Open mike 10/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 am, April 10th, 2014 - 158 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

158 comments on “Open mike 10/04/2014”

  1. karol 1

    A mixed picture of Auckland, while the headlines talk up growth in employment/decline in unemployment.

    The jobs are not evenly spread around, and wages are “not shooting up”.

    “While the median household income is $107,900 in the Upper Harbour local board area, it is less than half in Mangere-Otahuhu at $59,900,” Eaqub said, adding there are fewer blue-collar jobs.

    “This has been hard on places like Mangere, Otahuhu, Otara, Papatoetoe and Manurewa where there has been little or no growth in jobs over the last seven years, even though Auckland as a region is doing much better.”

    Most of the employment growth is being led by an increase in building.

    Geoff Cooper, Auckland Council’s chief economist, said the unemployment rate was 6.3 per cent in the December quarter and 760,000 Aucklanders were in either full or part-time work in the city of 1.4 million people. Residential construction was driving job growth in building, real estate agencies, rental services, manufacturing, finance and insurance services, he said.

    The main long term positive in that, seems to me to be an increase in manufacturing. But I’d like to know what sort of manufacturing?

    Auckland’s economic growth had become increasingly broad-based and the upswing in housing construction was having significant flow-on effects to other sectors, particularly manufacturing.

    Consumer spending had gained momentum, Auckland was enjoying strong visitor numbers and dairy prices, and had proved resilient in the face of a high New Zealand dollar and weakening Australian economy, he said.

    I never like seeing consumer spending being used as a marker of a strong economy. Not all consumer sending is good for the environment and society.

    • Tracey 1.1

      together with national passing s59 a and gay marriage, lack of jobs etc, why would south auckland voters change to national? cos they are effective first class liars?

  2. karol 2

    Some interesting revelations in Don Brash’s upcoming autobiography. The most interesting in the article relate to John key and his behind the scenes deal-making.

    John key entered parliament in 2002. And it must have been pretty soon after that he was maneuvering to be leader of the Nat caucus:

    Among them is that he never intended serving out a full term as prime minister had he won in 2005 – and that he and John Key hatched a plan in a Blenheim motel room for Brash to hand over the reins to Key before the 2008 election.

    Nowadays, Key doesn’t return his calls, and Brash strongly suspects National plotted with Epsom MP John Banks to manoeuvre him out of the ACT leadership. He even questions whether that may have been the real reason for Key’s determination to keep secret the so-called teapot tapes recording a conversation between him and Banks without their knowledge.
    […]
    Brash also talks about Key’s haste to get him out the door once he stepped down from the leadership – he believes due, only in part, to National wanting to distance itself from his legacy.

    “There was also at the time a huge focus on the Nicky Hager book published in November 2006, a book which argued strongly that the National Party in general and I in particular were beholden to sinister influences – Big Business, the Exclusive Brethren and American neo-cons – and the quickest way of getting that story out of the headlines was to have me out of sight.

    “That was particularly the case given that John himself was also implicated to some extent, particularly in the allegation that he and I had both received an email from the Exclusive Brethren offering substantial financial support in the 2005 election campaign.”
    [..]
    The go-quietly option Key offered him was a plum diplomatic posting in either Washington or London. But when National later became government Brash was told Washington was not available, though he could have London. He turned it down.
    […]
    Brash also lists as one of his regrets his failure to speak out during caucus discussions on America’s invasion of Iraq – an issue on which he now believes former prime minister Helen Clark took the right stand.

    He reveals just one National MP, Maurice Williamson, spoke out passionately in opposition, while the rest, including Key and many of his current front bench, backed the US.

    • karol 2.1

      Meanwhile, the NZ Herald just goes with Brash’s sex life.

      [Edit] … As the headline article, but a less prominent article gives an outline of some of the political content of Brash’s autobiography.

      • Rodel 2.1.1

        In Watkins’ article, ‘Don Brash bares all’ with accompanying must be embarrassing (or maybe he’s proud of it) photo, she says..”The book skirts around the affair and does not mention Foreman .”
        I think she meant ‘affairs around the skirts.’
        Can’t wait to read Brash’s latest spleen contents. (Not!)

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          That photo! mmm sexytime!

          • hoom 2.1.1.1.1

            Just incase anybody still thought he was a person with a shred of credibility on anything, the choice to let that photo be used absolutely proves he has 0 sense.

    • geoff 2.2

      No honour amongst thieves.

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        If they can do that among their own, it turns one’s heart cold to think what they would do to others.

    • Tracey 2.3

      given this, why would brash want to call key?

    • felix 2.4

      Don Brash is clearly a loony left-wing conspiracy theorist.

      • Tracey 2.4.1

        I was thinking that too 😉

        He confirms what the left has been saying about the Smiling Assassin who is our current Liar-in-Chief

    • Pete 2.5

      I never liked Brash’s politics, but I always had the impression he was in over his head. Hopefully he’s found some emotional stability now.

  3. North 3

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9923621/Don-Brash-bares-all

    ShonKey PYTHON aye ?

    And Dame Edna’s one time hubby Sir Les Patterson McCully aye ?

    Reminds me of the one about poor Mildred who fell into the orangutang enclosure at the zoo. Boss orangutang swings over and ravages her savagely. Visited later in hospital by life long friend Agnes who’s beside herself with worry – “Oh Mils’ my darling…….what have they done to you ?” Mildred, tearful – “Oh Aggie……they haven’t rung…….they haven’t written”.

    Strange how men of privilege whimper so when it all ends what ? Not that it hasn’t. Still, good on him for his frankness.

  4. North 4

    Best seller for holler feller gets smeller and smeller and smeller ! Check out to the right and four inches down.

  5. anker 5

    I get the feeling the tide has just begun to turn for JK. Not just this article. He looked tired and was not at all articulate when talking on Prime News last night about the Chch school closure.

    Couldn’t have come at a better time I say. More John, more!

  6. vto 6

    In Christchurch certain business and other ‘leaders’ think the Council should sell its high performing assets (like the airport and the port) so that the money can be invested in the anchor projects (like the convention centre and the covered stadium).

    What planet do these loons live on? Sell strong assets that produce dividends to invest in structures that make a loss? Unbelievable.

    If it is such a good deal then how about the Council sell the convention centre and the covered stadium? Eh? Let the businesspeople and the investors own the stadium and the convention centre.

    The gall they have. Goes right to the heart of their dishonesty and untrustworthiness. Scum.

    • Chooky 6.1

      +100 vto

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      What planet do these loons live on? Sell strong assets that produce dividends to invest in structures that make a loss? Unbelievable.

