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Open mike 08/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 8th, 2021 - 209 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 …

209 comments on “Open mike 08/09/2021 ”

  1. Scotty from Marketing does it again!

    Not only a holiday to Hawaii while Australia burned, now he breaks lockdown to visit his kids in Sydney for Father’s Day – because he’s an ‘essential worker!’

    Politically tone deaf!

    But his behaviour is a pointer to the thinking of right-wing arseholes. Didn’t we once have a PM who flew to the States to watch his son’s sporting event rather than attend a memorial for some killed servicemen?

    And if you think the present leader of the opposition (or any future leader) wouldn’t do something similar, then you don’t know how the right thinks! ‘Me first!’

    • Gezza 1.1

      I had to chuckle when I saw that on the tv news & the news anchor said Scomo said it was ok bccause he was an essential worker. He's got real talent; could foot-shoot for Oz in the Olympics.

      Personally I wouldn't speculate on whether Collins would do the same in case Ardern or one of her team gets caught out. One never knows. David Clark's lockdown bike ride springs to mind. 😐

      • left for dead 1.1.1

        Gezza What really happened was way worst than bike riding and beach walking miles and miles from home, was trying to finalize another house purchase and on the day of the first level four lock down at(11.59) that evening,had been running around finding a mover to a dwelling a few doors down so they could straddle both houses.

        ODT I will look for link

    • Jester 1.2

      Yes some politicians have no idea. Although we do have Twyford and a Clark who are best kept out of the limelight.

  2. Jenny how to get there 2


    "You have enemies? Good. It means you stood for something." Winston Churchill

    Guy Sebastian has issued an emotional apology after posting a now-deleted social media message urging Australians to get vaccinated.

    In an Instagram video shared late on Monday night, The Voice judge claimed that the original post had been published without his "direct involvement" and told his followers he was "really sorry".



    After vicious on-line attacks from anti-vaxxer fanatics, Guy Sebastion walks back his support for vaccination, takes down his vaccine promotion video.

    As Churchill said; That you have enemies is something you should take pride in.

    In his defence, unlike Churchill, Guy Sebastion is not a politician, and was probably unprepared to stand up to the viciousness of the anti-vaxxer attacks.

    So what are we to make of all this?

    Anti-vaxxers who scream loudly about their right to free speech, are quick to try and shut down a celebrity influencer they disagree with.


    • Gezza 2.1

      Saw that last night. Seemed poor Guy was virtue signalling that, even tho he personally supported vaccination, he desperately wanted to show he was so woke that he didn't want to be seen as suggesting he was telling anybody else what to do? Pro vaxxers piled in on him. Awkward.

      • dv 2.1.1

        Antivax radio personalities in the US

        Conservative radio hosts all across America are losing their lives for the cause. In the past month alone, five talk radio personalities who were vocal COVID-19-deniers, anti-vaxxers, or anti-maskers have all died after contracting the virus. Most recently was WNDB’s Marc Bernier, a late Daytona, Florida, talk radio host who dubbed himself “Mr. Anti-Vax” in December while assuring his listeners “I’m not taking it.” True to his word, Bernier contracted COVID-19 roughly three weeks ago and his death was announced over the weekend by his radio station––which had awkwardly acknowledged his on-air “anti-vaccine” commentary just before his passing. (WNDB was contacted for clarification regarding its COVID-19 safety policies but the station did not respond.)

        Though it might be assumed some right-wing media figures are simply feeding into the anti-vax frenzy to gin up outrage and ratings, the spate of recent deaths makes clear that, for a number of them, opposition to safe, effective vaccines and other pandemic mitigation efforts isn’t just talk. Such radio rants against efforts to stop the pandemic come as Republican men, a large segment of the talk radio audience, have been shown to be particularly resistant to getting vaccinated.


        • Ad

          You say vaccination, I say authoritarianism. You say tomato, I say to martyr.

          Nothing like a sustained global crisis to test a common definition of freedom.

          • dv

            Forgot death

          • gsays

            Ad, "to matyr".

            Take a bow, excellent.

          • miravox

            Kiwi arthritis patients lose access to vital drug after it turns out to be effective treatment for COVID-19.

            You say authoritarianism, I say I want my good friend (along with 399 others in NZ and numerous others around the world) to have freedom to look after her young child and enjoy her life without severe pain, joint destruction and permanent disability for as long as she possibly can.

            Chances are these Republican family men were prescribed this drug. (For my friend, the 'last resort' drug to keep her well).

            Ironic that they refuse a vaccine in the false belief that it alters DNA, only to be treated with a humanized monoclonal antibody

            • Patricia Bremner

              That is typical when medicines are marketed.

              • miravox

                It's partly that, but the most important factor is the manufacturers haven't been able to ramp up supplies to meet the huge increase in demand. They've waived licensing for low & middle income countries so ones like India can push up production, but New Zealand is not part of that.

      • Jenny how to get there 2.1.2

        Politics is all about pressure.

        Guy Sebastion is an entertainer who strayed out of his depth, not having the combatitivness of an experienced politician, he quickly caved in to political pressure.

        This should be a salutary lesson for all of us.

        No one is immune to pressure.

        Witness the huge pressure coming from right wing politicians and pundits, here and overseas that is being put on our leaders to abandon our 'elimination strategy'.

        To their credit our leaders have withstood this pressure, which speaks to their political experience.

        "You have got enemies? Good. It means you stood for something" Winston Churchill.

        Pity poor Guy Sebastion, who doesn't have enemies and stands for nothing.

        • Gezza

          I like that. Altho Sebastian, as a result of being too woke, seems to now have a choice of enemies. From both sides. 😐

    • Morrissey 2.2

      "You have enemies? Good. It means you stood for something." Winston Churchill

      Churchill had enemies not because he "stood for something", but because he was a brutal imperialist, a racist, and an enemy of democracy, whether in the Caribbean, the Middle East, India, Africa, or indeed in Europe—he was a truculent opponent of the Spanish Republic and a supporter of General Franco.

      He was of course an inspirational figure during the War, and because of that he will be a hero for all time. However, we need to remember always that before his ascension into the pantheon, he was a thoroughly nasty piece of work….

      Churchill was a genocidal maniac. He is fawned over in Britain and held up as a hero of the nation — voted ‘Greatest Briton’ of all time. Below is the real history of Churchill. The history of a white supremacist whose hatred for Indians led to four million starving to death. The man who loathed Irish people so much he conceived different ways to terrorise them. A racist thug who waged war on black people across Africa and in Britain. This is the trial of Winston Churchill, the enemy of all humanity.

      Churchill found his love for war during the time he spent in Afghanistan. While there he said “all who resist will be killed without quarter” because the Pashtuns need “recognise the superiority of race”. He believed the Pashtuns needed to be dealt with, he would reminisce in his writings about how he partook in the burning villages and peoples homes.

      “We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.” — Churchill on how the British carried on in Afghanistan, and he was only too happy to be part of it.

      Churchill would also write of how “every tribesman caught was speared or cut down at once”. Proud of the terror he helped inflict on the people of Afghanistan Churchill was well on the road to becoming a genocidal maniac. ….



      Churchill's negative qualities continue to haunt us in the baleful form of his grandson Nicholas "Bunter" Soames…


      • Gypsy 2.2.1

        That's one way of looking at it. Another way is that Churchill was a falwed human being who just happened to be instrumental in saving the world from the curse of a facist and deeply racist regime. I'd suggest you broaden your reading.

        • Morrissey

          That's one way of looking at it.

          That's the only way to look at it. You either admit the truth or you do not.

          Another way is that Churchill was a flawed human being

          Every human being is flawed; Churchill engineered a famine in Bengal in 1943 that led to the death of more than four million people, then blamed it on the Bengalis for "breeding like rabbits."

          who just happened to be instrumental in saving the world from the curse of a fascist and deeply racist regime.

          You've confused him with Stalin. That's another "flawed human being."

          • Gypsy

            "Churchill engineered a famine in Bengal in 1943"

            No he didn't. His policies were a factor, but the famine was triggered by a host of reasons, including cyclone and flooding, and rice shortages, which were largely the result of the occupation of Burma by Japan.

            "You've confused him with Stalin."

            Stalin’s victims numbered around 20 million. Churchill’s leadership in WW2 likely saved millions. Stalin brutally suppressed his people under a murderous authoritarian regime that ultimately collapsed. Churchill liberated his people from under the threat of authoritarianism, and maintained a democratic institution that remains to today.

            You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

            • Morrissey

              Immediately after claiming that he didn't engineer a famine in Bengal, you admit that "His policies were a factor." The horrifying truth is, of course, that his policies were the decisive factor in that famine.

              More recent studies, including those by the journalist Madhushree Mukerjee, have argued the famine was exacerbated by the decisions of Winston Churchill’s wartime cabinet in London.

              Mukerjee has presented evidence the cabinet was warned repeatedly that the exhaustive use of Indian resources for the war effort could result in famine, but it opted to continue exporting rice from India to elsewhere in the empire.

              Rice stocks continued to leave India even as London was denying urgent requests from India’s viceroy for more than one million tonnes of emergency wheat supplies in 1942-43. Churchill has been quoted as blaming the famine on the fact Indians were “breeding like rabbits”, and asking how, if the shortages were so bad, Mahatma Gandhi was still alive.

              Mukerjee and others also point to Britain’s “denial policy” in the region, in which huge supplies of rice and thousands of boats were confiscated from coastal areas of Bengal in order to deny resources to the Japanese army in case of a future invasion.


