

          "Isn't doing anything rational for markets".

          So he's gone off script. One might hope there is a Brutus in the wings.

          It's interesting how coordinated people from all over the world are using Ukranians social media (videos, photos with geolocations, time stamps, more?) to provide real time intelligence on russian troops and vehicle movements/activities. That's worth a post for those who like war strategy. so much adaptation – inspiring.

          And Zelenskyy's masterful use of comedy and social media.

          And surely Anonymous hacking Russian streaming services and TV stations gets an honourable mention.

          It's war, but not as we've known it.

        • Hongi Ika 10.2.1.2

          At least Poots has taken the steam out of the Equity Markets which are way over priced anyway.

        • Hongi Ika 10.2.1.3

          I am due to retire next year and I know my Kiwi Saver will have gone South big time, I am actually too scared to look, unfortunately you can not control the behaviour of the marketplace, hopefully this will settle down shortly. Putin knows he will be toast if does anything stupid.

        • Poission 10.2.1.4

          I speculated in January that it wasn't the right time to invade because the Russian government would continue to make so much out of the gas price spike.

          Russia is now making more out of gas then it was in January.Russia had been arguing for long term contracts,which would have provided stable european energy costs.

          The UK and Europe ( excluding Germany) wanted short term contracts and spot markets.

          The result from the 1 April Uk consumers looking at 3000 quid energy increases,Energy retailers going bankrupt and the UK and Europe going into energy poverty with hyper inflation (the ghost of 1973)

          UK next day prices 480 euro per M/wh.

          https://www.nordpoolgroup.com/Market-data1/GB/Auction-prices/UK/Daily/?view=table

          Spain 554 e per M/wh.

      • McFlock 10.2.2

        Is our response just more BS to cover more BS rich activity? They saw it coming did they start making wagers, moves in the markets? Did they ratchet up their bomb shares? They saw it coming but nobody saw fit to make Putin go sleep. Only a world war in the making, you know.

        Not really saw it coming – it's more like bets on a horse race.

        The uber wealthy make money no matter what. They hedge, they tweak their bets on a wide front, and they have stocks of things like gold and art and property. They can take short term losses for larger longer term gains.

        An example are the folks who waited for tourism businesses to get covided, then bought them cheap. The wealthy can afford to take the bet that they're buying a long term goldmine that will be less productive or unproductive for a while. The wannabes will take the bet, and if they can't sustain the losses then they'll get themselves in shit. The uber wealthy can mothball it permanently without noticing.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    Charter schools wasnt even mentioned before 2011 election and yet it was in the confidence agreement with national. Seymour of course had been working on the policy for some time before ….him being an 'education expert' and such

    We didnt get to see what might have popped up in the 2017 agreement with national but they are skilled at not saying what they mean

    https://www.mcguinnessinstitute.org/civicsnz/obtaining-a-comprehensive-list-of-coalition-agreements-and-support-agreement-documents-since-1996/

    [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.]

    • Hongi Ika 11.1

      Seymour like Key has mastered the art of talking in tongues and using weasel words.

    • Gosman 11.2

      Charter schools are core ACT policy and has been for years even prior to 2011.

      [Link required – Incognito]

      • Incognito 11.2.1

        Mod note for you.

      • Molly 11.2.2

        You are correct. I went to an ACT organised Roger Douglas lecture in my role as a committee member for a national home education organisation, way back.

        This link may suffice:

        https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2110/S00106/act-celebrates-25-years-of-fighting-for-freedom.htm

        • Incognito 11.2.2.1

          Hi Molly, if that link is meant to save Gosman from doing his homework then I may have to disappoint you both. Look, Gosman appears to be a self-anointed expert on all things ACT Party, so it should be no problem at all for him to back up his assertion with a little linky thingy that we all can access without becoming a paid member of the party first.

          • Molly 11.2.2.1.1

            Saving Gosman, was not on my mind. Perish the thought. frown

            Had to trawl through a lot of Charter School policies and proposals at the time, and attend such lectures, so I had remembrance of the ACT policies for charter schools being promoted.

            (Did come to the conclusion that charter schools, although of immense financial benefit to home educators, had an eventual and unavoidable deleterious effect on public schools, and reported as much to the committee)

            • Incognito 11.2.2.1.1.1

              I did say “if” but regardless, my apologies.

              I’m sure that ACT were toying with the concept of Charter Schools, but AFAIK it did not become a “core ACT policy”, as claimed by Gosman, until David Seymour joined in 2011.

              Gosman generally does a better commenting job than some of the ‘lefties’ on this site. It sounds pedantic, but we need to keep commenters such as Gosman on their toes and bring their A-game [pun intended].

              • Molly

                No, way before David Seymour.

                AFAIK it was an ACT policy from the beginning, which is why one of my good home ed friends supported them.

                Heather Roy was there too, so it was from her time in parliament.

                (Edit. Gosman saved himself and linked below.)

        • SPC 11.2.2.2

          “Charter Schools remain ACT’s signature achievement. They embody the liberation of the creative powers of a free society. This party was founded to redistribute not wealth but opportunity. To allow poor people to purchase the services they require off and open market, like rich people always have.

