Open Mike 11/10/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 11th, 2018 - 294 comments
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294 comments on “Open Mike 11/10/2018”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Welfare Working Group submissions are only open until November 9 so you’d better hurry.

    • Ngungukai 1.1

      Plenty of money floating around in Government coffers to increase Unemployment Benefits. Helping the Homeless perhaps ???

      • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1

        I think that generally translates to helping landlords.

        I’d much prefer disabled people who need specific housing get an equity share offer from the govt so they can own (control!!) what they need.

  2. Ngungukai 2

    Goff, Twyford & Genter Labour/Greens are going to spend $3.5 Billion putting their Tram Set down Dominion Road and across the Mangere Bridge to Auckland Airport rather than a $0.5 Million Heavy Rail connection to the Airport from Puhinui to Auckland Airport. This will be another Labour/Green Party F%&K UP IMHO ???

    I wonder what the traffic will be like over the next 10 years down Dominion Road to the Airport while they build this White Elephant, I am just guessing there will be a few pissed off motorists and business owners during the construction phase.

    Why did we pull the tram lines out in the first place, we had trams down Dominion Road years ago ??? They are trying to reinvent the wheel.

    • Jenny 2.1

      A proper rail connection to the airport parallel to Puhinui Road connecting to the main trunk line would be able to move freight as well. It makes perfect sense.

      A tram line does not address the problem of the huge amount of heavy trucks on our roads. I cannot see any point in it.

      A rail connection to the main trunk line could possibly even negate the need for a new Eastern connection, being pushed by the trucking lobby.

      If freight is really needed to be moved from the South Western connection to East Auckland, maybe it would be better to extend the rail connection from the Wiri Terminal to Botany. East Auckland is also poorly served by public transport, probably more so than any other suburb, which extending the Wiri line would address. As well as taking a lot of pressure off the Eastern and southern highways.

      JAG really needs to get her act together. This proposal is almost as crazy as giving her support to Simon Bridges $6billion road rail tunnel under the Waitemata.

      Both these Green Party supported boondoggles will only harm the Green Party.

      Maybe that’s the point.

      • Ngungukai 2.1.1

        Maybe we could get JAG to put in a Cycle Way to the Airport ?

      • Sanctuary 2.1.2

        Oh God the ignorant are talking about PT again…

        Go away, and educate yourself.

        • ScottGN

          The amount of garbage spouted by the lobbyist from Transport 2050 yesterday was astonishing.

        • Molly

          Greater Auckland has a perspective limited to mainly central and North Auckland, I used to read them regularly, but got discouraged not at their lack of inclusion but about their disinterest about that lack.

          They wield a lot of influence now due to their blog and attention to detail on their topics of interest. This does mean that all their meticulous research and information is gathered and presented from their perspective.

          The post you linked to did not mention how the LR option would benefit South Auckland public transport users, in fact he initially forgot to include Papakura on his table. The issue regarding putting in place long term plans for moving freight is relevant and summarily dismissed. Given the state of the roads, and the need to consider all transport transitions – not just commuter – this requires better investment and thought. The LR may produce the best outcomes along what GA have looked at, but it may be that lesser outcomes for commuters and development are a better option, if other considerations are included.

          There are issues to be considered alongside what has been presented, as always. Greater Auckland is not the limit of transport discussion in Auckland, tempting though it is to consider it to be so.

          • SaveNZ

            They were better as transport blog now as greater Auckland, they are scary and dismissive and have become yet another arm of Auckland Council propaganda to control all discourses and everyone disagreeing or wanting a real and fair debate with other ideas being included is “other” and “nutcase”.

            • Kevin

              No idea what you are on about.

              I haven’t lived in Auckland since the 1980’s but still take a keen interest in what goes on there, especially around transport.

              Transport Blog/Greater Auckland is the go-to site for well researched and published articles about public transport in the region.

              They have put a huge amount of work into public transport-to-the-airport and to dismiss their work they way it has been over the past couple of days is pretty arrogant.

              The LR/HR options have been dissected, discussed and the pro’s and con’s outlined for each option and the LR option stacks up head and shoulders above HR..

              Public Transport to Auckland Airport is not about whisking business people from the Airport to downtown Auckland in the fastest possible time, it is about servicing the area that encompasses the airport and how that service interacts with the rest of the network.

          • Pete

            I admit to jealousy of Mike Hosking. It’s not that I don’t have a “5 litre super charged engine” or that “it costs $200 to fill.” Not having those from the point of being able to brag about having them hurts a little bit.

            What really gets me is not having the rapier, scything, literacy skills allied to the soaring intellect to come up with his profound lines.

            Jacinda Ardern “is as much politician as she is new age kumbaya cheerleader” according to Mike. The most perceptive commentators and language craftsmen and women of the age will be distraught to once again seeing their chances of winning the Big Awards blitzed by such genius.

        • Ngungukai

          AT wouldn’t have a clue IMHO ?

        • Jenny

          Airport connections, consider the whole network
          Matt L – Greater Auckland, October 10, 2018
          (As supplied by Sanctuary)

          I think one of the problems with this debate, given the frequency at which this topic keeps coming up, is that our transport agencies simply aren’t getting involved. Auckland Transport in the past and now the NZTA could easily provide an official response as to why light rail is the preferred option but they remain absolutely silent about it. They need to step up and do their jobs. The absence of clear information is allowing misinformation to flourish and it’s only going to make their jobs harder in the future if it continues.


          Kia ora Sanctuary

          Rather than being ignorant as you assume, I had been aware of this post by Matt L published on the Greater Auckland blogsite since it first appeared, and had asked a friend of mine who is a member of the Engineers for Social Responsibility for his thoughts. He told me that as far as the ESR are concerned this report is just opinion.

          And that the ESR have a differing opinion.

          Engineers for Social Responsibility
          Auckland meeting, 24 October 6.00pm. University of Auckland.

          March of Folly – trams to the airport

          (How ego, ignorance and group-think sabotaged two sensible rail plans for Auckland)
          A talk by Mike Lee

          I might add here Sanctuary, that Greater Auckland are also of the opinion that what is posted on their site is just that – opinion.

          Matt Lowrie is the primary administrator for Greater Auckland and can be reached through the contact page. Greater Auckland administrators supervise editorial direction but they are not responsible for the content of any other individual’s posts, comments or activities.

          We do our best to ensure the accuracy of our information, but it should be regarded as a general guide only, and we disclaim any liability that may arise from any person acting on any information published on this blog.

          The opinions expressed in posts are solely the opinions of the individuals writing, at a particular point in time. They are not the opinions of Greater Auckland, or of any other organisations with which the authors are affiliated, or of the employers of the authors.

          Which leads back to their (and my) question; Why haven’t Auckland Transport and the NZTA weighed in on this difference of opinion?

    • mickysavage 2.2

      I disagree sorry. The Puhinui line will have a significant effect on the southern line and it is already congested.

      The Dominion Road line would be brand new and would transform that part of the Istmus. Just think about the effect that light rail has had on Melbourne.

      These are modern electrical trains not old fashioned trams.

      • OnceWasTim 2.2.1

        I wonder whether this might not be the start of an anti-Light Rail Campaign.
        It began the other day on Daily Review (at 10) /daily-review-09-10-2018/

        The two options aren’t mutually exclusive long term as long as the growth in heavy rail isn’t stuffed by removing potential rail corridors.

        Light Rail may have its problems but the dithering that’s gone on for the past 40 or so years is unbelievable.

      • Ngungukai 2.2.2

        The rail networks are already at full capacity so we need more buses and trams to get to Auckland Airport ?

    • BM 2.3

      The point of the tram set isn’t to take people to the Auckland airport.

      The tram set is being built to provide transport for the new people living in the high-density apartment blocks that will be built all the way along Dominion rd.

      Not sure why Twyfords been so cagey about all this?

      • Sacha 2.3.1

        He is receiving poor support by national transport agencies.

        • BM

          What do you mean? who’s disagreeing with his “vision” and why?

          • Sacha

            Getting a clear message out requires everyone singing from that songsheet. I do not know who in particular prefers an older tune.

