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Open mike 10/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 10th, 2021 - 144 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 …

144 comments on “Open mike 10/04/2021 ”

  1. Morrissey 2

    The Duke is Dead, Long Live Nicholas Witchell

    In the Swiss Alps in 2005, Prince Charles was caught by TV microphones muttering to his young sons William and Harry: "These bloody people. I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is." The subject of his ire was the plummy-voiced professional toady Nicholas Witchell, who is paid a king's ransom to fill the sinecure post of "BBC Royal and Diplomatic Correspondent." Unfortunately for Prince Charles and the rest of us, Witchell is still there, sixteen years later, still turning out BBC-quality journalism and commentary.

    BBC News, 9 April 2021

    HUW EDWARDS: Do you think the Queen will miss him?

    NICHOLAS WITCHELL: Yes, she will miss him.


    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      Various Windsors remain the highest paid beneficiaries in the UK, I celebrated Margaret Thatcher’s demise, but this reactionary just outlived his era really.

      Bring on the republic of Aotearoa NZ

    • Sacha 2.2

      less is more

    • Foreign waka 2.3

      I for one find your contribution tasteless.

      I am not from the Commonwealth but Queen Elisabeth deserves our condolences and Prince Phillip our respect. He has not had an easy life when looking back to his childhood and has shown how to be strong through adversity. As everybody, he has had his faults, but there is no reason to disrespect and dishonor a person not even 24 hour after his dead. A character flaw.

      • In an act of sychophancy, not our character for him, John Key ordered the New Zealand flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge to be lowered to half mast on the death of Saudi feudal tyrant Abdullah, father of the current awful Saudi hereditry autocrat known as MBS, infamous for ordering the heartless butchery of expat. Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who entered the Saudi embassy in Turkey seeking to get a permit of annulment so he could marry his partner.


        I wonder if this act of symbolic forelock tugging to feudal monarchs will be continued on the death of the heir to the Greek Monarcho Fascists?


        • Foreign waka

          I think your reference is a bit a far drawn.

          Everybody has to live their lives in the times and surrounds they are in.

          Prince Phillip has been "a child of his time" as is the current generation and any other is and will be. He has contributed greatly to the stability of the Monarchy in Britain and the Commonwealth. Geopolitically this was and is still important as peace is not made by spitting in someone's face but by building bridges. Not a task to do in 10 minutes but perhaps 70 years of service.

          This man was almost 100 years old, he has seen war, he had to fight and he had to take a side and conviction.

          Those who are now so disrespectful, I wonder what they have done to ease the hunger, homelessness, inequality, loss of dignity for the old, providing education for all, preventing failure of the health system, corruption of democratic institutions etc… today or any other day. Not with words but deeds.

          I just witness the death of common decency in this forum, to pay respect to a remarkable figure in our living history.

      • Morrissey 2.3.2

        My comment was a critique not of the Duke (R.I.P.) but of the corrupt and parasitic Nicholas Witchell.

        • Incognito

          That was not a ‘critique’, it was an unoriginal rip-off of something that we have read many times in the press, mainly the British press. These are not even you own words. For example, where is your critical analysis showing that Nicholas Witchell is corrupt? Why this is even relevant to the death of DoE is a mystery to me.

          • Morrissey

            That was not a ‘critique’, it was an unoriginal rip-off of something that we have read many times in the press…

            The wording of that brief but (one hopes) trenchant critique was composed entirely by this writer, i.e., moi.

            mainly the British press.

            The point of my post was to point out an example of the servile and fawning British media coverage of Prince Philip and his ghastly descendants.

            …where is your critical analysis showing that Nicholas Witchell is corrupt?

            Fair comment. I was, as you have kindly pointed out on many other occasions, careless in my choice of words. I should have left off with "parasitic."

            • Incognito

              The wording of that brief but (one hopes) trenchant critique was composed entirely by this writer, i.e., moi.

              Funny that! When I Google ‘your’ words they look remarkable similar to writings by others in the British press!?

              There was no trenchant critique! There was no analysis! There was just the usual Morrissey white noise & grey dust.

              The point of my post was to point out an example of the servile and fawning British media coverage of Prince Philip and his ghastly descendants.

              This is a point: .

              Your ‘post’ was less than that; it was pointless.

              My comment was a critique not of the Duke (R.I.P.)

              Hmmm, maybe it was a critique of DoE …

              Fair comment. I was, as you have kindly pointed out on many other occasions, careless in my choice of words. I should have left off with "parasitic."

              Ok, come on then, argue your point. For example, why is it parasitic and not symbiotic? Put some thought and analysis in it, if you can. I doubt you will though, as it is too much of an intellectual effort to and for you 😉

              • Morrissey

                There was no trenchant critique!

                I pointed out that Witchell's "job" is nothing more than a sinecure, and that he is a toady. I challenge you to seriously dispute either of those points.

                There was no analysis!

                I provided an example—an extremely up-to-date example—of his vacuousness. Of course, it's only fair to note that he was no worse on this occasion than his fellow state propagandist Huw Edwards.

                For example, why is it parasitic and not symbiotic? Put some thought and analysis in it, if you can.

                Now that is rigorous editing. Thanks for that. I'll up my game in future.

                [Big deep sigh.

                I pointed out that Witchell’s “job” is nothing more than a sinecure, and that he is a toady. I challenge you to seriously dispute either of those points.

                At best, this is calling out. However, your insipient name-calling and lazy and negative labelling of others is not anywhere near critical analysis.

                I provided an example—an extremely up-to-date example—of his vacuousness. Of course, it’s only fair to note that he was no worse on this occasion than his fellow state propagandist Huw Edwards.

                Where is your analysis? All you do is copy & paste, the odd link to a YT clip, and some inane drivel you call your “oeuvre”. That ain’t analysis.