          This does not speak to when it became ACT policy. And what process is involved in National selecting an ACT policy for implementation during any coalition (such as this being determined before an election, but not signalled to voters). I will bet now it would be welfare reform in 2023, so keep an eye on ACT party policy development in that area (it may be occurring under National direction).

          • Molly 11.2.2.2.1

            From recollection, it was back in the beginning of the ACT party. It was one of the reasons one of my good friends was an ACT party supporter (… I know…).

            (Didn't maintain any documentation and honestly can't be arsed to contribute more on a conversation about a party I don't support, but thought that I'd put forth my recollections of this being a fundamental policy of the ACT party, despite it supporting Gosman. Sorry, Gosman, it's just not a priority…wink)

            • SPC 11.2.2.2.1.1

              I don't doubt the ACT Party was for undermining state schooling as a concept, the issue was when it became a core policy.

              For example ACT was/is against school zoning – but then the cup of tea and Epsom and the Grammar zone was popular there …

              • Molly

                I'm confused on what the discussion is here.

                Are we just repeatedly agreeing that Charter Schools is a bad education policy, with a couple of ACT digs thrown in?

                • SPC

                  As Incognito noted, the debate point is based around the use of the word core to describe charter school policy (before 2011 it was no more core than abolishing school zones).

                  • Incognito

                    Bingo!

                  • Molly

                    I don't have the receipts, but I genuinely thought it was one of the core policies when ACT started up, for the reasons stated.

                    A friend stopped transferred her vote to ACT, when they began and from memory that decision was based on the charter schools policy.

                    But admit this recollection isn't a hill I'm prepared to climb, let alone die on.

                    • Peter

                      It was one of ACT's core issues. John Banks was on about it and about how state schools were failing kids and Charter Schools were the answer.

                      Arguments about charter schools are common in the USA. There are many references to be found; e.g.

                      "Our research reveals that charter operator fraud and mismanagement is endemic to the vast majority of states that have passed a charter school law. Drawing upon court cases, media investigations, regulatory findings, audits, and other sources, this report contains a significant portion of known fraud and mismanagement cases. We found, as stated in the introduction, that at least $100 million in public tax dollars has been lost due to fraud, waste, and abuse."

                      https://www.populardemocracy.org/news-and-publications/charter-school-vulnerabilities-waste-fraud-and-abuse

                      "A3 charter school ringleaders plead guilty to massive fraud scheme that siphoned millions in state funds"

                      https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-02-27/a3-charter-school-ringleaders-plead-guilty-to-conspiracy

                    • Molly

                      @Peter

                      "It was one of ACT's core issues. "

                      That's how I recall it.

                    • SPC

                      John Banks joined the ACT Party in May 2011. David Seymour championed charter schools that year After the 2011 election, Seymour worked as a ministerial adviser for John Banks MP for Epsom and Associate Minister of Education.

              • Peter

                Seymour wants (says he wants) people to have choices.

                Imagine him trying to rationalise giving parents choice by getting rid of school zoning. And then saying to his constituents, when he is Deputy PM. that zoning is going and immediately them losing 100s of thousands of dollars on their property values.

          • Gosman 11.2.2.2.2

            Ummm… ANY policies that a coalition government agrees to implement are generally subject to negotiation AFTER the election and not BEFORE.

            • SPC 11.2.2.2.2.1

              So you mean a form of stealthing, without public prior knowledge/consent.

              By generally,

        • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.2.3

          Molly your reply is a link to ACTs PR written in 2021.

          Its a bit rich claiming the Super City idea as Labour had a Royal Commsion into the proposals which ACT mostly ignored its ideas and pushed the quasi independent CCOs

          Interest.co.nz has an archive of pre election policies ( important as some polocies are announced after the votes are counted) from 2011 onwards ( I dont trust PDFs from parties as they are so easy to change even years later when you go digging into internet archives)

          It doesnt show any mention of Charter Schools before 2011. They may have had wishful thinking in that area but clearly didnt campaign on that yet it was like a rabbit out of a hat immediately after wards.

          Seymour who was a policy analyst for ACT in the beehive would know much much more about the details as he was , in my view, working on that when he came here from Canada.

          • Molly 11.2.2.3.1

            Thanks, ghostwhowalks but my response was based mainly on my recollection of ACT party policies from before 2011.

            I've been out of the home ed committees from before that, and it was one of the policies I was investigating for the committee. To my recollection, the charter school policy was one of the founding policies. But if I'm wrong, then so be it.

            Should've paid more attention to the link. But it aligned with my memory.

            Edit: Found the lecture I attended in 2010
            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/school-under-fire-for-hosting-act-meeting/DIYL6YKZD7O2OMOOPKJOFD5VTM/

            • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.2.3.1.1

              Ive claimed that it was part of their hidden agenda , which of course presupposed they had formulated the ideas well before they popped out in fairly specific form just after the 2011 election.