            • Ngungukai

              Twyford should go to Japan and see how proper rail systems work, he needs educating ????

          • Ngungukai

            Twyford is so far out of his depth on rail he can’t even see the surface.

            • Hanswurst

              Your own ability to spout clichés from overwhelming depths is a thing to behold.

      • ScottGN 2.3.2

        He recently announced some intensive redevelopment of old HNZ land in Mangere which will sit alongside the LRT route through that area.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.3.3

        He doesn’t want to spend the money to build the airport connection properly, but wants everyone to believe he does. It’ll make the ministers commute that much easier.

        Despite the fact that if he built the train set properly with heavy rail to the airport from the CBD, not many people would drive at all.

        I never get a cab or drive to any airport world wide if there is a train available. Frankfurt, Sydney, London, Paris, Tokyo. Because i hate the traffic / delay when you land in places where you have to take a bus or stupid light rail. melbourne. LA. AUCKLAND

        • ScottGN

          I can’t see HR from the CBD to the airport taking many vehicles of the road at all actually. Maybe a few business men who otherwise would be in taxis.

          Ticket prices for the service are likely to be at least about $30 each way. The Narita Express is NZ$40, the Heathrow Express is nearly NZ$50, they’re both about the same distance as proposed in Auckland. The Pearson Express in Toronto is 23.5 kms and opened with a fare price of CAD$27, consequently no one used it so a couple of years ago they reduced the price to CAD$12 but that just means the taxpayers of Ontario subsidise EACH ticket to more than 100% of its value. The AirportLink in Sydney is about NZ$21 each way using an Opal card but it’s a short trip by comparison.

          If you’re a family of four living in, say Birkdale, going to Aussie for a holiday your never going to bother heading into Britomart to pay $100+ to get a train each way to the airport, you’ll get a taxi van just like you always have.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury

            a typical family of four go to the airport for an Aussie holiday from birkdale maybe once a year? more like once every two?

            A Business people who travels a lot goes to the airport, maybe once a fortnight, even more? the same business people who happily pay for the narita express, heathrow express and carry an opal card for Sydney and a oyster card for london as well as an AT hop card for the odd ferry trip in auckland, but more likely to use uber around town.

            Heathrow express booked in advance is $50 return. Same with Narita. Sydney is $17.60 from the CBD. The same tax is $50 and the traffic around Sydney airport is atrocious. basically rules it out at rush hour. Getting to heathrow at any time by car is perilous. I know all this as i regularly travel all these routes and they make travelling a bit more bearable. Coming back to auckland after a long flight landing at 3pm though? absolute ball ache

            Your argument seems to be that Public transport is bad if the regular commuters get the full benefit of it and an atypical user doesn’t use it. Which is a terrible fucking argument as by it’s very definition public transport is for the regular commuter as private transport is for the atypical traveler.

            If there is heavy rail to the terminals, you could also have a heavy freight hub that spurred off the terminals line, taking trucks off the road around the airport as you’ll finally integrate air freight with rail and road freight.

            • David Mac

              It’s been a while since I’ve been to Oz but the plane was far from chokka with businessmen. It was a real mixture, 20 somethings speaking German, Famlies and couples off on hols, going to Briz for a wedding etc.

              It was a Queensland flight…maybe the Vic/NSW flights have more singles with tidy haircuts.

            • ScottGN

              My argument is that HR express train services to airports for the most part aren’t really the same as the public transport, buses, LRT, trains, ferries etc that the denizens of most cities use to get around.
              Most often they are expensive white elephants and I don’t think Auckland will be any different.
              God knows they came very close to shutting down the AirportLink in Sydney and the Pearson Express in Toronto for exactly that reason.

              • Graeme

                The only way I see HR to Auckland airport making sense is if it’s part of a high speed service that goes in to Hamilton and Tauranga.

              • ankerawshark

                I believe the airport link at Sydney, might be underutilized (if you say so) because a private company charges a gate fee. When we travel there, (often) we are familiar enough with public transport to know what other routes we can take to avoid the gate fee. So we still use public transport. Have never caught the train direct from the airport so not sure how bigger problem under utilization is. As you say anyone in their right mind would avoid trying to get in and out of that airport by car cause it is clogged badly.

                Won’t others be using the airport link in Auckland though cause it will pass into the new housing areas?

            • Jenny

              “……by it’s very definition public transport is for the regular commuter as private transport is for the atypical traveler.
              If there is heavy rail to the terminals, you could also have a heavy freight hub that spurred off the terminals line, taking trucks off the road around the airport as you’ll finally integrate air freight with rail and road freight.”

              Tuppence Shrewsbury

              TS speaking from a position of some experience, makes a good point.

              To add to his point about the regular commuter, vis-à-vis, the atypical traveler;

              Auckland International and domestic airport, (not to mention the nearby supporting industries) are the biggest single point employer in the country.

              A lot of that workforce come from East and South Auckland, wait for it….

              Down Puhinui Road.

              The rest come down the North Western motorway. All that “regular commuter” traffic is what is jamming up the whole Southern road network, not excluding the Southern motorway, especially around the notorious Wiri interchange. The $268 million Southern Corridor motorway widening project, from Wiri to Takanini, is supposed to alleviate some of this congestion, (but I have my doubts. Judith Collins pork barrel Mill Road expressway will channel even more commuter road traffic into this interchange, undoing all the improvements).

              The point of all this, is that a tramway down Dominion Road will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, for the commuter misery in South Auckland.

              It will not get airport generated freight off our roads. It will not get the massive airport workforce to their workplace.

              The continuing road congestion around the airport will not relieve the “ball ache” experienced by the business traveler, referred to by TS.

              In my opinion the tramway is just another idiotic and impractical vanity project, little different to the white elephant tramway we all funded on the waterfront, which had a very short run.

              Wynyard Quarter tram service’s last ride will be next week
              NZ Herald, July 30, 2018

              What the tramway proposal, (just like the $1.1b waterfront stadium proposal), illustrates to me, is the sharp class divide in Auckland infrastructure thinking.

          • David Mac

            Yep, 2 excited kids, 4 suitcases, 2 laptops, coats and carry on luggage all on the train to Mangere…I wouldn’t use it if it was free.

            • ScottGN

              Last time I was in London I needed to get from Heathrow to a friend’s place at Camberwell. The Heathrow Express was obviously pretty hopeless for that since it goes in the wrong direction towards Kings X – North London so I jostled onto the Piccadilly Line along with everybody else. But yes not much fun with a couple of kids and all the stuff.

            • Ngungukai

              …plus 18 x stops along the way

            • Jenny

              David Mac
              11 October 2018 at 11:35 am
              Yep, 2 excited kids, 4 suitcases, 2 laptops, coats and carry on luggage all on the train to Mangere…I wouldn’t use it if it was free.

              Spoken with all the venom of a true believer.

              DM do you really think this journey would be any better on an interminable tram ride up Dominion Road with all its multiple stops and starts?

              Does a commuter tram even have a serviceable luggage compartment?

              Not on any tram I ever saw.

              Such a service will not be used by the atypical traveler, or the regular commuters from South and East Auckland.

              The first will opt for uber, the second will drive from South Auckland. Just like both groups are doing now.

              The tramway caters for neither.

              Which raises the question, what is it really for?

              Will it just be a cutesy promotion to put on tourist brochures?

          • Adrian

            Heathrow-London with Oyster card 3 quid or $5, with out $12.

            • ScottGN

              That’s using the Piccadilly Line though. The proposed equivalent of which in Auckland will be the LRT via Mangere and Dominion Rd for about 5 bucks. Tuppence Shrewsbury is certainly not going to mix with the great unwashed on that line!

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                It’s not the great unwashed that bother me. It’s the sheer inefficiency of it from a travel to the airport view point. Particularly when some asshole at AT is then going to make it as difficult as all hell to use any other means to get to the airport because hey “we built you a train set”

                By all means build trams down dominion road. but tacking on some extension to the airport as a solution is pretty weak. it’s another what? twelve kilometres of tram line they have to lay? whereas the puhinui spur doubles with freight too. you know all those pesky trucks that clog the roads.

                the train can then be scheduled to stop only at major hubs, increasing speed to the airport and commuters from other lines can join it at the hubs.