      They’re not loons, it’s not unbelievable – they want the city to sell so that they can a) get the rent from the strong assets and b) make a profit building and maintaining the loss making assets that they want the city to build. In other words, they want a transfer of wealth from the city to them.

    • thatguynz 6.3

      It’s “disaster capitalism” vto. There is nothing unpredictable about this governments response to Chch and it has absolutely ZERO to do with actually helping the citizens of your fine city.

  7. Describing “the growing propensity of former heads of government to monetise their service”, Simon Kuper writes in the Financial Times’s FT Magazine, the condition afflicts former leaders who amass great wealth as they become mouthpieces for all sorts of characters, some of them unsavoury.

    The exemplar of the form, Blair “has shilled for JPMorgan Chase, Qatar and Kazakhstan’s cuddly regime”. But he’s not alone. “Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy have terrible Blair Disease too.”

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/health-warning-for-world-leaders-tony-blair-disease/

  8. Ouch. Don’t know what the offline was this morning. Fixed.

  9. Chooky 9

    Martin Bradbury again on about how the Greens and Winston /NZF must reach some sort of agreement to bury the hatchet soon!….i am in agreement…. All petty differences on the Left must be put aside

    …the Labour led Left coalition must win this election.!…and that includes a coalition with Mana /Dotcom

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/10/time-for-the-greens-to-stay-cool-cunliffes-best-shot-at-being-pm-is-to-unify-the-opposition/

    • Ant 9.1

      Agree. Good comment by Bradbury on Peters going for legacy, when the mistakes of the Key government are remembered in 20 years time I doubt he himself seen as an enabler of those. Even though he is generally accused of wanting baubles, people forget his vanity means he wants to be remembered in a positive light.

      The RNZ interview was a strong signal that he was willing to work with the Greens.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Peters’ legacy will be that he betrayed his voters; fucked MMP early on in the piece (which it may not recover from); and constistently undermined the left thus keeping NZ’s centre too far to the right.

    • weka 9.2

      Sorry Chooky, but that has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve seen Bomber write. Greens going to war with Labour and Mana, wtf? This is the party that’s led the way on building relationships. Why would it now take an antagonistic stance? Looks like Bomber spin to me (where are you allegiences currently Bomber?).

      “If the Greens are serious about changing the Government, can they work with Winston and can they build some personal relationships with him before the election?”

      Which party has a history of building relationships and whose kaupapa is based on co-operation? Which party has a history of betraying it’s voters, and of refusing to say before an election what it will do after the election?

      • It’s also a little odd of Bomber to be earnestly giving the Green Party strategic advice, given how many posts at The Daily Blog have heaped scorn on the Greens and their supporters.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Well the above comments do not seem to come near to what David Cunliffe said this morning which Radionz says is a comment distancing itself from Greens – Cunliffe talking again about seeing what the voters want. He said something like if voters want a parliament or government with more than two parties. I couldn’t quite get my head around his intention there.

    And the radio comment was that Labour and the Greens were on opposite sides over mining and oil drilling off the coast and that appeared to be a serious schism.

    Cunliffe talked bout Labour being a long standing Party for 100 years blah blah. Sort of stand alone and proud stuff. I felt – numb. One step forward with him as Leader with a promise of …? we hoped better vision, but now it is almost two steps back. What can you do with porridge-headed Labour? I think they are an old Party all right, senile.

    • George 10.1

      Perhaps he thinks his party will get 45% of the vote.

      He has no interest in reaching across to the Greens to form a progressive left Government, if he can reach across to embrace Winston.

    • weka 10.2

      “He said something like if voters want a parliament or government with more than two parties”

      I haven’t listened to it, but I assume he means that the next govt will be a coalition, and the voters will decide if it’s just L/GP, or if NZF are part of that (and Mana/IP). It’s really down to people who may vote NZF. The best thing that could happen for NZ now is for NZF to not reach the 5%. Slim hope though.

  11. srylands 11

    Vto on assets in Christchurch you have it arse about. It is the role of the private sector to manage and own profit making assets. Why the hell should government own an airport? Your view if it prevailed would lead us to the horror we escaped. Go and live in Greece

    • thatguynz 11.1

      Fucking idiot.

    • felix 11.2

      Only in your fascist corporate wet dream, gosman.

    • JanM 11.3

      An airport is a service, not a profit-making entity, for crying out loud – at least it was before the world went quite mad

    • Tracey 11.4

      Maybe a government could own an airport and use the profits to offset loss of tax take?

      Why the hell should a currency trader know anything about how to run a country?

      Life’s a mystery and your economic newspaper doesn’t have all the answers

    • vto 11.5

      ha ha srylands, if only you had some credibility….. you are an ideologue with a religious fervour that renders your seesaw impotent.

      Sell strong assets that produce dividends to invest in structures that make a loss? What a fool.

      Why should a local community own an asset like an airport? Or the port? If you cannot see through that then you are completely lost. Just like you think people are a commodity for competitive sale like your fucking plastic buckets. The fact you think so about the sale of people means you have not even reached first base in understanding the human condition or the history and reality of human community.

      Fail.

      • freedom 11.5.1

        “Sell strong assets that produce dividends to invest in structures that make a loss? What a fool.”

        but vto, they then have an excellent argument to sell off the poorly performing new asset and their masters can own everything. What I respect about incrementalism is that since its implementation a hundred years ago (conservative estimate) it has been shown to be quite a clever and ruthlessly successful operation. Sure it has cost the world almost any chance of a decent society where people are valued for who they are not what they wear but hey, when there is gold in sight, humans get stupid.

      • Tracey 11.5.2

        ah, but just think, the first thing he does when he gets to work each day is to read The Standard, and post…

    • Draco T Bastard 11.6

      It is the role of the private sector to manage and own profit making assets.

      Not necessarily especially when the profit making asset is a natural monopoly.

      Why the hell should government own an airport?

      Two reason:
      1.) They’re better at managing such assets for the public good and won’t run it down to maximise profit the way that the private sector does
      2.) So as to make a profit

      Your view if it prevailed would lead us to the horror we escaped. Go and live in Greece

      Contrary to what you want to believe we’re already heading towards being the next Greece and all due to the economic paradigm you worship.

    • framu 11.7

      ” It is the role of the private sector to manage and own profit making assets.”

      says who?

      also – the well performing assets the CHCH holds publicly is what kept their rates rises down – you know, rates. That thing shits like you get your knickers in a twist about when they go up

    • fender 11.8

      ” It is the role of the private sector to manage and own profit making assets.”

      There’s that sense of entitlement again. Pathetic.

      • greywarbler 11.8.1

        srylands job is to be the infection that keeps the pus rising and running, the thorn with a dirty tip of contagion that can overpower the body’s ability to resist the strongly spreading and deadly germ.