              Churchill’s leadership in WW2 likely saved millions.


              Just four lines above that remarkable claim, you admit that his policies were a factor in the famine that caused the deaths of more than four million people in Bengal in 1943.

              You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

              What facts did I get wrong?

      • Jenny how to get there 2.2.2


        8 September 2021 at 11:01 am

        Churchill had enemies not because he "stood for something",……

        Churchill stood for British Imperialism.

        Every imperialist is a racist;
        Every country and every people that have ever aspired to empire thinks that they are better than the peoples they seek to dominate and control.

        Every imperialist is genocidal;
        The British Imperialists, the Ottoman Imperialists, The German Imperialists The Portugese imperialists, the Spanish imperialists, the Russian imperialists, the Japanese imperialists, the American imperialists,

        To enforce their rule, to displace native populations, every empire has engaged in genocide.

        • Jenny how to get there

          "I know Churchill is a monster, but he is our monster" Clement Attlee

          Which doesn't mean that we can't learn something from him.

          • Gypsy

            There is a trend towards dismissing the achievements of certain historical figures because they were flawed when examined through the comfort of distance. This approach is foolish, because it denies us the lessons of their achievements. It is also dishonest, because it is generally selective. For example, would Morrisey dismiss the achievements of Martin Luther King so easily because of his numerous infidelities? Or Nelson Mandela, who instigated and sanctioned multiple violent acts, and suggested cutting off the noses of blacks deemed collaborators? History looks back on even the greatest of achievements and sees imperfect human beings that we can nevertheless still learn from.

            • Morrissey

              There is a trend towards dismissing the achievements of certain historical figures…

              I do not dismiss his achievements at all. That is what you are doing.

              … because they were flawed when examined through the comfort of distance.

              Churchill's crimes in Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Kenya, Palestine, and South Africa—that is a truncated list—were examined not "through the comfort of distance" but as they were happening. They were examined, and suffered, by the people of Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Kenya, Palestine, and South Africa.

              • Gypsy

                Amongst your absurd suggestions (and I note you havn't defended the examples I gave of your inaccuracy) you described Churchill as an 'enemy of democracy'. Here's his actual quote:

                ‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

                In other words, democracy is imperfect, but there is no system we know of that is better. So again, you got it wrong.

                But the fact remains that when the world was confronted with fascism, the most deadly incarnation of racism ever known, he stood against it.

                • Morrissey

                  You judge that criminal by his rhetoric. I judge him by his actions. He hated democracy. Just ask the citizens of Iran, whose democratic government he helped to destroy in 1953. Or Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Ireland, Spain, Kenya, Palestine, or South Africa.

                  • Gypsy

                    His actions included being instrumental in saving Europe and beyond from authoritarianism FOR democracy.

                    • Morrissey

                      Churchill was a heroic figure from 1940 to the end of 1945. Other than that window of glory, one would have to be either ignorant or bloodyminded in one's ideological commitment to ignore his incompetence and irresponsibility—his Gallipoli catastrophe is the most notorious example of that—and the mass famine he caused in India, and his instrumental involvement in the destruction of democracy and human rights across the globe.

                    • Gezza

                      Have to agree with that one by Morrissey. My WW2 (North Africa & Italy campaigns) Kiwi vickers machine gunner dad considered him a hero of his time – in those years & he was, for Brits & the Dominions. So do I.

                      But I'm 7/8 Irish & I/8 Norwegian heritage. He was an unreconstructed Imperialist who didn't want to quit India post-war & was well past his use-by date when he was dumped.

                  • Gypsy

                    "and his instrumental involvement in the destruction of democracy and human rights across the globe."

                    The destruction of democracy? You've surpassed all of your previous historical inaccuracies in one comment.

                  • Gypsy

                    You claimed "and his instrumental involvement in the destruction of democracy and human rights across the globe." Just dwell on the hyperbole for a moment.

                    • Morrissey

                      Sadly for Churchill's reputation, and more sadly for the world, that is not hyperbole.

                      Once again: do some reading. I have provided you with at least eight leads. I suggest you start with the destruction of democracy in Iran in 1953.

                  • Gypsy

                    If Churchill destroyed democracy, why was democracy prevalent from his time until today?

                    • Morrissey

                      Churchill did not "destroy democracy"; he was, however, a key figure in the destruction of democratic governments and of human rights all over the world. In the 1930s he expressed enthusiastic support for Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco; while he was finally forced to join the socialists and democrats of Western Europe in opposing the first two, indeed being an inspirational leader in the fight against them, he continued to support Franco.

                      Leading Britain's war effort did not mean he was serious about promoting democracy however: less than a decade after the war ended, and belying his lofty rhetoric, he was a loud and shameless participant in the destruction of the democratic Mossadeq government in Iran.

                      As late as 1933, the year in which Hitler’s Italian-inspired Nazis came to power, Churchill described Mussolini in a speech that February at the Queen’s Hall in London as ‘the Roman genius’ and ‘the greatest law-giver among living men’. He added: ‘With the fascist regime, Mussolini has established a centre of orientation from which countries which are engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle with socialism must not hesitate to be guided.’

                      Even in 1937, by which time it was clear how bad Hitler’s version of fascism was, if not Mussolini’s, Churchill wrote an article on the Spanish Civil War for the American weekly magazine Collier’s entitled ‘The Infernal Twins’ in which he branded the ‘Nazi creed and the communist creed’ as ‘godless religions’. But still he could not resist heaping praise on Mussolini for ‘his extraordinary qualities of statesmanship, his magnificent courage and audacity, his untiring energy, his resolute will, his sure grasp of the possible.’


                  • Gypsy

                    "Churchill did not "destroy democracy";

                    Thank you.

                    "…he was, however, a key figure in the destruction of democratic governments and of human rights all over the world."

                    Churchill is acknowledged as being instrumental in securing democracy for the entire European continent, and beyond.

                    "In the 1930s he expressed enthusiastic support for Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco;"

                    You don't provide any evidence for those claims, and if your reference to comments he allegedly made about Mussolini are anything to go by, you mistake observations about a person with 'enthusiastic support' for their actions. You might find it interesting that in the very period you are referring to, high profile Briton's such as Lord Londonderry strongly criticised Churchill for his unflattering opinion of Hitler's Germany.

                    • Morrissey

                      Churchill is acknowledged as being instrumental in securing democracy for the entire European continent, and beyond.

                      By Andrew Bolt and John Simpson. Certainly not by any serious historian. To pretend that Churchill was "instrumental in securing democracy for the entire European continent, and beyond" it is necessary to ignore what he did, as opposed to what he said.

                  • Gypsy

                    "By Andrew Bolt and John Simpson. Certainly not by any serious historian. "

                    "But overall, as is almost universally agreed, his achievement in the war to save democracy and the liberties of Western Europe was enormous."

                    Notice how I provide sources for my claims.

                • mikesh

                  I think he saw Germany, under Hitler, as a challenge to British supremacy, in a way that Franco and Mussolini never were. When the war was over he wanted to invade Russia, Britain’s former ally.

            • Anker

              Agree Gypsey. Also many of these historical figures were products of their time.

              When I watch tv shows from the 60's (not often) I notice the outrageous sexism, but I don't seek to get such shows cancelled . They show me how things use to be, and therefore have important lessons

            • Stuart Munro

              Cook gets a lot of undeserved stick too. Part of it is legitimate deconstruction of a figure often cast as some kind of hero – but the syphilis claims are ill-founded, just as they were when Europe blamed the New World for that affliction.

              • Gypsy

                Cook, Columbus, the list goes on. Their achievements are being lost in a combination of historical inaccuracy and an inability to understand context.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Columbus is an interesting case – his contemporary image owes a lot to promotion by Italian Americans early last century.

                  Cook was more straight forward, a fellow who put together a superior chart of Hudson's Bay and a team of charters who ultimately gave England a strategic edge by giving them a better set of charts than the French. Criticism of Cook as an enabler of colonization may be tempered with the observation that without his efforts, most colonies on this side of the world would have been French – and infant mortality data and the like suggest that England's mission civilatrice was in the end more civilized than the French version.

          • alwyn

            You will no doubt be able to provide a link when Attlee said this?

            • Morrissey

              Alwyn, I found that quote in this comment by Pat O'Dea following a Chris Trotter article in the Daily Blog from 27 Aug. 2021….

              Chris, your recall of the Second World War and of the British wartime coalition against Hitler is apt. But there are differences.

              Unlike New Zealand’s current Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was a vicious anti-working class, anti-union right winger. Churchill was also a brutal imperialist. Winston Churchill would never have embraced the Muslim community after the terrorist attack in the way that Jacinda Ardern did.

              In no way can Jacinda Ardern be compared to Winston Churchill.

              In a word, Churchill was a monster. But the British Labour Party of Clement Attlee, as one of the main conditions of Labour joining a war time coalition government led by the Conservatives, demanded that the Tories make Winston Churchill Prime Minister.. Defending Labour’s support of Churchill, the British Labour Party leader of the time, Clement Attlee, said, “I know Churchill is a monster, but he is our monster”. What the Labour Party and the British Left generally recognised, was that despite all his other failings Churchill had the qualities needed at that time to unite the British people in the fight against fascism. Because of his wartime leadershiip the Labour Party and the Left overlooked Churchill’s other failings. In the final analysis Churchill, in this particular instance, did not let them down and the Left’s support for Churchill was proved right, where any other Tory leader would likely have capitulated to the Nazis.