                • Jenny

                  As a card carrying member of the great unwashed.

                  No offence taken.

                  I can get where you are coming from. That the airport connection is an after thought ad-on, in a ploy to garner public support for a cutesy pointless middle class vanity tram line down Dominion Road.

                  What got me thinking, is how do they propose to get this tram line from Onehunga to Dominion Road?

                  Cresting the ridge under the Blockhouse Bay road bridge on the motorway in my car heading South, and gazing down on Onehunga. The slope looks way too steep, at least to my inexpert eye, for any sort of railway, light or heavy. At least without some very expensive tunneling under the ridge, to lessen the gradient.

                  Are these people pulling our legs, or what?

            • David Mac

              Geez, they saw me coming, the hourish long bus ride from Gatwick to Luton was more expensive than the Easyjet ticket to Amsterdam.

        • SaveNZ

          The officials need to consider everything with airport and public transport travel. Not just having it (which we don’t even have the one in NZ) but also the time and costs involved in what they are planning and is it acceptable customer service level.

          At present I worked out it was something ridiculous going from suburban streets of Devonport to airport was taking hours and not able to do at night and cost an absolute fortune – especially if it is say a family of 4.

          Even going 2 stages on the bus at present, (from Pt Chev (Jacinda and JAG homes of choice to CBD) costs around $36 for a family and takes 5 times longer than a car.

          And AT are subsidised 50% from the ratepayers for that crap level, something is wrong with them!

          So people have zero faith in AT or their figures or the government or the council and for good reason – whoever planned Britomart should be shot – as usual they did a massive construction project but forgot to put the effort and money into the train tracks by allowing a massive bottle neck there which constrains all the capacity.

          • ScottGN

            It was the usual Auckland cheapskate mentality that resulted in Britomart being built as a terminus station rather than a through station. The main culprits were the old C & R dominated council and they, of course, are (were? It seems to have fallen apart, maybe Aucklanders have finally figured out what a crap job they do) the local government wing of the National Party. Who’s greatest claim to fame in long list of Auckland infrastructure fuck-ups is the woefully under planned Harbour Bridge.
            At least the CRL (which National stonewalled for so long) will help to unlock Britomart.

      • SaveNZ 2.3.4

        The high density apartment blocks that investors from Singapore and OZ can purchase or you just buy residency here as well as the high density investments blocks that overseas money can develop while making the existing ratepayers of Auckland pay for their infrastructure as another robbing from the poor to make the rich, richer.

      • Kevin 2.3.5

        Does the Unitary Plan allow for high density apartment blocks the length of Dominion Road?

    • ScottGN 2.4

      If you think that half a billion dollars will build the line from Puhinui to the airport, allowing for the lines, tunnelling at the airport end, a station at the airport (you’ll be needing one of those won’t you?), line separation and extra capacity to be built into the mainline from Puhinui to Britomart (so your fancy express trains don’t get stuck trundling along behind a local commuter service or freight train) and all the rest of it just to whisk a few white guys in business suits from their business class flight to their 4 star hotels in the CBD then go for it.
      The absolute rubbish spouted by the lobbyist from Transport 2050 yesterday was breathtaking.

  3. James 3

    There was a lot of love in yesterday’s Open Mike.

    Let’s see if you can play a little nicer today at kids?

    Since Weka disappeared things seem to have really changed.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      I’m guessing, James, you meant, not a lot, and if so, I agree with your comment. Inter-personal “battles” seem to be far more common here now and they don’t seem to be light-hearted. I find the squabbling to be off-putting, especially when it doesn’t have the saving grace of being entertaining and clever. Has anyone heard from Puckish Rogue? I remember him talking of redundancy or redeployment but since then, haven’t read anything from him. He’d struck a pretty good line of criticising without offending, mostly. The worst aspect of the present sniping seems to me to be grudge-holding and refusing to forget past claims; sometimes it’s best to just deal with what’s in front of you, rather than trawling back through comments that may or may not be valid. That said, it’s none of my business how other people go about their business and I’m no hall monitor, so, as you were.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Agreed and I will keep an eye on things.

      Be nice to each other. Argue your point passionately but stick to the merits of the argument.

      • Bearded Git 3.2.1

        I just stop reading The Standard when it is full of inter-personal abuse.

        • OnceWasTim

          +1 but then they’re considerably considerably CONSIDERABLY smarter than me, and I can’t fault their left and right credentials.

          When I grow up, I want an ego just like theirs

    • Sacha 3.3

      Yes, less willy-waving would be appreciated. Get a room guys. 🙂

    • Incognito 3.4

      Agreed, and TDR wasn’t far behind OM either.

      It’s a bit sad when we think we need Weka around to prevent playground brawls; we need to get more into SM. Surely we can do this?

      • Robert Guyton 3.4.1

        Lets appeal to our own to pull in their horns, for the sake of “The Left”. We can’t do anything about alwyn, BM et al, but who cares, if we can make an arrangement amongst ourselves, we’ll all benefit.
        But please, can we retain good natured ragging and clever repostes?

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    Email to RNZ this morning…

    Good morning,

    Yet again RNZ display it’s(apparently)deep rooted racial bias.

    RNZ listeners have now had far far more air time unpacking just the arrival of Hurricane Micheal to the shores of Florida, than the producers at RNZ deemed necessary to covering the Hurricane as it passed through El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua killing at least 13 people.

    In-case you haven’t looked for a while here are some points from your own RNZ charter…

    (3) The public radio company fosters a sense of national identity by contributing to tolerance and understanding, reflecting and promoting ethnic, cultural, and artistic diversity and expression.
    (b) inform, entertain, and enlighten the people of New Zealand
    (h) provide awareness of the world and of New Zealand’s place in it:
    (i) provide comprehensive, independent, accurate, impartial, and balanced regional, national, and international news and current affairs:

    Fair and balanced reporting is all we are asking for, if we can’t get it from RNZ, then where?

    Adrian Thornton

    • Morrissey 4.1

      You can expect a condescending and obfuscating reply, Adrian. Please publish it on The Standard when it arrives.

    • Morrissey 4.2

      Fair and balanced reporting is all we are asking for, if we can’t get it from RNZ, then where?

      There’s Scoop, and there’s Gordon Campbell. And…. that’s it, I’m afraid. Certainly there’s nothing on TV or radio, other than the occasional item on Community stations.

      And there’s always the magnificent Democracy Now! which, sadly, doesn’t cover this country very much.

    • SaveNZ 4.3

      Lets organise a letter drop to RAdioNZ and suggest a “free” trade deal with El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua and that way NZ can lead the world to facilitate further asset sells offs to the global .01% and be the cream of the world of neoliberals and global MSM as the anti-trump pro trade deal country of choice, free baby pics included with every water aquifer deal sold offshore.

      After that then we can invite the El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua middle classes and wealthy to invest in residency in NZ and pay $$$ to a immigration lawyer/third party/fake degree and then $30k for a fake job to cement the deal.

      As we have a housing crisis it’s all good because we can sell of NZ state land so we can give those on $180k salary a nice apartment with all mod cons and eventually ‘the markets’ will somehow solve the housing and living solutions for those living on $40k a year, low wage culture that has been championed for 30 years in NZ for those unable to afford that little taxpayer hand out with offshore money.

    • corodale 4.4

      How does the debate go regarding the cat 4 claim on a cat1 storm?
      At what stage to people give up listening?

      \Sorry but if you live betweens corrugated iron for a house…
      this was a small storm, nothing a good house and occasional content insurance via honest broker wouldnt fix, or?

      Did Chicago stock slip, based on debt (tech?) concerns?

  5. Ngungukai 5

    RNZ is an arm of the US Media ?

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Reading yet another exchange about vegansism/vegetarianism on the Standard yesterday got me thinking about what a vain, sterile and conceited debate it actually is, and what a utter waste of time it is debating it.

