Open mike 08/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 8th, 2022 - 152 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 …

152 comments on “Open mike 08/04/2022 ”

  1. Ad 1

    So is the Greens constitution about to be changed so that Chloe can roll Shaw?

    Matthew Hooton: Chloe Swarbrick odds on to join Marama Davidson, replacing James Shaw as a co-leader of the Green Party – NZ Herald

    It would seem odd when their polls are strong and they are within 6 weeks of rolling out their only government policy.

    • weka 1.1

      You're listening to Hooton reckons on the Green Party and taking them seriously?

      that's paywalled, so no idea what the constitution bit is, but Hooton's job is to lose the election for the left, or failing that, make sure that the Greens have the least amount of influence in a centre left government as possible.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        From the linked article above:

        The stage is being set for Auckland Central MP Chloe Swarbrick to join Marama Davidson as a co-leader of the Green Party, replacing James Shaw.

        This requires amending the party's constitution, which currently demands one co-leader be female and one male. Party members will soon change the rules, instead requiring one co-leader to identify as a woman and the second as any gender. They are also expected to introduce a rule requiring one to identify as Māori and the other as any ethnicity.

        The moves are motivated by both principle and pragmatism.

        The new ethnicity requirement reflects the Greens' commitment to partnership under Te Tiriti.

        On the sex rule, using "male" and "female" excludes intersex people and has uncertain implications for transgender people. But changing the words to the genders "man" and "woman" would still exclude many intersex people and the entire non-binary community.


        Successfully negotiating a so-far durable compromise with Labour, National and Te Pāti Māori over 2019's Zero Carbon Act made Shaw a genuine world leader in climate politics.


        Alternatively, with over 70 per cent of greenhouse emissions said to come from just 100 companies, Shaw might calculate that he could make a bigger contribution by returning to his PwC climate consultancy.

        Either way, a vacancy in the Greens' co-leadership is expected sometime between next month's Budget and the end of 2023.

        Of the Greens' two other male MPs, Teanau Tuiono has the skills for leadership but apparently not the aspiration. Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins is stuck in that job until October.

        With no other credible new male co-leader on the horizon, the Greens' constitutional changes are responsible succession planning.


        Most recently, Labour has utterly betrayed the young people who swung in behind Jacinda Ardern's 2017 promises to deliver a "nuclear-free moment" on climate change, make housing affordable and reduce poverty and inequality. To young leftists, her 2017 declaration that capitalism has been "a blatant failure" seems like one she has just proven true ever since.

        With Labour struggling in the polls, it falls on the Greens to secure the left-wing base. Current speculation sees Swarbrick replacing Shaw after the election. But if the Labour-Green bloc keeps failing, she may need to step in earlier to keep the betrayed 20-somethings in the tent and prevent them from splintering off in all directions along the spectrum.

        It is actually not a bad article, nothing bad faith about it. Simply a speculation of a what if scenario and why not? It's an election year….speculations are there to keep people engage.

        • weka

          thanks Sabine. So is it Ad or Hooton that's doing this spinning?

          So is the Greens constitution about to be changed so that Chloe can roll Shaw?

          • Sabine

            Fwiw, i don't think Hooton is spinning this time. This is an opinion and it is fair enough.

            As for the Greens and their internal politics, i don't know and i don't care as they are not a party on my watchlist.

            edit: it would also make sense for them to abolish Sex based selection of leadership, after all sex is so last century and Gender is anything anyone wants it to be.

            • weka

              I doubt it's a coincidence that this appears the day after the Greens announce a serious left wing social policy.

            • Tiger Mountain

              the mind boggles Sabine, as to who might actually be on your watch list…

        • Anker

          If this article about the Greens is true and it may not be, I am not sure what to think.

          Are the Greens in talking about a female co-leader saying that biological sex matters afterall? That is qite a shift. To think it was only some months back that Elizabeth Kerekere and Labour women were treating women, who were brave enough to speak up on the self id bill, with contempt. Afterall, that is what we were saying. That sometimes biological sex matters. So according to Hootens article, the Greens are now trying to draw a distinction between sex and gender. Perhaps the women who presented with such reasoned arguements to the select committee finally got through to the Greens and they have come to realize that biological sex does matter and trumps gender identity.

          Are the Greens being hypocritical or failing to see the irony of their position.? And of course its possible Hooten's article is bullshit

          • Sabine

            Maybe they had a look at the Green Party in Germany where two men were elected on the women roll and decided that that might be going a bit to far for now? I can see how that could upset the voters and rank and file members.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.2

        Exactly Weka. Don't believe a word of it.

      • James Simpson 1.1.3

        He's not saying Chloe is going to roll James.

        He is saying the constitution is being changed so that when James leaves, Chloe will be his most likely successor.

        • weka

          if Hooton's not implying that, it's unfortunate that Ad took it that way. Or it's intentional, because here we are arguing about it instead of talking about the GP rent control policy. Mission accomplished.

          • Francesca

            Honestly , anyone who thinks the overhaul of the constitution is about anything but reflecting TeTiriti has lost the plot.

    • Psycho Milt 1.2

      Can't read it, but from what's visible I assume the alleged move to change the constitution would be to remove the requirement for male and female co-leaders, co-convenors etc.

      If the allegation turns out to be true, the motivation behind it will be to remove the offensive-to-the-gender-faithful terms "male" and "female" from the constitution, rather than the kind of trivial bullshit Hooton is peddling.

      • weka 1.2.1

        It's been talked about for ages

        Hooton is spinning madly if he's saying that the changes are being done to roll Shaw. He's not stupid, he knows the discussions have been happening, and he also knows how things work in the party.

        • Psycho Milt

          Interesting – so, not just about gender bollocks but also about what happens if you find you have a lot more female than male MPs. Still, as you say, nothing to do with Machiavellian plots to roll Shaw and everything to do with Hooton wanting to distract from Greens' policy announcements.

          • weka

            really need to see the internal party docs to know what the full picture is. I just hope they don't fuck it up re sex/gender.

            • Francesca

              There's too many older women in the Green Party (members) who would vote for that shit .It's a red line

              Younger ones might push for it but I think everyone realises it would be too divisive.The self ID legislation got through , but this would be in your face and a bridge too far.Remember its the Green Party membership who vote for the co leaders. and list rankings . Can they afford to have their lesbian and older members leave in droves?

              • weka

                oh this is a really good point. Not only leave in droves but then put energy into criticising them from the outside and in their workplaces and communities.

                • Sabine

                  What would be worse?

                  Them leaving a party because they feel they are no longer represented ?

                  Them criticizing from the outside a party that they left because they no longer felt represented and that they felt they could not criticizing while being an active member of that party.

                  Which then leads to this question:

                  Would it be ok for them to leave the party so as long as they keep their mouth shut as to why they left and any misgivings they may have?

                  I find the changes in the Green Party, here and in Europe, quite interesting tbh.

                  • weka

                    don't know what you are asking. Anyone is free to leave the GP at any time and criticise them publicly. They can even stay a member and criticise them publicly.

        • Patricia Bremner

          yes Mischief by Hooton. Some things are predictable.

        • AB

          Yes – Hooton's mission is to damage the left in any way possible. He's best read with that background understanding – then ridiculed or ignored.

          That said, I think the Greens should go for a single leader – the party has no problem with female representation internally and most future leaders would probably be women anyway by virtue of arithmetic. This split leadership is past its use by date, over-emphasises individual identity at the expense of collective vision, and is therefore vulnerable to the sort of wedging attacks Hooton is mounting here.

          And the Party must know how critical the right sort of leader is to getting mass political support – as in the galvanising effect of Ardern replacing Little. Voters are unfortunately much more swayed by their perception of leaders than their analysis of policy, and the Greens have to swim in the pond they're actually find themselves in, not some idealised and imaginary one.

      • Tricledrown 1.2.2

        Hootons credibility has gone since his Mueller debacle he is not even trusted by his own party.

        • Bearded Git

          Agreed Tricle-Hooton made a complete idiot of himself in backing Mueller.

          James Shaw was excellent on Morning Report recently, the Greens are polling well and it has always been public knowledge that the constitution requires a man/woman partnership (not sure about how LGBTQ2+fits in with this).

          Hooton must be desperate for something to write about so he has made this up.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.3

        So what will the ratio be? 1:1:1? half-half-half? Will they just spend between now and the election talking about it incessantly while the electorate tip toes out of the room?

        • weka

          Last time I looked at the proposal was two co-leaders, one of whom had to be female (female wasn't defined).

          It's an internal party matter, I doubt they will be talking about it much other than responding to media or if there is a leadership challenge.

        • weka

          lefties need to stop and think about what they are doing. The day after the Greens release an actual left wing policy that has the potential to shift the overton window, NZH headlines that the Greens are about to go through a leadership challenge, and the rights premier spinmeister writes the piece.

          And they paywall it, so there will be lots of speculation without people knowing what is going on. The extent to which this plays into leftie anti-green sentiment is on the left though.