              The evidence is overwelming that it was hidden agenda

              Compare with the 3 strikes policy which was shouted from the roof tops in fairly specific terms before the elections

              • Molly

                Updated my previous comment to link to the 2010 lecture I attended, which was only because they had advertised their charter schools policy.

                I was always aware – despite not being a supporter – of their charter schools stance.

                But it was a focus for the home ed community at the time, not particularly mainstream.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  The 2011 election was late Nov 2011.

                  That meeting was 18 months before , so why wasnt ACT blowing its trumpet on its ideas for the new fangled american style charter schools right up to the polling day.

                  The format they had in the Support agreement shows that the specific details were well known before the election. And of course activists and party faithfull would have been in on the secret

                  • Molly

                    +That meeting was 18 months before , so why wasnt ACT blowing its trumpet on its ideas for the new fangled american style charter schools right up to the polling day."

                    I don't know. Why would I, and why is this particular fact so important? Discuss the current policy.

                    I'm starting to think my inconvenient awareness of their charter school policy before 2011 is a passion project for you, but I can't change that.

                    "And of course activists and party faithfull would have been in on the secret"

                    Public meeting. In public. Open to public.

                    As in public.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Then why did it dissappear from the information given as the manifesto just before the election.

                      Thats my whole point. They knew what they were doing in keeping it a hidden agenda at election time

                      The researcher agrees with me

                    • Molly

                      @ghostwhowalksnz

                      "Thats my whole point. They knew what they were doing in keeping it a hidden agenda at election time

                      The researcher agrees with me"

                      Well, kept it so well hidden I attended a public meeting a year earlier…..OK.

                      Still think is a strange point to focus.

      • Gosman 11.2.3

        http://www.act.org.nz/policy_education_school.aspx

        "

        • Abolish zoning and allow parents to take their child's share of state funding to a school of their choice – public or private.
        • Let failing schools close or be taken over by better performing schools.
        • Remove restrictive barriers to opening new schools so parents & teachers can cooperate to open new and innovative schools.
        • Devolve all decision making to schools – staffing, curriculum design, qualifications – to the extent that is appropriate.

          "

        ALL of those policies from the ACT's 2007 policy on Education are related to Charter schools.

        [Link doesn’t work for me.

        ALL of those policies from the ACT’s 2007 policy on Education are related to Charter schools.

        Lovely, but you made quite a specific assertion about it being a “core ACT policy” long before 2011 even. Being “related” is substantially weaker.

        In addition:

        After returning to New Zealand in 2011, David advised John Banks on the initial policy development for Partnership (charter) Schools, … [my italics]

        https://www.act.org.nz/david_seymour

        It does look like you’re trying to re-write history andmaking up fibs. One more chance for you to set this right – Incognito]

        • SPC 11.2.3.1

          Abolishing zoning went with the cup of tea and sympathy of Epsom 2011 – they chose charter schools as the alternative.

          A decision made before the cup of tea or afterwards?

          • Gosman 11.2.3.1.1

            No – Charter schools don't require zoning. They are open to all. That was ACT policy pre-2008.

            • SPC 11.2.3.1.1.1

              What about abolishing zoning and an alternative ACT policy of charter schools passed over your comprehension radar?

              John Key's deal over Epsom meant end of zoning is permanently off the NACT coalition policy formula.

              PS If charter schools was not just a policy but a core policy in 2007, what work did Seymour have to do in 2011 to bring it to the coalition table?

        • Incognito 11.2.3.2

          Mod note for you.

        • Gosman 11.2.3.3

          I'm sorry but All of the points listed in the 2007 policy document set out what a Charter school is.

          • New schools can be set up by people other than the State and receive funding from the government
          • The schools will have a large degree of autonomy on how they operate far exceeding that of other State funded school.
          • Parents can choose to send their kids to different schools not just the one they are zoned for.
          • Schools that don't perform can be shut and successful schools can take over the running of other ones.

          That is essentially what a Charter school is. In NZ they weren't even called Charter schools. They were called Partnership schools.

          P.S.

          The link is a Web archive and can be accessed at this address

          “https://web.archive.org/web/20070406172026/http://www.act.org.nz/policy_education.aspx”

          • SPC 11.2.3.3.1

            First the core policy is not even on the 2007 education policy front page.

            It does not even get a headline on the second page – which school zoning policy gets.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.3.4

          My link to the impartial archive from interest co nz for the 2011 election shows what was aceesible to the media before 2011 .

          Apart from what has been covered before in Interest co nz this is from Way back

          Undertake a review of education in New Zealand, leading to the ACT Party’s minority report Free to Learn, a comprehensive roadmap for reforming education towards a more market-like and entrepreneurial service;

          Increase the subsidy for private schools, to reduce the extent to which those who send their children pay twice (once in taxes and once in school fees);

          Value the special education sector more, with a special education review resulting in new directions described in the report Success for All: Every school, every child.”

          Review ? That was quick as Charter schools by name were on the agenda 2 weeks after the votes counted.