    • Molly 11.9

      One for srylands to charge for the hour under research – Future Suspended about how the privatisation of public spaces in Athens began with the 2004 Olympics and transferred public wealth to private purses.

  12. just saying 12

    Good column from Gordon Campbell (at right) today. Saying what I’d like to say, but more eloquently and with less bitterness and swear-words. Teaser:

    …If there is a tactical fear of being tarred as “extreme left” – which should be a joke, when applied to Russel Norman and Metiria Turei – the only way to disarm that smear is to take control of the situation, own what the two parties share in common, and defend the relevant policies. Fear tactics will only work if you run scared of them, and the formation of the Labour/Greens alliance would have presented a golden opportunity to confront the “extremist” bogey and dispel it before the campaign proper begins. It would have seen Labour in charge of its destiny, and demonstrating before the election why there is no need to fear what such a partnership might entail after the election. Instead, Labour has chosen to keep its options open and wait plaintively by the phone for a call from Peters that is never likely to come. What does Labour believe in? Apparently, whatever it takes to get itself pushed across the line by its partners…

    • Tracey 12.1

      It’s looking more and more like Labour believes what it believed between 1998 and 2008, problem is National holds that ground right now…

    • Ad 12.2

      Good stuff

    • blue leopard 12.3

      @ Just Saying

      Good article by Gordon Campbell – thanks for pointing it out.

    • Jim Nald 12.4

      Thanks for the heads up. The closing line of Gordon’s piece is:

      “What [the Key government] lacks is a leader of that opposition – but yesterday, Cunliffe decided not to turn up to work.”

      At this rate, I may consider holding my nose and party-voting the Greens given that the Labour caucus is still in search for a true Progressive spine.

      Any chance that Cunliffe will revisit the invitation?
      Any chance that the soft tory idiots in the caucus will help him reframe, reposition and refine the messaging?

      While he is at it, can he bang T.I.N.A. Parker’s head against those of the Nat Lites in his caucus to also revisit the retirement age proposal?

      Ten days and five months to go: Wake Up, Labour Caucus!

      • blue leopard 12.4.1

        +1 Jim Nald

      • bad12 12.4.2

        Jim Naid, at some point we are going to have to realistically address the question,”did we get had” by the election of David Cunliffe to the leadership of the Labour Caucus,

        That might on my part be an entirely inappropriate view/question of or put to the Labour leader, however, it aint only Finance spokesperson David Parker that needs be read the riot act,(in my opinion),

        Andrew Little apparently the Labour spokesperson on mining, after attending a ‘piis-up’ in the Parliaments Grand Hall paid for? by the mining lobby group Straterra was quoted by RadioNZ National News as saying ”if the Green Party will not support Legislation that allows further mining in a future Labour/Green Government then Labour would simply seek the support of National to pass such Legislation”,

        David Parker, we all heard the ”there is no alternative” when Parker recently addressed the question of raising the age of superannuation, such neo-liberal cliches are, i would suggest, the sum total of debate we are to get on this topic and the question remains,”how deeply steeped in the economics of neo-liberalism is David Parker”,

        Phill Twyford, Labour’s Housing spokesperson,(and i genuinely have to thank Phill for turning up here at the Standard to debate an issue),but, can anyone be further out of touch from the real world,

        Phill citing 250,000 kids living in poverty then went on in His post to explain how Labour will require all rental properties to not only be insulated but to also provide suitable cost effective heating,

        i put it to Phill that (a), the definition of poverty would prohibit the parents of these 250,000 kids living in poverty to be able to afford to use such heating, and (b), landlords forced by Legislation to carry out such work on their rental properties are more then likely to simply crank up the rent to recover costs,

        Both of the above questions Phill Twyford answered yes you are right too,(more or less),the third question i put to Phill, what i would consider to be the ‘crux’ of the matter as far as children living in poverty goes Phill didn’t bother to address,(c) asked ”can he not see the relationship to those on low incomes being forced to rent from the private sector and the fact that they are living in poverty”,

        So the above simply outlines 3 complete ”disconnects” exhibited by three different Labour spokespeople who would be odds on to be Ministers holding the relevant portfolios in a future Government,

        Myself i am becoming increasingly more pessimistic that there will be any ‘great’ change forthcoming from such a Government, Business as usual in other words…

        • Draco T Bastard 12.4.2.1

          David Parker, we all heard the ”there is no alternative” when Parker recently addressed the question of raising the age of superannuation, such neo-liberal cliches are, i would suggest, the sum total of debate we are to get on this topic and the question remains,”how deeply steeped in the economics of neo-liberalism is David Parker”,

          I was wondering if srylands had replaced him.

          (b), landlords forced by Legislation to carry out such work on their rental properties are more then likely to simply crank up the rent to recover costs,

          What you find, once you look behind the facade, is that the rich don’t pay for anything. They always pass the costs onto the community in one way or another and because they don’t pay for anything they find it very easy to get richer.

        • Murray Olsen 12.4.2.2

          As far as I can see, Twyford is just another career politician who planned his career path 30 years ago. Much like Key learning to play golf, he did what he thought would help advance him in Labour.

          • lprent 12.4.2.2.1

            He isn’t. I’ve worked with the guy on campaigns and talked to him a lot over the years. You’ll note that I have no particular attraction for charm and a built in bullshit detector after decades of active politics. I wouldn’t agree with him on a many things, but he definitely has a direction outside of personal ambition. Since he is willing to do the effort he has always been a politician who I’d help if it was feasible.

            It is more a case of having things that he considers being important, like getting into a position to be able to do something about them, and being willing to trade off to get there. Parliament pretty much runs on an apprenticeship basis with most of the actual power being held close to core of a relatively small number of people. You get kudos by getting things done that need to be done.

            But it is also because you seldom can get everything done in a single hit on any policy matter when everything isn’t thoroughly broken.

            You can get support to run massive campaigns to change things when you have a shock, and suddenly get 20-30% of the workforce out of work for many years and epidemics sweeping the land. As in the depression in the 1930s and even after the debt/borrowing crisis in the mid-80s after National had stuck its head in the sand for a decade. It is a damn sight harder to get the required widespread support when there is a incremental deterioration.

            So at present in political terms you have to get things done incrementally. There isn’t a lot of widespread support for doing anything else. It is a bit of a problem when it comes to upcoming issues with things like preventing or even the decades long processes of adapting to climate change, or dealing with the age bulge in superannuiants

            • Murray Olsen 12.4.2.2.1.1

              I guess this is what I’ve seen, and formed a less charitable opinion of:

              “It is more a case of having things that he considers being important, like getting into a position to be able to do something about them, and being willing to trade off to get there.”