          • Sanctuary

            "…The day after the Greens release an actual left wing policy…" that has somewhere between zero and less than zero chance of being implemented. Pointless grandstanding and as unserious as ACT demanding referendums on the treaty.

            How about some policy that might have a chance of succeeding? How about something about the actual environment, like proposing legislative changes to strengthen the right to work from home? Or a demand for an immediate census of Kokako and Kiwi in Te Urewera? Or a statement that the Greens are going to push hard for fast tracking a massive windfarm in the Taranki bight?

            Behaving like a NGO lobby group is not how you get things done in parliament.

            • weka

              this is exactly why the left can't have nice things.

              The Greens have plenty of environmental polices, go look them up.

              Lefties arguing that we shouldn't bother with left wing social policy because we'll never get it, jfc.

              • weka

                seriously mate, if you want to hate the Greens you are basically saying better blue than green. Which is a cohort of the left for sure, but there's no mana in it.

                • adam

                  Read some of sanctury's comments weka. Sanctury is a right winger who can sometimes blow bubbles left on social issues. Your better off not bothering with their hard right b.s.

                  [You are a moron who does not play the ball but loves having a go at others, including an attempt at cancelling, it appears – others don’t need your mis-guidance as to whom they should or should not reply here. And even if Sanctuary were a “right winger” blowing “hard right b.s.”, which they’re not and which they don’t, then you would still address their actual argument or point, which you don’t, as usual. Stick your bollocks next door where you plucked them from and stop acting like an utter fool here – Incognito]

            • Tiger Mountain

              As far as the NZ Labour Caucus is concerned, having the first MMP majority Govt. in history is not how you get things done in Parliament either!

              Their take is you do not apologise for Rogernomics and sack all the senior public servants and get things done, oh no, you just keep on trucking with the Reserve Bank Act, State Sector Act and all the rest of the the rotten neo lib state that Roger’n’Ruth created.

            • Binders full of women


              Te Urewewa is going downhill fast. Possum numbers through the roof..birdsong quiet to non existent.

              Thoughts from a random tramper

          • Tiger Mountain

            There are few coincidences in Parliamentary politics!

            The Rent Freeze proposal definitely put Greens back in the frame, and in fact their policy is full of pro working class content.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.3

      "So is the Greens constitution about to be changed so that Chloe can roll Shaw?"

      That would be the best thing the Greens could do at this point….if the Greens are serious about being a serious Progressive political party, giving voters an actual alternative to the Centrist political ideology of both Labour/Nats..then Shaw is nothing but dead weight to the Greens….as we all know he is a centrist at heart himself.

      • Ad 1.3.1

        Let's see how he lands in May.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.3.2

        Yep, I vote Green for the brand and to let the others know we are going to ruin their neo liberal party eventually.

        Too late to form new Parliamentary parties for 2023 & 2026, so it is Green and Maori. But it is not too late to start new social movements and organise-like occupying empty residential & commercial properties.

        Activism will put the pressure on and Ms Swarbrick is s better bet to receive and carry the message. Plus she can get the better of most pundits and politicians.

      • Incognito 1.3.3

        ….as we all know he is a centrist at heart himself.

        And you know this from Shaw himself? Sounds more like a projection of your own low opinion of Shaw and a poor character assassination attempt at the same time. I think that Shaw is a little less B & W than you can imagine.

  2. Jenny how to get there 2

    It may be too late for many of the victims, but the removal of Russia from the UN Human Rights Commission, paves the way for some modicum of belated justice for the tens of thousands of Syrians, disappeared, tortured, murdered and robbed by the Assad regime, long shielded by the regime's Russian backers in the UN.

    Russia rejects UN report asserting war crimes in Syria

    A/HRC/49/77 report on Human rights violations in Syria

    ….the report established the massive human rights violations committed, first and foremost by the Syrian “regime” and its allies…..

    ….The Government should cease arbitrary detentions. Gender-based violations and violations of children’s rights were of concern. Conditions for safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons had not yet been met…

    …..Over 150,000 Syrians were arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared. The continuing war crimes were a barrier to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons……

    …… One in 13 killed in the conflict were children. The Government forces continued to commit war crimes, continued to rape and murder, and the international community must hold the Syrian Government to account.

    …..The violence committed by the “regime” affected every family. Over 150,000 Syrians were arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared. The continuing war crimes were a barrier to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons….

    ….Conditions for safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons had not yet been met. The situation continued to deteriorate, with increased suffering. Accountability was key; impunity was of great concern, and independent monitors must be given access to all areas. The “regime” must allow humanitarian access in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

    …… the report had some concrete and specific recommendations on the release of those in detention, such as for Syria to publish the names of those in detention and give access to families and lawyers. The ways this could be done had been explained in the report; it could be done starting with the sick, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. All that was left was for people to listen to the recommendations of the Commission…..

    …..Some speakers noted that resolution 46/22 on Syria, establishing the Commission, had not been supported by 20 Council members. The mandate of the Commission on Syria was not supported, nor were other similar mandates, as they were political, and thus the report was unacceptable and biased.

    ……Produced by the United Nations Information Service in Geneva for use of the information media; not an official record.

    Human Rights Council discusses the situation of human rights in Syria and the involvement of the United Nations in Myanmar

    • Francesca 2.1

      Saudi Arabia is currently killing women and children in Yemen , and blockading food supplies .The Saudis have also recently beheaded 81 of their own citizens.

      This is the regime that chopped a journalist into pieces in a foreign embassy, and incinerated Yemeni children travelling on a school bus on their way back from a picnic – an “apparent war crime”, in the words of Human Rights Watch.

      The Saudi violence has only increased in Yemen since October, after the UN human rights council voted to end its war crimes investigation following intensive lobbying by the dictatorship in Riyadh.

      The Saudis are armed by the UK, and given logistical and intelligence support by the US, help with targeting and kill strikes

      This has been going on for 8 years, the same amount of time Ukraine has been killing its citizens in the east.81% of civilian deaths occur by Ukrainian army shelling those citizens, according to a UN report

      Shall we kick them off the Human Rights Council too , while we're at it .All of them

      The US role in the current starvation of women and children in Afghanistan surely needs your righteous attention

      According to a health ministry official, approximately 1 in 10 newborn Afghan babies born since January 2022 have died – over 13,000 total – an increase believed to be exacerbated by worsening malnutrition, hunger-related diseases, and the collapse of the country’s healthcare sector. 95 percent of the population does not have enough to eat and 3.5 million children need nutritional support.

      Or are you only moved by the loudest, lurid pictures on your screen, the very partial and curated images that reinforce "our" foreign policy directives.

      • Jenny how to get there 2.1.1


        8 April 2022 at 12:49 pm

        Saudi Arabia is currently killing women and children in Yemen , and blockading food supplies .The Saudis have also recently beheaded 81 of their own citizens…..

        ….are you only moved by the loudest, lurid pictures on your screen, the very partial and curated images that reinforce "our" foreign policy directives.

        I was moved by my personal experience of the Assad regime during my time in The Middle East and Syria in 2010 where I witnessed first hand the first early stirrings of the Arab Spring. A grass roots revolt across the Arab world that was violently crushed, by the pro-Western regimes you mentioned.

        In 2011, when the Arab Spring spread to Syria…

        I was moved by my disgust and dismay of the many commenters including yourself who sided with the Assad regime in it's genocidal war against its own people.

        You on the other hand, were moved by my mentioning of this war.


        7 April 2022 at 3:24 pm

        I recognise the genocidal nature and cruelty of all wars….

        Francesca, you recognise the genocidal nature of only some wars.

        You willfully choose to ignore the genocidal nature and cruelty of the Assad regime war against its own people.

        • Brigid

          And you Jenny wilfully choose to ignore the will and determination of the Syrian people who voted Bashar Assad their President by an overwhelming majority in 2021 and 2014.

          You do nothing but insult Syrians who are not bigoted or simple minded as you seem to be, but they are intelligent, well educated and politically aware who know a damned sight more than you who is the best candidate to run their country.

          Especially when the alternative was your head chopping friends El Nusra et al.

          • Jenny how to get there

            In both elections only Syrians in government controlled areas were allowed to vote.

            That is only one of the notable things about those elections.

            The eyewatering high level of voter turn out for Assad, that is pretty notable. Democracies like NZ for example, government's have trouble getting over 50% of the vote.

            That other great dictator of the Arab world Hosni Mubarak also had the same eye watering high level of voter support just before an estimated 25 million Egyptians in the biggest popular revolt in human history forced him out of power.

            …..Egyptians tell a joke about a man who dares to vote against the government in a parliamentary election.

            On his way home from voting, the man starts to imagine all the terrible things that could happen to him and his family if the authorities find out, so he hurries back to the polling station and speaks to the policeman in charge.

            "I'm very sorry," he says, "but I think I made a mistake on my ballot paper."