          Waikato University Education research in their journal has much more to say on Charter School development

          Written By Bill Courtney

          https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1233285.pdf

          'For New Zealand’s 2011 general election, no political party explicitly proposed charter schools in its education manifesto. The ACT Party advocated for increasing the subsidies for private schools, more Aspire Scholarships for underprivileged children and increasing the autonomy that local principals and staff have in running their schools but did not mention charter schools (ACT, 2011)

      • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.4

        I can help with the link Mod , but it makes my point. Of course Seymour ( Mr Education!!…was drawing up the charter schools policy leading up to 2011 election and was likely Jenny Gibbs idea)

        https://www.interest.co.nz/news/54199/election-2011-party-policies-education

        This is summary of ACT Education policy in 2011

        '

        • Continue awarding Aspire scholarships to underprivileged children.[subsidys for full private schools as GFC had cut rolls]
        • Increase the autonomy that local principals and staff have in running their school. Boards and principals should be able, for example, to set teacher remuneration at their discretion like any other employer, rather than having a rigid, seniority based pay scale.
        • Further increase the subsidy for independent schools so that parents who choose independent schools for their children do not lose so much of their child’s share of education funding.[Vouchers for full private schools- never happened thankfully]
        • Encourage choice in assessment systems, whether they be NCEA, Cambridge International Examination, International Baccalaureate, or other qualifications. (more here)

        Not a peep about the Charter schools mentioned in the Confidence agreement.

  12. Adrian 12

    Invest in the British company that makes the Javelin anti tank shoulder mounted missile. That company is the new crypto. It is that that has changed warfare when a lone defender can destroy a top of the line tank or helicopter from the smoking remains of his own bedroom ( bit of hyperbole there ). All wars are completely different to the previous one and the Russians are still trying to fight like it’s 1945. The Javelins are a snip at a mere $2million but they have brought the invasion to a stumbling holt. They don’t even need to be aimed that accurately, point and squirt and sophisticated AI does the rest of it, heat seeking is now so old school, and maybe the reason why the Russian Air Force is reluctant to get off the ground.

    • Hongi Ika 12.1

      Where can I buy one I have got a few noisy motorbikes around my place which need sorting out.

      • Patricia Bremner 12.1.1

        devil now now. lol.

      • You could probably pick up one pretty cheaply from the Taliban – American war 'surplus', you know! Lol.

      • Tiger Mountain 12.1.3

        Piano wire is a worth trying on V-Rods and trail bikes for those on a lower budget…

        • Incognito 12.1.3.1

          LOL! That’s so funny, joking about causing major physical damage to and possibly even decapitating others laugh

          I also think it’s funny for all of you funny ones in this funny thread to read this from the funny Policy (https://thestandard.org.nz/policy/#moderation) and consider this a warning:

          • Directly or indirectly advocating violence in any shape or form (including ‘jest’ and advocating self-harm) to individuals or groups is simply not allowed. Moderators will have a no-tolerance humourless response as the only possible response. If you want to talk about political conflicts around the world, then do so being mindful of this proscription.
        • Hongi Ika 12.1.3.2

          Could probably get a whole swarm of Killer Bees if I got my timing right.

    • Dennis Frank 12.2

      Wikipedia identifies it as American. Could be the Brits are making it under licence. Anyway here's the vital news the msm here haven't reported yet:

      “In less than a week, the United States and NATO have pushed more than 17,000 antitank weapons, including Javelin missiles, over the borders of Poland and Romania, unloading them from giant military cargo planes so they can make the trip by land to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and other major cities,” the New York Times reported on Sunday.

      It can take just 20 or 30 minutes to learn how to use a Javelin; the weapon’s targeting pod feels a lot like a video game, making it even easier for younger troops to be trained on

      https://taskandpurpose.com/analysis/ukraine-javelin-stinger-missiles-russia/

    • Stan 12.3

      Javelins are listed in wikipedia at USD175000 a pop, not 2 million.

      • DB Brown 12.3.1

        "175 000 a pop"

        Jeepers (looks shit up).

        2 km range.

        Missile and disposable launch tube assembly, plus a re-usable CLU (Command Launch Unit) with various capabilities. Pretty flash weapon.

        Fire and Forget technology. Perfect for popping up, popping off, and vanishing.

    • Tiger Mountain 12.4

      The arms industry always manages somehow to stay in shadows, all these weapons have to be manufactured and paid for by someone, somewhere, but they do not make the headlines often when conflict is happening.

      To paraphrase the NRA–Javelins don’t kill, people using them do!

      • Hongi Ika 12.4.1

        Can be potentially dangerous if they get into the wrong hands ie Mongrel Mob or Destiny Church, would be ideal for blowing up vaccination centres ?