              Anyway, I don’t see him as the main problem in the Labour caucus. He was not responsible for their lurch to the right, he became active after that had happened. He probably didn’t even have anything to do with the line in the sand they seem to have drawn, which can never be passed on the way leftwards, and which most of them seem happy to have as long as it is so very slightly to the left of NAct’s line.

              • lprent

                It will take time for them to realize how much that attitude hurts them (and us). The ‘professional’ party attitude just disconnects them from their actual basis of support. And unlike the National party they can’t just run on fear of the other

      • greywarbler 12.4.3

        Mallard made some comment on radio I think this morning about wanting to stay on in politics for some years. (It may have come up in the Tau Henare resignation context.)
        So whatever he is feeding the others, however he managed to get a largely unchallenged position in Labour, he is intending to keep doing it to become the grand old man. And unfortunately he keeps too fit to pass away like big Norm who had numerous health factors to contend with.

        I think Cunliffe talking this morning about Labour’s longevity is an indication of what I feel is the nub of present-day Labour. It is an institution with a history and privileges and few feel the burning desire to do anything except the minimum required to keep signing the timesheet.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.5

      That’s one reason why 70% of Labour supporters want Labour to treat the Greens as its most favoured coalition option, and not New Zealand First. These supporters include the same activists whose support was crucial to Cunliffe being voted into the leadership. They have just been given every incentive not to bother working for Cunliffe in this campaign. After all, the original idea was to elect a left wing government, not one that was striving to earn the Winston Peters Seal of Approval.

      Well, my suggestion to those 70%: Leave Labour and join the Greens ASAP.

      • weka 12.5.1

        Or even just vote for them this time round. If it’s hard for Labour voters to party vote GP (nods to Jim above), then consider it a protest vote for this election to prompt Labour to sort it’s shit out.

        My reading of the GP offer to Labour this week is that it’s a very clear signal to voters about what’s real at this point in time. Disappointing that Cunliffe didn’t show up for work, but now we know where things stand. You have some choices here Labour voters, what are you going to do?

      • blue leopard 12.5.3

        Good suggestion Draco

        If people don’t move their votes around then they start being taken for granted….clearly….

        That is why, after-all, this ‘centrist floating voter’ gets obsessed over….

      • greywarbler 12.5.4

        +100

      • Murray Olsen 12.5.5

        Or, in Bomber Bradbury’s case, join Winston First. I seem to remember he was pro-Cunliffe, as was I, but I’m forced to wonder if he knew why.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/audrey-young/news/article.cfm?a_id=164&objectid=11235338

    Credit wheres it due time, this is a good move by Cunliffe

    • Jim Nald 13.1

      Many would agree more wholeheartedly if that sentence was completed as follows (given the full stop has not yet been inserted):

      Credit wheres [sic] it due time, this is a good move by Cunliffe to strengthen Winston Peters’ kingmaker role, as well as John Key’s campaigning.

      Surely that nzherald piece couldn’t have been written by a National MP’s sister or daughter !?
      /sarc

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    If National and Act are allowed to continue down their preferred economic track of privatisation this is type of healthcare we’ll end up with:

    Charlene Dill, a 32-year-old mother of three, collapsed and died on a stranger’s floor at the end of March. She was at an appointment to try to sell a vacuum cleaner, one of the three part-time jobs that she worked to try to make ends meet for her family. Her death was a result of a documented heart condition — and it could have been prevented.
    Dill was uninsured, and she went years without the care she needed to address her chronic conditions because she couldn’t afford it.

    And this is the type of living space that we’re missing out on because of National’s outdated ideology:

    The buildings are also built to Passivhaus standards, which allows the project to produce four times the amount of energy it consumes!

    Yeah, wonder what sort of profits the now privatised generators could get when they’re just not needed.

    • vto 14.1

      Srylands should read that.

      That the poor woman was left to die by her own community proves conclusively that private enterprise does not cater to the needs of community.

      It is disgusting. What a poor poor community with fatally flawed structures. The USA is a failed community by this most basic of measures.

      That people like srylands keep pushing to implement the same structures in NZ makes me sick.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        I take it you mean conclusively?

        • vto 14.1.1.1

          woops yes … edited

          I find it bizarre that people would leave their neighbour to die like this.

          Because that is what people like srylands do when they advocate policies such as these – they very directly leave their neighbours to die. It is pretty much a form of murder or manslaughter.

          Shameful. The poorest human conduct known.

          • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.1

            /agreed

            And it’s all done so that they can have a little more money, a few more material things.

          • srylands 14.1.1.1.2

            Crap. Markets promote prosperity and reflect liberty. I thought this argument was won about 25 years ago, at least in New Zealand.

            “Markets, liberty and neoliberalism are murder”. Am I paraphrasing correctly? You sound like a crazy person. If you are not crazy and are serious you are on the wrong side of history. I suggest you travel and open your mind to the world.

            Socialists – aka the Green Party of New Zealand – hate liberty. That hatred of liberty if they get the chance will lead to misery, stunted growth and immense hardship for the poor. That is the irony. Your rich pricks can ride out the storm, or ultimately leave. It is the poor and vulnerable, and their children that will pay the price. We won’t be a prosperous workers paradise with “Green growth” because it is an illusion. R Norman is promoting a green tainted version of Argentinian 1950s industry policy.

            What you are promising with your tainted xenophobic world (sic) view is a future for New Zealand that looks like a mixture of Greece and Samoa. We will lose our world connectedness, and become a stunted, inflationary, Pacific island.

            Your vision will not prevail.

            • bad12 14.1.1.1.2.1

              If you promise to slide into your snakeskin suit and slither off out of our country SSLands we will all to a woman and man undoubtedly vote for such a proposition,

              We have enough scum here now without having imported an overdose of it in the form of you…

            • thatguynz 14.1.1.1.2.2

              Your ability to conflate the disparate notions of “the market” with “liberty” demonstrates perfectly why people here simply can’t take you seriously.

              Might I suggest you actually need to read more and think critically as your blinkered advocacy of the ideology you constantly espouse here is painting you into a corner.

            • Tracey 14.1.1.1.2.3

              said chicken little

            • JanM 14.1.1.1.2.4

              You’re not very bright, really, are you!

            • vto 14.1.1.1.2.5

              Complete bullshit in each of your paragraphs and I aint wasting time going through them in detail.

              I rest my assessment of you srylands on your baseline of treating people as a tradeable commodity in the same manner as plastic buckets at the warehouse.

              You don’t even reach first base in your understanding of humans and their communities.