            "Yes, you did," replies the policeman, "but not to worry. Fortunately we spotted your mistake and have already corrected it. Please be more careful next time."


      • Subliminal 2.1.2

        Hear hear Francesca. It always is amazing how whenever the US screeches Look!! we all turn our heads and never look anywhere else. Apparently if its not on the news it just doesn't happen.

        • Jenny how to get there

          Subliminal, what always amazing is how the screeches of the likes of Brigid and Francesca who echo pro-Russia propagandists get us to turn our heads away from the genocidal wars waged by Russia.


          Shawn Carrie 25 May, 2016

          Assad's allies in the West

          "They see it in silly binary terms – 'I'm against American imperialism; therefore I support President Putin's "anti-imperialism",' which is insane because that's also, or even moreso, a savage imperialist power, and at the moment a very worrying one," said Yassin-Kassab.

          What is amazing is how prophetic Shawn Carrie’s words on the dangers of Russian imperialism written in 2016 are, considering what is going on now in Ukraine

          Whitewashing Assad and his allies must be challenged

          When we leave whitewashers to continue their campaigns unchecked, we put our own voices at risk of being marginalised.

          • Malak Chabkoun

            Malak Chabkoun

          …..Leaving whitewashers unchallenged says more about us than about them. It indicates that we are either not willing or unable to seek out truth. When we leave whitewashers to continue their campaigns unchecked, we put our own voices at risk of being marginalised in the very same way when it is our turn to speak.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Never thought I'd live to see tank armies clashing again in sweeping battles on the steppe.

    Wish I didn't have to, but it looks like that is the next stage of this war.

    And funny to think, most people would cheer to the echo if many of the tanks on one side were made in Germany.

    How the world changes in a flash.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      A very heartfelt agreement here Sanctuary.

      The core point so many of the Putin cheerleaders here ignore is that for the past decade Russia was well on it's way to being a failed state anyway. A failing economy, a failing demographic and above all a failed polity. NATO was only expanding eastward because so many of the post Soviet states were desperate to escape the orbit of this accumulating catastrophe.

      Russia indeed faces an existential threat, but it was never from NATO or the EU, but it's own internal contradictions.

      • roblogic 3.1.1

        “Contradictions” is putting it mildly. Demographic catastrophe, brain drain, endemic corruption, ridiculous totalitarian state fascism with gross perversion of the Orthodox religion, sponsor of worldwide disinformation and assassinations

        Like MAGA America but worse

      • Subliminal 3.1.2

        A surprising number of people were able to see well in advance where the eastward expansion of Nato would end. Your wide eyed innocence is not particularly believable

        • RedLogix

          Exactly what did Russia have to fear by becoming part of Europe?

          Why did the Kremlin imagine it needed to keep all of Eastern Europe in permanent servitude and poverty in order to satisfy their paranoia?

          • Subliminal

            They tried repeatedly but were rejected. It became obvious that they were to be villified as a future enemy. By 2007, in his Munich speech Putin already outlined the ways Russia was being targeted along with the absurd Iran rationale for missile defence in Europe

          • Francesca

            They wanted to become part of Europe!

            In Putin's early days he asked to join NATO.He saw the future of Russia was with Europe, but he was constantly rebuffed.


            Imagine how differently things would have turned out if Russia had been accepted into a pan European security alliance, instead of being pointedly excluded.

            • SPC

              Clinton on the period before NATO's expansion eastward (1999).

              In 1994, Russia became the first country to join the Partnership for Peace, a program for practical bilateral cooperation, including joint training exercises between NATO and non-NATO European countries. That same year, the U.S. signed the Budapest Memorandum, along with Russia and the United Kingdom, which guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for Ukraine’s agreement to give up what was then the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Beginning in 1995, after the Dayton Accords ended the Bosnian War, we made an agreement to add Russian troops to the peacekeeping forces that NATO had on the ground in Bosnia. In 1997, we supported the NATO-Russia Founding Act, which gave Russia a voice but not a veto in NATO affairs, and supported Russia’s entry to the G7, making it the G8. In 1999, at the end of the Kosovo conflict, Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen reached an agreement with the Russian defense minister under which Russian troops could join UN-sanctioned NATO peacekeeping forces. Throughout it all, we left the door open for Russia’s eventual membership in NATO, something I made clear to Yeltsin and later confirmed to his successor, Vladimir Putin.


              • Francesca

                Sorry SPC

                just saw this from yesterday

                Well of course Clinton would put himself in that favourable light "I tried to set Putin on the right path"!!

                The arrogance of the sole superpower

                But it seems from Gorbachev on, there was no intention to admit Russia into NATO

                Whoever it was who said "I'm sorry I'm about to do a terrible thing to you.I'm going to deprive you of an enemy "after the end of the Soviet Union was wrong.America needed an enemy.The following link is pretty interesting, worth reading the lot

                .It points out the early warnings of Russian concerns about NATO

                Washington, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Declassified documents from U.S. and Russian archives show that U.S. officials led Russian President Boris Yeltsin to believe in 1993 that the Partnership for Peace was the alternative to NATO expansion, rather than a precursor to it, while simultaneously planning for expansion after Yeltsin’s re-election bid in 1996 and telling the Russians repeatedly that the future European security system would include, not exclude, Russia.


                from an interview with David Frost


            • Jenny how to get there

              You are living in fantasy land. Even if Russia was serious, even if the Western nations did let Russia join Nato. It would not get rid of the reason for war.

              The competing growth economies of rival political and economic blocs will continue to clash, just as the growth economies of the world are crashing up against the natural barriers of the environment and climate.

              Unless we can reach a steady state economy, the future is war and environmental and climate collapse.

              The limits of growth

              Dennis L. Meadows:

              "….Depletion in the future is probably going to manifest most directly through what look like political forces. As countries like the United States and China become dependent on imports to sustain their living standards, which they are already with respect to oil, they will begin to implement political, military, and economic measures to gain control over those assets abroad. And that’s certainly going to bring us into conflict. Diverting resources off to the mechanisms of control will reduce the kind of growth that’s possible domestically."


              • RedLogix

                As countries like the United States and China become dependent on imports to sustain their living standards, which they are already with respect to oil,

                Well that is certainly true of China, but much, much less so of the USA.

                In terms of energy independence US oil and gas import are a negligible fraction of their production capacity. They really only trade around the margins for a variety of commercial and technical reasons.

                In terms of food production, the US Midwest is the world's greatest food basket. They export far more than import.

                In terms of manufactured goods, their fraction of goods imported outside of NAFTA compared to their GDP is rather modest. Less than 10% last I looked. Their biggest trading partner is Mexico, not China as most people assume – and this gap is only going to widen rapidly.

                In terms of security, short of a nuclear exchange in which everyone loses, the North American continent is impregnable, two friendly neighbours and two oceans they completely control. No-one can physically invade by any currently known means (unless the Democrats really do decide to fling their borders open to literally anyone).

                Basic Geopolitics 101, secure energy, food, water and borders. The USA is not a nation motivated by a shortage of resources.

                • Jenny how to get there

                  "The USA is not a nation motivated by a shortage of resources."

                  Resources are not the only thing that nations fight over.

                  Overseas markets are one of the main issues that nations clash over.

                  Growth economies need markets, once the internal market is saturated, external markets are sought.

                  Every growth economy is an export economy. Russia wants to export, China wants to export America wants to export New Zealand wants to export. No body wants to import. Strong countries force smaller weaker countries, to accept access to their market while closing access to their market with tariffs

                  • RedLogix

                    True, but much the same logic applies – outside of NAFTA the USA exports only a very modest fraction of it's GDP. Somewhere under 10% last I looked, pretty much the lowest fraction of all the major trading nations.

                    Their motives for being so influential globally are much more complex than a base imperialism.

          • Adrian Thornton

            @ RedLogix…
            "Exactly what did Russia have to fear by becoming part of Europe"

            You seem to forget that the USSR proposed joining NATO in 1954, and even went so far as to amend their original proposal to include/exclude points that were rejected by NATO in their first proposal.

            The concluding note to their proposal read…
            "NATO would cease to be a closed military alignment of states and would be open to other European countries which, together with the creation of an effective system of European collective security, would be of cardinal importance for the promotion of universal peace."

            NATO rejected Russia's offer.

            Putin has also apparently floated the idea of joining NATO.

            “Putin said: ‘When are you going to invite us to join Nato?

            "Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe. “They wanted to be part of that secure, stable prosperous west that Russia was out of at the time,”



            I believe they have long wanted to become a part of Europe…however the dangerous Russophobia that existed then (and now) meant that negotiating a peaceful path to that outcome has never got off the ground….I guess the people who could have helped to give those negotiations even just a little oxygen and maybe plant the seeds of peace going forward, had already picked a side…just like you RedLogix…

            • Ad

              A bit more commentary on the Molotov proposal here:

              Fact: Russia Pitched the Idea of Joining NATO in 1954 | The National Interest

              • Adrian Thornton

                Thanks Ad, much of that piece is taken from Geoffrey Roberts book, Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953.