    We are all going to die. Living like a Byzantine ascetic monk and eating a strict and frugal diet might buy you an extra 10, even 20 years beyond the genetic authoritarianism of the calendar if you are lucky. But it is all at the wrong end. You are not going to be young any longer than anyone else. You are just going to be old for longer than most.

    The only real argument for dietary restrictions are not health ones. Dying of a possibly diet induced cancer in your late middle/old age is a luxury fate reserved for the rich.

    A concern for animals is – but really, whether or not you agree with killing and eating animals is entirely a moral matter of opinion and not therefore a topic leading to a fruitful discussion if the debaters are philosophically mutually incomprehensible to one another.

    A concern for the planet doesn’t really wash as a general argument for veganism/vegetarianism either, since it fails to distinguish between the types and sustainability of meat sources. Pigs and chickens take up little space, are very efficient converters of plant matter to meat and taste great. Sheep like creatures are also reasonably sustainable. it is really cows that are the problem, but cows also give us milk and cheese and butter and yogurt, so go figure.

    So if you don’t mind animal husbandry for meat and you stick mainly to pork and chicken, you can eat a sustainable meat inclusive diet with a clear consciousness.

    But as i said, we will all be forgotten names in an overgrown corner of the cemetery in 250 years anyway – if we are lucky. In 5000 years no one will know the names or of the existence of anyone who reads this. In a billion years? Well, the Voyager probes will still be out there somewhere, I guess. If you were born before they were launched then they will share something from the time you lived.

    Enjoy your life, eat what you want. Food, like sex. is one of the simplest and greatest pleasures available to us all. Enjoy the miracle of your life and of being here at all to savour the dawn or just sharing a nice dinner with your friends. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll die at 85 or 105. You’ll still be dying at a historically great age, and you time here will never be more than the tiniest brush of the butterfly’s wing on the giant cannon ball of time.

    *//Philosophical Thursdays//*

    • Antoine 6.1

      Well spoken.

      The same applies to taking public transport (if you can afford to run a car) and in fact all other ways of reducing your personal carbon footprint.


      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        I don’t think that eating food that you find satisfying can be simply equated with a decision about running a car or using public transport.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      It’s my impression many people are slowly reducing their meat consumption, but without any over-zealous intention to reduce it to zero in the foreseeable future.

      Nor does meat stand alone on dietary concerns; lots of people do their best to reduce pure sugar intake, minimise over refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated unsaturated oils … all of which have been implicated with serious health concerns. One thing we do know for certain; we may not die of starvation any more, but our modern over-stuffed diets fall well short of optimum. There is still a lot to be learnt.

      One personal observation; working in Latin America lately I’ve been impressed at the quality and taste of the vegetables on offer. It’s my sense that our supermarket chains with their drive toward long shelf life have more or less eliminated much of the actual nutrition of the foods they sell.

      But otherwise yes, people who make noisy crusades of it all are usually counterproductive.

    • Ed 6.3

      There was no debate on the Standard yesterday about vegetarianism.

      On the 9th Antoine made a barbed comment about herbivores at to which I responded and that was it.

      I disagree with your premise that being a vegetarian is either ‘vain or conceited.’
      The main 2 reasons a lot of people stop eating meat is that they

      a) care for the planet.
      As Micky Savage said “We have to wean ourselves off oil. Whether this is through pricing, provision of public transport, simplification of our lifestyles, becoming vegan or whatever means does not matter as long as carbon output is reduced.#

      b) care for animal welfare.

      Neither of these reasons are ‘vain or conceited.’

      Your philosophy ‘Enjoy your life, eat what you want. ‘ is selfish.
      Don’t care about the environment, don’t care about animal welfare.
      Just enjoy yourself.

      • Sanctuary 6.3.1

        “…I disagree with your premise that being a vegetarian is either ‘vain or conceited.’…”

        Around 800 million people don’t get enough to eat to lead a healthy active life.

        In that context, a bunch of wealthy westerners arguing about the richness of their diet is vain and conceited.

        I try to not forget that largely by accident of birth, I have the privilege of earning a income that places me in the global 1%.

        • Ed

          India – home to the largest vegetarian population in the world.
          Not part of the 1%.
          Vegetables are cheaper than meat.

      • Antoine 6.3.2

        > On the 9th Antoine made a barbed comment about herbivores at to which I responded

        Mooed, rather


    • mikesh 6.4

      It’s claimed that we could feed more people if everyone followed a vegetarian diet. With world populations expanding rapidly this would be an important factor to take into account.

    • Violet 6.5

      Indeed. There is much in your post that is “vain, sterile and conceited”. Also woefully ignorant and full of hyperbole. You obviously know very little about vegetarians and vegans if you think they all live like Byzantine monks. As well, you obviously have very little medical knowledge or interest with your radically simplistic view of dietary restrictions.
      You also seem ignorant of much of the society in which you live. While not dying of starvation, there are many in NZ for whom meat is simply too expensive to eat frequently. And meat from more humane and sustainable supplies, even less frequently.
      And to be honest, there is no excuse for your apparent lack of knowledge of modern, global husbandry practices and the impact they have had, and continue to have, on the environment.
      Your assumption that vegans and vegetarians do not enjoy food, again just highlights your complete lack of knowledge on how other people live their lives.
      Rather than wasting your time trying to cause offence here why don’t you step outside of your bubble and find out what is going on out in the real world.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    Presently, I’m fruitarian, eating an apple. Ten minutes ago, I was breatharian, eating nothing, existing on air alone. In ten minutes time, I’ll be vegan, not eating honey or wearing a leather belt. At lunchtime, I’ll be pescetarian, and finish off the salmon left over from last night. Tonight I’ll be a carnivore and happily eat whatever meat I’m served up. If a man committed a crime in his distant past, is he a criminal in this moment? How long does one have to go without meat to be lose one’s “carnivore’ status?
    *//Philosophical Thursdays//*

    • Antoine 7.1

      I feel you are softening us up for the idea that cannibalism is perfectly ok

      “I only ate one person, and it was days ago”


    • Sanctuary 7.2

      “… If a man committed a crime in his distant past, is he a criminal in this moment? …”

      What was your view on the Kavanaugh confirmation brouhaha? Perhaps it will inform us as to the answer to that question…

      • Robert Guyton 7.2.1

        I guess you aren’t a criminal till you’re convicted of a crime. But for how long after that are a criminal?

        • bwaghorn

          If Kavanaugh had come out and said I did it I was a stupid drunk young man would the loving left have forgiven him and moved on or would they put his head on a pike ???

    • Incognito 7.3

      I don’t know the answer, Robert, but biologically (as in: genetically, anatomically, physiologically) humans are omnivores, not carnivores or ruminants, and it has taken evolution a wee while to get to this.

      *//Existential Thursdays//*

      • Robert Guyton 7.3.1

        “genetically, anatomically, physiologically” – sure, but we can be anything we choose to be, can’t we? That’s what separates us from the …others.

        • Incognito

          I’ve got to leave. But before you can choose what or who you want to be or become you have to know what or who you are, and what or who you are not, don’t you think?

          • Robert Guyton

            What we are = human. Who you are = not those other humans. It’s not hard. Now, what do you want to be?

            • Poission

              “It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among many other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact. And nothing warrants the supposition – or the hope – that on this score our position is ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.”

              “Armed with all the powers, enjoying all the wealth they owe to science, our societies are still trying to practice and to teach systems of values already destroyed at the roots by that very science. Man knows at last that he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe, whence which he has emerged by chance. His duty, like his fate, is written nowhere.”

              Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity

  8. Ed 8

    A rare voice of sanity in the msm about the Skripal story.

    We should be asking for answers about the Skripals and Bellingcat – and not just from Russia

    It is now more than seven months since assassins from Russia’s military intelligence service tried to kill a former double agent and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury. Or did they? The only incontrovertible fact in that assertion is the location, Salisbury. Pretty much everything else remains speculative.