              Why don’t you go live in the USA where they do not treat their sick neighbours – they leave them to die. Dead. The market leaves people to die. Above is perfect example.

              Shameful. Poorest human conduct known.

            • McFlock 14.1.1.1.2.6

              lol

              That was a curious mixture of religious dogmatism and “Atlas Shrugged”, sspylands.

              You believe only in the “liberty” you can pay for and defend by yourself. This is not universal liberty. Your markets demonstrate this repeatedly – the rich prosper, the poor die. You don’t even couch it in terms of social Darwinism, you just seem to think it’s a good thing by virtue of its own existence.

              edit: damn, for the life of me I can’t remember the name for that religious belief that god rewards virtue in this world, so rich people must be good and poor people deserve it for some reason. Big in the states.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.2.7

              I thought this argument was won about 25 years ago, at least in New Zealand.

              No, it was rammed down our throats 25 years ago. The GFC proved conclusively that your religion doesn’t work.

              It is the poor and vulnerable, and their children that will pay the price.

              Get it right. It is the poor and vulnerable that pay the price of having rich people. You’ve said it yourself – if the owner of a rental property has to do something to that property then that cost will be passed on to the people renting it. The rich person isn’t any worse off – in fact they’re probably better off as they will over inflate the rent rise.

            • Murray Olsen 14.1.1.1.2.8

              SSLands, even by your warped measures of success, Argentina was economically successful in the 1950s, with GDP growing for the whole decade. Wanking yourself over a picture of Madonna, to the sounds of “Don’t Lie to Me, Argentina” hardly gives you any credibility at all.

              Argentina started going down the drain once Uncle Sam’s favourite generals took over and invited the IMF and World Bank to help out. Theirs is the sort of liberty you love so much; the liberty of torturers and looters to do their foul business without fear of the consequences. You make me sick.

  15. Tracey 15

    Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, “The King’s in council,” here they always said. “The Emperor’s in his dressing room.”

    In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

    “Those would be just the clothes for me,” thought the Emperor. “If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away.” He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once.

    They set up two looms and pretended to weave, though there was nothing on the looms. All the finest silk and the purest old thread which they demanded went into their traveling bags, while they worked the empty looms far into the night.

    “I’d like to know how those weavers are getting on with the cloth,” the Emperor thought, but he felt slightly uncomfortable when he remembered that those who were unfit for their position would not be able to see the fabric. It couldn’t have been that he doubted himself, yet he thought he’d rather send someone else to see how things were going. The whole town knew about the cloth’s peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbors were.

    “I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” the Emperor decided. “He’ll be the best one to tell me how the material looks, for he’s a sensible man and no one does his duty better.”

    So the honest old minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working away at their empty looms.

    “Heaven help me,” he thought as his eyes flew wide open, “I can’t see anything at all”. But he did not say so.

    Both the swindlers begged him to be so kind as to come near to approve the excellent pattern, the beautiful colors. They pointed to the empty looms, and the poor old minister stared as hard as he dared. He couldn’t see anything, because there was nothing to see. “Heaven have mercy,” he thought. “Can it be that I’m a fool? I’d have never guessed it, and not a soul must know. Am I unfit to be the minister? It would never do to let on that I can’t see the cloth.”

    “Don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it,” said one of the weavers.

    “Oh, it’s beautiful -it’s enchanting.” The old minister peered through his spectacles. “Such a pattern, what colors!” I’ll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it.”

    “We’re pleased to hear that,” the swindlers said. They proceeded to name all the colors and to explain the intricate pattern. The old minister paid the closest attention, so that he could tell it all to the Emperor. And so he did.

    The swindlers at once asked for more money, more silk and gold thread, to get on with the weaving. But it all went into their pockets. Not a thread went into the looms, though they worked at their weaving as hard as ever.

    The Emperor presently sent another trustworthy official to see how the work progressed and how soon it would be ready. The same thing happened to him that had happened to the minister. He looked and he looked, but as there was nothing to see in the looms he couldn’t see anything.

    “Isn’t it a beautiful piece of goods?” the swindlers asked him, as they displayed and described their imaginary pattern.

    “I know I’m not stupid,” the man thought, “so it must be that I’m unworthy of my good office. That’s strange. I mustn’t let anyone find it out, though.” So he praised the material he did not see. He declared he was delighted with the beautiful colors and the exquisite pattern. To the Emperor he said, “It held me spellbound.”

    All the town was talking of this splendid cloth, and the Emperor wanted to see it for himself while it was still in the looms. Attended by a band of chosen men, among whom were his two old trusted officials-the ones who had been to the weavers-he set out to see the two swindlers. He found them weaving with might and main, but without a thread in their looms.

    “Magnificent,” said the two officials already duped. “Just look, Your Majesty, what colors! What a design!” They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

    “What’s this?” thought the Emperor. “I can’t see anything. This is terrible!

    Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! – Oh! It’s very pretty,” he said. “It has my highest approval.” And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn’t see anything.

    His whole retinue stared and stared. One saw no more than another, but they all joined the Emperor in exclaiming, “Oh! It’s very pretty,” and they advised him to wear clothes made of this wonderful cloth especially for the great procession he was soon to lead. “Magnificent! Excellent! Unsurpassed!” were bandied from mouth to mouth, and everyone did his best to seem well pleased. The Emperor gave each of the swindlers a cross to wear in his buttonhole, and the title of “Sir Weaver.”

    Before the procession the swindlers sat up all night and burned more than six candles, to show how busy they were finishing the Emperor’s new clothes. They pretended to take the cloth off the loom. They made cuts in the air with huge scissors. And at last they said, “Now the Emperor’s new clothes are ready for him.”

    Then the Emperor himself came with his noblest noblemen, and the swindlers each raised an arm as if they were holding something. They said, “These are the trousers, here’s the coat, and this is the mantle,” naming each garment. “All of them are as light as a spider web. One would almost think he had nothing on, but that’s what makes them so fine.”

    “Exactly,” all the noblemen agreed, though they could see nothing, for there was nothing to see.

    “If Your Imperial Majesty will condescend to take your clothes off,” said the swindlers, “we will help you on with your new ones here in front of the long mirror.”

    The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another. They took him around the waist and seemed to be fastening something – that was his train-as the Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

    “How well Your Majesty’s new clothes look. Aren’t they becoming!” He heard on all sides, “That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit.”

    Then the minister of public processions announced: “Your Majesty’s canopy is waiting outside.”

    “Well, I’m supposed to be ready,” the Emperor said, and turned again for one last look in the mirror. “It is a remarkable fit, isn’t it?” He seemed to regard his costume with the greatest interest.

    The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn’t dare admit they had nothing to hold.