              • Andre

                Well now, that is a quality citation!

                Is this "Pat O'Dea" any relation to "Professor Longhair" by any chance?

                • Morrissey

                  No, not that I'm aware.

                  In fact, I’m sure there’s no relation. The Professor would never, ever use that irritating salutation “Hi” at the beginning of a written communication, as Mr O’Dea has done here when addressing Lord Haw Haw Haw Haw.


                  • alwyn

                    Thank you for the reference. I fear that my first question to Mr O'Dea would remain the one I addressed to Jenny. Do you have a reference for this quote?

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    Written one year ago, prior to the general election, Pat O'Dea chides Chris Trotter and John Minto for berating the Labour Party over housing and other social equity issues, while downplaying the significance of the Labour Government's world beating sucess in containing the virus.

                    …The Left’s Dilemma

                    By Chris Trotter – August 27, 2020

                    ….John Minto’s latest posting onThe Daily Blog“Labour’s Shame!”– provides a welcome reminder of the multiple policy failures attributable to the Labour-led coalition.

                    ….John’s piece alerts us to the fact that even if the virus could be wished away, and life return to its “normal” pre-pandemic state, then all would be far from well in New Zealand.

                    ….Pointing out, as John does in his post, the all-too-real consequences of neoliberalism. Labour, once safely re-elected, needs to be assailed with the brute facts of the poverty and marginalisation its policies have done so little to alleviate.

                    …It takes more steel than most Labour MPs possess to openly acknowledge that they are not, and, for the most part, never have been, “leftists”. Most of them get a kick out of seeing themselves as part of working-class New Zealand’s long march towards social and economic equality. Demonstrating to them, with irrefutable data, that they are actually responsible for measures guaranteed to halt the forward march of Labour, causes them genuine distress. Nobody wearing a red rosette likes to be called a scab….


                    Pat O'Dea

                    August 28, 2020 at 6:29 am

                    Hi Chris, There is no dilemma, The Left must unite in getting the Labour led Government of Jacinda Ardern reelected….

                    ….In some ways, John Minto’s post on the performance of this government around housing and your own criticisms of the Ardern government are too harsh, in another way are too soft.

                    Why we might like to imagine the situation if the virus was not here, it still is. And its defeat is not inevitable.

                    When we should be concentrating on how the government is dealing with the immediate crisis, in my opinion high lighting the government’s, (admittedly egregious), failings in other areas, hits the wrong note,…

                    One year later, (almost to the day).

                    A Disturbing Preoccupation: Why the Right-Wing Media Hates Jacinda’s Covid Elimination Strategy.

                    By Chris Trotter – August 26, 2021

                    ….Jacinda Ardern’s “kindness” doesn’t just work a little bit, it works way beyond neoliberalism’s capacity to supply a credible explanation….


                    • Jenny how to get there

                      The relevance to this discussion of Churchill's legacy, is the one overlooked quality that Churchill had, and had in spades, Churchill was completely non-sectarian, a quality often in short supply on the Left. And one of the secrets of Churchill's success.

                      To achieve his aims, Churchill would work with anyone.

                      The British Conservative Party may claim Churchill as one of their own, the fact is, Churchill spent more time in the British parliament as a Liberal Party MP than a Conservative one.

                      Churchill even spent some time in Parliament as an independent MP.
                      On becoming Prime Minister, Churchill made the Leader of the Labour Party his Deputy Prime Minister, and balanced his war cabinet with Labour MPs.

                      Most famously of all, Churchill a life long opponent of communism, formed a war time alliance with the Soviet Union.

                      At a time when the forces of the Right are trying to get the government and country to abandon our policy of 'elimination'

                      If there is one lesson the Left can take from Churchill it is his non-sectarianism.

                      If to stay on its path of elimination of the virus, means the government has to impose targetted taxes on the rich….

                      If successful elimination of the virus, means the government has to order banks and landlords to forego collecting mortgages and rents for the period of the crisis, in an effort to save small proprietors and households from bankruptcy. Then we must demand it…..

                      If to not take these measures, and the alternative, is to surrender to the virus at the cost of lives needlessly lost.

                      Then we on the Left must be united in our demand that these things be implemented. The alternative may mean not only surrender to the virus, but surrender to the Right. A mounting death toll from such a surrender could lead to disallusionment with the Labour Government, and leading to a Right Wing resurgence, in the polls and in society.

                      While a political lightweight like Guy Sebastion can cave like a house of cards to right wing political pressure… We on the Left must be united in our unwavering demand, in combating the pandemic, people must come before profit.

                    • Incognito []

                      I must admit, a great effort; you said “must” only four times.

                    • alwyn

                      As you say. "To achieve his aims, Churchill would work with anyone." and then "Most famously of all, Churchill a life long opponent of communism, formed a war time alliance with the Soviet Union.".

                      There are some variations reported as to how he described this but the most widely reported was “If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.”

                      Oh to have his mastery of the English Language.

                    • Jenny how to get there


                      9 September 2021 at 9:47 am

                      I must admit, a great effort; you said “must” only four times.

                      Thank you. I must admit that I am flattered, you have admitted that this is a great effort;

                      You must have noticed that as well as saying "must" four times, I also said "if" four times.

                      If you have any ideas of your own, on what measures we must take if we don't want to ruin our small proprieters and house holds and still maintain our elimimation strategy. I would love to hear them. It also would also be great effort, and in my opinion a must read.

                      Of course if you think we must do nothing, might possibly be a great effort. But only if you can explain your reasoning.

                      PS Not saying that you must, or mustn’t. Just saying if you choose to make the effort that would be great. And muchly appreciated.

                    • Incognito []

                      I must disappoint you, but I don’t dabble in absolutisms or false dichotomies. Life is a little more complex and nuanced than that, I must say.

                    • Jenny how to get there

                      The latest outbreak, though it has been contained to Auckland, is in danger of spinning out beyond our control.
                      Until now every case has been able to be traced, and the chain of infection identified. Which means the authorities can identify who needs to be isolated, to stop the virus spreading further.

                      But this is no longer the case.

                      The four 'mystery cases' that could keep Auckland in lockdown

                      Bridie Witton – Stuff.co.nz, Sep 10 2021

                      ……University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker, who advises the Government on Covid-19, said there needed to be a number of days with no unlinked cases, from whom a new cluster could form, before Auckland could leave lockdown.


                      If there needs to be a number of days with no unlinked cases before Auckland can leave level 4 lockdown. Then that is an absolute.

                      The alternative to this absolute is to surrender to the virus, which will lead to multiple deaths and hospital admissions.

                      Medical experts have advised the Government that New Zealand's public health system will be overwhelmed under the weight of a full blown Delta out-break. This is another absolute.

                      …..College of General Practitioners medical director Dr Bryan Betty said an Australia-like outbreak of Delta would overwhelm the health care system very quickly.


                      If the lockdown is lifted early, the virus will get out of control. This is an absolute.

                      If the lockdown is continued until we can again achieve elimination – without rent and mortgage relief, (even with the wage subsidy), many more small business and retail outlets will be ruined. This is an absolute.

                      Lockdown pushing Auckland’s small businesses over the edge

                      The alert level split between Auckland and the rest of the country is costing the economy $800 million a week, ASB estimates…*


                      *[It is not ASB or the other Australian owned banks that are losing $800 million a week. The Australian owned banks extract $3.5 billion from this country every year. Even during the lockdowns, these usuers are still getting their pound of flesh. It is the small businesses and householders who are bearing this $300 million a week loss.]

                      Life is full of absolutes. This is especially true in times of crisis.

                      Sometimes we have to make a choice between them.

                      Rent and mortgage moratorium now.


                • Gypsy

                  Alas, it is entirely consistent with much of what Morrissey has contributed to this discussion.

          • Morrissey

            Attlee's words are exactly the same as those spoken by British and American politicians in the 1980s, only the name Churchill was replaced by the name Saddam.

            …. As I am sure you know, Saddam was strongly supported by the current administration and its immediate mentors right through his worst atrocities, including the massacres of the Kurds, and long after the war with Iran, and again after the Gulf war when Saddam crushed the Shi’ite rebellion that probably would have overthrown him had Bush I not granted him authority to crush it. Bush I also supported his attack against the Kurds, once again, but was compelled to reverse course in this case by a huge public outcry. As for the US-UK sanctions, in Arab areas they killed hundreds of thousands of people, strengthened the tyrant, compelled the population to rely on him for survival, and probably saved him from the fate of other murderous dictators, some quite comparable to Saddam, who were overthrown from within even though the US and UK supported them to the last moment of their bloody careers: Ceausescu, Suharto, Marcos, and a long list of others, to which new names are being added regularly. Those two consequences of the war were surely welcome, though they were obviously not the reasons — support for Saddam through his worst atrocities is sufficient to demonstrate that. ….

            —NOAM CHOMSKY, 2006


  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    For anyone interested in how the Left can offer a vision with solutions to the climate catastrophe, here is an extremely interesting interview from what is without doubt the best source of contemporary Left though available, KPFA's Against the Grain.
    I was particularly interested in some of challenging thoughts around The Green New Deal.
    A must listen IMO.

    Ecomodernism and Degrowth

    Two prominent currents within ecosocialism are ecomodernism and degrowth. In this full-length interview, David Ravensbergen describes and assesses the ecomodernist and degrowth positions; he also weighs in on “doomer politics” and the Green New Deal.