        [Looks like you deliberately ignored the memo a little higher up this thread (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08-03-2022/#comment-1872595). I don’t think your jokes about violence, harm and destruction are a laughing matter, but you can have the last laugh by yourself for a week, which is short-sharp warning; next ban will be considerably longer. Bye now – Incognito]

  13. Molly 13

    Damn, was heading off, but read Kathleen Stock's new article on Substack, and thought some on here might like to read and discuss:

    https://kathleenstock.substack.com/p/the-missionaries-in-your-workplace?r=7vxvx&s=w&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

    …It’s the 2010 Equality Act that kick-started the surge in moralisation in workplaces. Among other things, this law says that an employer is to be held accountable for any discrimination and harassment carried out by its employees against people with protected characteristics, unless it can show that it has taken “all reasonable steps” to prevent it. To defend itself, the burden falls on the employer to show that it has introduced adequate internal procedures aimed at prevention. The drafters of the Equality Act apparently conceived this law as a kind of “reflexive” or "smart" regulation: that is, as incentivising organisations to create internal procedures that will meet regulatory standards, where those procedures are to some extent self-initiated and self-driven (treating a sector or organisation, somewhat artificially, as a “self”). With this sort of regulation, then, there is a move away from “command and control” to something more indirect and quasi-autonomous.

    In response, many HR departments have taken on the task, not just of getting employees to understand and formally observe their legal duties under the Equality Act, but more ambitiously of getting them to live the underpinning values. If you work in one such organisation, you will be familiar with the script. NGOS (cough, Stonewall) and independent experts have been brought in to set concrete equalities goals for organisations, draw up codes of conduct, and feed workplaces with regular motivational communications. Equalities training, of both compulsory and voluntary kinds, has become ubiquitous. (Indeed, an employment tribunal last year found that equality training must be regularly refreshed in an organisation so it does not become “stale”). Staff equality networks have been formed for those with particular protected characteristics, ostensibly as social networks but also with an accompanying ethical mission: to “educate” other employees about what language and attitudes to take towards those with the characteristics in question.

    Perhaps this all sounds perfectly fine to you. But it seems to me that some employers have developed a taste for moralisation that far outstrips the initial motivation to meet statutory obligations. There has been gradual mission creep – quite literally. For once you have invested heavily in a piece of machinery, why would you let it go to waste? And managers and experts with an initially circumscribed task inevitably look for ways to extend it, to keep themselves in a job. So we find that many organisations have started to go further than the letter of the law.

    • Molly 13.1

      Yes, that Kathleen Stock.

      The Sussex University professor who had anonymous website resources advising how to harass her:

      https://linktr.ee/antiterfsussex

      …and more.

    • Shanreagh 13.2

      Kathleen Stock is quite a bit out of date as far as the NZ experience is concerned. Most large NZ workplaces and the smaller ones I have been in too, have had 'isms' training and observation built into their policies and staff performance agreements for many years.

      In my case, I recall we wrote up policies in a start-up State Sector org and ran compliance with these down through staff performance agreements and workplans from 1992 at least. This comprised policies around discrimination, employment agreements written so observation of policies is expected and agreed to and in depth studies, training and working with staff.

      This was around the Human Rights Act/State Sector Act.

      As a line manager when counselling staff as part of their employment when apparent breaches had occurred I used to say while I would love for you to agree with these and have a 'hearts and minds approach' to it, the most I can expect for you in the workplace is for you to place the cloak of living these values and complying when you get into the lift and come into the workplace and take it off when you leave. That is the point. The policies can only be enforced while people are at work.

      I found in many years in the workplace that concepts that were hard for some such as not being anti gay, anti woman, or thinking it was Ok to throw off at all manner of things such as ethnicity and religion melted away once the concepts had been around around for a while. This was hastened with personal experience. Some staff changed their tune once they had children or friends who had come out as gay.

      This will probably happened with trans people, though many work places have employed trans people ever since trans people came into our society under best person for the job policies.

      When I went to the UK in 2004 I found HR type policies, good employer, Health and Safety anti discrimination policies were very much behind NZ's. That was good in some ways as they could learn from our mistakes. Looking at HR policies you make a big mistakes in thinking the policies noted by Kathleen Stock are new or concerning.

      As far as I am concerned it would be a great day when all people adopted anti discrimination policies in daily life as well as having the expectation of following them in their workplaces.

      My mother (died 2000 aged 94 and a retired CA) said that in her experience people who breach anti discrimination laws/policies or whatever fall into 3 categories

      1 those who would never breach and did not need a law or policy

      2 those who usually breached and saw no harm and would probably never change

      3 those who sometimes breached but who when they learned about things like discrimination were mortified and shamed and endeavoured to do better.

      It is the category 2 type employees that I worked with to say our workplace expects this, you will abide unless you want to be taken down the line of disciplinary measures and discussed the cloak concept of abiding when in the actual workplace.

      All of the workplaces I worked in had regular 'isms' training.

      No workplace I worked in went further into morality. My mention of the cloak concept was to explain by analogy how someone could work in a workpalce, be observant while not agreeing with all the policies.

      Of course some policies, laws are a bridge too far for some. That is why when advertising jobs it is important that the advertising, job info and interviewing lives the policies for any aspiring employee. This is so that
      1the workpalce can deter potentially unsuitbale applicants early on
      2 the aspiring employee can go into a job with clear expectations about the policies etc in the work place.