    So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

    “But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

    “Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

    “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

    The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    UK govt wasted half a billion pounds on useless Swine Flu drug stockpiles

    Big Pharma profusely thanks the UK tax payer for adding generously to the bottom line.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/10/uk-wasted-560m-stockpiling-flu-drugs

    • McFlock 16.1

      They probably haven’t used civil defense shelters in a while, either. Must be a plot for Big Construction.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        A civil defense shelter will actually keep people warm and dry in an emergency. Whereas this drug has been shown to not do what it promised. I don’t take this massive waste of tax payers money lightly.

        • Chooky 16.1.1.1

          +100…well said

        • McFlock 16.1.1.2

          How do you know the shelters aren’t leaky?

          • Ergo Robertina 16.1.1.2.1

            But what’s your point? Even if the shelters you introduced as a deflection are leaky (and that wasn’t your premise in the analogy, which was that they hadn’t been used in a while) it’s not the issue.
            The issue is the billions of dollars that continue to be spent (tens of millions in NZ) on maintaining stockpiles of useless drugs.
            Do you think governments should reconsider stockpiling a drug that has no benefit beyond 12 hours of symptom relief, no reduction in complications, has side effects, and does not prevent the spread of flu?
            Do you accept profit motive plays a role when drug companies withhold reams of data that show drugs did not have the claimed efficacy, upon which decisions were made to stockpile them all around the world?
            If you do accept a profit motive, why do you infer those who might object to this must be conspiracy theorists?

            • McFlock 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you think governments should reconsider stockpiling a drug that has no benefit beyond 12 hours of symptom relief, no reduction in complications, has side effects, and does not prevent the spread of flu?

              I think they should follow WHO guidelines. BTW, cutting treatment time by 7% still reduces the treatment burden of a pandemic by 7%.

              Do you accept profit motive plays a role when drug companies withhold reams of data that show drugs did not have the claimed efficacy, upon which decisions were made to stockpile them all around the world?

              Yep. Do you believe that funding&planning analysts are oblivious to this problem?

              If you do accept a profit motive, why do you infer those who might object to this must be conspiracy theorists?

              Because purchasing decisions aren’t made by naive children who are unaware of such issues, and because groups of corporations aren’t single monolithic entities that deserve capitalisation.

              • Ergo Robertina

                There is no reduction in hospital admissions and complications, thus the overall reduction in the treatment burden is not 7%.

                • McFlock

                  If they’re in hospital for 6.5 days rather than 7 on average, that’s a reduction in treatment burden.

                  And in a pandemic, every bed is needed as much as possible.

                  Although I’m intrigued that a reduction in duration isn’t accompanied by a reduction in severity. I might actually bother looking it up sometime.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If they’re in hospital for 6.5 days rather than 7 on average, that’s a reduction in treatment burden.

                    Oh, don’t forget to add in the secondary treatment burden from people fucked up by the primary treatment. Especially those patients who weren’t going to need hospital care, until the mass medication drug treatment screwed them over that is.

                    I think a properly put together chicken broth could reduce hospital stay duration from 7 days average to 6.5 days average too.

                    • Chooky

                      i think it is safest to stick with the chicken soup thanks

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hmmmmm, I appreciate your sentiments but am a tad concerned about the implications of your comment for your fellow chooks!

                    • McFlock

                      I think a properly put together chicken broth could reduce hospital stay duration from 7 days average to 6.5 days average too.

                      While I seem to recall research that suggests chicken broth does have some medicinal properties, I’d still like to see the reviews on that.
                      Hell, do both.

                      Oh, and I think the review did cover adverse reactions.

                    • Chooky

                      @CV…re chicken soup ….yes salutations and thanks are due to my mighty Totem the chicken

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totem

                      ….at least we know what chicken broth is and it is tried and tested unlike Tamiflu

            • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2.1.2

              Ministry of Health mass dumping of Tamiflu 1.5M doses binned

              Once again, Big Pharma thanks the NZ tax payer for their generosity, and the medical profession for backing this profligate spending on long shot, ultimately proven ineffective, medicines.

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9768461/Mass-dump-of-Tamiflu-a-bitter-pill-to-swallow

              • McFlock

                spending on long shot, ultimately proven ineffective, medicines.

                Lol. this from a chiropractor.

                • Chooky

                  prefer to take health advice from CV rather than you….based on the evidence….

                • thatguynz

                  Are you suggesting that Chiropractors can’t read, think, or have an opinion McFlock?

                  I much prefer to take health “advice” from all of those across the medical and holistic/naturopath spectrum in addition to my own reading and research rather than relying solely on a GP whose typical “go to” position is to prescribe some form of pharmaceutical..

                  • McFlock

                    Are you suggesting that Chiropractors can’t read, think, or have an opinion McFlock?

                    Nope. Just that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      While there might be faults in both houses, only one is the recipient of billions of taxpayer dollars.

                    • McFlock

                      Are you implying that the respective faults of each are equivalent?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      No, I’m not implying that. Both have their detractors, as you alluded to by invoking glass houses and stones. But only one cost taxpayers several billion dollars in recent years – money that could be spent on other population needs – as highlighted in the review out this week.

                    • McFlock

                      So the one that demonstrably has a beneficial effect (even if smaller than expected in some instances) also gets the funding.

                      Seems reasonable.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      That wasn’t the issue.

                    • McFlock

                      Not sure how it connects to the actual point about glass houses, but whatever.

                      Would you have preferred no money was spent to prepare for a possible pandemic? They made the decision with the evidence they had available. More evidence has come to light that suggests that maybe other alternatives were better.

                      While no system is perfect, money still goes to the system that has demonstrable benefit. I’d much rather that than the other way around.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh look McFlock, establishment big medicine has been trying to discredit and get rid of chiropractic care and chiropractors for the last 120 years. As such your attitude is not particularly new nor novel.

                      NZ on the other hand is internationally famous for the massive levels of public support it gave to chiropractors in the 1970’s, as evidenced by the 1979 NZ Royal Commission of Inquiry into chiropractic care.

                      Nope. Just that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

                      Oh fuck off, chiropractors weren’t the ones who advocated for the tax payers purchase of 1.5M doses of a drug which didn’t work and was subsequently binned.

                      Would you have preferred no money was spent to prepare for a possible pandemic? They made the decision with the evidence they had available.

                      Pffft. Shovelling tens of millions of dollars to Big Pharma on the basis of grasping at straws and very thin evidence just to be seen to be doing something is not a coherent strategy.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      McFlock, who is allowed to be a critical voice in terms of how precious public money is spent? You subscribe to a technocratic scientific model whereby those who haven’t spent thousands of hours studying the relevant field are shut out, and should just let the experts get on with the job.
                      The tamiflu saga is not just about medical science. It’s about regulation and democratic safeguards against big business. The idea that only suitably qualified people can participate in the democratic process is offensive.
                      You tried to marginalise CV by attacking his profession, which in your view lacks credibility. However, he could only be deemed hypocritical if his own profession had received billions of dollars by means of hiding relevant data.