                Here is a link to an extremely interesting and enlightening interview with Roberts on his historical overview of Stalin as Political Leader and as War Leader, well worth a read if you have got the time….
                Stalin’s Wars: An Interview with Professor Geoffrey Roberts


                • RedLogix

                  Is there no genocidal monster you cannot love?

                  I did a quick search on that article for the word 'gulag' and it returns one anodyne mention. Pffft …

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    RedLogix…are you drinking something that is reverting you to your youth…you sound a teenager, and a fucking stupid one at that…grow up you idiot, or stop commenting to me please.

                    • RedLogix

                      An article pretending to evaluate Stalin's legacy and fails to explore something as obvious as the grotesque cruelty of the gulags – especially those in the Far East – deserves nothing but contempt. It is exactly equivalent as telling us Hitler was wonderful and failing to mention the Holocaust.

                      But then why should I be surprised that you think it worth referencing.

                    • weka

                      Please dial back the personalised stuff. You were warned about this the other day. There are plenty of politics to focus on. If you don't like a particular commenter's response, you can just ignore them.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    RL …."deserves nothing but contempt. It is exactly equivalent as telling us Hitler was wonderful and failing to mention the Holocaust"….

                    It is like this bit from that same article was written especially for you RedLogix…" A lot of people have confused my being impressed by Stalin with my being some kind of admirer of Stalin or someone who approved of Stalin. Personally and politically I detest the kind of policies and ideology that Stalin stood for…… Don’t confuse the story I tell about this powerful and impressive system and this powerful and impressive leader with my own point of view. I’m just telling the story as I see it. I see it as my duty as a historian to tell that story, even though that story might make a lot of people uncomfortable. It might not want to be the story that a lot of people want to hear. It might be the story that offends a lot of people’s own politics. I can’t help that. That’s the history and as a historian I’m committed to telling the truth as I see it.

                    The problem with you RL, is if the historical story is one that conflicts with your present world view you get angry….as can be seen by the way you relentlessly insult me at the end of half the comments you reply to me with…and that is getting real boring and annoying to me, so how about you either stop it or don’t comment to me in future.

            • RedLogix

              If Russia was so keen to join NATO why did they continue to target them with nuclear weapons?

              Or indeed why object to Ukraine joining? Your logic is utterly contradictory.

              Still everytime you come here cheering on Putin’s butchery it becomes more obvious that you aren’t even a useful idiot.

              • Adrian Thornton

                RedLogix…I don't mean to be mean of rude here, but seriously, the more you talk these days, the more you sound like you have nothing to say…from my end it's all a bit sad really. Even though I rarely agreed with you, I used to quite respect you, at least you, unlike most of your other Liberal Imperialist comrades on this site, usually delivered a well thought out debate and/or position….now all you sound like is a big pile of angry stinking shit.

                But yo your question…”If Russia was so keen to join NATO why did they continue to target them with nuclear weapons?”
                Probably because they were well aware that the West (mainly the USA/UK) were not interested in peace with Russia…
                Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov…..
                “Most likely, the organizers of the North Atlantic bloc will react negatively to this step of the Soviet government and will advance many different objections. In that event the governments of the three powers will have exposed themselves, once again, as the organizers of a military bloc against other states and it would strengthen the position of social forces conducting a struggle against the formation of the European Defense Community,”

                • RedLogix

                  now all you sound like is a big pile of angry stinking shit.

                  Because that is the correct response to Putin's butchery.

      • Anne 3.1.3

        RedLogix: I have put up a You Tube link on today's (Friday) Daily Review.

        Paul Buchanan and Selwyn Manning discuss the war in Ukraine after the latest round of atrocities. It expands on your perception of the way things are going and the most likely outcomes.

        Its an hour long but the most illuminating discussion I have encountered thus far. Buchanan has a huge amount of experience in the field of intelligence and analysis gathering plus personal experience of atrocities committed in South America.

    • Scud 3.2

      Yes, you are not the only Sanctuary on, a few ex NZ Tankie mates & I are rather jealous at what is about to happen even though our respective wife's/ partners/ hubby's have given us permission to volunteer (note we left the RNZAC/ Scots SQN in late the 90's.)

      Me personally I would like to join the Ukrainian Airforce Ground Defence Units my bread & butter for the last 20yrs in RAAF. Especially Defending the Warloc's for the MiG29's, SU25's & Hind Helicopters.

      Given what has happened & what we have seen so far in terms of Combined Arms TTP's from Russian & Ukrainian Armoured Corps. The Ukranian Tankies incl its Light Cavalry combined with the Ukrainian Light Infantry Units have a superior TTP's (SOP's in old money).

      Just to add, that I had planned a trip to Ukraine incl Crimea, Kursk & through to Rostov on the Don until Tsar Poot's little Green Man invaded in 14. My Travel plans got knock back by work, as they deem it to high risk.

  4. mikesh 4

    Josie Pagani has an article on the Stuff website arguing that the West should intervene militarily in Ukraine:

    In a twist on the '’mutually assured destruction’' deterrent, Putin is showing that he can use the threat of nuclear weapons as an effective way of coercing his adversaries to do what he wants.

    His tactic is dangerous and can't be allowed to stand. Let him do this, and we say Putin can commit war crimes, bomb maternity hospitals, execute civilians, and even destroy whole cities and the people in them. As long as he has a nuclear weapon, we won't enter the war.

    I don't know what she means by "standing up to Putin". I think she would have to be be pretty naive to think that that Putin would not carry through on his threat and start a nuclear war if the West attempted to impose a no-fly zone.

    Kennedy, in 1962, threatened nuclear war, but war was averted when a negotiated settlement was reached with Kruschev. In the current conflict the West, instead of accusing Russia of war crimes, atrocities etc, and imposing sanctions, should be doing their utmost to steer the protagonists towards the negotiating table.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      should be doing their utmost to steer the protagonists towards the negotiating table.

      How? Exactly what else should be done than has not already been attempted?

      Or are you really suggesting that Ukraine should just surrender?

      • mikesh 4.1.1

        How? Exactly what else should be done than has not already been attempted?

        It should have happened before the invasion even started. Putin tried on many occasions to get talks started on the Eastern Ukraine situation but Zelenskyy simply ignored him; so then he massed troops on the Ukranian border, but even then Zelenkyy didn't get the message, In the end Putin had little choice but to launch an invasion, and still Zelenskyy made no moves to avert a disaster by agreeing to talks.

        All the West has done is to make loud noises about war crimes and atrocities. Good propaganda no doubt, but hardly calculated to bring about peace, assuming of course that peace is what America wants. The recriminations should be left until after the war is over.

        Or are you really suggesting that Ukraine should just surrender?

        If the Ukranians win it will be a Pyrrhic victory – assuming it's not a Pyrrhic loss.

    • Psycho Milt 4.2

      "Standing up to Putin" doesn't have to involve imposing a no-fly zone, just equipping Ukraine with the necessary military equipment to trash Russian invasion forces. There are no "protagonists" to steer towards a negotiating table, only invaders and the invaded. Make the invaded "negotiate" how much of their country they're going to give up to the invaders and you unleash a whole new round of bigger countries exercising their territorial ambitions on smaller ones.

    • I think the line drawn between sanctions and indirect military conflict with Russia (via Ukraine) and actually being involved militarily in the Ukrainian conflict is somewhat semantic. I am not sure that Russia would see it as much different. It could be argued that the effect of sanctions on Russia is far greater than would be the effect of Nato intervening directly in the conflict.

      So, from their perspective, Russia may well see itself under attack already, regardless of whether Nato is directly involved or not.

      Remember, it was a form of sanction, the oil embargo on Japan, from the US, that led to the Pearl Harbour attack.

      So, there is no guarantee that sanctions themselves wouldn't elicit a military response from Russia. The fact that an arguably greater economic attack from the west hasn't provoked a military response from Russia, then, suggests that an arguably lesser response from Nato (say setting up a no fly zone) would not be a step that would lead to WW3 either.

      In the end, Russia is far outweighed in terms of military strength by Nato. Therefore, they certainly do not want to get involved in a conventional war with Nato. And the use of nuclear weapons would be national suicide for them.

      Therefore, I think the consequence of Nato and the west getting getting directly involved in Ukraine is probably far overstated.

      That is not to say I am actually arguing that Nato should be directly involved. Only, that I think the risks of such involvement leading to WW3 are not increased to any significant degree compared to the action already being taken.

      • tsmithfield 4.3.1

        By the way, if anyone has the stomach to watch all this, here is the Sky Interview with Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson.