      The overriding point is that compliance with legislation such as HR legislation is not a ‘nice to have’, it is a requirement.

      • Molly 13.2.1

        "The overriding point is that compliance with legislation such as HR legislation is not a ‘nice to have’, it is a requirement."

        Yes. I understand your position on this.

    • roblogic 13.3

      That is a very good piece and no workplace is more overbearing in its enforcement of ideological conformity than the modern university.

      • Molly 13.3.1

        Thanks, roblogic. Interesting article.

        According to a 2021 survey administered by College Pulse of over 37,000 students at 159 colleges, 80 percent of students self-censor at least some of the time. Forty-eight percent of undergraduate students described themselves as “somewhat uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” with expressing their views on a controversial topic during classroom discussions. At U.Va., 57 percent of those surveyed feel that way.

        When a class discussion goes poorly for me, I can tell. During a feminist theory class in my sophomore year, I said that non-Indian women can criticize suttee, a historical practice of ritual suicide by Indian widows. This idea seems acceptable for academic discussion, but to many of my classmates, it was objectionable.

        The room felt tense. I saw people shift in their seats. Someone got angry, and then everyone seemed to get angry. After the professor tried to move the discussion along, I still felt uneasy. I became a little less likely to speak up again and a little less trusting of my own thoughts.

        I was shaken, but also determined to not silence myself. Still, the disdain of my fellow students stuck with me. I was a welcomed member of the group — and then I wasn’t.

        Throughout that semester, I saw similar reactions in response to other students’ ideas. I heard fewer classmates speak up. Eventually, our discussions became monotonous echo chambers. Absent rich debate and rigor, we became mired in socially safe ideas.

      • Shanreagh 13.3.2

        Well This conformism is not of recent times. I first went to Uni in the early/mid 1970s and it was hotbed of all sorts of social movements. Came back 12 years later in mid/late 1980s and I did not know what had struck me. It was like the twinset and pearls brigade and their ideas were alive and well in 18-19 year olds. I was looked on as some random with odd ideas until I found courses where there were ideas such as freedom and social ideas – criminology and linguistics. I am not sure when the fees upheavals went through But I remember thinking this is what happens when education has to be paid for……

        I only know a couple of peers who were lecturers and profs, both female. They said you had to watch 'them' (university establishment) like a hawk. Mind you in the PS/State Sector in the 1980s/1990s/2000s for a female you had to watch them like a hawk as well.

        Mainly in our case it was the time of constant mergers in depts and we had two male dominated ones join us and we had to keep reliving and relearning all the equal opportunities stuff at each merger.

        • Molly 13.3.2.1

          "Well This conformism is not of recent times."

          Recent or not, it's undesirable, surely?

          I also suspect that social media use gives dissidents little relief from having voiced alternate positions or views.

          Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. (No time to reflect)

          I also suspect (again) that the generation socialised with heavy social media use have practiced thousands of times the witty, dismissive and immediate comeback or judgement, and very rarely the considered thoughtfulness that requires time and investigation.

          That may amplify what you experienced in the 80's.

          • roblogic 13.3.2.1.1

            Indeed, thoughtfulness and reflection are irrelevant tools for dealing with torrents of information, people fall back on knee-jerk responses.

            Found this comment on Kiwiblog, where Mike Smith's recent post about "DeNazifying Ukraine" received a shellacking. (Well-deserved criticism IMO). But it is a basic democratic freedom to be able to express these "unthinkable" ideas.

            Perhaps there is a place for indepth analysis of the whole Russian-Ukraine-Nato situation rather than people voicing strident opinions based entirely upon their tribal affiliation. Are you suggesting that there is in fact no neo-Nazi element presence in Ukraine? There is. Fact. A staple of liberal literature is Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ which exhorts us to walk around a bit in someone else’s shoes for a while in order to look at things from a different perspective. Rather than see absolutely everything through a goodies/ baddies lens as our msm and political masters wish maybe we should analyze just how we got to this appalling situation and see that there is blood on Nato, the US and the western world’s hand as well as on Putin’s. His actions are evil but then just maybe the actions of others have been evil as well. This situation could and should have been resolved with diplomacy and a bit of compromise before it came to this sorry and tragic state.

            • Shanreagh 13.3.2.1.1.1

              Yes Roblogic I am amazed at the response to Mike Smith's article. Mainly at the idea it could ever be written that seem to be apparent, rather than a spirited response to the actual points raised. Yet I found it thought provoking. Which ultimately is the purpose behind it.

          • Shanreagh 13.3.2.1.2

            Yes agree most undesirable. Coming from a family where tertiary education was the norm and it was the expectation that you went there to think, and to learn to think……it was quite challenging for me to face.

            Around this time there were steps around degrees being a meal ticket. The general wide ranging humanities degrees seemed to go out of style, your degree had to be in something that an employer would pay you for. Meal ticket.

            We used to say that a degree had replaced school certificate as a minimum qualification. I can understand that someone wanted to question, explore would be seen as an impediment to gaining a swag of facts to regurgitate, next please until the end of the degree.