                Now that is rigorous editing. Thanks for that. I’ll up my game in future.

                You’ve been giving these pseudo-funny replies for years and you never up your game. I conclude it is not going to happen because you cannot or don’t want to up your game. Your comments in OM today (11 April) just emphasise and confirm this conclusion.

                You seem to lack the intellectual nous to do any analytical thinking, critical analysis, or in-depth commentary. Instead, you bask in the halo of your intellectual heroes while disparaging others who are way above your league of dilettantes.

                Please start up your own blog again and bore the shit out of people there, thanks – Incognito]

                • Incognito

                  See my Moderation note @ 7:06 pm.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    I have always liked reading his stuff and I have heard many others on The Standard express that same enjoyment, haven't you heard the saying "different stroke for different folks"? judging by your relentless harassment of anyone who does not fit within your very particular sense of taste or political slant, it would seem not.

                    [It feels like you’re trying to run interference with moderation, but you wouldn’t do that, would you?

                    Your comment is pointless because it doesn’t address anything in Moderation note to Morrissey or the many notes before that.

                    If you want a free entertainment channel then I’d suggest that you try other sites that are more geared towards your needs.

                    This site’s kaupapa is robust debate, not a popularity contest for most ‘enjoyable’ commenter.

                    Anybody who keeps posting vacuous comments here claiming to be critical of this or that without providing any original thought, analysis, or view can indeed expect some pushback from other commenters and when it reaches a certain critical point, from Moderators.

                    For example, claiming that one has written a comment that “was composed entirely” by the commenter when it is obviously a lie (HT to Google) is not something I personally enjoy. However, if you love this sort of shit then we have to agree to disagree.

                    As far as “relentless harassment” goes, are you referring to your own crusade against everybody you consider non-Left or not-Left-enough here and elsewhere? Including naming and trying to shame other commenters of this site? Including a TS Author? Personal attack, after attack, after attack. It got so bad I had to resort to Pre-Mod tools to prevent the worst of your personal insults without stifling the fragile debate here or what’s left of it.

                    According to you, if one has not spoken out against something or somebody, one cannot claim the be a Leftie. The Leftie badge has to be earned by attacking the right people, of course. Failing to do so loses one points. In fact, it earns one RW points!? No matter if one is a card-carrying Leftie, if they say the wrong thing here, or fail to say the right thing, according to the Adrian Thornton Doctrine, then they automatically become card-carrying RWs. Your stale slogan is also highly symptomatic of your stale mind process.

                    You know how tedious your comments and personal attacks have become here? You seem to have no idea or just don’t give a shit.

                    Please go tilt at other windmills somewhere else, e.g. at KB – Incognito]

  2. Sabine 3

    NZ a country with lots of hungry people.

    Considering that the government is not going to do much about this, i hope people who still have some cash to spare will give to some charities over winter, cause its going to be a hard winter for many, and above all for kids.


    More preschoolers are turning up to school hungry and in ill-fitting clothes – and some aren't showing up at all.

    Two children's charities say they have waitlists to respond to cries for help in the Bay of Plenty, but are struggling to keep up with demand.

    Older kids are having a hard time too, with families unable to afford the basics as housing costs soar and difficult decisions need to be made that sometimes see children bear the brunt.

    There are 18 early childhood centres in the Bay of Plenty on the waitlist for KidsCan's under 5's programmes, three times more than the waitlist at the same time last year.

    The centres waiting are in Rotorua, Tauranga, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki and Te Puke.

    Due to rising economic hardship, the charity now supports 15 early learning centres in the region, seven of which are new this year.

    and just in case, these hungry kids don't get fed in school as they are Pre-schoolers.

  3. Sabine 4

    Never mind the preschoolers, we don't care about the newborn, or the mum.


    Hours after Kelly ​gave birth by emergency c-section, she was ordered to get up and change her own maternity pad.

    She’d just had invasive abdominal surgery, was bleeding, and could not stand up. But Kelly, 37, says a harried Wellington Hospital nurse pointed her to a stack of pads, and told her she’d need to change them herself every four hours. “I was so shocked, I just didn’t know what to do,” she says. “For the next 12 hours I had no help and I just wanted to go home, but I couldn’t move.”

    The morning after she gave birth to her first baby, Palmerston North mum Julie [not her real name] was told her discharge papers were ready. “I was terrified,” the 22-year-old says. “I didn’t even know how to look after my baby.”

    Her hospital notes mentioned her previous suicide attempts, and her struggles with depression and anxiety. “I don’t know if they weren’t told, or if they just didn’t read anything.”

    Struggling with a diagnosis of a high-risk pregnancy, Lower Hutt mum Kirsten Van Newtown ​couldn’t get an urgent obstetric appointment and was instructed to simply call an ambulance if she started haemorrhaging.

    Kirsten van Newtown was told to call an ambulance if she started bleeding.

    “It got to the point where I was just like ‘I’m going to go to the hospital, and camp out.’ It’s not good enough, women die because of this.”

    yep, caring is a small part of the budget – well it is, but if no one gets to read the plans and if no one knows where the money is …..what should that be called? Incompetence, or callous negligent malevolence?

    A Maternity Action Plan was written in late 2018, to be attached to the paper.

    This document received $35m of funding in last year’s Budget, with $8.75m to be spent on its implementation in the year to May 2021.

    Dr John Tait: “There are now major problems, and hospitals are struggling.”
    Dr John Tait: “There are now major problems, and hospitals are struggling.”
    But no-one outside of the ministry has seen it. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC), and the New Zealand College of Midwives

    are among those questioning where the money has gone, and when the plan will be made public.

    • Sacha 4.1

      Sabine are you OK? Your comments have seemed kind of depressed and angry lately.