        • Byd0nz

          Yea, I see what you mean, got no stomach for those arrogant English interviewers eh

        • weston

          Not sure why the clip should have anything to do with stomachs ts but thanks for putting up the interview with peskov gd to hear the usually missing Russian perspective ! in my view we need as many of these conversations as possible . I found something which you may have seen already perhaps but if not you and all the other 'armchair generals ' here might appreciate .Seems credibly unbiassed and educative .

        • Subliminal

          Thanks for the Peskov interview. I hadn't seen that. I guess that will be the last time such a rational discussion of the events in Ukraine will get aired.

          Afterall Peskov, shown two of the events that the west consider slam dunks in Bucha, was able to point out weaknesses in each in the short time he was given to respond.

          The satellite photos of Yablonsksa Street are obviously taken after the scene was set but we are asked to believe that the satellite company with Pentagon contracts was telling the truth about the dates?? No verifiable time stamps with the photos. Good grief

          The identification of the armoured vehicle that blew up the woman cyclist as Russian uses photos obviously different (diferent positions) to that in the video.

          The attempt to portray the whole world as against Russia was laughable in a western centric way. Pushing all the tired white helmet and novichok fabrications as fact. Difficult to get any balance in five eyes countries but guess what? We aren't the world.

          At the end, Peskov states that Russia views its special operation as a preventative measure against a future third world war. They have taken the lesson of Chamberlain type appeasement to heart. Viewing US behaviour in its unipolar moment can only support such a view. A US led world has only brought chaos and destruction to poor, defenceless countries.

      • Nic the NZer 4.3.2

        Hopefully you are aware how few nuclear detonations will be required to set off a nuclear winter. I believe the US understanding is that they might well succeed in a first strike able to negate Russian response, but the consequences of that would still be devastating for the US.

        • tsmithfield

          I do understand the nuclear threat. But I think that exists already with what the west is already doing in terms of sanctions and effectively attacking Russia indirectly by supplying weapons to Ukraine. Look at all the damage Nato and the west are already doing to Russian forces via the weapons they are supplying Ukraine.

          I am not convinced that the threat of this would be greatly increased should the west, say, establish a no fly zone.

          • Nic the NZer

            A no fly zone is a significant escalation. Thats a distinction Biden has made by implementing sanctions supplying weapons, but not a no fly zone. As far as we can see Russia seems to hold this distinction also as they have not described economic lines which would lead to nuclear retaliation.

            Your framework is at odds to both nuclear capable sides and so there seems no reason to adopt it.

        • alwyn

          If you really want to scare yourself silly on the topic I suggest you should read Daniel Ellsberg's 2017 book on the subject. It is called The doomsday machine : confessions of a nuclear war planner.

      • McFlock 4.3.3

        Thing is, if Russia/Putin was a rational actor, they wouldn't have invaded Ukraine in the first place.

        I can see the benefit to invading Crimea – it ain't good to have such a strategically significant port held under lease and a handshake just because it's on someone else's territory.

        But invading the rest of Ukraine? Maybe the foreign policy advice Putin receives is as gilded as the advice he received about military readiness. Because if he's receiving rational advice, his decisions are incredibly and unusually stupid. But if he's making rational decisions in an advice fantasy land, his decisions still have an unpredictable outcome in reality.

        • tsmithfield

          I think he was rational to the extent he was probably entitled to make assumptions that he based his decisions on, and thought he had the opportunity to grab Ukraine in a quick operation.

          Firstly, he had just witnessed the west pulling out of Afghanistan, and had seen the relative lack of commitment of the NATO countries and their squabbles. Also, he had seen their response over the Crimean invasion. So it was probably reasonable for him to believe that the west would huff and puff but not really do anything.

          Secondly, he had built up large foreign reserves that he thought would fund his military campaign. He probably didn't envisage that the west might lock a lot of that away.

          Thirdly, on paper anyway, he had vast military superiority over Ukraine. Even a lot of western commentators didn't think the Ukranians would last that long.

          Finally, I think he vastly underestimated the willingness of the Ukranians to fight. He probably thought they would give up quickly like the Afghanistan army. After all, the Ukranians didn’t put up much of a fight in Crimea. So past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour etc.

          So, I think taking the above into account, it was probably quite rational of him to expect a quick, easy win. And that is what the Russian army prepared for.

          If he had known the way things would turn out, he probably would never have made the move in the first place. But now that he has gone in, he really has to keep it going otherwise he loses face, and possibly is position as leader.

          • McFlock

            It's one thing to expect an easy win, but another thing entirely to plan to expect a walkover. The shear number of troops they used left them no contingency for actual resistance. So that's the deeply flawed intelligence, and planning flawed to the point of complacency.

            Then there are things like the logistics problems, the maintenance issues, the unsupported armour going into urban areas. Those are readiness issues that should have been prevented or at least reported.

            Then there's the dramatic impact of newer ATGMs, and the failure to achieve air supremacy. That's a failure in military intelligence and also overly rosy tech analyses.

            So the point is, even if Putin isn't pumped full of roid rage and is thinking clearly, he's still working off a fantasy football playbook. Does his information about his nuclear weapons efficacy and likely US/global responses to use of nukes follow the same fantasy land? That's one of the big risks here.

            Sure, he's unexpectedly having to evaluate his continued leadership when he was expecting a walkover and to be welcomed as a liberator, but if that could lead to him making a miscalculation based on accurate information, what about if his information is flawed?

            • tsmithfield

              I am not denying that Putin may be becoming unhinged, or very angry about the situation. But I think the damage has already been done in that respect. So the risk of a nuclear response is probably there right now.

              I don't actually think there is much point to a no fly zone, because the Ukranians already effectively have that with the huge amount of anti-aircraft assets they have now. I just saw a report that the Russians are hardly using attack helicopters now because they have lost so many of them. And the Ukranians are shooting down a lot of the cruise missiles.

              However, it could be argued that the presence of NATO in some capacity might actually reduce the likelihood that Nukes are used.

              The most likely use of nukes I have seen reported is the possibility of limited tactical use within Ukraine with a smaller weapon aimed at eliminating a large force of infantry for instance.

              But if NATO were in there, the Russians might be very reluctant to use nukes in that way because of the possibility of it being seen as an attack on NATO and hence a military response.

              It is a difficult one. Obviously a nuclear war would be civilisation ending, and no-one wants that.

              But, when there is an aggressor threatening to use nukes unless he gets his way, how is the world to respond to that? If the world just gives up and gives him what he wants, he will just keep on doing the same thing.

              Remember, I did say in my initial post that I wasn't actually arguing that NATO should go into Ukraine. But just that I didn't think it greatly elevated the risk by doing so.

              • McFlock

                If Putin gets told Nato troops are there when deciding to use nukes.

                And what if the mobilisation of nukes leads to an accidental use by individual units, outside of the policy decision-making framework? If Ukrainians get nuked it's bad, but if Nato (especially US) troops get nuked then all hell could let loose.

                Let Russia threaten. Maybe the response to actual nukes will be WW3, maybe not. At the moment, not knowing the response framework gives the rational decision-maker a suggestion that the stakes are possibly unacceptable. Nato troops on the ground might suggest that the only rational option (other than refusing to play) is to go all-in.

                • The whole nuclear war scenario is incredibly scary.

                  I saw a video from a guy who's previous job was to game war scenarios. He said that gaming (military not play station) predicted that even the limited use of a nuclear weapon as described above would lead quickly to full scale nuclear war.

                  What is the west to do if they see Russia starting to open nuclear missile silos, and prepare other assets for a nuclear attack?

                  I don't think Nato would just wait for the Russians to start firing missiles. I think they would try and get their own attack away first to try and take out missiles before they could be launched. I think Russia would realise that as well, so would only take that sort of action if they actually intended to follow through, which NATO would also realise…. So it very quickly reaches a point of no return.

                  I think Putin is going to lose this war. Probably the best outcome would be for him to gain enough in the short-term anyway, for him to be able to proclaim "victory"on May 9th, and then withdraw his troops. As I don't think he can afford to keep this going for long.

                  • McFlock

                    Putin's likely already lost, the question is "how badly".

                    Yeah, the escalation curve tends to get pretty steep after mushroom clouds of whatever size. Mostly because of any perceived imbalance of how many of the smaller nukes one side has/can take vs another, so after that it's either go big or go home.

                    On the plus side, they wouldn't open silos for a tactical nuke – those tend to be bombs or even artillery rounds (although I don't know if anyone has the artillery nukes in current arsenals – US in particular had them in the 1960s, some of them scary small).

                  • BTW, I don't actually think NATO would put infantry on the ground in Ukraine.

                    But I could envisage a scenario where there is some complex missile systems capable of taking out Russian artillery and ships with a high degree of efficiency from a very long range. But the problem is that the Ukranians don't know how to use them.

                    But if that were stationed say in the west of Ukraine away from the fighting, and operated by NATO personnel, it would be difficult for the Russians to know whether it was actually NATO or Ukranians who had been trained in the equipment.

                    Or, some type of drone weapons that NATO could operate from outside of Ukraine. Again, it would be very difficult to prove NATO was doing it, and NATO would deny it if the accusation was made.