            I put it down to the beginning of the commodification process where we knew 'the cost of everything and the value of nothing' (Oscar Wilde but quoted by a NZ politician Helen Clark?

            • Sabine 13.3.2.1.2.1

              Funny your use of 'meal ticket', when i grew up in poor social housing germany 'meal tickets' was what men with jobs were described, and they were considered the good catch. lol I have heard the term a few times in old black and white pre code hollywood movies in the same context, i.e. marry a man and get to eat a meal a day in exchange for wifely duties as jobs – good jobs for women at the time were well rare.

              If you say that something or someone is a meal ticket, you mean that they provide a person with money or a lifestyle which they would not otherwise have.

              • Shanreagh

                Yes in the context of either receiving a liberal education or having a job mapped out for you for life. It had connotations of closing down choices and leading to a life working for 'the man'.

                My dad would say 'don't be in too much of a hurry to stop learning, you'll get to work for the rest of your life'.

                Hard to do now when tertiary education costs.

                • Sabine

                  Mine said when my schooling ended at 15 that people like me get preggars and then get married and education would be wasted on us. 🙂

                  Mind tho, i am happy and proud working class women. Universities have produced a lot of people that are unemployable – due to the reasons listed above, and learning can come many ways. And saddest above all, these unemployables of the future have debts for life, while i got paid for my apprenticeship.

                  Unemployable essentially as there will be never enough jobs for people with degrees.

            • Molly 13.3.2.1.2.2

              "Yes agree most undesirable. Coming from a family where tertiary education was the norm and it was the expectation that you went there to think, and to learn to think……it was quite challenging for me to face."

              Out of interest, how did you respond?

      • McFlock 13.3.3

        Damn, reached my article limit with them.

        Institutions build up cultures, sometimes diverse but often not. What arguments one can get away with depend on the personal foibles of the teacher and the class culture – some universities are heavily "woke", others massively conservative. further variation by class, discipline, and faculty.

        Also, there seems to be variation in how extensively universities teach the teachers: looking for argument construction rather than fighting the conclusion, how to discuss fractious topics without it becoming hostile.

        But yeah, self-censorship happens. When I was a student, I took part in a department review. They asked me if I felt I could express any idea in an essay. I laughed in their face. To me the trick was to have diversity in lecturers – I had a lecturer who was a champagne communist, another who was good for a 5% boost if you could squeeze into an essay "but that failed in the Soviet Union and this is why communism is wrong". And a good spread in between and on other subjects. So even if the student didn't want to speak out against one, they could do it in another class, and by the end of their degree they could figure out which side was more full of shit.

        Sure, not being woke in a woke uni is hard. I'm sure it's also hard being woke in a university that is highly conservative.

        • roblogic 13.3.3.1

          It's always hard to be in a minority, but yeah the culture shock at uni is something else. Sad that they only make "diversity" efforts in favour of approved groups.

          • McFlock 13.3.3.1.1

            Not really sure it's a left thing as such. I did some commerce papers back in the day – fascinating in a "how did these people get so fucked up" sort of way.

            Then there was a lecture in another discipline about the origin of law – Hammurabi, that sort of thing. I noticed that the student next to me had put in their notes "What about God" with block caps, underlining, and exclamation marks. So I guess they didn't feel like they were in a safe space to express that, either.

            If we're doing the twitter thing, here's another perspective on the US context for this opinion piece:

            Also:

            Part of the problem in NZ is that we seem to be importing US (in particular) attitudes to culture wars. That goes beyond whether someone can spout an unpopular opinion or disagree with a lecturer in a class discussion.

        • Molly 13.3.3.2

          Archived here:

          https://t.co/WJLLBHp3Zc

      • joe90 13.3.4

        no workplace is more overbearing in its enforcement of ideological conformity

        Young woman who writes for a libertarian rag, has affiliations with a right wing astroturf free speech group and has written extensively for her local student newspaper feels she can't express her views.

        Thing is Ms Camp, rather than you being cancelled or censured perhaps it's just people don't give a rats about the opinions and views you've had ample opportunity to express.

        But you be you and take on the really big issues.

        /

        And believe me, I’ve tried.

        I protested a university policy about the size of signs allowed on dorm room doors by mounting a large sign of the First Amendment. It was removed by the university. In response, I worked with administrators to create a less restrictive policy. As a columnist for the university paper, I implored students to embrace free expression. In response, I lost friends and faced a Twitter pile-on. I have been brave. And yet, without support, the activism of a few students like me changes little.

        https://archive.ph/othpc

    • Ad 13.4

      In NZ it's the small companies and small partnerships that have the most retrograde attitudes.

      The larger companies tend to lead the market in middle management gender awareness.

      In part because that's what the public sector clients want. In part because staff retention is driven by a 2.9% headline unemployment rate you can't afford to annoy anyone or they leave. Also you won't get any industry awards. Plenty of other practical reasons.

  14. ianmac 14

    Funny that the speech patterns exhibited by Luxon are so much like those of Nicola Willis. Is it possible that Willis is training Luxon on how to be understood.