      • Sabine 4.1.1

        Salty and angry yes, indeed, at the failures of this government to do the right thing.

        Btw, did you know that hter is currently a 6 month old baby here in NZ, that at two month become a domestic violence survivor? I spoke about this child a few weeks ago. Now that child was left temporarily blind and totally deaf by its sperm donor, and it was born wiht a cleft palate. A poor little urching if ever there was one. This child was on a 4 month waiting list to have a test done to see if somehow hearing could be restored via a cochlar implant and hte first steps of surgey was to be done in regards to the cleft palate.

        Well guess what Sacha, that baby now is again on a 4 month waiting list for cleft palate surgery, never mind the deafness.

        Her forstermum is at pains to feed the little urchins as the feeding tube was removed cause surgery – never mind that it did not happen.

        If you are not angry by right now then well bully you.

        But i would really leave the mysoginist words of 'depressed women, angry women, bitter woem n etc in the past and go on with the 2021.

        I am salty. I am so salty that a liter of milk could not possible make me palatable.

        This government is useless. I hope everyone enjoyed the Americas Cup tho. Cause we do have priorities and our hungry homeless and uncared children is not one of them.

        Other then that i am OK.

      • Sabine 4.1.2

        Here Sacha,

        another tiny toddlered reason to be angry.


        Little Lucca Topp is only three but has already had four open-heart operations.

        But a fifth surgery to address his rare condition has been delayed four times because of a lack of suitable beds at Auckland’s Starship Hospital, leaving him having seizures, going blue and regularly tired from a lack of oxygen.

        Adding to the anguish of his parents Gabrielle and Mike Topp, his little brother Rocco almost died when he was born eight weeks ago, having to be resuscitated twice after his C-section birth was delayed by a week because of another bed shortage.

      • Beatie 4.1.3

        Are you OK Sacha? Your comment could be seen as a form of passive aggressive gaslighting of Sabine for her eminently sane and rational response to the crap going on out there. Keep it up Sabine and don’t lose the passion

        • Sacha

          Gaslighting? Puhleese.

        • Incognito

          Excuse me? To me, this was a genuine commenter reaching out to another in good faith and with good intentions and you come here and piss all over it!? It does seem like Sabine took it the way it was intended.

    • KSaysHi 4.2

      Glad Stuff covered this (again).

      What's with this [Genter's Cabinet paper titled ‘Maternity System Transformation’, designed to highlight the problems facing maternity services and chart a path forward]:

      But the cabinet paper hit a brick wall. After going out to other ministers and a raft of Government departments for consultation, it was shelved in early 2020.

      Genter still doesn’t know why. She told Stuff she could not understand why Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office was not receptive to it, and why Ardern did not discuss it at Cabinet. The issues in it were well-documented, she says.

      “There was never a logical explanation … I honestly couldn’t tell you why, the whole thing was one of the most bizarre things I went through as a minister. I didn’t understand what the problem was.”

  4. Muttonbird 5

    New Zealand's K-shaped Covid recovery: the well-off have bounced back by remote working and increasing their savings, while those on low incomes have faced increased job instability and rising rental prices. We're seeing people living in two different worlds in New Zealand, and Covid has only exacerbated this trend.

    There is a Budget approaching on May 20. This is the Government's chance to have a transformational impact on generations of New Zealanders. I hope they take it.

    – Bernie Smith is the CEO of the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust


  5. arkie 6

    In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation. – Prince Philip, 1988


  6. vto 7

    I would like to get a tattoo of myself, only bigger

  7. Pat 8

    Is the 'Washington consensus' being rewritten?

    "The next phase in Biden’s plan is to spend a further $2tn on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. This will be funded by reversing some of Donald Trump’s cut to corporate tax rates, which will be opposed by Republicans in Congress but not by the IMF. When asked about the projected increase this week, the fund’s economic counsellor, Gita Gopinath, said Trump’s corporate tax cut had not done much to boost investment. Moreover, Gopinath was positively enthusiastic about the idea of a global minimum corporate tax rate, something the US has traditionally been wary of but which it now supports."


  8. Stephen D 9

    The usual poll caveats, but doesn’t this point to Judith being in real trouble?


    Simon, the two Chris’s, Nicola, are all circling.

    • woodart 9.1

      interesting to see the gender voter numbers. nats are now trying very hard to turn crusher into cushla, but female voters arent fooled.nats will be very wary about replacing collins with yet another old white guy. its time for maureen pugh to step up!! the south will rise again!(yeah right)

  9. Sanctuary 10

    Got to feel sorry for the Queen, imagine losing your husband and favourite cousin on the same day.

    • AB 10.1

      A 73-year long marriage is probably not something to be sniffed at – even if it is between 3rd cousins. But you have to feel sorry for the UK public – now enduring North Korean levels of media-saturating public hagiography. While none of the 100,000+ unnecessary Covid deaths received similar coverage. I guess it’s what feudalism felt like.

    • Foreign waka 10.2

      Would you have a gaffe of some sort ready for the Maori King when he passes away? It is disrespectful in any language.

      • Sanctuary 10.2.1

        Probably. You can’t be a socialist and also pick and mix your approved aristocracies. I dislike inherited privilege regardless of location or colour.

        • Bazza64

          On that basis Sanctuary you must have a scathing commentary to share with us about Raul Castro "inheriting" his position as First Secretary of Cuba from big bro Fidel ??

    • Anne 10.3

      A bit unnecessary Sanctuary. Yes, they had a great, great grandmother in common. Far enough removed not to be a problem.

  10. Muttonbird 11

    The mega-loans are largely the result of the failures of the 43rd through 53rd governments of Bolger, Shipley, Clark, Key, English and Ardern.