                    It would be ironic though, if the only forces to be nuked in this conflict was the Russians themselves, digging trenches in the red forest around Chernobyl.

                    • McFlock

                      Don't forget the old "foreign volunteer, ok last week they were a specialist in xxx armed forces, but totally unaffiliated now, don't know how they got that equipment, either" move.

                      But as soon as the numbers start getting into the hundreds, the chances of them popping up in the media increase – like the "mystery troops" in Crimea in 2014 who were facebooking happily away…

                    • Yeah. Like I said at the outset the question of whether or not NATO (and the west) is directly involved starts become a bit semantic.

                      The way I see this conflict has become is that it is now a proxy war with Russia fighting Ukraine as a proxy for NATO.

                      I think NATO is so invested in this conflict now that they actually want Ukraine to win now, rather than just survive. And they really don't want Putin to be able to claim a win, because that would just incentivise him to keep going. And Putin is just as committed as well.

                      So, it is a bit like a fight to the bitter end now. I don’t see a negotiated solution, especially after the war crimes.

                      The good thing is at the end of this Russia will no longer be a super power, and after this there will only be two crazy super powers to worry about.

                    • McFlock

                      I think the Nato hope was that Ukraine would retreat to its western areas and do some assymetric insurgency in the occupied areas, slowly bleeding Russia. But Ukraine is still using conventional forces, and holding its own.

                      There's also the war crime thing which seems to be a bit more unexpected – sure, artillery obliteration, but population relocations and mass executions already?

                      So now I think Nato is sniffing an opportunity and a desire to topple Putin internally, and can probably do that just by keeping the missiles flowing to Ukraine. A lot of the equipment like the NLAW actually seems to require pretty low levels of training, too.

                      Russia seems to be reorienting to consolidate its eastern gains, but whether they will be able to hold that territory seems to be more up to Ukraine than it's up to Putin.

                    • Yeah. The problem for the Russians is that the Ukranians can reposition a lot of their troops as well, now they aren’t needed up north.

                      I am thinking the Russians really have no option but to attack. And that will be against very dug in positions. So, there is going to be a lot of life lost over the next couple of weeks, unfortunately, on both sides.

                      I wouldn't want to be in a Russian tank driver over there. According to the US State Attorney, Blinken, there are now ten anti-tank weapons over there for every Russian tank.

                      Those tanks and the APCs are more like steel coffins now.

                      A bit of macabre humour:

                      Q. What do you call a column of Russian tanks?

                      A. A deadline.

                    • McFlock


          • After all, the Ukranians didn’t put up much of a fight in Crimea. So past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour etc.mikesh

            After all, the Ukranians didn’t put up much of a fight in Crimea. So past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour etc.

            There was no actual invasion of Crimea. The latter's citizens handed themselves over to Russia willingly. Ukraine and Crimea had little in common, either ethnically or culturally, anyway.

            • weka

              please look at what you just did. Whatever device you used to make that comment, you have to check the Name and Email field each time to make sure there are no typos there. Please say if there are technical difficulties.

      • Subliminal 4.3.4

        If you think that a no fly zone is a lesser response then I suggest that you don't have much understanding. Enforcing a no fly zone requires shooting down aircraft. Since Ukraine has not had much joy in that endeavour, it will involve operations, either missiles or aircraft from neighbouring countries. That will mean a Europe wide war that would soon involve the US as well. So not really "lesser"

    • Sanctuary 4.4

      I was listening to Kathryn Ryan being the full song chickenhawk on RNZ yesterday and it occured to me the singular political phenomena of the last twenty-twenty five years has been the emergence of the blue liberal hawk, AKA "centrists". Pagani is an exemplar of the type.

      • Bearded Git 4.4.1

        Yes Ryan is consistently showing her blue credentials more and more these days. I think she can no longer be bothered to hide them.

      • Anne 4.4.2

        What gets me about Josie Pagani is that she repeats what others have been thinking and saying for weeks/months before she comes out and says it as if its something new and novel.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.5

      Yes, when it comes to nukes; MAD–mutually assured destruction–still stands even if it might be a lingering, post apocalyptic destruction.

      The former Soviet Union was involved in a number of anti proliferation Nuclear Treaties that the USA has since disregarded. Perhaps if the USSR had invented iMacs and skinny jeans rather than producing ICBMs they would still be here.

      But the fact is virtually any armed conflict is finally resolved with negotiation.

      • aj 4.5.1

        There is value in reading this thread and the comments which cover a wide range of viewpoints.

        Some of the world’s largest countries (China, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Indonesia) refuse to condemn Russia’s war. We tend to assume that outrage at Russia must be universal, but there are reasons why so many countries back Putin or at least hesitate to condemn him

        And this, which is linked to in that thread.

        The West v Russia: why the global south isn’t taking sides

        • Tiger Mountain

          Good stuff. I have been a lone voice on The Standard for a while pushing the Non Aligned Movement, and that Aotearoa NZ should join it–there is of course “a shit show and no show” of that happening while this country is hooked into 5 Eyes.

          The non aligned movement allows mutually beneficial bilateral trade and cultural agreements, and seems a worthy solution for small nations in the era of Climate Disaster, COVID affected supply lines and imperialist power plays.

    • AB 4.6

      What can Ukraine concede in negotiations – a neutral Ukraine outside NATO, the Donbas region becoming independent, a plebiscite in Crimea? All these things are possible, but they assume that Russia is a rational actor (criminal, but still rational) pragmatically concerned about its own security.

      But the recent atrocities and the "denazification" propaganda feel like that there is an altogether darker and irrational nationalism at work. Like some fascist harking back to a glorious imperial Russian past that has been betrayed in the present. Can the Ukrainians really negotiate with such people – or can they do so only from a position of military strength, or at least parity? It is very concerning to see no end to this war.

      • aom 4.6.1

        Short memory or lack of awareness AB?

        All that you suggest was on offer for a number of years but were trampled into dust beneath the NATO boots on Zelenskiy's neck.

        • AB

          Neither really – I just don't see how anyone will think it's possible to go back to those negotiating positions after what the Russians have done. The Russians were certainly provoked, but they pulled the trigger and what they have revealed of themselves since doing so is ugly.

          • aj

            I'd be surprised if they want less or more than those earlier positions, but only time will tell.

    • DB Brown 5.1

      I mentioned here only a couple years back that we'd be fighting over shit in short order.

      The immensity of our failure to create sustainable systems…

      Gardeners beware! Not all shit is equal.

      Some (spray residues in) manures can actually kill or severely damage your crops. Know the medicinal and spray regime of the animals and land they came from. Some pesticides are extremely persistent, don't let your need to save money cost you your garden.

  5. aj 6

    And how real is this take going to be? certainly a minefield (pardon the pun) for the EU countries to get through. No simple choices.

    Sit back and watch Europe commit suicide

    If the US goal is to crush Russia's economy with sanctions and isolation, why is Europe in an economic free fall instead?

    …Cue to the coming catastrophic economic consequences felt by Europeans in their daily life (but not by the wealthiest five percent): inflation devouring salaries and savings; next winter energy bills packing a mean punch; products disappearing from supermarkets; holiday bookings almost frozen. France’s Le Petit Roi Emmanuel Macron – perhaps facing a nasty electoral surprise – has even announced: “food stamps like in WWII are possible.”

    We have Germany facing the returning ghost of Weimar hyperinflation. BlackRock President Rob Kapito said, in Texas,“for the first time, this generation is going to go into a store and not be able to get what they want.” African farmers are unable to afford fertilizer at all this year, reducing agricultural production by an amount capable of feeding 100 million people.

    Zoltan Poszar, former NY Fed and US Treasury guru, current Credit Suisse grand vizir, has been on a streak, stressing how commodity reserves – and, here, Russia is unrivaled – will be an essential feature of what he calls Bretton Woods III (although, what’s being designed by Russia, China, Iran and the Eurasia Economic Union is a post-Bretton Woods).

    Poszar remarks that wars, historically, are won by those who have more food and energy supplies, in the past to power horses and soldiers; today to feed soldiers and fuel tanks and fighter jets. China, incidentally, has amassed large stocks of virtually everything.

    • McFlock 6.1

      Seems a bit slanted, that report.

      why is Europe in an economic free fall instead?

      "Instead" rather than "as well"?

      7.3% inflation is nowhere near Weimar levels. Literal orders of magnitude out.

      Is the fertiliser shortage because of sanctions on Russia, or because Ukraine is a war zone?

      • aom 6.1.1

        If one thinks back, it seems previously when Russia was sanctioned, it responded by developing self-sufficiency in a number of areas of its economy which has stood it in pretty good stead. This time around, cynics would think the same is likely to happen again. They might also notice that the ruble isn't looking too shabby while the Euro is going south along with the pound.