                    • McFlock

                      CV, they did work (just not as well as hoped), and the reason they were binned was that the potential epidemic the doses were a contingency for did not eventuate.

                      Your failure to understand those two points is one reason why I don’t give a damn about your opinion on medical matters.

                    • McFlock

                      Ergo Robertina, once again you misunderstand my position. Anyone can have an opinion on anything. It’s just that I’m not required to think that the opinion of some internet quack is as accurate as the opinion of someone who’s spent a lifetime studying and working in the field.

                      So-called “big pharma” can be a problem in some issues. But the expiry of a contingency stock of a drug that had its acquisition expedited because of an emerging threat is not the smoking gun of any of those issues.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You mightn’t give me credence mate, but I didn’t buy 1.5M doses of a useless drug (literally almost completely unused) with tax payers money, then bin them (incurring even more costs to the tax payer in proper disposal).

                    • McFlock

                      But then you’d also not spend money on vaccines.
                      So we’d have used those drugs – but oh wait, you wouldn’t have bought them…

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      You’re right, I don’t understand your position. You say further evidence ‘[came] to light’, without it seems any understanding of why it was kept in the dark, and whose interests that serves.
                      Even now, our government will continue to hold stockpiled drugs that are of little use in all likelihood, when that money could be spent on child health and nutrition.
                      You think it’s about the science, with no apparent awareness of the role played by money and ego.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m well aware of the issues that you bring up.

                      But nobody’s come up with a better system. Sometimes it doesn’t make the best decisions, but consistently it does a lot better than any alternative system.

                      You think this decision was the wrong one? Fine. It’s not even the worst case in recent history. Maybe one of the more expensive ones, but not the worst one.

                      But it’s still better than pretending I know better than everyone who’s spent years working in the field, just because I googled a news site. Contingency planning for a global epidemic is a little bit more complex than that.

                    • Chooky

                      Talking of alternative systems….because obviously the present one isnt working

                      Kim Hill talking to Catherine De Angelis ( Editor Journal American Medical Assn?) on transparency in medical research, taking on the pharmaceutical companies and research as distinct from marketing

                      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2592409/catherine-deangelis

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘You think this decision was the wrong one? Fine. It’s not even the worst case in recent history. Maybe one of the more expensive ones, but not the worst one.’

                      McFlock: What was the worst case in recent history?

                    • McFlock

                      No idea.

                      Although that doctor who falsified adverse reaction evidence about a medication so that the competing medication he was working on would look better, that was pretty bad.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      It would be nice if you applied the same standard (or indeed any standard) of reference to your own claims as that which you bemoan as lacking in others.
                      You also claimed Tamiflu reduced treatment burden by 7% without substantiation.

                      And this:

                      ”But the expiry of a contingency stock of a drug that had its acquisition expedited because of an emerging threat is not the smoking gun of any of those issues.”

                      Expiry is not the key concern – critics only point to the expiry/renewal issue because it increases the cost. The issue is hidden data, which had it been revealed at the outset might have precluded the mass purchases in the first place.

                    • McFlock

                      Seriously?

                      Everything prior to my wee reference to Wakefield was in the sources already supplied by other people in this thread.

    • Chooky 16.2

      @ CV …that is a disgrace…and it has all sorts of implications for the credibility of the medical profession.

      ….certainly heard earned and sorely needed tax payer money for health is being siphoned out into the bank accounts of big multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical business ( half a billion pounds in this instance)

      ….with the collusion of governments and the medical profession

      ….it is a scandal and makes much other crookery seem minor in comparison

      …the medical profession should be outraged and speaking out if they are truly concerned about public health…but i suspect many are too indoctrinated, embedded and compromised into the system themselves

    • Chooky 16.3

      Tamiflu does not have a good reputation in Japan either

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/2005-report-japan-links-tamiflu-to-sudden-deaths-in-children/14755

      However in New Zealand it is popular with our medical spokespeople:

      Just listened to Mary Wilson interviewing Dr Jasamine, Ministry of Health, who put up a stirling defence of Tamiflu and the NZ govt continuing with Tamiflu…also apparently the flu expert Dr.Lance Jennings is in favour of it

    • Ergo Robertina 16.4

      Plus one CV. It’s good to see the joint call between the BMJ and the Cochrane Collaboration to governments and decision makers to consider a halt to stockpiling these useless drugs.
      The more rational proponents of evidence based medicine should welcome the research and subsequent call over public health spending accountability, because the initial assessment leading to a spend of billions was not based on evidence, and seriously undermines the credibility of EBM based decision-making.

      • McFlock 16.4.1

        Meh.
        When the transmission patterns suggest we might be on the cusp of a global pandemic, you expedite purchasing the most promising solutions. Even a cut in treatment time by 7% is useful in those situations.

        If/when WHO update the guidelines to different treatments, keep following them accordingly. Take the best option you know at the time, not the option you will know is best in hindsight.

        • Ergo Robertina 16.4.1.1

          But if the decision was based on the available evidence 5 years ago, shouldn’t it be properly re-evaluated in light of the data extracted now from the drug companies?
          How do you know the reduction in treatment time is not offset by the side effects highlighted in the cochrane review?
          And if you believe the flu vaccine is effective at preventing the spread of flu, wouldn’t this antiviral money be better spent on expanding the free flu jab entitlement beyond those currently eligible?

          • McFlock 16.4.1.1.1

            But if the decision was based on the available evidence 5 years ago, shouldn’t it be properly re-evaluated in light of the data extracted now from the drug companies?

            Indeed. And the WHO guidelines should be updated accordingly. There is a process for this. It is being followed. Random media reports aren’t a part of that process.

            How do you know the reduction in treatment time is not offset by the side effects highlighted in the cochrane review?

            Has there been a recall notice betause adverse reactions outweigh benefits? That’s a seperate bunch of bureaucrats from WHO and the purchasers, by the way.

            And if you believe the flu vaccine is effective at preventing the spread of flu, wouldn’t this antiviral money be better spent on expanding the free flu jab entitlement beyond those currently eligible?

            Possibly, knowing then what we know now (assuming that the media reports and single review are 100% correct and in no way skewed in some way). Thanks for that assistance, Captain Hindsight.

            • Colonial Viper 16.4.1.1.1.1

              Of course, the only sure thing with the tax payer purchase of these ineffective drugs, was that Big Pharma was going to make a killing.