    • Patricia Bremner 14.1

      devil or Nicola writing his speeches???

    • Ad 14.2

      Nicola as leader would certainly give Ardern a run for her money.

      Luxon just keeps getting creamed in the House.

      • felix 14.2.1

        Fortunately for him what goes in the house stays in the house.

      • Robert Guyton 14.2.2

        Nicola no-chance. She's arguing from a Nat p.o.v.

        That's fatal.

        Jacinda would sail, unflustered, over-top of any would-be-Jacinda Nat.

      • Incognito 14.2.3

        Agreed. The day that the National Party selects Nicola Willis as their Leader is the day Labour should start to really pay attention to the Opposition and take them much more seriously. Though I have a feeling that that day is a long way in the future if ever.

        • Hongi Ika 14.2.3.1

          How long do you think Chrome Dome will last, he's going good in the polls so far compared to the old kunekune.

          • Incognito 14.2.3.1.1

            I don’t think the National Party is ready and anywhere near selecting a Leader such as Willis. How long Luxon will last is beside the point.

      • Stuart Munro 14.2.4

        Bit of a charisma deficit there – and I haven't heard her articulate a Gordon Gekko paradigm to compete with Kindness™.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 14.2.5

        Luxon just keeps getting creamed in the House.

        Which house?

  15. Joe90 15

    When you destroy the cell towers your encrypted comms system relies on.

  16. Robert Guyton 16

    Riverton – too darn hot!!

  17. Robert Guyton 17

    “There’s plenty to go around and more to be had.”

    Old squirrel proverb

    • Shanreagh 17.1

      Apropos of nothing……I like the spirit of squirrel Nutkin

      'Nutkin danced up and down like a SUNBEAM' and his silly riddles

      crossed with the little Red Hen

      Little Red Hen found a grain of wheat. “Who will plant this?” she asked. “Not I,” said the cat. “Not I,” said the goose. “Not I,” said the rat. “Then I will,

      culminating in

      'the Red Hen called: "Who will eat the Bread?"

      All the animals in the barnyard were watching hungrily and smacking their lips in anticipation, and the Pig said, "I will," the Cat said, "I will," the Rat said, "I will."

      But the Little Red Hen said,

      "No, you won't. I will."

      And she did'

      Being a free spirit, even if an annoying one, coupled with the benefits of all pitching in to help.

  18. Ad 19

    A wee course correction for International Women's Day:

    Fonterra had to do a little adjustment to their panel discussion about this day when someone pointed out that all their panellists were men.

    Fonterra fixes all-male International Women's Day panel (1news.co.nz)

  19. tc 20

    Frakking watch across the ditch as minister for expanded fossel fuel use, Keith Pitt, is grifting $7.5m to a Delaware based company to explore NT's betaloo basin.

    Penny for the thoughts of QLD/NSW flood impacted residents oh and origin/Santos are big donors to pop up Scotty’s mob and advocates for betaloo. Just a coincidence.

  20. john2 21

    I suggest that the many experts on this blog listen to David Farrar being interviewed re

    the latest Taxpayers Union Curia poll.

    They may then be not so concerned about the latest Rogue Morgan poll.

    john2.

    • pat 21.1

      you have a link?

      • Dennis Frank 21.1.1

        I found it on the Taxpayer's Union website (Farrar was co-founder). A reasonable appraisal for the 20 mins I listened.

        Don't recall them specifying the poll results but they said the left bloc came in around 62 seats & the right bloc 57 – so the reverse of RM or thereabouts.

        Undecided was 16%. This centrist group tends to go which way the wind blows on the day. Mainstreamers would probably prefer to frame it as responsive to whichever issues were uppermost in their minds at the time. Psychologists would probably frame it as whether the govt was threatening their complacency at the time or not.

        Farrar made the Churchill point (thrown out for winning WWII) to suggest that any mana the PM/Labour may have acquired for their pandemic policy success is likely to be irrelevant on the day of the next election. Yes, floating voters are indeed that fickle. Irrational, if you prefer to make that point more emphatic.

        He also mentioned a word of mouth impression that the PM has lost the plot in recent months. I've had that impression too. Evidence? He quoted the mandate retention when it no longer serves any purpose other than punishment. Why would Labour be keen on punishing voters? Well, they are the Labour Party. They lapse into wacky stuff given half a chance, right? Rogernomics, etc.

        • pat 21.1.1.1

          So Farrar is 'releasing' poll results that he hasnt released.

          Farrar has one source of income and thats worth remembering whenever he opens his mouth.

          And that dosnt mean hes wrong…it just means that he is about as reliable as a source of information as you, me or somebody who's just returned from the Wellington protest.

        • Hongi Ika 21.1.1.2

          Roger the Rat wanted to send all the feral's to hell in a hand basket, then closed all the Mental Institution's and set the patient's free on society. Hence all the mental health issues we now have here in New Zealand.

    • Hongi Ika 21.2

      Farrar is the guru on polling was John Key's right hand man and was not usually too far off the mark.

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