    • Ad 3.1

      It's not only an intellectual exercise in a wee chat that someone's just discovered.

      Green Parties advocating ecosocialism with low growth are all over the place. They are particularly strong in city and regional governments across a number of European states. They are also junior parts of national governments in many unlikely parts of the world. In Sweden Greens are the dominant party of government.


      Our own arrangement is extraordinarily timid and half-hearted. But that's what we've got.

      A lot of their intellectual impetus for these new generation of politicians comes from Tim Jackson's report Prosperity Without Growth, way back in 2009. It was the most downloaded report in the 9-year history of the UK government's Sustainability Commission. They updated it in 2017. While their FPP system has suppressed Green parliamentary representation, the report had a huge impact on Conservative Party national energy policy among other things.

      But the big one that all good greenies and lefties ought to be watching is the German federal election. Greens peaked way too early but are heading for a respectable 12-13% finish.

      Whether the rapidly rising Social Democrats can form a full Left-Green government, and also perhaps find a way to include the communist-leaning Left Party, that's not something we'll find out until the end of September. Too early for hope but it's quite a prospect.


      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1

        No need to be so sharp there pal…will keep an eye on that German election and look at that Prosperity Without Growth report, thanks.

        Guess I was thinking more about Degrowth in relation to NZ politics and the NZ Green party in particular…no point in bringing Labour into this conversation, they are a write off at this point.

        • Jenny how to get there

          Adrian Thornton

          8 September 2021 at 9:44 am

          …no point in bringing Labour into this conversation, they are a write off at this point.

          I would beg to differ.

          In my opinion, if the Labour Government were to implement, the same bold world beating form they used to address the covid crisis, to address the climate crisis, it could be a game changer.

          It is also my opinion that it would not be too much of stretch for them.

          What is really missing in parliament is a ginger group with the spirit and will to push and pull the government along. Might be a Green Party?
          Might be a Maori Party? Might be both of them?

  4. Tricledrown 4

    At the rate that antivax radio shock jocks are passing you would think it would be a wake up call to repuplican leaders who are promoting anti vax rhetoric.

    • dv 4.1

      Using think and republican leader in the same sentence. Interesting TD!!!

    • mac1 4.2

      Probably makes them feel more righteous, since they have obviously been spared because they are true believers.

      It's part of 'prosperity theology'. "Prosperity theology is a religious belief that if the believer is wealthy and in good health, this is always the will of God."

      If you're poor in health or wealth, then that's also down to you as they're curses that can be broken by faith.

      Of course, faith is shown by financial donations….

    • tc 4.3

      Reality left their ecosystem a long time ago. It's all curated accepted 'reality' sythesised for right wing ideology.

  5. Gezza 5

    Taliban Old Guard named as interim appointments to key positions of their new government.


    Al Jazeera tv carried the Press Conference live, with a contemporaneous (albeit it sometimes halting) voiceover English translation of their spokesperson’s words.

    At the end of his prepared statement he announced he would now answer any reporters' questions. There was an awkward silence. He asked "Are there any journalists?" More silence.

    Finally one asked (translated) why the Taliban had beaten up reporters & damaged their equipment at peaceful protests that day? The spokesperson replied (translated) that in this "emergency situation" it was not appropriate for there to be any protests.

    In reply to a similar question from another reporter whether reporters were allowed to report on protests (most of the reporters were locals & asking their questions in Pashtun, I assume) he explained that they could but that they had to report matters responsibly, appropriately.

    Asked at the end why there were no women appointees, he said these were interim appointments to key positions. Other announcements will be forthcoming on other ministries that will address that question. Then he left. 😐

    • Siobhan 5.1

      The Taliban need to take a page out of Bidens book…. wait 64 days before even giving their first press conference… and only have 'friendly' journalists with pre approved questions…and certainly no questions on 'tricky' topics…




      • Gezza 5.1.1

        I don't think they should emulate Biden. He went through a series of early signings of stacks of Executive Orders, all shown live on Aljaz tv, where he took no questions. But he often got confused about where to put the pens & stack the binders, stumbled over his words reading out what they were about, & looked really frail & lost.

        I was glad to see the back of Trump but wondered if he really is senile. This was a particularly bad example:

        The Taliban are doing fine at these Press Confetences. The spokesperson also said here that the US had invaded them but were defeated, that despite this they want "good relations" with them & with every other country. That they won't interfere in any other country & they will not allow any other country to interfere in theirs.

        That they are an Islamic Emirate (translator said "Republic"). And that everybody's rights & freedoms are guaranteed, as laid down in Sharia.

        They are now quite media savvy, as are Hamas & Iran. Aljaz tv covers & translates a lot of Hamas' & Iran's press conferences live too, but you rarely see these or even exerpts shown on Western tv channels. They all believe that Muslims understand where they are coming from & they simply expect Western countries to as well.

        Our Western media take the same approach to them understanding our systems.

        • Macro

          Please refrain from posting despicable doctored videos from US far right shock jocks here.

          The idiot who posted this "video" on you tube is a "journalist" with Breitbart News American a far-right syndicated news, opinion, and commentary website. It is not surprising such nasty stuff would emanate from there – their task is BTW to promote hatred of Biden and any progressive politicians.

          • Gezza

            I know its source. I actually originally used another longer one not from them but my first too-little-RAM iPad2 post went into the ether when it hung & didn't post.

            I don't pay attention to Breitbart for the very reasons you chastise. But I couldn't be bothered having a 2nd hangup. It's atrraction was it's short, but you could see how frail (or tired?) he was.

            But I watch Biden on live tv whenever he gets shown by Al Jazeera tv on Freeview & I stand by my comments about him. I got really concerned that his critics might be right about mental decline.

            Search youtube for "Biden executive orders" & choose a few Biden-friendly msm full videos. Decide for yourself on what you see, not what the source is.

            He's inclined to also make numerous mistakes & jump lines reading from teleprompters. I'm aware he had a stutter & that he often slurs words & makes gaffes.

            But he's actually improved – a lot – recently. And I think he's mentally fine. I also think he made the right call about Afghanistan & while naturally the line taken is that it was a masterful evacuation operation & there's "ra ra USA" bullshit, he's stood up & taken the predictable hypocritical Trump & Republican criticism on the chin.

            Good on him, I say.

            • Macro

              But he's actually improved – a lot – recently.

              Have a look at those same "videos" in a few months time when they have been doctored by the despicable right wing to make him look senile. They do it all the time.

              BTW I have close association with people who suffer from early stages of dementia, and they do not actually improve.

              Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:

              • memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
              • increasing confusion
              • reduced concentration
              • personality or behaviour changes
              • apathy and withdrawal or depression
              • loss of ability to do everyday tasks.

              Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.


              • Gezza
                1. Re-read what I wrote just above – carefully. I watched these events on LIVE tv, as they were happening. 😠
                1. I loathe Trump & his enablers.

                3 I was very close to my father-in-law. He died in August 2017, in a home, from dementia. I visited him every 2nd day, alternating with "ma", for 11 months, until he passed away, calling her name & reaching out for her.

                Prior to that, for 2 years , I used to go down to their place & look after him when ma had to get her hair cut & set. He was blind from macular degeneration. He'd listen to the talkback from habit but had no idea what it was about. He was a big but gentle man. He'd tell me the same thing, over & over again, from his youth. He had all the symptoms of dementia.

                Ma refused to admit there was anything wrong with him – they hadn't spent a night apart for 65 years, she told him what to do & he did it. She wouldn't get him assessed. Until she rang me one night. Something major had gone wrong & he was hallucinating. "Fires were all around him" & he was fighting her to get out.

                He wasn't safe at home after that. The hospital tried to send him back the next day! 😡 But even medicated after that, he still hallucinated all day every day until he died. So, I know a lot about dementia & its various forms.

                Thank you & good afternoon. 👍🏼

          • Gypsy

            If Biden is a poster boy for 'progressive' politics, progressives should be worried. Very worried.

        • weka

          anyone posting Breitbart videos knowingly, for whatever reason, but not to critique the video, is going to be viewed with suspicion.

          I'm a little unclear on what your point was. That you thought Biden senile when he first took office but have since changed your mind?

          • Gezza

            anyone posting Breitbart videos knowingly, for whatever reason, but not to critique the video, is going to be viewed with suspicion.

            Hmm, yes. I can see that. sad I'm still learning the personalities here.

            I'm a little unclear on what your point was. That you thought Biden senile when he first took office but have since changed your mind?

            It was a reply to the suggestion the Taliban should take a leaf out of Biden's book and not bother with difficult reporters' questions – just do the presser and go. It got a bit lost.

            But yes, my point was also that Biden had a reputation for being awkward & his detractors were constantly accusing him of being senile. Given what a narcissistic bullshitter & meaningless word-salad muddler Trump is, & how toxic US politics is, I reserved judgement.

            But when Biden started off doing these no questions executive order signing shows, which I was watching on Live TV, he didn't look well, and I started to get concerned they might be right (damn them!).

            These days he looks well, & while he's not a perfect autocue reader he's far better. I think he's fully mentally alert. He may have just been chronically exhausted.

            As far as the Taliban spokespeople go, in the press conferences, they're not bothered by awkward questions from reporters. They just answer honestly, there's no subterfuge, imo. They see things from their own particular cultural/religious & Shariac perspective and that's that. If we don't like it or understand it, they don't mind.

            Allah delivered them victory. How could they be wrong?