    Each bear a differing chunk of the blame, and so do we the people who voted them in, or allowed them in by failing to vote.

    These failures enriched homeowners through unearned capital gains.

    In the early 2000s, it was fashionable to say that all you owed your children was “straight teeth and a good education”.

    House prices have changed all that.

    Thinking you can spend all your gains in later life on cruises and living a good life is now morally untenable.

    – Rob Stock


    • AB 11.1

      "My feeling is that there’s a secret story of family rallying round to save homes, and that the banks know this."

      Oh yes they know. They can turn young people into lifelong debt serfs and dispossess their parents as well. It's accumulation by dispossession – a far easier way to get rich than producing useful goods and services. As Piketty noted , we are back in Jane Austen's world where the size of your inheritance really matters.

      • Muttonbird 11.1.1

        And Jane Austin's era finished with two global conflicts and major and bloody peoples' revolutions. Something to look forward to.

        Some commenters here would prefer to concentrate on how Jane Austin's era made people wealthy…

    • Sacha 12.1

      No sooner had he interviewed the PM on his show, Mike declared that he didn’t want her back on his show thereby creating the first Schrodinger’s radio interviewee who is both present and not present while simultaneously bailing, running and waffling.

      To summarise, Mike did, didn’t, does, doesn’t, will and won’t want to have the PM on his radio show.

      He also accused the New Zealand media of being asleep at the wheel in failing to tackle the PM over the handling of MIQ facilities. This accusation triggered a unique media atmospheric event known as a brm (Barry reproaches Mike).

    • woodart 12.2

      funny and accurate.

    • Anne 12.3

      Brilliant. laugh

      At least I know that Claire’s question isn’t linked to the question as to why NZ Bachelor winner Annie Theis isn’t pursuing a romance with Moses Mackay. That wasn’t behind the NZ Herald paywall. I wish it had been.

  11. Herodotus 13

    Found one of these Cooks Petrels on a busy road as described and from looking at Facebook this is more common than you think. And after some time was able to fly off, lovely bird reading about it.

  12. greywarshark 14

    How can we stop this feckless behaviour that we know will destroy our land and water?

    Ōwhiro Bay resident Jade Lorier was among those out collecting the waste from streets and front lawns, and said it was blowing into streams, drains and out to sea.

    Polystyrene balls in a gutter in Owhiro Bay.

    Photo: Supplied / Jade Lorier

    Polystyrene is not biodegradable.
    "I'm really worried about the health of our stream. We've got native eels, as well as fish, I'm worried about the wildlife in the marine reserve," Lorier said. "We're trying to protect and restore this area, and this is just an absolute nightmare for the south coast.

    "I'd like this person to be held responsible, it's an environmental disaster. I'm furious."
    The incident has led to an outcry on local Facebook groups for action against ongoing pollution blown from three nearby landfills on Happy Valley Road, and from unsecured loads being driven to them.

    Lawyer Adam Holloway was among those cleaning up the polystyrene and said there was "constant fresh rubbish" being blown onto the street and the coastline. "It's disheartening," he said.
    "I'm sure we didn't get them all, and next time it rains whatever is left over will flow into the gutters, and from there into the stream, and from the stream into the marine reserve."
    He's among those who have called for councillors and staff to front up to a meeting to tell residents what powers they have to act,…

    • Stuart Munro 14.1

      The sad truth is that a significant fraction of plastic waste is not recyclable. Until volumes of it are more responsible, we need safe ways to dispose of it. Maybe a use for some power plants moving away from coal in the short term.

    • woodart 14.2

      twenty yrs ago, I worked on construction sites in sydney(just before olympics). even then ,all trucks HAD to have covered loads, and all uncovered(grass stripped off,back to topsoil) sites HAD to have catchment systems in place to stop dirt,rubbish runoff into stormwater drains. the fines levied for non compliance were eye watering, and WERE enforced. had a visit from lidcomb council(between parramatta and city central) official because neighbouring building had a layer of dust from out site. either we paid to have warehouse and 50 workers cars waterblasted or a ten thousand dollar a day fine until it was done, and we still had to pay up for cleaning. no ifs, no buts. $50,000 later ,our boss let us know what he thought of our attempts to stop dust, runoff etc…

      • greywarshark 14.2.1

        Sounds draconian. What would they have done about CTV building I wonder – doesn't sound as if they would suck their thumb like we did?

        • woodart

          you have to remember that aus is the 51st state of u.s. and lawsuits are a way of life.

        • Pat

          You may be surprised….or perhaps not…they havnt dealt with it much better than us.


          • greywarshark

            Gosh. But I guess this is just part of the externalities of having a smart modern political and economic system doing groundbreaking building high-in-the-sky apartments!

            Things can't be perfect in any system and you do get action, things get done, not like with the dozy government putting stupid, time-wasting regulations in place with dozy, nit-picking inspectors demanding expensive, time-wasting this and that so they can be seen to do something to earn their excessive salaries.

            I bet the above was a common chant some decades back, from those with big ideas to get big bulges in their wallets and elsewhere because they were just such great movers and shakers.

  13. Pat 15

    "Currently, they spend increasing amounts on housing support – things like rent subsidies, grants, and emergency housing – which as a result saw the bill total nearly $1 billion between last September and December, up nearly $30 million on the previous quarter."


    $4 billion a year…and climbing….thats a lot of dosh that could (and should) be spent elsewhere.

  14. RedLogix 16

    I'm smiling because I'm free.

  15. Incognito 17

    There are a number of reasons for the relatively slow start of the vaccine rollout in NZ.


    Perceptions around safety will and do play a role. Safety comes first, also, and perhaps especially so, in anything related to our health and medical interventions.