    ……What’s so suspect about this, you may ask. Well, let’s start with Belllingcat, which has presented itself in the past as a microcosm of well-meaning and very British amateurishness, based in a Leicestershire bedroom, producing results that put the professional sleuths to shame. In fact, Bellingcat has grown rather a lot beyond its shoestring origins. It has money – where from? It has been hiring staff. It has transatlantic connections. It has never, so far as I am aware, reached any conclusion – whether on the downing of the Malaysian plane over eastern Ukraine, or chemical weapons use in Syria, or now, with the Skripals – that is in any way inconvenient to the UK or US authorities.

    Read the whole article here.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      “It has never, so far as I am aware, reached any conclusion – whether on the downing of the Malaysian plane over eastern Ukraine, or chemical weapons use in Syria, or now, with the Skripals – that is in any way inconvenient to the UK or US authorities.”

      And why would it be in any way inconvenient to the US or Britain? I have seen RT expert panels assert the impossibility of BUKs, dark false flag operations, Ukrainian fighters, everything under the sun in fact. But not even the lying fucking Russians have tried to pin MH17 on the Yanks or the Poms. Yet.

      Your link is missing Ed, but the quality of the crap you cite has not improved.

      Here’s what one of the victims’ parents has to say to Trump:

      Mr Maslin called on Mr Trump to eschew talk of “fake news” in favour of “irrefutable facts”.
      “That passenger flight MH17 was shot out of the sky and 298 innocent people were murdered is an irrefutable fact,” he wrote alongside a photo of his children Mo, Evie and Otis.
      “That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact.
      “That this killed our 3 beautiful children and their grandfather, and destroyed our life and many other lives in the process, is an irrefutable fact.”
      He added: “That the man whose arse you’ve just been kissing did this, and continues to lie about it, is an irrefutable fact.”

      • Ed 8.1.1

        Today is Philosophical Thursday.
        Micky has asked.

        Be nice to each other. Argue your point passionately but stick to the merits of the argument.

        So I am asking you nicely to refrain from abuse when we discuss this.

        The link is here.

        Mary Dejevsky is an Independent columnist on foreign affairs, having previously been the title’s foreign correspondent in Moscow, Paris and Washington. She has written about the collapse of communism from inside Moscow, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Iraq War and is a key authority on Russian politics, and on diplomatic relations between the Kremlin and the west.

        • Stuart Munro

          As part of the being nice to each other campaign ED, I ask that you cease and desist from posting your vile propaganda.

          Share your admiration for Putin and his murderous thugs only with your inner circle of likeminded dupes and traitors to the humanist cause.

          • David Mac

            Ignore it Stuart, there’s one around every 100th corner.

            You need a holiday. Why don’t you come with me? I’m spending $5000 to go to Perth for 2 days. All my life I’ve wanted to have a close look at the intricate brickwork of Scots Presbyterian Church in Fremantle.


            • Andre

              When are you planning to go? The climate in February looks awfully unpleasant.


              • David Mac

                The hotel is half the peak price in winter.

                • Andre

                  Where’s the hotel? For looking at a church in Fremantle I’m thinking somewhere like Morley would be pretty sweet.

                  • David Mac

                    Sweet…. I’ll bring the perfume Stuart. Not that I’m that way inclined…but we’ll need perfume, expensive French stuff.

                • Macro

                  In winter – the temperature can drop to around 16 degrees C – not as cold as here – dress for a cool Autumn day. The past year has seen a significant increase in rainfall – the West has been in drought for some time now. When it rains – it rains. But it is usually all over and done with in a day. Most days the sky’s are blue. There is an off shore wind in the evening – the Fremantle Doctor – in the summer months. The heating winds are the north easterlies which like the chch nor-westers bring the heat waves.

                  • David Mac

                    Yeah, I like Freeo. Ages ago I slept on a Perth pal’s couch for a few months, onya Jeff. That Aussie tendency to slash nouns around and add a vowel cracks me up.

                  • alwyn

                    The Freemantle Doctor.
                    It is an ONshore wind, not an OFFshore one.
                    And yes it makes a very nice change to the temperature when in starts in mid-afternoon.
                    Unfortunately it is usually pretty weak in February when temperatures are at their hottest. On the other hand it can be pretty strong at the beaches and swimming can be spoiled in December and January.
                    Bloody weather.

            • Stuart Munro

              Yes – I did wonder if it was a sly Wordsworth reference:

              His head he raised—there was in sight,
              It caught his eye, he saw it plain—
              Upon the house-top, glittering bright,
              A broad and gilded vane.

            • Stuart Munro

              This I would travel to see though

              Alan Parsons thought so too.

              • David Mac

                That is indeed a beautiful building.

                The Uppsala Cathedral is the one that had the biggest impact on me. Mainly because I tagged onto the back of a well heeled group of US tourists and freeloaded on their superb tour guide.

                Building the cathedral was apparently a family affair, a chap that worked on the foundations, his great great great great great great great great great great grandson helped finish the roof.

                Swedish nobility are buried beneath massive engraved stones in the floor “Mind sir, you’re standing on Carl Linnaeus”

                You’ve probably seen a clip of the delightfully politically incorrect Tower of London Beefeater.

                • greywarshark

                  I can’t catch the innuendo just after 2 minutes. Could anyone enlighten me?

                  • David Mac

                    I started with a backhanded dig at the plausibility of 2 Russian military men planning a weekend holiday away together to visit the Salisbury Cathedral.

                    Every European/Scando I ever met that spent half the year dealing with metres of snow, winter holidays they jetted off towards the equator.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Nice – I think the best I’ve actually visited was the Garden of the Master of Nets in Suzhou. Neglected by the mass coach tours (thank god) and in great contrast to the general condition of the town. Every little path leads to some fresh new perspective. Not sure if the Versailles or Dunedin copies measure up.

                  • David Mac

                    It does look to be a very tranquil place Stuart. I wonder how old something has to be to be considered ancient? There have been feet treading those paths you speak of since 1174, amazing. Yep, NZ is light on re: 1174 artifacts.

                    The other tourist hot spot in Sweden that captured my imagination was the museum dedicated to King’s ship Vasa. An exercise in 1620 vanity that resulted in the ship lasting a few minutes. Beyond the grand decorations, the king demanded ‘More Cannons’. Against their better judgement, the ship designers who wished to keep their heads, complied. The extra decks and tighter spacing of cast iron cannons made the ship hopelessly top heavy and in the calm waters of Stockholm harbour, she sailed 1000 metres, came about, toppled over and sank. In his wisdom the King decided to make the next one with fewer guns and the Vasa designers lost their heads.

                    They are slowly restoring her, this pic is a model of how she looked on launch day. The faces below the King’s coat of arms on the stern are bizarre, almost look like Hanna Barbera cartoon characters.


                    • Macro

                      While NZ doesn’t have ancient buildings like other countries we do have some that are also very beautiful and hold in their own way antiquity. I enjoy visiting old buildings and volunteer here on a Sat morning to open our own Historic Places Category 1 Church for viewing. Although this building is only 120 years old – it is built from local Kauri, so some of the timber in the building could be up to 2000 years old. By the way it only took 6 months to complete. If you are around this way let me know and I can give you a personal tour.

                    • greywarshark

                      That’s a grand looking church and looks well maintained, a costly business. You have done well in the Thames area. Population? I hope your congregation is maintaining or increasing.

                    • Macro

                      Grey the population of Thames is around 7500 – 8000. The fine buildings we have are from the 1870’s – 1890’s and were built during a time when the town had a population of around 40,000, and was the centre of a gold rush.
                      It is a problem keeping these old buildings in shape, believe me. We recently had a costing for a restoration of around $250,000. Many are of the opinion that any such money (were it conceivably possible to raise such a sum) would be far better spent on looking after vulnerable people rather than the vanity of a building, and I tend to agree with them. Having said that, there is value in preservation work on character buildings because in essence they belong to all of NZ not just (in this case the Presbyterian Property Trust). One of our members – who is well retired and not entirely in the best of health – has been working over the past few days repairing some rotten boards on the buttresses – such is the routine of maintaining such a building.
                      The town demographic is rather skewed towards the upper age range, and we have one of the highest proportions of superannuates of any town in the country.