      • weka 5.1.2

        "The Taliban need to take a page out of Bidens book"

        Did you just give tips on how the Taliban could be more successful?

  6. I Feel Love 6


    She points out the MSN has shifted, reporting Seymour's stunt as racist, & she also says he may be made a mistake of turning ACT into the racist party.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      … he may be made a mistake of turning ACT into the racist party.

      Seymour, that oaf, did not "turn" ACT into "the racist party." It has been a racist endeavour from its very inception. No party, not even National, has been as vicious in its anti-Māori rhetoric as the practitioners of the ACT cult.

      We need to remember that David Seymour, as doltish as he is, is not even the worst leader that shower has had. The more masochistic Standardisti among us may like to recall the following grotesques:

      Jamie Whyte

      Open mike 18/12/2015

      Rodney "The Perk-Taker" Hide….

      Open mike 31/12/2012


      Resignationwatch: Oopsie

      Don Brash…

      Open mike 12/04/2014

  7. Gezza 7

    Although she didn't use this term, Collins seemed to be suggesting in The House discussions on the LynnMall attack yesterday that we might do well to establish a Department of Homeland Security, with its own sole Minister.

    As usual she wasn't entirely clear whether she meant in addition to the current SIS & GCSB Security agencies or instead of them.

    Interesting suggestion, I thought. Certainly wouldn't want to add a new Dept to a bureaucracy that seems to be growing but not really producing many needed deliverables beyond the Covid response.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    Need cheering up?

  9. weka 9

    Explanation of why Omar on The Wire is one of the greatest characters on television

  10. mpledger 10

    Stuff are running an article saying how we should all be grateful (!) to Auckland because they are still in level 4 lockdown. They closed the article but I am so annoyed I am going to post my response here…..

    I am getting sick and tired of the media trying to sow disharmony to sell ratings and advertising. People are stressed all over the country and it is no help to anyone to pit people against each other.

    And while Auckland maybe doing it tough, a lot of Chch was in the equivalent of lockdown after the earthquakes and aftershocks, while at the same time having broken houses, water/sewage and roads. And that took many, many months, for some people years, to come right. Perhaps Aucklanders could reflect on that when they ask for sympathy – how much sympathy did they give? If I remember correctly, it was not a lot, it was just moans about how Christchurch should get over it already.

    • Anne 10.1

      Haven't read the Stuff article (not sure I will) and I'm an Aucklander. Apart from a feeling of jealousy when Ardern announced the rest of NZ was going into "Delta two" and we are left in 4 🙁 , I don't expect the rest of the country to care a rat's arse about our plight. I suspect the vast majority of Aucklanders feel the same way. Let's face it, if it was Wellington or Christchurch we wouldn't care all that much either.

      Be assured the expressions of concern and "aroha" are largely a figment of media imagination and hypocrisy, and no more reflect the attitude of your common-garden Aucklanders than anywhere else in the country.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        Okay, I've read the article or at least half of it. Must be short staffed or something and filling the holes with nothing stories.

      • Peter 10.1.2

        I live in Auckland and think they should have put the rest of the country in lockdown 4 and Auckland at 1 laughlaughlaugh

      • Gezza 10.1.3

        I won't bother to read it. A lot of stuff's short articles & opinion pieces are kidstuff.

        FWIW I'm in Wellington & I care about Auckland. Not only is it the main economic engine & biggest source of domestic tourism, but I've got friends & whanau there.

        It's carrying the most risk & biggest load protecting the country. I know it doesn't help in any practical sense but I really feel for you & am hoping it gets under control & you guys can get back to L2 soon.

        • Anne

          My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek Gezza. I've never found an emoticon which demonstrates t-i-c that I can add to such remarks.

          • Gezza

            Me neither. I tend to use 😉 the winky one as a substitute in the rare cases I post something TIC.

    • Sacha 10.2

      kia kaha

    • Ad 11.1

      No women in government? Most countries in the world don't.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        To quote Captain Mainwaring, I was wondering if anyone would spot that. Well done Pike.

        • Ad

          So there's no point to pointing it out in the first place.

          At least you're on the side of the EU and US Secretary of State complaining about it.

          • Morrissey

            I was kind of being ironic. The idea of anyone being surprised by a lack of women in a Taliban cabinet is nothing more than satire.

            As is the idea of Anthony Blinken being concerned about women's rights.

        • Gezza

          Aljazeera tv news hour just showed an item on the state of Afghanstan's public hospitals. The last instalment of the IMF 's money that pays for them has run out.

          They aren't getting any more for the moment because their Western aid funders are not ready to recognise their government as sufficiently inclusive to be legitimate.

          Their governments have run on 50% of their budget being aid money. There's a famine. Aid is suspended.

          The usual moral bind (that happens with Iran sanctions too). How much misery & privation should be visited on the population to punish their leaders? 😕
          At what point is it just immoral?

          Plus several of their new Ministers are on terrorist watch lists.

  11. Jester 12

    Labour need to keep Twyford well hidden so he cant do any damage. He was bad enough when he was ranked at #4. Can they not bury him further?

    Revealed: Phil Twyford granted residency to three convicted criminals, including repeat drink driver | Newshub

    • Anne 12.1

      Looks to me like Newshub are doing their usual shock-jock reporting without any context around the issue raised. They did it to David Cunliffe a few years back and now its Twyford's turn.

      • Forget now 12.1.1

        Hard to have much of an opinion without seeing more of the documents in question. Imagine there are privacy concerns with that though. I did find the focus on the unrelated woman from the netherlands (and her child) to be particularly manipulative.

        The main question I have is; why did the associate minister sign off on these criminal residents, and not Faafoi as Immigration Minister?

        • Gezza

          Perhaps he was Acting Minister?

          But it's been routine for decades for Immigration Ministers to look after the policy & Associate Ministers to handle individual cases, & for legal delegations to be organised accordingly.

          [removed this “for de” from user name]

          • Gezza

            Thanks mod. Sorry, using an iPad2 & it struggles. Text can go everywhere when it hangs.

            • roblogic

              Amazing you can comment at all, my iPad refuses point blank to put the cursor in this fancy comment box.

              • Gezza

                Been banging at the screen, & waiting to see if the cursor & then text appears in the comment box. And that's after two "close Safari & do iPad restart"s.

                Generally get one or two comments posted then have to do multiple iPad restarts or I can't get text into the box either.

                If I wasn't cursed with just the right amount of bloody-mindedness & obsessiveness I wouldn't have a dog's show. 😐

                • roblogic

                  test comment on ipad with js disabled

                  You can disable javascript on iPad via Settings > Safari (scroll to the bottom) > Advanced > Javascript

                  Flick it off (and reload the website) to make a comment.
                  Flick it back on to make the rest of the Web usable again! 😛

                • roblogic

                  NB: if you're following the above process watch out for the spam trap; it's a tiny text box below the comment box, that requires a code word

                  • Gezza

                    Tell me about it ! 😀 Tried twice without & with entering the code.

                    "Go back and try again.

                    Error: answer is wrong. [ziryry*]
                    Comment was blocked because it is spam"

                    No luck either way.

              • lprent

                Ummm, I am on the starting week for a new job and under lockdown. I have time in the evenings now. I’ll set aside time tomorrow to see what I can do about it.

        • Anne

          A year is not long to wait for anything when a pandemic is raging. I'm still waiting for elective surgery which was originally scheduled to occur 10 months ago.

          Methinks there's some negative spin here to make the story appear worse than it is.

          Exactly what they did to Cunliffe. To be fair it didn't just apply to Newshub.

    • Cricklewood 12.2

      Could barely trust him to organize a morning tea tbh.

      He's even managing to alienate some really solid community minded lefties in his electorate…

      • Ad 12.2.1

        Twyford has been dished so many unjust political beatings he's permanently disguised in black vinyl tights and a gimp mask.

        • Herodotus

          The guy had 6 years in opposition speaking with solutions regards housing and kiwibuild. He created an expectation that he had solutions – his biggest failing was to distinguish the belief that he had installed in a generation that house ownership was still a reality. His failure is the killing of this dream, and the consequence of this is already immense in regards to social welfare, health, education and will continue to be felt over the future generations.

          • Ad

            OMG horseshit.

            Since Labour and Twyford came to power in late 2017, 7934 additional public housing spaces have been added. The Government has a target of adding 18,000 new spaces by 2024 – and they are on track to do so. It's a mix of houses bought on market and new builds, split between Kainga Ora and the Community Housing Providers.

            They've generated the largest urban renewal projects we've yet had. In turn building on the state's difficult experiences in Christchurch. Hobsonville, Northcote, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert, Pt England, Cannon's Creek. More to come. In Hobsonville alone there's 6,000 new houses – some private, some to iwi developers, some to social housing providers.

            They've killed off housing speculation with an all-but Capital Gains Tax in the 10 year bright line test, re-regulation of rental housing standards, and wiping out most of the tax bill advantages.

            I agree that Twyford set expectations too high. He didn't handle the transition from campaigning in poetry to governing in prose – unlike Minister Woods who now has the portfolio.

            But everyone citizens and Ministers alike have to get over the fact that the old kind of state, the modernist state that was a God all-seeing all-powerful all-knowing, is dead and is not coming back. Having said that, we've slipped quite slowly in home ownership rates from 70% in 1990 to 64% recently.

            Twyford may well retire soon but his legacy is just fine.