    As always, an informed and educated population will make better decisions. As always, the mainstream media play a role in this. Emerging stories about blood clots possibly linked to Covid vaccines will worry people, especially those who have diabetes and who are, coincidentally, more likely to suffer complications from the disease when they get it.


    • Andre 17.1

      New Zealand has purchased 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough for everyone in NZ (and given refusers in NZ, there will be some to share around with our Pacific neighbours).

      So far I have only heard of blood clots being a possible concern in relation to AstraZeneca/Oxford and the Janssen/J&J, not Pfizer

      The side effects I've heard of so far for the Pfizer vaccine are allergic reactions (roughly 11 incidences of anaphylaxis per million doses), believed to be related to the polyethylene glycol used as a stabiliser, and swollen lymph nodes that may show on mammograms. As far as I can tell, these reactions have all been temporary with no permanent effects detected. I would certainly expect NZers with a history of allergic reactions to be offered an alternative vaccine to the Pfizer if they don't want to risk anaphylaxis.

      • Incognito 17.1.1

        There are other possible side effects linked to the Pfizer vaccine that also seem to involve blood clotting. However, they seem to have attracted much less attention in/from the media. I’m not in a position to speculate. Nevertheless, even if/when these links are causative ones, the benefits of these vaccines outweigh the risks by a huge factor.

        • Sabine

          Well so far no mass death have occurred in the US or the UK who both have rolled out both vaccines. And in the US they have managed to vaccine up to 4 million a day.

          • Andre

            In unrelated news, 5G signal strength is getting stronger all across the US.

          • Incognito

            Get off the grass! We all know that Deep State buries bad news.

            • Sabine

              ? And this is another time i don't understand your english? Get of the grass? Are you insinuating that i am breaking the law by ingesting an illegal substance? If you did, i would appreciate that you don't. thanks.

              As for the deep state, i leave these theories to the usual suspects of whom there are already quite a few on this page. I peddle in facts rather then assumptions.

              Fact is that plenty million people on this planet have had various different vaccines now, from the US, Russia, China, etc and so far we have yet to hear of mass dying or mass injuries.

              So yeah, NZ bring on the vaccine, before the unspeakable happens because again we be full of 'She'll be right, mate' until she is not.

              • Andre

                "get off the grass" is kiwi slang, scornfully rejecting an idea put forward. In this specific instance, there appear to be multiple levels to it, with a hefty dig at conspiracy theorists (I don’t see a dig at you, Sabine).

                It was common in the 80s, but I can't recall hearing it much since returning from the US in '99.

              • Incognito

                It was a subtle joke. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Matiri 17.2

      Just had my first vaccination today in the medical centre in my small (750 pop) town in the top of the South Island. There were a couple of hundred people vaccinated today – it was a well oiled machine! Second vaccination appointment made as well for 3 weeks time, plus given a card with dates, batch number etc.

      • Incognito 17.2.1

        Good to hear that. It raises the question whether so-called demographic differences play a big role. If so, Government and MoH have work to do.

        • Sacha

          To vaccinate anyone in a small town in the South Island before people in South Auckland is contentious.

          • Incognito

            Nope. People in the SI having to wait for others would be contentious. Similarly, people in Group 3 having to wait until vaccination of Groups 1 and 2 has been fully completed would be contentious. Sliding and overlapping is the most practical way to roll out the vaccine to the whole nation in a timely fashion.

  16. joe90 18


    diversity bunting


    • Macro 18.1


      Thanks for sharing joe.

    • Sanctuary 18.2

      Ash Sarkar is marvellous, a positive treasure and a rising star of a left movement that will replace the British Labour party with something else within 20 years unless that party can somehow rid itself of focus group driven professional politics and ultra centrism.

  17. greywarshark 19

    NZ and economics. Is economics just another word for nothing left to lose? A recap of Roger the Dodger.

    New Zealand's remarkable reforms – Reserve Bank of New …
    https://www.rbnz.govt.nz › speeches › speech1996-06-04

    4/06/1996 — Address to the Fifth Annual Hayek Memorial Lecture … Roger (now Sir Roger) Douglas, Minister of Finance in the Labour … As for the tax reforms, the flattening and lowering of income-tax rates … The extent of the reforms in New Zealand was so great that it is difficult to describe them in short compass.

    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057%2F9780230524439_3 Making Thatcher Look Timid: the Rise and Fall of the New Zealand Model

    Do not try to advance a step at a time. Define your objectives clearly and move towards them in quantum leaps. … Once the programme begins to be implemented, do not stop until you have completed it. The fire of opponents is much less accurate if they have to shoot at a rapidly moving target.

    Roger Douglas, former New Zealand Minister of Finance, in Douglas 1993: 67

    And a link to one that shows you can fool the people most of the time when you show them apparently clear graphs that illustrate the matter that you want to pin down. (Cartoonists gull this by turning graphs on the wall up or down depending who they are conversing with.) https://croakingcassandra.com/2017/06/08/roger-douglas-the-economy-and-an-option-for-reform/

    https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu › iae › files › 2021/01 PDF
    Why the Prioritization of Resources is Crucial to New Zealand's EconomicRoger Douglas [deleted; please no e-mail addresses in comments as this will attract bots], as Minister of Finance in New Zealand, won an … He has done a considerable amount of work internationally, for The World Bank … Director of their PhD Program, where he was awarded Best Teacher Prizes.

    [Too many links probably triggered Auto-Mod]

    • greywarshark 19.1

      Sorry – these high fliers love their links, also didn't know about bots and emails – can't get some PDFs I don't seem set up to get them. So just took the heading and summary off google.

  18. joe90 20

    Another Poot critic offs himself in mysterious circumstances and the oligarch's booty continues to pour into the UK. Number 10's carpets must be sodden.