                    • Macro

                      By the way, the linked website is my “creation”, and I manage it. Interestingly we have visits from all over – including at least two visits a month or so back from St Petersburg!! I guess with the recent fire in the troll factory those visits may not be as frequent over the next few months. Just why they popped in to have a look round I have no idea – maybe they want to climb up into the belfry? Or maybe the name “Thames” confuses them that it is some place in the UK.

                    • Gabby

                      ‘the Vasa designers lost their heads.’

                      You reckon?

            • adam

              Best time to see it too David Mac, before it gets to hot. Can I recommend the prison tour before you got to the church.

            • Ed

              Can you tell me why Mary Dejevsky is an unreliable source?

            • Macro

              Yes it’s a nice church David and also boasts a lovely spire! – but do you have a doctor going with you?? (sorry couldn’t resist) While your in Freeo – take some time to visit the WA Shipwrecks museum and and see the remains of the Bartavia one of the earliest of the many Dutch East Indies ships to be lost along the Western Coast. There is also a very good Maritime Museum which also displays the HMAS Ovens – an O class submarine. The gaol is also a good visit. In Perth the Perth mint is a must see, and there is a very good Art Gallery very close to the Central Perth Station. The Parks are amazing especially Kings Park in the centre.
              By the way if you are travelling independently – you can take a bus from just outside the Terminal into the city and then transfer to the light rail which will take you to Fremantle at a cost of around $12 (a day rider fare) way cheaper than a cab and almost as quick.
              I travel to visit family once or twice a year and it is one of my favourite Cities. Public transport there is amazing and its very easy to get around.

              • David Mac

                Yes, I’m very fond of Perth too.

                If you like Kings Park you might of had a play with The Whispering Wall, my pal gotcha’d me there a bewdie. Jeff left me sitting at one end and without me paying too much attention sat down 75 metres away at the other end. A woman started walking up the steps towards me. Jeff put his mouth beside the polished ear height granite strip that runs the full length of the concrete seat. I could see he was 75 metres away but his traveled voice sounded easily loud enough for this woman to overhear. I’d never heard him talk in filthy disgusting locker room banter before but there it was and easily within earshot of this passing woman. For the 10 seconds or so that it took me to work out that only I could hear his words, I was mortified.


                • Macro

                  hehehe yeah been there – but haven’t done that!
                  Whispering Galleries are fascinating – there is the one on the dome of St Paul’s in London – but now cost about 15 quid just to get into the place! and then there is the round chamber in York Minster, where the York synod meet. Great way to hold a large meeting where everyone can easily communicate before the advent of amplification.
                  York Minster is a fascinating place and goes back to Roman times – where in the foundations columns of a Roman Basilica are to be seen.

          • Ed

            Can you tell me why Mary Dejevsky is an unreliable source?

          • corodale

            It crashed into a flying saucer, they just dont know if it was alien or Russian 😉 Suspect it was Soviet build but under private use by the aliens.

        • Stuart Munro

          In this instance Mary Dejevsky is editorializing.

          She has no facts, but wants, from this position of ignorance, to debunk the facts which have been established. There is no news whatsoever in her column. These claims have been made before, and they remain as empty as they always were.

          She refers to the straw man of GRU competence – the Bond villain or Ilya Kurakin of popular fiction as if the murderers failure to live up to this unlikely stereotype in some way exonerates them – they couldn’t be pros because they got caught. But plenty of pros get caught – probably not in Russia with its frankly dodgy judicial system, but in the West authorities make a point of catching such people.

          She disparages Bellingcat, which represents a new generation of data based journalism she will never participate in, not because it doesn’t come up with the facts, but because they may receive tips from sources she doesn’t like. As a journalist, one’s job is to report the truth, not balance the claims of competing superpowers. One does not turn away such information if it can be verified. Putin’s Russia has largely given up supplying such information to journalists – its falsehoods (like the Ukrainian fighter video) are too readily debunked.

          In the Western game of politics, truth is the weapon of choice. Only utterly useless players, supported by the unprofessional incompetence of rubbish ‘celebrity’ journalists, run, as John Key did, on undiluted lies, brain fades and evasions.

          • Ed

            OK, so , according to you, I should not trust Mary Dejevsky, the Independent’s columnist on foreign affairs, a key authority on Russian politics and on diplomatic relations between the Kremlin and the west.

            Should I trust Seymour Hersh?

            KK: Could you respond to the criticism of your article by Eliot Higgins, who alleged that open-source satellite material supposedly shows the site of the bombing was not the structure you described? [Higgins in a self-styled weapons analyst whose Bellingcat open source investigative site is funded by entities including the National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. government-backed NGO that has promoted regime change around the globe.]

            SH: He offers no facts, just insults and a lot of certitude about things about which he just does not know, or seems not to, e.g., that the U.S. and other foreign military [have] the most sophisticated satellite data to do bomb damage assessments, and would never think of relying on commercial satellites. They fly over Khan Shaykhun, so I have been told, something like every five days, and their images actually provide very little reliable data about bomb damage. Buildings that look intact from on high with intact roofs may have no living space in them… the difference between post-strike damage photos from a military satellite or drone and the available commercial stuff is day and night.


            • mauī

              Stuart is a fan of data based journalism Ed. Presumable a massive fan of Assange’s work then… Somehow I doubt it though, because he doesn’t deal in Russian propaganda.

            • Stuart Munro

              Ed – you should not trust anybody. You should learn to think for yourself.

              It might stop you being a constant victim of third tier ‘news’ providers.

              • Ed

                Is Seymour Hersh a third rate news provider?

                • Stuart Munro

                  If that was him in your first Bellingcat video, yes he is.

                  He rubbished them. Has he broken stories of comparable importance to MH17, such that he gets to pretend superiority to that scoop? If so I haven’t seen or heard of them. But that goes to his celebrity status, not his journalistic professionalism.

                  He did not describe what Bellingcat is, how it works or why it represents something of a breakthrough, a disruptive change, for journalism.

                • reason

                  P.s Ed … thanks for the reply to The Spiders Web link I posted the other day.

                  …. I’d add that between 1hr.01mins-1hr.03mins … the pinstripe ‘mafia’ term and topic was raised … which was very relevant givien TRPs mafia /gangster finger pointing post …

                  And for all the people who dishonestly called Ed a “warmonger” …. I challenge them … and Ed …. to a simple three question warmonger detection quiz ….

                  With the same three questions applying to both Syria … and the Ukraine / Crimea.

                  Question 1 ….. Do you support the end of fighting / war in both regions?.

                  Question 2 …. Do you support the right of the affected populations to vote and use democracy?.

                  Question 3 … Should all support for the wars … by all the sides … be stopped? … including the silent siege sanctions war weapons ?.

                  out yourselves …. and see who are the warmongers 🙂

                  • Ed

                    1. Yes.
                    2. Yes
                    3. Yes

                    • Stuart Munro

                      So how are we to treat your enthusiasm for bombing civilians you designated “headchoppers” Ed?

                      A group that you have asserted with great frequency includes the white helmets.

                      And, your participation in promulgating unverifiable claims relating to false flag use of chemical weapons, allowing whoever in fact possesses them to use them with impunity. Is this consistent with protestations of pacifism? I think not.

                    • reason

                      I knew that would be the three correct answers from you Ed.

                      Shows who is genuine ….

                      I did not ask about the strawman argument of rooting out the last diehard Islamist fighters … entrenched among civilians Stuart.

                      For an off topic … I could ask , …What do you think about the British and French Govts saying they would prefer foreign Islamist extremist holding their citizenship …. killed or executed, rather than captured and sent ‘home’. ??

                      Or how come it is not common knowledge Islamist extremists have used chemicals / gas over 60 times … fighting for their Caliphate in Iraq / Syria . Why is this not common knowledge ?.

                      Anyway, …. I asked three simple questions

                      They show who really is for peace .

                  • Ed

                    Awaiting your response to reason’s 3 questions.
                    In the meantime….

                    • Ed

                      And some reading.