            • Gypsy

              "7934 additional public housing spaces have been added. "

              "But figures released to National by Housing Minister Megan Woods show that fewer than half of the 7934 additional public housing spaces are new-builds. The bulk are existing homes that have been purchased or leased from the private market. "

              The point being that more than half of those 'public housing spaces' are not new to the overall housing stock.

              "They've killed off housing speculation "

              Sorry Ad, that is simply not the case. Speculators sat back for a few months, but are back active in the market.

              • McFlock

                Public housing isn't the failure you seem to think it is – 4000 new dwellings and 4000 homes now affordable? Not too shabby.

                The failure is the continued reliance on outsourcing new builds to developers and personal home-builders, and trying to sell them for market rates.

                Build suburbs. Sell them for % income to first home buyers, with some sort of controls or disincentive for onselling similar to the bright line, but maybe for 15-20 years.

                • Gypsy

                  "Public housing isn't the failure you seem to think it is"

                  I don't think it is a failure, I think the 8,000 claim is misleading

                  "Build suburbs. Sell them for % income to first home buyers, with some sort of controls or disincentive for onselling similar to the bright line, but maybe for 15-20 years."

                  I couldn't agree more. In Auckland, our Council have a crazed obsession with intensification which is damaging communities in so many ways. Large scale, mid to high rise communities are being favoured, which will be the slums of the future, when new suburban or satellite expansion would provide considerably better social outcomes.

                  • McFlock

                    It's only misleading if one would reasonably confuse "8,000 families being able to afford to live with a roof over their head" with "8,000 new dwellings in the market".

                    • Gypsy

                      Or if the "7934 additional public housing spaces have been added" are assumed to be new additions to the overall housing stock provision. It isn't only public housing recipients who need a roof over their head.

                    • McFlock

                      If such an assumption were made, the person making the assumption would be reading words that are not there.

                    • Gypsy

                      Taking over 4,000 houses from private stock for public housing is simply a transfer within the market. It takes housing from Peter to give to Paul. Claiming that as same kind of achievement is possibly an indication of why the promises of kiwibuild failed. And why the number of people waiting for public housing has quadrupled in just 4 years.

                    • McFlock

                      Conflating kiwibuild with public housing is, frankly, stupid. They have very different goals: public housing provides affordable rental homes for poor people. Kiwibuild is intended to give more New Zealanders the opportunity to buy their own home.

                      Taking houses off the market rental sector and renting them to poor people is indeed a transfer in the market, in the same way that taxing rich people to pay social welfare is a transfer. Transfers can sometimes be good things.

                      The state housing waiting list is longer for a number of reasons, not least of which is the transition to a system that isn't an exercise in futility.

                    • Gypsy

                      "Conflating kiwibuild with public housing is, frankly, stupid."

                      I'm not conflating the two. Kiwibuild has become a byword for failure. Exaggerated claims about housing achievements are possibly covering up another failure.

                      "Taking houses off the market rental sector and renting them to poor people is indeed a transfer in the market, in the same way that taxing rich people to pay social welfare is a transfer. Transfers can sometimes be good things."

                      In this case, that transfer is removing houses from the stock available to first home buyers. Sometimes transfers have unintended consequences.

                      "The state housing waiting list is longer for a number of reasons, not least of which is the transition to a system that isn't an exercise in futility."

                      The quadrupling of the public housing waiting list is another example of the failure of this government to meet it's promises. They inherited a mess, and seem to have made it worse.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, keep telling yourself that a 15% boost in housing for poor people means 4,000 people who could afford to service a first house mortgage in this economy will now end up on the streets.

                      One has nothing to do with the other.

              • Ad

                As I noted: "It's a mix of houses bought on market and new builds, split between Kainga Ora and the Community Housing Providers."

                Lead to read before engaging your fingers.

                Go ahead and show me evidence of speculation. Do it.

            • Herodotus

              None of what you have stated addresses home ownership. If housing speculation has been addressed what of the 25-30% increase of property values over the last year that was experienced country wide?

              From Kainga Ora June 2020 annual report new built state houses over the last 4 years were 405,820,1420 and 1229. Some of the increase of Kainga stock is lease hold. Kainga report on “managed stock” which is NOT the same is state housing owned, but the impression could be forgiven for thinking that the number reported is what is owned. But I am only using the annual report as my source 😉

              • Gypsy

                Housing speculation has not been addressed. Housing speculators are simply people with access to cheap money who see housing as an investment with a premium return. The government has little understanding of investor behaviour.

                • Ad

                  Put your evidence up that speculation remains the same or higher than when they intervened this year.

                  We also have the most new build resource consents ever issued. The constraints to building are materials and workforce related primarily.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Put your evidence up that speculation remains the same or higher than when they intervened this year."

                    I didn't claim that. You wrote "They've killed off housing speculation…" which is not what has happened.

                    "We also have the most new build resource consents ever issued."

                    And do you know who is part of driving that? Speculators. Because the government let them in via the new build loop hole. In Henderson right now there is a 15 unit development in a residential street. Every unit was sold months ago, yet all of a sudden 5 are on the market. Why? Because property speculators are buying off the plans, and on selling as soon as the properties are finished. That same behaviour is being repeated in numerous suburbs across Auckland.

                    Property speculators will not leave the market until the net returns are higher elsewhere.

    • Pete 12.3

      The problem is that ministers are involved in the process. There should be officials with a book of rules, objective specific rules, and those should be rigidly enforced.

      Specifying that no-one convicted of anything will be granted residency under any circumstances would simplify things.

      A doctor having applied for residency here, with three children in school and her husband is convicted of drink driving? He would be told "Sorry, no residency."

      No politicians involved past making the rules and handing them to the enforcers. No judgements to be made, just application of the rules, black or white. Get the humanity out of int, leave it to words on pages.

      Two problems for Twyford. First there is judgement of officials and advice from them with his involvement being the final signing on the dotted line.

      Secondly he is in a party that thrashed the other parties in the election. It will be impossible for him to make a 'good' decision.

    • Ad 12.4

      Absolutely no-one wants to be Minister of Immigration. Even with far more decisions delegated to officials and off the Ministers' desk.


  12. Forget now 13

    It is shocking just how unshocked I am by this news. Everyone knows that dealing with Work & Income (WINZ) is a soul destroying grind, but it is good to see people actually doing something about it rather than shrugging it off. Also good to see a Campbell interview – I don't watch a lot of TV news these days.

    A report released this morning by frontline beneficiary and child right rights organisations has described the Work and Income system currently used in New Zealand as “demeaning and inhumane”.

    Along with the report in a letter signed by 13 organisations are calls for an urgent select committee inquiry in the Ministry of Social Development’s frontline services.


    I think this is the report referenced, but there is no publication date that I can see, only the cover declaring; "Research conducted by the Beneficiary Advisory Service, June 2021". Also that it was funded by the Lottery Grants Board, which strikes me as ironic given interviewees talking about falling into gambling to cope with benefit sanctions. Some interview quotes:

    I got into gambling. Ended up with a gambling addiction. I ended up borrowing money from family, friends… Ended up taking out very large loans, I would pay that back. Just pretty much robbing Peter to pay Paul…

    I ended up in $11,000 worth of debt ‘cause I took out a loan for $150 to pay my rent, but it was with one of those companies, the pay day loan people, and $150 became 11 grand. So, it’s big…

    I still wake up at night with anxiety thinking my money won’t go in or I won’t have money. And I still have that anxiety…

    Depression was really with me. And stress and anxiety and depression go hand in hand with me, and I don’t need those two things together as well as… being confirmed as epileptic… … the stress just kept piling up and up and up as a result of the ongoing threats every week, and I’m like -I don’t know if I’m gonna get paid next week! I’ve still got to pay…my share of the rent. I’ve still got to pay for things.

    I would rather go without than go in there and ask them for something. I currently have two teeth that need to be fixed and my glasses are very, very old, I can’t see very well. But I would go without. I’d much rather go without…

    The pain was horrendous. It was in my hands and feet, and my doctor had written out the support living thing where I couldn’t work; and that was put into WINZ, and they sent me the appointment to go and see them. I rung the call centre girl up because I was too sick to go, and she said, 'If you don’t go in your bene!t’s going to be cut… {Report writer continues} she ended up attending the meeting even though she was in pain because she couldn’t risk losing a portion of her benefit, reporting that she “was too ill to really say much” and cried throughout the meeting. She also reported feeling exhausted after her meetings with Work and Income and would often “just go home and sleep”

    The provider said to me at the meeting, 'If you get home and realise this course isn’t for you or you don’t want to commit to it that’s fine, there’ll be no penalty, just let us or MSD know.' So, I did that and then the following week I get a letter from Work and Income to say, 'We’re sanctioning you because you didn’t meet your obligations by committing to do the course.'..

    {Report} almost every respondent in our study reported difficulties with Work and Income staff… Participants variously described Work and Income staff they had dealt with as:

    Harsh and unkind (Lexi), uncaring (Deanna, Grant), unsupportive (Grant, Emma), rude (Angela), belittling (Esther), judgemental (Esther, Tui), intimidating (Aroha), punitive (Naomi, Roger), and vindictive (Roger)…

    {Interview) And another time they stopped my money because they said I hadn’t filled out forms, but I’d actually gone in and I had filled out the forms and they had the forms. In fact, I knew they had the forms because they had mentioned some of the information that was on that form.