    The prominent Kremlin critic Nikolai Glushkov was strangled at his home in south-west London by an unknown assailant who wrapped a dog lead around his neck in a crude attempt to “simulate” the appearance of suicide, an inquest heard


    A postmortem, however, found signs Glushkov had been murdered. These included fractures to his larynx and hyoid bones, as well as superficial injuries to his face. A paramedic who came to the scene, Dominic Beil, said he immediately called the police because he felt the scene was suspicious.

    Beil said that in suicide cases the ladder was typically kicked over but in this case remained upright. He said he found Glushkova sobbing in the kitchen. Glushkov was dressed in a green polo shirt and tracksuit bottoms and was clearly dead, he said.

    The inquest was told Glushkov’s murderer had ambushed him from behind and had rapidly subdued his victim. There were no signs of “prolonged grappling”. Glushkov had taken mild sedatives and a glass of alcohol but this had not played a role in what a coroner ruled on Friday was an “unlawful killing”.


    • Morrissey 20.1

      The article was written by the respected and thoroughly professional Luke Harding, I see. So we can believe everything in it. Is he any relation to the unfortunate fellow humiliating himself in the following classic clip?

      • Sacha 20.1.1

        ad hom, ad nauseum

        • Morrissey

          Reminding people that Luke Harding is possibly the most discredited journalist in the western world—more discredited even than Jonathan Freedland, Jayson Blair and Judith Miller combined—is hardly "ad hom." I did not attack his appearance or his accent or anything like that; my judgement of him is based on the fact that he has been exposed irrefutably as a liar and a conspiracy theorist.

          • Ad

            It would only be a bother if you could discredit yourself any further.

            But you can't. You are simply observed repeatedly bouncing like a rabbit from one epistemic disaster to the next.

            • Morrissey

              You have said precisely nothing that makes sense. I see you used the word "epistemic"; I suggest you get in touch with Kim Hill, who blithely announced a couple of weeks ago that she had "no idea what the word epistemological means."

              • Sacha

                "Great minds discuss ideas;
                average minds discuss events;
                small minds discuss people."
                Eleanor Roosevelt

                • Morrissey

                  Exactly. That's why I'm not interested in Luke Harding's appearance, or mannerisms, or hobbies, or his family. I care about the fact he has chosen to brazenly, and repeatedly, lie for the state.

                  I guess that means I'm discussing events rather than "ideas." Darn it, I'm not a "great mind" then, according to Mrs Roosevelt.

                  • Incognito

                    Just as well ER is dead because she’d have died a slow and painful death reading your boring comments; Vogon poetry is like a Thai massage compared to your commentary.

              • Incognito

                Again, deflecting and diverting. Ad =//= Kim Hill so WTF?

                • Morrissey

                  Again, deflecting and diverting.

                  I did neither. I asked him to clarify his baffling post.

                  Ad =//= Kim Hill so WTF?

                  By sheer happenstance, the two of them happened to use the same big word. To give Ad his due, I suspect he actually understands what it means, unlike Ms. Hill.

                  • Incognito

                    As always, you aim for the person and don’t address anything in and of the content.

                    Your intellectual pomposity and arrogance is on full display here but, as such, it does not contribute anything to constructive debate. SSDD.

          • Sacha

            Immediately attacking the person rather than anything in their quoted writing. Nuf said.

            • Morrissey

              His "quoted writing"? Harding is discredited. He did that to himself. I provided one of the most devastatingly embarrassing interviews in history, which you are quite able to click on and watch. I recommend you do just that.

              • Sacha

                "A postmortem, however, found signs Glushkov had been murdered. These included fractures to his larynx and hyoid bones, as well as superficial injuries to his face. A paramedic who came to the scene, Dominic Beil, said he immediately called the police because he felt the scene was suspicious."

              • Andre

                Reporting facts that run counter to the narrative promoted by the kooks, cranks, tankies, second option bias fantasists, and other misinformation artists you have outsourced your opinion-forming to is not the same thing as 'discredited'.

                • Morrissey

                  I have read all of Luke Harding's books, and a great deal of his "reportage." Do I read a wide variety of sources? Yes. Do I evaluate what they write and say? Yes. I have not "outsourced" my opinions to anyone.

                  Your farrago of epithets directed at journalists of the calibre of Aaron Maté, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and John Pilger is not as colorful as your daily serves at Trump over the last four years, but it is equally rigorous.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Of course this lot cannot explain why most of the journalists mentioned, although regularly invited on Liberal MSM pre Trump, were/ still are completely shut down as soon as they easily dismantled the obvious fraud of Russiagate?…now you would think that any person using even just the tiniest itsy weeniest bit of their critical thinking capacity, would have, after a few months of the Russiagate story, started to wonder why there was NEVER any counter narrative? NEVER any pushback at all from anyone, anywhere ever, even from those very journalists that not that very long ago were the most revered journalist on the Left…but no, this lot would rather believe every word the MI6, CIA spoon feeds them, via the liberal media machine..why ask questions?, why ask for proof?, why test the narrative in open debate?..who needs it, right!!

                    As I mentioned last week ( https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-02-04-2021/#comment-1786400 ) it turns out that commenters on TS such as Andre’, Ad, Joe 90 etc have an incredibly similar world geo political view as the conservative UK foreign office..yes it seems just like the UK Conservative Party, our friends here on this very site just cannot get enough of regime change wars, sanctions, shutting down whistle blowers etc…yep, just like their friends in the UK Conservative Party, this lot are just a bunch of postmodern Imperialists nothing more or less.

                    I often wonder if they even realize how right-wing they have become themselves?, or whether they have just slipped there so slowly over time, that it has just become natural for them to think (not think) this way…whatever the reason it is quite a sad thing to witness this uncoupling of so many good comrades first to the centre and now to the actual right.