                      “Bellingcat/Higgins, as we know, is a patsy; a NED-funded front for UK intel agencies, through which they siphon the information – or more often disinformation – they don’t want to be associated with directly, either because it’s too weak, corrupt or absurd, or because they want to give the info a gloss of “grassroots honesty” by putting it in the hands of a (bungling) amateur.

                      What Bellingcat tell us, true or false, is what the UK/NATO security forces want us to hear. And what Bellingcat is currently saying is that they “proved” Boshirov and Petrov, the two apparently hapless Russian tourists snapped wandering around Salisbury last March, are actually Chepiga and Mishkin, elite military intelligence officers.

                      We can wonder about Higgins’ claims of how he acquired this information. It looks pretty clear his story of “discovering” their identities is completely bogus. It involves too many unnamed sources, lucky guesses and fortuitous bits of serendipity to be plausible. Bellingcat’s clumsy MO of Googling and reverse-image searching would in all likelihood simply not be up to the task anyhow.”


                    • Stuart Munro

                      I don’t think I’ll be wasting my time on more bullshit videos from you today ED.

                      If you want people to respect your opinion you must behave with greater consistency to the principles you claim to espouse.

                      Here’s a little critical thinking exercise for you:

                      Bellingcat has just posted identification of the second alleged Salisbury poisoner. Whose interests are served by trying to smear Bellingcat now? And, what led you to repost those smears?

                      Was it

                      a) a lively critical intellect, or
                      b) a slavish devotion to your Kremlin master?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    @ Reason

                    “Shows who is genuine …”


                    So how do you explain Ed’s condemnation of Bellingcat being contemporaneous with their inconveniencing Moscow?

                    Is it all a coincidence, along with all Ed’s other pro-Putin ravings?

                    Or is the timing verification that he is an intellectual captive (I use the term loosely 🙂 ) of one of Putin’s propaganda initiatives?

        • reason

          Stuart could not desist ED ….. abuse designed to shut up and shut down debate … is a pretty vile sort of propeganda in its own right .

          But instead of shutting up …. or biting to his abuse …. or his propaganda …. respond and post up another informative link … with quotes maybe ,,, from respected Authors.

          Taking Syria as an example …. It then becomes an argument between Joe90 / McFlock / Jenny / Munroe or whoever versus the Fisks / Pilgers / Scahills etc.

          .. “a much bigger group who don’t much like Assad … but their really terrified of the alternative,this has been a big miss-selling of the war in Syria ” Unpacking Syria war propaganda with Patrick Cockburn, from Afrin to Eastern Ghouta (Ep. 15)

          “If your in a minority, if your an Alawaite or a christian, you know your a dead duck, or a refugee if the other side wins” … about 28 mins

          • Ed

            Thank you reason.
            Your support after hours of vitriolic abuse is most welcome.
            It does feel like he is trying to shut down debate.
            Thank you.

            • Stuart Munro

              Since you never debate Ed (being incapable of it) you have nothing to complain of. You are a propagandist for the warmongers and the sooner you are shut down the better.

              • Ed

                Why won’t you answer reason’s 3 questions?

                • joe90

                  Says Ed, who only yesterday refused to answer an innocuous question.

                  • reason

                    Stuarts refusal to answer is because it will show him as a hypocritical warmonger … pointing the finger and telling lies about the person who wants peace.

                    here’s the three scary / embarrassing questions again.

                    Any prick who can not answer them is dishonest if they call those who answer yes three times a ‘warmonger’ …

                    You may not get it but normal people can see the simplicity and honesty of the three question s

                    even a child should know the answers

                    Question 1 ….. Do you support the end of fighting / war in both regions?.

                    Question 2 …. Do you support the right of the affected populations to vote and use democracy?.

                    Question 3 … Should all support for the wars … by all the sides … be stopped? … including the silent siege sanctions war weapons ?.

                    out yourselves …. and see who are the warmongers 🙂

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “Stuarts refusal to answer is because it will show him as a hypocritical warmonger”

                      Yes, yes, yes.

                      Happy? Did it prove anything besides that you’re a patronizing fool?


                      No more than it lets Ed off the hook for his incessant support of Putin’s belligerent kakistocracy.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Because they’re irrelevant.

                  You’re the biggest warmonger on the site and posting trite lies troubles you not at all – rendering the exercise meaningless.

                  Why didn’t you answer my questions Ed? Too ashamed?

                  • reason

                    You do go on Stuart …. and i feel a crocodiles concern for the people who lost their lives .

                    Using some reason ….

                    The U.s.a accidentally shot down an Iranian Civilian aircraft by accident and by missile once

                    The Israelis shot down an Egypt one by accident … sort of

                    British / usa /Saudi Proxy fighter blow-back blew up a Russian civilian aircraft .”The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s Sinai Branch said that it brought down the airliner.” .. I could classify as an accident

                    Now, Either one side or the other in Ukraine made a mistake shooting down a civilian plane … both had the weaponry

                    Only one side has tried to demonize …. for propaganda purposes.

                    Much like against Qaddafi ….. and the stitched up evidence against him .. for propaganda purposes

                    ” Scientific tests carried out on the most crucial piece of evidence in the case, a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that enabled prosecutors to link Libya to the bombing, suggested strongly that it was a fake.”


                    and 2 million in payment to “the sole remaining identification witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci…. There also were quotations from letters sent to the police by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) concerning offers of “unlimited monies, including $10,000 available immediately”

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “Only one side has tried to demonize… for propaganda purposes.”

                      It seems that your reading is highly selective:

                      “A Ukrainian military pilot blamed by Russia over the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has killed himself, Ukrainian media report, quoting police. Capt Vladyslav Voloshyn had called the Russian allegation a lie. Dutch investigators concluded that a Russian Buk missile had destroyed the Boeing 777 jet, killing 298 people.” ~ BBC

                      From this you can see that both sides had stories attributing the downing of MH17 to the other. So your claim “only one side tried to demonize” falls down unless you are making a judgment of fact – that one side downed the plane and then proceeded to blame the other side anyway.

                      Happily the facts on the downing of MH17 were discovered by Bellingcat before the startled Russians had themselves recognized the severity of their error. This did not stop continuous attempts by Russia to deflect the blame – but they could not get their story straight, and their alternative explanations were debunked as fast as they thought them up.

                      You need to adhere a little more closely to the facts if you wish to debate the matter.

      • Ed 8.1.2

        And why would it be in any way inconvenient to the US or Britain?

        It would be inconvenient for the US if it was found out that the Ukranians shot down the plane. The CIA were complicit in the coup that got these thugs into power.

        When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

        Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

        After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

        So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

        The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

        View at

        • Stuart Munro

          Fatuous nonsense as usual Ed.

          Some folk idealize Mandela or Gandhi – it seems that your role model is Philby.

          Russia shot down the plane – not for the first time by any means, and part of their pattern of aggression against their former satellites’ determination to get out from under their oppressive and backward administration.

          You don’t hear much from Ed about the Chechen genocide, or about the oligarchs in the reabsorbed satellites. His soul (such as it is) belongs to the kleptocrats and he will warble their propaganda from sun up to sun down never sparing a thought for its murderous consequences.

        • Ed


          “Just scribblings on the internet.”

        • reason

          Stuarts more interested in telling people to shut-up than debate Ed …. which he has a 101 ways of saying …. “You need to adhere a little more closely to the facts if you wish to debate the matter.”

          Lockerbie ….. or the gassing of Iranians / Kurds by Iraq with its then partner in crime, the u.s.a …. or the downing of the Iranian civilian airliner by the u.s.a ……shows that the facts are often in contention …. and used for Propaganda.

          “It would not be unprecedented for former police officers to face charges, and
          the forensic experts under scrutiny have already been discredited through their
          conduct in other trials, notably a number of IRA cases where verdicts were
          reversed on appeals.”

          Stuarts standard of “debate” …. perfectly fits the definition of Propaganda as described by Patric Cockburn in the link I posted above.

          And unlike Ed …. I do not think he is being truthful to the three simple questions I asked …. and which could be applied to every every war ..,…

          Question 1 ….. Do you support the end of fighting / war in both regions?.

          Question 2 …. Do you support the right of the affected populations to vote and use democracy?.