    • Tiger Mountain 13.1

      Anyone with personal experience of WINZ/MSD soon discovers it is staffed by professional sadists. It is a punitive punishment maze, dismissive of working class people from start to finish. Policy rather than the legislation often applies at branch level. 1950s/60s style moralistic judgements on friendships and relationships are made by case managers and officials decades after de facto relationships, single parenting and blended families became common place in NZ.

      People close to me have been beneficiary advocates for many years and as soon as they turn up–WINZ/MSD staff start to do what they are meant to; inform people of their full entitlements and make sure they get them. WINZ/MSD are world experts at “losing” documents–never give them an original of anything.

      No wonder the Govt. instituted a special second tier benefit for COVID affected people–middle class people encountering the reality of WINZ/MSD would rightly have been horrified. Frankly, the nasty neo liberal mess that is WINZ/MSD is beyond fixing–it needs to be retired and a Basic Income paid to everyone via IRD, with a new agency set up to handle special needs groups such as disabled, long term sick etc.

      Just to close on an anecdote…friend of mine moved to a provincial city from Auck. a long term beneficiary due to previous strokes and on regular dialysis etc. checked with WINZ that the move would be ok–told yes by Henderson branch. Moved, benefit cut off. Asked to present for a work ready interview…this guy is in a wheel chair limited use of hands which he did use for knitting hats on a rig for his church store, he was in tears at the WINZ office. No apology. A no nonsense advocate was found for him from his family and benefit reinstated. Is this any way to treat vulnerable people? Plus WINZ staff can be personally rewarded for NOT supplying assistance to those seeking it–shamefully some of these are PSA members.

      • roblogic 13.1.1

        Give people a little bit of power, scope for abuse, minimal oversight, and let nature take its course. That's what you get at Winz. They might not be deliberately sadistic, but their incentives are all wrong and the gatekeeping mindset has to end. They should be trying to help vulnerable kiwis not hinder them.

        Yes some Winz clients are difficult or dishonest or whatever. But the presumption of good will should apply until shown otherwise.

        Also, fuck those predatory lenders. I'd love to see legislation passed that wiped these fictitious debts. A debt that is 100x the initial loan is an egregious pisstake, and any lender trying to claim such a stupid amount should be liable for harassment or something.

  13. Poission 14

    The ability too communicate effectively,and maintain essential services,has been one of the outcomes of the Covid pandemic,it has also highlighted substantive risks in the supply systems with long chains and JIT models failing.

    Additionally it has identified the constraints with over centralization of businesses and services in high population areas such as building component manufacturers.

    As economies have now become interdependent on hi tech services,it is important to identify additional risk factors on the offshoring of services.

    The foremost risk ( of an ultraviolet catastrophe) is a Carrington event of X magnitude.

    Modern technology is far more vulnerable to solar storms than 19th-century telegraphs. Think about GPS, the internet, and transcontinental power grids that can carry geomagnetic storm surges from coast to coast in a matter of minutes. A modern-day Carrington Event could cause widespread power outages along with disruptions to navigation, air travel, banking, and all forms of digital communication.


    The first paper on the fragility of the internet (under CME forcing) outlines the subsequent risks for interconnected society.

    Black swan events are hard-to-predict rare events that can significantly alter the course of our lives. The Internet has played a keyrole in helping us deal with the coronavirus pandemic, a recentblack swan event. However, Internet researchers and operators are mostly blind to another black swan event that poses a direct threat to Internet infrastructure. In this paper, we investigate the impact of solar superstorms that can potentially cause large-scale Internet outages covering the entire globe and lasting several months.


  14. Pete 15

    I'm sure I heard Dr Reti suggesting that the 3,000 on waiting lists overseas should not have to wait. Maybe he can get his underlings to find another 3,000 beds and appropriate staffing for the facilities and forward the list to the Government. And get his mob to wholeheartedly support the funding for that.

    • indiana 15.1

      Well, I hope that instead of having to build a purpose-built facility to manage this. That one of the considerations is that if you are fully vaccinated, you can return home and quarantine at home. Bring on the vaccine passport I say!

  15. Anne 16

    The sense of entitlement among the well heeled is astounding. Not for them the mask wearing and distancing rules. Yes, they have to take their masks off to eat and drink but don’t even bother to bring them.


    And just look at the black SUVs parked outside. Says it all!

  16. ianmac 17

    My little friend Judith sounded very "sleepy" or something opening Question time today. Slurring? Just a bit tired?

  17. weka 18

    Putting this here to read later 😳

    • Morrissey 18.1

      Four years ago, RNZ’s Country Life program looked at destructive, unsustainable and irresponsible farming….

      COUNTRY LIFE: And do you feel a little bit abandoned, that you’ve sort of had, I think someone said, B-all help?

      FARMER No. 1: Yep. I, I, I think a lot of farmers, ahhh, were disappointed at how much, ah how LITTLE help we received. But, you know, we’re a resilient lot and we just, ah, roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, but ahhhm, you know, Edgecumbe, they’ve got a LOT of help, but the water went THROUGH the town and out on to the farms, and um, you know, we’ve, the farmers have had to deal with that and it’s sort of been in the background and has had very little coverage really.

      FARMER No. 2: It’s all part of the joys and challenge of farming though! It’s—ha ha!—you know—-

      FARMER No. 1: Well you’re battling Mother Nature a little bit here. I mean, it was all swamp that was drained. Mother Nature wants to take it back one day probably but we’ll keep fighting!

      ….Stunned silence…

      COUNTRY LIFE: Hearing THAT, one does have to ask: SHOULD they get support to keep farming here?

      FARMER No. 1: [scrambling] Ahhhhmmm, this is, you know, very productive dairy land. We must produce a LOT for the region, not to mention, you know, the NATIONAL economy, so um, as far as cost-benefit goes, I would say the government would be making a GOOD INVESTMENT putting money into the scheme….


    • Ghostwhowalksnz 18.2

      An answer to that was on Twitter .

      'Fine to make comparisons but dairy cow is fully integrated into carbon cycle! Grass grows from CO2 stored in atmosphere, milk grows from the grass, and the CO2 makes it way back via methane (more potent GHG until converted to CO2). Fossil fuels are extracted from the ground.'

      Grass is renewable resource using existing CO2.

      The other issue about the 'freshwater' used in Dairying comes from counting the rainfall from the sky onto the farms.

      • weka 18.2.1

        Was that a serious answer or satire?

        (If it’s a quote please link)

        • Ghostwhowalksnz

          Its that very Twitter link you posted , under replies someone gave an answer.

          But seriously, you do know how grass grows using sunshine and water and atmospheric CO2….like forests.

          • weka

            I can't find it. You've been here long enough to understand what I'm about to say. Making a note in the backend for future reference.

            You have to provide a link when you quote. If it's a quote from a book or magazine, see if you can find the quote online. If you can't, reference the book, or magazine issue.

            The reason for this is to stop people:

            • plagarising
            • posting content out of context

            This isn't Facebook. There's a high expectation that people will contribute to the discussion in a way that enhances debate. Quotes out of context diminish debate culture because people can't see who said them, or why they said them, or what point they were making amongst the rest of their writing, and this tends to distort the conversation.

            It also wastes other people's time. FYI, when I'm on my phone I can't open tweets from my browser in the twitter app. Which makes finding things difficult. And makes moderation annoying. I tried finding the quote on my phone, then had to come to my laptop and still can't find it. Not only is that disrespectful to other commenters and readers, it's a problem for moderators who have to use time they're rather spend doing other things eg writing posts. I personally have a really low tolerance for other people expecting me to do their work for them.

            Next time I see you quoting without linking I will either send the whole comment to Trash, or I will delete the quote, depending on how much time I have.

            This isn't aimed at you alone, there are other regulars who do this who should know better. I'm writing this out now so I can do a post on it.

            Please now post a link to the bit you quoted above. I expect to see this before too many other comments from you on TS.

            • Incognito

              I’d like to add to weka’s excellent instructive comment that people sometimes use them when they are being ironic or sarcastic and should be using scare quotes instead.

              Another reason is that some (…) here have a ‘bad habit’ of making up stuff AKA BS and nobody can check this easily without a link unless they do a (extensive) search in the internet on the ‘quoted text’. When a Moderator has to do this, it is wasting their time and nobody would want to do that here.

              Some also like to quote selectively to suit their narrative, which is the context aspect that weka mentioned.

              • weka

                Totally agree, thanks Incog. The use of single quotes meant I had to ask if it was a quote, and now it's turned into a lengthy conversation about that instead of the original topic. Frustrating.

                • Incognito

                  Yeah, I know, and when I get frustrated, I tend to act out of frustration and set a short & sharp example of commenters who ignore these things. My frustration levels fluctuate wildly, in case nobody has noticed wink

                  • weka

                    Mine's pretty constant atm 🙁 The time I've spent on this today I could have had a post drafted.

                    • Incognito

                      Just take time (out) for writing your post; moderation can wait a few hours. Will hoover the floor later wink

            • Ghostwhowalksnz

              I cant link to it directly , Im not familiar with that on Twitter.

              but its directly insid your twitter link. As I said its a 'reply' which is directly the first comment below your item.


              [text replaced with twitter URL and formatting tidied for legibility]

              • weka

                Here's how to link to a tweet:

                1. click on the specific tweet you are quoting
                2. copy the URL
                3. paste into TS comment box

                TS embeds tweets automatically.