                    Though that being said, I always thought free market liberalism was just a gateway drug to the right…and so it has come to pass.

                    • Incognito

                      Another long rant from you that is essentially an ad hom. Not all people think like you, express themselves like you, and necessarily like the same stuff as you do. In fact, they may disagree with you, says things in ways that you dislike and/or disapprove of, and like stuff that you dislike and/or disapprove of. You cannot get your head around this fact and therefore you lash out and accuse them of being the ‘enemy’, because things are B & W in Adrian land; this is called projecting.

                      You’re rapidly becoming as boring and nonsensical as Morrissey as well as hypercritical, ultra-negative, and sometimes even outright aggressive towards other commenters 🙁

            • Keith Crosby

              Luke (the spook) Harding is a fraud, which Morrissey exposed by providing evidence. You and Ad are the ones ad homming.

              • Incognito

                Morrissey exposed nothing! He simply provided a link to a 29-min long YT clip made by somebody else and as usual without anything intelligent added that could pass as analysis. Typical Morrissey style.

                You seem to be cut from the same cloth; saying it does not make it so.

                • mauī

                  🙄 You never watched the video did you… therefore you have no clue what Morrissey might or might not have exposed.

                  • Morrissey

                    He erroneously claimed it was a "YT" video. Like you, mauī, I doubt that he watched it.

                    • McFlock

                      The link to your embedded video: https://youtu.be/9Ikf1uZli4g

                      Is it not a youtube video?

                    • Morrissey

                      Yes it is. Sorry, Incognito, I thought you meant it was a "Young Turks" video.

                      The mistake is mine, and I apologize.

                      Judge Judy sums up this writer, i.e. moi, perfectly….

                    • Incognito []

                      Thank God for that! We don’t have to litigate what is and what isn’t a YT clip! FFS!

                      Shame that you had to spoil it again with another YT clip that is wasting more time and bandwidth here.

                  • Incognito

                    No, I did not watch the YT clip, for the simple reason that there was nothing enticing me to do so. In fact, it was the opposite, thanks to Mossie’s trenchant commentary.

                    Morrissey did not expose anything by linking to that YT clip. If anything, the people in and/or who made the YT clip may have exposed something, who knows?

                    Feel free to watch it and critique it, but I’m not holding my breath 🙄

            • mauī

              It was hardly an attack.. Linking to someone's previous coverage of Russia while they cover another Russia topic is perhaps highly relevant?

              • Incognito

                The Morrissey ‘analysis’:

                Is he any relation to the unfortunate fellow humiliating himself in the following classic clip?

                It was an attack on the messenger, plain and clear.

                • Morrissey

                  It was a reminder to everyone that the "messenger" is a discredited propagandist.

                  • Incognito

                    In your opinion, of course. Which you formulated completely independently, of course.

                    So, this is your MO: find a YT clip or some writing that you vehemently disagree with (because of mysterious reasons that only a psychologist might understand) and then use it to have a swipe at the messenger/author. Then you claim (!) that it was trenchant critique and analysis of the content while in fact it was an attack on the messenger/author all along.

                    This is a mindboggingly stupid way of debating 🙄

                    • mauī

                      You clearly have no will to see where Morrissey might be coming from, by viewing and perhaps trying to understand the YT clip, and using that new information to make an assessment of the original post.

                      [As you know, it is expected on this site that when commenters link to a YT clip, especially a longer one, they provide an explanation why people should watch it. It is also expected that they provide some analysis and opinion of their own, you know, an original contribution, e.g. to start off constructive robust debate. Repeatedly failing to do so is considered a form of spamming, sometimes trolling, and will attract Moderators’ attention.

                      Why do you keep ignoring this and why are you doubling down on this? You’re now wasting Moderator time – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 8:37 pm.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Hi Incognito.

                      Just tonight Andre dumped a 52 page NZIER pdf document on me as evidence of argument without any dissection or analysis.

                      Just saying.

                    • Incognito []

                      That’s terrible, I hope you didn’t get hurt.

                      Was there no context at all? He just dumped it on you, out of the blue?

                      Do you suggest I should ban Andre for wasting your time? I hate it when people deliberately waste my time; they’re usually trolls or spammers, the vermin of the blogosphere.

                      Just saying.

                    • Muttonbird

                      No. I'm saying posting YT videos is not a capital offence. I just ignore them like I ignored Andre's NZIER document.

                      [Another smart arse commenter telling us how to do and not do things here?

                      No. I’m saying posting YT videos is not a capital offence.

                      Please don’t bother re-writing the site’s Policy, as posting YT videos never has been a capital offence here. You’re disinformed.

                      Do you have anything useful to add or are you just trying to waste Moderator time as well? It seems to be the topic du jour. However, a piece of string is only as long its breaking point and a bubble pops when you pierce it one too many times – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 9:33 pm.

      • Incognito 20.1.2


  19. joe90 21

    My how time flies.


  20. Muttonbird 22

    Here's a list of people supposed impartial political observer, Dr Bryce Edwards, quotes in his latest cut 'n' paste effort about the National Party leadership trysts:

    Claire Trevett – National Party embedded journalist.

    Richard Prebble – Former ACT MP and far right wing activist.

    Tova O'Brien – Neutral, but only by dint of being about Tova and Tova alone.

    David Farrar, twice – Sheesh. Farrar seems more quoted by Dr Bryce than any other.

    Dan Satherley – Hardly noticed him before. Must be good.

    Audrey Young – Noted right wing journalist with long National Party affiliations.

    Heather Duplicity-Allen , also twice – Increasingly hard right wing shock jock.

    Matthew Hooton – Oh, my, God.