        There is one winner though – the US is frantically selling arms to suckers who are arming Ukraine and will want the inflated debts paid for in their funny money.

        • McFlock

          They might also notice that the ruble isn't looking too shabby while the Euro is going south along with the pound.

          So which is the historically weak currency recovering after halving its value in early march for some reason, and which one has been tracking down against the USD for a year (a year of a new POTUS, btw)?

          Not sure Russian self sufficiency is all it's cracked up to be, but time will no doubt tell. If it is, I guess the sanctions against superyachts and currency reserves aren't a massive hardship for ordinary Russians.

      • Poission 6.1.2

        Is the fertiliser shortage because of sanctions on Russia, or because Ukraine is a war zone?

        Russia is both a big exporter of most fertilizers,and Gas.The high cost of gas has meant a number of major manufacturers in Europe have stopped making Urea etc.

        As the international price lifts all boats including the US has meant US farmers have switched their crop selection from feed maize (also used for ethanol production) to soya (which requires a 1/4 of the fert)

        South America is struggling with Rice not being sown in Peru,where it is a staple food.

        Russia is a large exporter of all commodities.

  6. Anker 7

    Here’s a bit of science, as to why some people are vacinne hesitant, from our wonderful Dunedin study…..this is the only research in NZ I would trust without digging very deep.

    the Dunedin study found there was a preponderance of negative events in childhood leading these people to mistrust authority. The backlash against these people will of course make this worse.

    Just to reiterate I do not support the anti vax point of view or their unscientific belief systems

    • gsays 7.1

      That speaks to close friends who have a fairly top end restaurant.

      They really struggled (and still are) with having to insist 3 key members of staff had to leave (and be paid out) because they weren't willing to be vaccinated. He, the chef/owner, had grown up with the experience of being a healthy young nipper until he was vaccinated for something.

      Then the auto-immune issues started- eczema and athsma mainly followed by picking up every bug that went round.

      Those experiences and the family stories about them, formed his reality. Far from an anti-vaxxer, he was very resistant to the compulsion vibe and ended up having to comply for a bunch of reasons, non of which were health related.

      This, and the divisions formed from the response, is where there is a lot of healing to occur before we can say we are past the pandemic.

      • joe90 7.1.1

        is where there is a lot of healing to occur before we can say we are past the pandemic.

        .Acute disease is only the beginning. We're staring down the barrel at a huge swathe of the population being disabled in ways we can only imagine.

        If it turns out that natural herd immunity doesn't exist and new variants keep emerging then it's unlikely we'll be able to drive the effective reproduction number down to <1.

        The societal burdens of endemic covid will be huge and eventually, they'll become unbearable. Elimination will be the only option.Vaccination and non clinical interventions will get us there.

        Best we hurry up.

  7. joe90 8

    Poots has finally achieved something.


    IL information: Finland is preparing to apply for NATO membership with an additional registration issued by TP-Utva

    The additional entry is brief and only states that the state leadership has decided to apply for NATO membership.


    IL sources estimate that a decision will be made in TP-Utva to apply for NATO membership during the first two weeks of May.

    • Yes, isn't it ironic that part of his reason for going into Ukraine was because NATO was getting too close and too scary. But now he is getting absolutely the opposite of what he wanted with more countries about to join NATO and a lot more NATO forces on his doorstep.

      • In Vino 8.1.1

        Only if you drink in the one-sided propaganda we are fed. Wait and see. I will be pleased if you are right, but I currently have no confidence in the stories we are being told.

  8. McFlock 9

    Oh look, vaccine mandates for certain professions are legal.

    • Rosemary McDonald 9.1

      Oh look, 77% of new cases and 77% of hospitalisations are fully vaxxed or boosted.

      And despite all health staff being fully vaccinated and boosted, hospitals are still handicapped by absences due to Covid.

      The Pfizer product struggled to prevent transmission of Deltait is mocked by Omicron.

      Oh look. Our Ministry of Health has failed to keep up.

      • McFlock 9.1.1


        What proportion of the population are "fully vaccinated or boosted"? If they were hospitalised at the same rate as unvaccinated people, how many admissions would that be?

        Oh look. You've refused to keep up for at least a year now.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Oh look.

          79% of the population is fully "vaccinated" and 51% have taken up the offer of a booster.

          And for those who prefer fancy graphics, Farah Hancock has provided some nifty examples. It would seem that at the most, having partaken of the Pfizer product might..and I use that word advisedly…just might slightly lower your chances of occupying a hospital bed. If you're lucky you might get care from an uninfected doctor or nurse. Or a fully vaccinated but testing positive nurse.

          And as for admissions to hospital of the willfully unvaccinated…that rate has come down. Perhaps because it was the practice to test those at 'high risk' of being infected, rather than test everyone regardless of vaccination status.

          "Everyone is screened coming through and if you're considered high-risk, then you'll be off for a swab. If you're unvaccinated, that does put you into the high-risk group."

          Dr. Tait is hopefully looking at the infection rates and amending the protocols.

          It would be such a shame if an infectious person was welcomed into the hallowed halls of his hospital because he wrongfully assumed a fully vaxxed and boosted patient is at significantly lower risk of being infected.

          • McFlock

            You really want to go down that math-hole? ok.

            On Feb13, we had had 649 hospital admissions over the pandemic. Now the number is 5899, so 89% of our hospitalisations are in the last couple of months, and thus probably omicron.

            About 90% of people admitted were vaccine eligible at the time of admission.

            But of the people admitted between feb13 and April 8:

            • 8.5% were ineligible for vaccination when admitted.
            • only 74% of the 5250 vaccine-eligible admissions were fully vaccinated or boosted.
            • 95% of eligible population was fully vaccinated at start of period.
            • So (95% of 91.5%) is 86%, and they're responsible for 74% of (mostly omicron) admissions. Better than 77% vs 79%.
            • And the flipside is that 26% of recent admissions involved only 14% of the vaccine-eligible population: the unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.
  9. Francesca 10

    But what is stopping NATO going in ?

    It's not their charter.They've engaged in wars that weren't triggered by article 5 before.

    Is it the fear of things going nuclear.If so, belonging to NATO may be more of a weapons buying scam than a protection.

    Or is NATO/US waiting for both parties to exhaust themselves, as in WW2, then step in and pick over the spoils of war between them .And don't think for a moment any crumbs would be left for Ukraine.With resources getting scarce both the US and Europe could gorge themselves on unlimited energy and the food baskets of both countries.

    I wouldn't be betting too heavily on MAD as a deterrent though .There are those on both sides who think a nuclear war can be winnable.

    • aj 10.1

      There are those on both sides who think a nuclear war can be winnable.

      And that is the bloody frightening thing. I don't think there is such a thing, because any use of tactical nuclear weapons will inevitably escalate to the full monty.

  10. DB Brown 11

    So far as I can see some people are making far too much money off weaponry to even try to stop the war.

    But Putin is not in favour with his cronies – assuming they're all under sanctions. Only the patriotically puerile will miss him. The RUs-MAGA's.