              • McFlock

                “less effective than expected” != “ineffective”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I suppose one can set the statistical bar low enough mate and the drug will miraculously become “effective.”

    • Ergo Robertina 16.5

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/10/tamiflu-saga-drug-trials-big-pharma.

      A must read, in the Guardian, by Bad Pharma author Ben Goldacre about the Tamiflu scandal and its wider implications in the fight for trial data transparency.

      • Chooky 16.5.1

        @ ER…quite damning of the medical industry and its deeply flawed ‘science’..it makes a mockery of science …i would have expected better from the medical profession

        …the implications of this ‘science’ which is really a PR exercise on the part of big business and not ‘science’ at all ……has implications for the vaccination industry as well

        ….the arguments that have been made that there are no safeguards for the unwitting public and their children, no proper independent evaluations, and no independent publicly available statistics on effectiveness, adverse side effects or long term consequences…are now through this Tamiflu expose given extra weight

        …i suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg..

        • Ergo Robertina 16.5.1.1

          We are guinea pigs, and the powers that be resent mere peasants asking questions, taking sensible precautions, or viewing healthcare from a different perspective.
          For the evidence based medicine paradigm itself to maintain any credibility there has to be real change, and the more enlightened practitioners with an instinct for self preservation understand that.
          It’s great to see Goldacre – who made his name criticising alternative medicine – set his sights on the pharmaceutical industry. We need more iconoclasts like Goldacre. They’re unlikely to pop up in little old conformist NZ though.

          • miravox 16.5.1.1.1

            “We need more iconoclasts like Goldacre”

            I wouldn’t call him and iconoclast, (and I doubt he would label himself as that) but we do need more campaigners like Ben Goldacre. Note that he hasn’t ‘set his sights’ on big pharma, and didn’t make his name trashing alternative meds. He simply hates untrustworthy peddlers of quakery, whoever they may be.

            Ben Goldacre is a doctor, academic, campaigner and writer whose work focuses on uses and misuses of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, drug companies and alternative therapists.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.5.1.1.2

            No, what we need is a government funded organisation that does it’s full testing of drugs before they’re released for use. Testing that will be released to public scrutiny. Also, a requirement that all testing that the pharmaceutical company has done be publicly available.

            Transparency is how you get rid of these sorts of rort.

  17. fender 17

    It’s just as well the entire population of NZ went to Blenheim today because Key says it’s “proof” we are royalists…

  18. Hamish 18

    WTF!?!? John Key fondling the hair of a little girl????

    View post on imgur.com

    Is there a legit explanation for this?

    • mickysavage 18.1

      I saw this yesterday. It looks pretty weird. Imagine if it was a left wing politician how Slater would have handled it. The clip would have been subject of a whole series of posts.

    • felix 18.2

      Yes there is a legit explanation. John Key is a creepy weirdo.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1

        reminds me of the video of GWBush giving Merkel an unasked for massage.

        • felix 18.2.1.1

          Ha yeah. Also I think it’s a glimpse of Key forgetting to behave like a person. The act slipped for a moment and he drifted into instinct.

    • freedom 18.3

      There are a whole slew of photos all over FB and not one of them show the Royals.
      The JK photo tour is steaming ahead… well it is steaming anyway

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    The dangerous consequences of debt-led growth

    We live in a tired, battered economy. It does not pay its way. It is worryingly unproductive. It offers increasingly insecure and poorly-paid work for growing numbers of us, and even that it can only provide by inflating, yet again, a bubble of debt. Without a change of course, we are coming due for what Wynne Godley, warning of the crash last time, called a “sensational day of reckoning”.

    It’s about the UK but, IMO, NZ is in about the same position. Growth is coming from debt fueled house prices and our focus on farming keeps our economy unproductive. Unemployment is staying close to the 6% point and jobs are poorly paid, precarious and based upon ever increasing amounts of debt.

    In other words, we have a massively unsustainable economy and the global economy is all based upon the same unsustainable practices.

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    Global solar dominance in sight as science trumps fossil fuels

    Solar power has won the global argument. Photovoltaic energy is already so cheap that it competes with oil, diesel and liquefied natural gas in much of Asia without subsidies.

    So much for the RWNJs calls of renewable generation being too expensive.

    Pity we didn’t have the R&D going and the factories being built so that we could have built up our economy and shifted it away from its fragility of reliance upon one sector.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      An energy technology which requires the high energy extraction and complex processing of rare earth minerals in order to work?

      PV may be much cheaper nowadays than 10 years ago, but there is also some evidence that part of the price drop has come from significant quality and service life reductions. Otherwise known as ‘cutting corners.’

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1

        An energy technology which requires the high energy extraction and complex processing of rare earth minerals in order to work?

        Yes, and?

        We have the power/energy available to do both of those things. Done properly we won’t even have to send anybody into a mine either.

        PV may be much cheaper nowadays than 10 years ago, but there is also some evidence that part of the price drop has come from significant quality and service life reductions. Otherwise known as ‘cutting corners.’

        Actually, the price drop seems to have come from massive investment in manufacturing them from the Chinese government. We could, and should, have done the same thing but we got bitten by the delusional free-market bug and so saw our development stutter.

        • RedLogix 20.1.1.1

          Yes – the great irony is that that the CCCP run an economy that most successfully combines state and private sector activity ever seen.

          And are busy eating everyone else’s lunch as a result.

        • Murray Olsen 20.1.1.2

          The Chinese advances in solar panels are due largely to Australian government support of the mining industry, and lack of support for alternatives. Shi Zhengrong, an Australian citizen, had made some important advances but had problems obtaining research money and start up funding in Australia. The Australian agencies were too busy funding “clean coal” at the behest of the miners, and quantum computing, insisted on by the US defence establishment. Shi set up Suntech back in China, but later ran into difficulties. Given the opacity of Chinese justice, I have no idea what happened or what he did wrong, but China ended up leading the world in photovoltaics.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi_Zhengrong

          I can imagine the same sort of thing happening in Aotearoa if any researcher came up with a breakthrough in any area except for sucking milk out of cows and the life out of rivers even faster.

  21. millsy 21

    Srylands you were bleating on about airports up thread.

    Public ownership of airports around the world is widespread. Even in the USA. LAX, JFK in New York and the like are all publicly owned, and even in that socialist Marxist hotbed of Houston, Texas, you will find the airports owned by the Houston City Council.

    I think only the UK, Australia and New Zealand have large scale private ownership of major airports, and even then, here, only Auckland, Wellington, Paraparaumu and Ardmore are controlled by private interests, the rest are (the majority at least) owned by local and central government.

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