    Andrea Vance – See Tova O'Brien.

    Luke Malpass – Australian right wing journalist.

    Seven out of ten sources from the right and far right, and three relatively neutral. As a footnote, in the satire section, Dr Bryce entertained the only two entries which might be considered left wing voices.

    So much for balanced media, and so much for balanced media critics.


    • Ad 22.1

      Bryce Edwards is quoting experienced political reporters who have the qualifications and experience to be quoted.

      Farrar and Hooten are some of the right's most trenchant critics, both roundly rejected by National's cliques.

      Edwards himself is raising questions that plenty of other observers have been raising. Indeed National has changed its leaders three times in a year for the same reasons.

      • Muttonbird 22.1.1

        I don't think you read my comment. Bryce Edwards pretends to be an impartial observer yet he quotes no qualified person writing from the left's perspective.

        Such a person might have explained that National's leadership issues run way deeper that the personalities involved. The core of the rot is in the Party itself, its moribund and corrupt leadership and membership alike.

        • Stuart Munro

          He's a curious case, and came in for a bit of stick from LPrent a while back.

          There was a progressive thread to his writing, back in the day, but he was monstered by the other political writers at the Herald after a few well-researched columns.

          Since that time he's produced drivel – compromised hack-work – and his progressive credibility, such as it was, is at zero.

          • greywarshark

            Muttonbird and Stuart M – I notice that BE seems strangely not-left, and so it might be a case of BCE.

      • Sacha 22.1.2

        Farrar a Nat critic? Where a tongue bath is a telling off, perhaps.

  21. joe90 23

    Assad's criming continues.

    (Beirut) – Syrian authorities are unlawfully confiscating the homes and lands of Syrians who fled Syrian-Russian military attacks in Idlib and Hama governorates, Human Rights Watch said today.

    A pro-government militia and the government-controlled “Peasants’ Unions” were involved in seizing and auctioning these lands to government supporters.
    “Peasants’ Unions are supposed to help protect farmers’ rights, but have become one more tool in the Syrian government’s systematic repression of its own people,” said Sara Kayyali, Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Aid organizations should ensure that Peasants’ Unions are not providing assistance for farming on stolen land.”


    • Muttonbird 23.1

      Unlawful according to who’s law?

      And how do we know the land wasn't stolen from peasants in the first place? Perhaps Human Rights Watch could clear that up.

      Israel have been doing far worse for decades now and no-one gives a shit, so meh.

  22. Morrissey 24

    Perhaps Human Rights Watch could clear that up.

    It's extremely depressing to have to say this, but that's unlikely.

    • Muttonbird 24.1

      I don't know much about HRW but sometimes they do seem a front for Western capitalist expansion.

      • Morrissey 24.1.1

        They're more than a front, they're a tool. Ken Roth’s support for the extreme right coup in Bolivia and his contempt for the democratically elected government is akin to backing Franco over the Republican government in the 1930s.

  23. greywarshark 25

    Hi Stuart Munro if you are around. There is an historic account for a Stuart Young. an entrepreneur with Ron Davis in something called Interlock – clever chap. He lived in Breaker Bay from a boy, he knew on the fateful Wahine day on April 10, 1968 that there was trouble. The weather was worse than ever before.

    It says about it 'At 6.30 am that day, Stuart and Jenny saw the Wahine in Chaffers Passage, on the Breaker Bay side of the reef, facing the houses (a sight witnessed by many in the bay but never accepted by the official court of inquiry). It was clear she was in serious trouble and Stuart immediately phoned the police.'

    Why would the Court reject the witnesses' evidence? Why would the position of the boat be so important; if it was facing the houses then it would have been prow towards them and trying to beach wouldn't it?

    Incidentally Young and Davis set up a business to be emulated today. They had to fight protective battles for their patents in Uk and Japan. The company patented all over the world so that they kept ahead of global competitors through invention and smart marketing. They operated a profit-sharing bonus system and a medical insurance scheme, arranged free influenza vaccinations for anyone who wanted them and offered opportunities for staff to train and retrain at all levels and employees were encouraged to make decisions and to raise any matter they wanted and be honest with each other; everyone was on first-name terms. Wow.

    Apr.10/21 https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/124779833/obituary–entrepreneur-stuart-young-first-to-raise-the-alarm-about-the-ferry-wahine

    • Stuart Munro 25.1

      Why would the Court reject the witnesses' evidence?

      Official positions, like those of MSA, the harbour master, and the officers of the vessels traditionally had a level of privilege that is hard to imagine now that video of such occurrences is in play to debunk the most egregious political distortions of such systems. The thirty million MSA spend on helicopter flights during the wreck of the Rena, for example, implied that they were not so much seamen, as troughers. Were they seamen they’d have done more work by boat.

      Why would the position of the boat be so important; if it was facing the houses then it would have been prow towards them and trying to beach wouldn't it?

      Without a full knowledge of events one cannot judge whether the ship's heading was appropriate or not – it might have steered into the wind to minimize leeway, or, as you say, to try to beach, or to avoid a hazard like Barret's Reef which they had misunderstood the position of. The wind may also have blown the bow around, off the desired course, and they might have been struggling to get back on track.

      I used to have a pocket watch from the Wahine, that I found diving on Barret's Reef.

      • greywarshark 25.1.1

        Thanks Stuart interesting and your first part possibly would refer also to the Mikhail Lermontov tragedy of one of Russia's premier ships being piloted by a Marlborough leading mariner to a watery grave. Was it political,, was it sabotage? Will we ever know and why pilot Jamieson got off lightly.

        I was also wondering if the Wahine couldn't be said to have been steered towards land or the insurance might have placed personal blame on the Captain rather than the consideration of an Act of God causing the damage, or whatever cover was to be provided.

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