                If you don't want to embed, but just want to link, use the link button in the comment editor, and put some words in the Display Text box and the URL in the URL box.

                eg, embed:

                or link without embed:

                this is the link

              • weka

                "As I said its a 'reply' which is directly the first comment below your item."

                And as I said, I can't open tweets easily on my phone when links are posted on TS, and the onus is on commenters not on readers or mods to make links easily accessible. You HAVE to provide a link if you are quoting.

            • Ghostwhowalksnz

              Niwa has a web page on this:

              Is pastoral agriculture carbon neutral?


              Shows 20 tons CO2 per ha per year absorbed from atmos

              While the cows themselves emit 0.2 tons CH4 per ha per year Thats 1/100.

              As well as CO2 of course

              Of course CH4 is not equivalent to CO2 and a stronger greenhouse gas. But the factor they use of 25x could mean thats 5 tons of equivalent CO2

              It still is atmospheric CO2 and not a fossil fuel derived

              • lprent

                Not exactly. That is a very stupid theoretical steady state written by an idiot PR person. Of course it doesn’t work like that.

                The land is cleared or converted to dairy. That means that the land has probably increased its emissions of methane by a factor of somewhere of between 25x and 100x – which depends on the land use originally. Which becomes the new steady state for that farmland assuming nothing else is happening.

                Then of course there is the ever increasing intensification of stock numbers on the land, achieved by supplementary feed, fertilizers, and more efficient pasturing. The nett effect is that over the last 4 decades (since I last worked on a dairy farm) that herd sizes on productive pieces of land have been doubling every 10-20 years. More animals means more intense methane production.

                Plus there is the question of what kinds of land that dairy farming prefers. That is what used to be swamps, marshes and river bed. The areas with high volumes of accumulated organic debris. Like the majority of the Waikato, Southland, the Thames plains, and other areas. Those soils leach accumulated methane out continuously for hundreds of years, in exactly the same way that landfill dumps do – but for far longer.

                So every time that diary farming moves into a new area with their current methods they start emitting semi-fossilized methane and carbon dioxide.

                Basically the fantasy you introduced is the rough equivalent of any ACT policy. Stupid, short-sighted, selfish and ineffective. Like 3 strikes or Auckland super-shitty or Rogernomics.

                • Ghostwhowalksnz

                  So NIWA creates Fantasys in its publications. Im sure it was reviewed by experts first.

                  Stick with the Science my friend.

                  • lprent

                    Clearly you didn't read your link. My italics.

                    Pastoral farming is not carbon neutral due to the amount of CH4 cattle emit into the atmosphere. Pastoral farming's carbon footprint is increased further by the presence of nitrous oxide (N2O), which is produced in soil from the nitrogen deposited as animal excrement and fertiliser.

                    Perhaps you didn't read the science…

                    Stick with the Science my friend (and learn to read your own links).

                    What I was doing was pointing out the larger issue which is what happens when you change land use, and the downstream effects of shifting the steady state.

                • roblogic

                  Canterbury and Otago are two other disaster areas, biodiverse wetlands were drained and the fertile soils were initially great for farming, but now they are turning into deserts requiring irrigation and fertiliser (produced from the destruction of Indonesian rainforests).

                  Another negative outcome – Lake Ellesmere

    • Stuart Munro 18.3

      There's a nice look at some of the core issues at NZ Geo: How to fix: Agricultural emissions | New Zealand Geographic (nzgeo.com)

  18. Ghostwhowalksnz 19

    From the Melbourne Courts and 3 men sentenced for planning a terror attack on innocent people.

    'Three men who planned to shoot and kill innocent members of the public were unlikely to have plotted a terror attack if not for the inducement of a covert police operative, a judge has ruled.'

    '“The contribution of the operatives to the commission of the offence was substantial. Whilst there was no coercion, the encouragement was of a high order. It would not be accurate to say that he instigated the offence, but I am satisfied that [the covert operative] drove the offenders to their destination.”


  19. Gypsy 20

    "Bolt's 'hit-job' is problematic imho – I wonder if he might have modified his stance had he 'walked a mile' in Mandela's bare feet?"

    Hi Drowsy. Mandela was treated despicably, but it is apparent he still behaved in ways that today he could be judged less than favourably. My point was not to discredit him, but to point out the frequent hypocrisy in those who condemn figures like Churchill, but would never apply the same sunlight to historical figures such as Mandela or Martin Luther King.

    • Morrissey 20.1

      There is no comparison between Churchill and those two human rights champions.

      I note your undiscriminating use and naïve selection of sources. Andrew Bolt is possibly the least credible, most right wing, racist commentator in Australia. He’s an even more hilariously bad choice than your earlier one of John Simpson.

      Who will you cite next: Leighton Smith? Mike Hosking? Tony Veitch?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 20.2

      My point was not to discredit him, but to point out the frequent hypocrisy in those who condemn figures like Churchill, but would never apply the same sunlight to historical figures such as Mandela or Martin Luther King.

      Bolt likewise may not have intended to discredit Mandela, but has he, or indeed any of us, been impartial in applying sunlight – maybe Morrissey's 'doing a Bolt' on Churchill?

      Nothing wrong with ‘warts and all’ examinations of historical movers and shakers, and interesting to unpick the opposition to such examinations, imho.



      • Gypsy 20.2.1

        "Bolt likewise may not have intended to discredit Mandela, but has he, or indeed any of us, been impartial in applying sunlight? Maybe Morrissey's 'doing a Bolt' on Churchill – nothing wrong with a warts'n'all examination, imho."

        The problem with Morrisey's approach is that under the spotlight he revealed his hypocrisy by denying accusations (verified by sources) against those other gentlemen. Which rather made my point.

        A warts and all examination is precisely what students of history should engage in. But that requires an intellectually honest approach. Morrissey has made multiple claims about Churchill that he has not been able to substantiate – in some cases he has been presented with sources that clearly show his claims to be false (eg his claim about Churchill and democracy).

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Never heard of Bolt until today. Leaving aside the question of whether his skewering of Mandella before the poor man was in his grave was intellectually honest, would Bolt have much time for criticism of Churchill, I wonder?

          ANDREW BOLT:
          Yeah, and they’ve delayed, I think, the recovery a little bit, freaking Premiers out. Now these race protests, for many people it seems the agenda now goes way beyond fighting racism. There’s been the looting, the violence, the pack attacks on whites, the attacks on journalists, the attacks on statues even of Winston Churchill, can you believe and navigator James Cook.

          Now that I'm aware of Bolt, I'll try to apply sunlight to both Bolt’s and Morrissey’s opinions without fear or favour.

          Morrissey at least had the decency to wait until his target was 56 years buried.

          • Gypsy

            " Leaving aside the question of whether his skewering of Mandella before the poor man was in his grave was intellectually honest, "

            Why would it not be intellectually honest?

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Why would it not be intellectually honest?

              The purpose of Bolt's 386-word opinion was to counter the broadly positive public perception of the achievements of the then 4-day-decreased former president of SA. Maybe Bolt simply didn't have enough space to mention:

              The Nobel Peace Prize 1993: awarded jointly to Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

              Intriguingly, Bolt did manage to squeeze in a mention of two other Nobel Peace Prize awardees and Mahatma Gandhi.

              The idea that the lead sentence in Bolt's unbalanced 'hit job' (imho) could be characterised as "intellectually honest" doesn't sit well with my worldview – others, Bolt included, are free to disagree.

              MUCH of the sanctimonious grieving for Nelson Mandela is not just a sin against history – but a danger.

              Trying to parse Bolt's emotive OTT statement, "MUCH" (but apparently not all) "of the sanctimonious grieving" is "a sin against history".

              Not content with taking the memory of Mandela down a peg, Bolt also had a go at those grieving his death. Presumably genuine grieving wasn't "a sin against history" (?), and Bolt was objecting only to those grievers 'making a show of being morally superior to other people', although just how this grieving might be "a sin against history" is beyond me. "A sin" against Bolt maybe?

              If Bolt felt no grief at the passing of Mandela, it's no biggy. As to why Bolt considered it necessary to impugn the motives and integrity of some who were grieving Mandela's death, your guess is as good as mine.


              • Incognito

                FWIW, the thought police is no longer content with finding and fighting thought crime, but is now stepping up to fight feeling crime too. Call it mission creep, if you like.

              • Gypsy

                The heading of Andrew Bolt's piece is "The dark side of Nelson Mandela". That is an entirely honest overview of what follows.

                "Maybe Bolt simply didn't have enough space to mention:"

                But Bolt did praise Mandela's achievements.

                "It is true Mandela rose to greatness. Freed after 27 years in a South African jail, the anti-apartheid fighter emerged not bent on vengeance but healing. He negotiated a peaceful end to apartheid, and as the first president of democratic South Africa, preached – and practised – reconciliation. In this he was great. A healer. An inspiration."

                And then he sets out his argument. He sanctioned multiple violent acts. He had close ties with Castro and Arafat and gave Gaddafi an award. These claims are not disputed or controversial.

                "As to why Bolt considered it necessary to impugn the motives and integrity of some who were grieving Mandela's death, your guess is as good as mine."

                We don't need to guess, because sets out his reasons. IN the first line:

                "MUCH of the sanctimonious grieving for Nelson Mandela is not just a sin against history – but a danger."

                And in the last:

                "But many of his more radical supporters in the West now use that greatness to wash clean his record of political violence – and his support for dictators who'd used it. That is dangerous."

                Bolt pulls no punches, but the piece is entirely intellectually honest and historically accurate. I would also add timely.

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