    Drone strike his war criminal ass and let's see who want's to step up for more of the same. Reckon that'll be it, war ended.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Immigration settings updates
    Judicial warrant process for out-of-hours compliance visits 2023/24 Recognised Seasonal Employer cap increased by 500 Additional roles for Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement More roles added to Green List Three-month extension for onshore Recovery Visa holders The Government has confirmed a number of updates to immigration settings as part of ...
    9 hours ago
  • Poroporoaki: Tā Patrick (Patu) Wahanga Hohepa
    Tangi ngunguru ana ngā tai ki te wahapū o Hokianga Whakapau Karakia. Tārehu ana ngā pae maunga ki Te Puna o te Ao Marama. Korihi tangi ana ngā manu, kua hinga he kauri nui ki te Wao Nui o Tāne. He Toa. He Pou. He Ahorangi. E papaki tū ana ...
    20 hours ago
  • COVID-19 funding returned to Government
    The lifting of COVID-19 isolation and mask mandates in August has resulted in a return of almost $50m in savings and recovered contingencies, Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Following the revocation of mandates and isolation, specialised COVID-19 telehealth and alternative isolation accommodation are among the operational elements ...
    22 hours ago
  • Appointment of District Court Judge
    Susie Houghton of Auckland has been appointed as a new District Court Judge, to serve on the Family Court, Attorney-General David Parker said today.  Judge Houghton has acted as a lawyer for child for more than 20 years. She has acted on matters relating to the Hague Convention, an international ...
    1 day ago
  • Government invests further in Central Hawke’s Bay resilience
    The Government has today confirmed $2.5 million to fund a replace and upgrade a stopbank to protect the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant. “As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, the original stopbank protecting the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant was destroyed. The plant was operational within 6 weeks of the ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt boost for Hawke’s Bay cyclone waste clean-up
    Another $2.1 million to boost capacity to deal with waste left in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake. Funds for Hastings District Council, Phoenix Contracting and Hog Fuel NZ to increase local waste-processing infrastructure. The Government is beefing up Hawke’s Bay’s Cyclone Gabrielle clean-up capacity with more support dealing with the massive amount ...
    2 days ago
  • Taupō Supercars revs up with Government support
    The future of Supercars events in New Zealand has been secured with new Government support. The Government is getting engines started through the Major Events Fund, a special fund to support high profile events in New Zealand that provide long-term economic, social and cultural benefits. “The Repco Supercars Championship is ...
    2 days ago
  • There is no recession in NZ, economy grows nearly 1 percent in June quarter
    The economy has turned a corner with confirmation today New Zealand never was in recession and stronger than expected growth in the June quarter, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “The New Zealand economy is doing better than expected,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s continuing to grow, with the latest figures showing ...
    2 days ago
  • Highest legal protection for New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs
    The Government has accepted the Environment Court’s recommendation to give special legal protection to New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs, Te Waikoropupū Springs (also known as Pupū Springs), Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   “Te Waikoropupū Springs, near Takaka in Golden Bay, have the second clearest water in New Zealand after ...
    2 days ago
  • More support for victims of migrant exploitation
    Temporary package of funding for accommodation and essential living support for victims of migrant exploitation Exploited migrant workers able to apply for a further Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV), giving people more time to find a job Free job search assistance to get people back into work Use of 90-day ...
    3 days ago
  • Strong export boost as NZ economy turns corner
    An export boost is supporting New Zealand’s economy to grow, adding to signs that the economy has turned a corner and is on a stronger footing as we rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and lock in the benefits of multiple new trade deals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The economy is ...
    3 days ago
  • Funding approved for flood resilience work in Te Karaka
    The Government has approved $15 million to raise about 200 homes at risk of future flooding. More than half of this is expected to be spent in the Tairāwhiti settlement of Te Karaka, lifting about 100 homes there. “Te Karaka was badly hit during Cyclone Gabrielle when the Waipāoa River ...
    3 days ago
  • Further business support for cyclone-affected regions
    The Government is helping businesses recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and attract more people back into their regions. “Cyclone Gabrielle has caused considerable damage across North Island regions with impacts continuing to be felt by businesses and communities,” Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Building on our earlier business support, this ...
    3 days ago
  • New maintenance facility at Burnham Military Camp underway
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has turned the first sod to start construction of a new Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) at Burnham Military Camp today. “This new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable our Defence Force to better maintain and repair equipment,” Andrew Little said. “This Government ...
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to attend United Nations General Assembly
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will represent New Zealand at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, before visiting Washington DC for further Pacific focussed meetings. Nanaia Mahuta will be in New York from Wednesday 20 September, and will participate in UNGA leaders ...
    4 days ago
  • Midwives’ pay equity offer reached
    Around 1,700 Te Whatu Ora employed midwives and maternity care assistants will soon vote on a proposed pay equity settlement agreed by Te Whatu Ora, the Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) and New Zealand Nurses Association (NZNO), Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Addressing historical pay ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Morocco
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide humanitarian support to those affected by last week’s earthquake in Morocco, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We are making a contribution of $1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help meet humanitarian needs,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in West Coast’s roading resilience
    The Government is investing over $22 million across 18 projects to improve the resilience of roads in the West Coast that have been affected by recent extreme weather, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today.  A dedicated Transport Resilience Fund has been established for early preventative works to protect the state ...
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in Greymouth’s future
    The Government has today confirmed a $2 million grant towards the regeneration of Greymouth’s CBD with construction of a new two-level commercial and public facility. “It will include a visitor facility centred around a new library. Additionally, it will include retail outlets on the ground floor, and both outdoor and ...
    1 week ago
  • Nanaia Mahuta to attend PIF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will attend the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in Suva, Fiji alongside New Zealand’s regional counterparts. “Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply committed to working with our pacific whanau to strengthen our cooperation, and share ways to combat the challenges facing the Blue Pacific Continent,” ...
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows no recession, growing economy, more jobs and wages ahead of inflation
    Economy to grow 2.6 percent on average over forecast period Treasury not forecasting a recession Inflation to return to the 1-3 percent target band next year Wages set to grow 4.8 percent a year over forecast period Unemployment to peak below the long-term average Fiscal Rules met - Net debt ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New cancer centre opens in Christchurch
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall proudly opened the Canterbury Cancer Centre in Christchurch today. The new facility is the first of its kind and was built with $6.5 million of funding from the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group scheme for shovel-ready projects allocated in 2020. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in top of the south’s roading resilience
    $12 million to improve the resilience of roads in the Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions Hope Bypass earmarked in draft Government Policy Statement on land transport $127 million invested in the top of the south’s roads since flooding in 2021 and 2022 The Government is investing over $12 million to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders continue to support the revitalisation of te reo as we celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Mā...
    Ko tēnei te wiki e whakanui ana i tō tātou reo rangatira. Ko te wā tuku reo Māori, e whakanuia tahitia ai te reo ahakoa kei hea ake tēnā me tēnā o tātou, ka tū ā te Rātū te 14 o Mahuru, ā te 12 o ngā hāora i te ahiahi. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Wildlife Act to better protect native species
    The 70-year-old Wildlife Act will be replaced with modern, fit-for-purpose legislation to better protect native species and improve biodiversity, Minister of Conservation Willow-Jean Prime has announced.   “New species legislation is urgently needed to address New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis,” Willow-Jean Prime said.   “More than 4,000 of our native species are currently ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further safety initiatives for Auckland City Centre
    Central and Local Government are today announcing a range of new measures to tackle low-level crime and anti-social behaviour in the Auckland CBD to complement Police scaling up their presence in the area. “Police have an important role to play in preventing and responding to crime, but there is more ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt confirms additional support for Enabling Good Lives
    The Government has confirmed $73.7 million over the next four years and a further $40.5m in outyears to continue to transform the disability support system, Minister for Disability Issues Priyanca Radhakrishnan has announced. “The Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach is a framework which guides positive change for disabled people, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand gets AAA credit rating from S&P
    Standard and Poor’s is the latest independent credit rating agency to endorse the Government’s economic management in the face of a deteriorating global economy. S&P affirmed New Zealand’s long term local currency rating at AAA and foreign currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook. It follows Fitch affirming New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointment of Environment Court Judge
    Christchurch barrister Kelvin Reid has been appointed as a Judge of the Environment Court and the District Court, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Mr Reid has extensive experience in Resource Management Act issues, including water quality throughout the South Island. He was appointed to the Technical Advisory Group advising the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ’s biggest ever emissions reduction project hits milestone
    New Zealand is on track to have greener steel as soon as 2026 with New Zealand Steel’s electric arc furnace project reaching a major milestone today.   The Government announced a conditional partnership with New Zealand Steel in May to deliver the country’s largest emissions reduction project to date. Half of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Poroporoaki: Paki Leslie Māngai Nikora
    Pokia ana te tihi Taiarahia e Hine-Pūkohu-rangi Hotu kau ana te manawa! Horahia ana te whārua o Ruātoki e te kapua pouri Tikaro rawahia ko te whatumanawa! Rere whakamuri kau ana te awa o Hinemataroa Ki te kawe i te rongo ki te mātāpuna i nga pōngaihu Maungapōhatu, tuohu ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 50,000 charges laid in crack down on gangs
    Police Minister Ginny Andersen has today congratulated Police in their efforts to crack down on gangs, after laying 50,000 charges against gang members and their associates through the hugely successful Operation Cobalt. As at 31 August, Police have: Laid 50,396 criminal charges against gang members and their associates Issued 64,524 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers and cyclone-affected properties supported with tax rule changes
    The Government has confirmed details of the tax changes to the bright-line test for cyclone-damaged properties, with the release of the required legislative amendments. Revenue Minister Barbara Edmonds has released a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) to be considered by the Finance and Expenditure Committee in the next Parliament, as it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand wins CPTPP dispute against Canada
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor has welcomed the CPTPP Panel’s ruling in favour of New Zealand in our dispute against Canada, a significant win for our primary sector exporters. The Panel found that Canada’s dairy quota administration is inconsistent with its obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New intensive turnaround programme launched to break the cycle of offending
     The next phase of the Government’s response to youth crime is underway, with an intensive programme for the country’s most prolific young offenders launched today in Auckland, Minister for Children Kelvin Davis said. The programme, announced by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in July, will see up to 60 recidivist young ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government extends report date for COVID inquiry
    The Government has agreed to a request from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 for extra three months to deliver its final report. The Royal Commission was established in 2022 to strengthen New Zealand’s preparedness for any future pandemics. It was originally due to conclude mid-2024. “The Commission has ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Wainuiomata school property upgrade making great progress
    The Wainuiomata High School redevelopment is making great progress, with two more classroom blocks set to be complete by the end of the month, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The Prime Minister visited today to see first-hand the progress of the redevelopment which is continuing at pace and is ...
    3 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2023-09-23T01:33:10+00:00