          Question 3 … Should all support for the wars … by all the sides … be stopped? … including the silent siege sanctions war weapons ?.

          Its like Wayne Mapp answering yes yes yes …… or being appointed to a board on peace ………… smells like bullshit

          ” Wayne Mapp of course is a former National MP and crony; as National Party defence spokesperson he advocated for New Zealand involvement in the Iraq war (even if it meant ignoring international law), and as Defence Minister he advocated against outlawing the international crime of aggression. Since leaving government, he has continued to advocate for war. With people like these on PACDEC, its no wonder it has been effectively disarmed.”

          • McFlock

            Why do you not believe Stuart?

            The questions were a fantasy. Pretty much everyone would answer yes to all three, but pretty much everyone would disagree on their precise application in the real world.

            Who stops first? Are referenda conducted under dictatorships or with evidence of stacked ballots counted as “democracy”? At what scale do you regard affected populations’ wishes? Do these wishes apply to populations before or after large demographic shifts over recent decades? Would that be simply rubberstamping annexation by occupation?

            Many people would have different answers to those questions when applied to any particular situation. But in general, the same people would all answer yes to you initial three questions.

          • Stuart Munro

            Ed has never debated in his life Reason.

            He is belief driven, and he believes a group of Putin propagandists, as, it seems do you. He is incapable or unwilling to examine his beliefs because that might oblige him to revise them. Instead he makes appeals to authority, which we may paraphrase thus:

            “Many other stupid people believe this, so it’s ok for me too.”

            You do indeed need to engage more closely with the truth if you want to debate with me – I’m not particularly interested in what you think you know about Lockerbie. You established that you were a disingenuous fool with your bullshit three questions.

            Here are three questions for you:

            Do you actually know what you’re talking about?

            If you don’t know what you’re talking about, why should anyone believe you?

            What is your rationalization for the barrel bombing of civilians by Assad et al?

      • mauī 8.1.3

        The investigation over MH17 was launched by the nations of the victims families and conducted by the Dutch. The accused country who had all the info on the apparent murder weapon wasn’t even involved in the investigation. Bizarre, and of course only one result was likely.

        • joe90

          Mar Lundy probably had all the info on the apparent murder weapon and wasn’t even involved in the investigation. Bizarre,….


          • mauī

            Sure, it’s like having the trial while your leading forensic expert is holidaying in fiji.

            • joe90

              Because the accused don’t get to set the terms of inquiry.

              • mauī

                No, they get a kangaroo court instead.

                • joe90

                  Oh, so you’re a Lundy troofer, too.

                  • mauī

                    What this has to do with Lundy I don’t know.

                    • McFlock

                      The point is that you don’t consult the prime suspect as if they’re an expert witness.

                    • mauī

                      Really? So in the case of a Pike River inquiry we could leave most of the log books of how the mine operates in the mine.

                    • McFlock

                      Asking for evidence if it’s available isn’t the same as asking Whittall if the mine was safe and this was a preventable accident, and then pretending that his answer would be anything other than self-serving bullshit.

                      What “logs” are the equivalent of what the russians should have been asked for, by the way?

                    • mauī

                      Asking for evidence like all the relevant weapon data on the Buk missile launcher that the Russians developed and made. I’m assuming Dutch Air investigators don’t deal with them every day. Finding out as much as possible on Russian military movements and getting them onside for an investigation would have been no doubt very helpful too. I think those are two quite critical things.

                    • McFlock

                      Except they tracked the movemets via satellite and the BUK “data” is well known, as it’s a system used by multiple nations.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, and Lundy said he was in Wellington at the time.

                  • Ed

                    Remember – be nice a be kind.
                    Saying troofer is being provocative.

        • Stuart Munro

          If you release photoshopped footage of a Ukrainian fighter as part of your official explanation investigators are going to consider your testimony worthless. Not having had a free press, Russia struggles to understand the reputational loss implicit in lying.

          • corodale

            Free? Buying NZ Herald and Waikato Times together would cross the 5nzd mark, that’s like 10 cigarettes!

            • Stuart Munro

              Well you know the Herald chooses to be a chipwrapper. It’s only really there for the real estate advertising revenue.

  9. Ed 9

    The other day I referred to this fantastic editorial in the Dominion Post.

    Even as those experts were warning that a rise of no more than 1.5C in temperature was the new goal to avoid catastrophe, and highlighting the inability of new technology to get us there, Ardern was talking up innovations in our dairy industry: vaccines, new types of feed and methane-busting grasses. She pointedly ignored the issue of stock numbers.

    Now Jim Salinger has an opinion piece in the Herald.

    We have to reduce our methane emissions
    On human time scales, CH4 is certainly an important greenhouse gas. Its global warming potential is higher on the 50-year time horizon than on the 500-year horizon.

    It is well known that there are serious difficulties in defining “CO2-equivalence”. Most practical policies need to look at the technical, political and cost aspects of reducing emissions of individual gases.

    New Zealand’s target must be primarily guided by the Paris Agreement and by any future international agreements signed by the Government. Thus, New Zealand’s climate change processes and metrics must be compatible. Any other approach conflicts with an all-gases approach internationally.

    Animal-sourced foods are the major source of food-system greenhouse gases, and their relative importance is likely to increase in the future. Meat production is the single most important source of CH4 from agriculture.

    We need to join the dots.

    • Janet 9.1

      When are they going to look the real problem in the eye. The world is overstocked, with humans.

      • SaveNZ 9.1.1

        Yes too many humans, plus too many corporations that want more consumers to fleece and relocate to lower wages around the world plus a blind eye to the real problems facing the world.

        “Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says
        A relatively small number of fossil fuel producers and their investors could hold the key to tackling climate change”

        • greywarshark

          savenz and to whom it may concern
          Copy that piece of Robert Guytons below at 11.49 am and stick it up on the wall and when feeling the stress and sadness rising, read it, relax your muscles, breathe quietly and regain that bit of hope and strength that keeps thinking people going.

          And perhaps under it put the last verses from WH Auden 1September 1939.

          All I have is a voice
          To undo the folded lie,
          The romantic lie in the brain
          Of the sensual man-in-the-street
          And the lie of Authority
          Whose buildings grope the sky:
          There is no such thing as the State
          And no one exists alone;
          Hunger allows no choice
          To the citizen or the police;
          We must love one another or die.

          Defenseless under the night
          Our world in stupor lies;
          Yet, dotted everywhere,
          Ironic points of light
          Flash out wherever the Just
          Exchange their messages:
          May I, composed like them
          Of Eros and of dust,
          Beleaguered by the same
          Negation and despair,
          Show an affirming flame.

          • Robert Guyton

            Auden is marvellous there, greywarshark and thanks to you for posting it.

            • greywarshark

              Just looking at Riverton on a map today. I am thinking I want to come down and look at your doings there next year.

              Have you ever come across woman near Cromwell Jo Wakelin who is practising dry gardening (with thoughts of a woman Chatto in East of England who does zero-water gardening!)? – NZGardener Jan 2016

              • Robert Guyton

                You are most cordially invited, greywarshark and It’d be my pleasure to show you around. Best months in 2019; Jan, Feb, March …October, Nov; at least those are the months I’m most free to entertain guests. Late March is our Harvest Festival and early April, the national permaculture hui, around which times I’ll be hungry-shrew busy. Not sure that I’ve met Jo, but I have stayed with various Central Otago gardeners who xeriscape.

      • Robert Guyton 9.1.2

        The real problem would be…looking them in the eye, Janet.
        In any case, “overstocked” only works where numbers are poisoning the environment needed to sustain that population, which is what we have now, so your suggestion of “de-stocking”, if that’s what you’re implying, is only one avenue of action. Another is to adjust the behaviour of the colony and it’s individuals to not poison their world, but to in fact, improve its quality. We humans could potentially do this, even at present numbers, Imo. If that happened and our population levels flattened or even reduced by natural attrition, we could live successfully here on Planet Earth. Imho.

    • Bewildered 9.2

      Have a word to Jeremy Corbyn brother Ed, Piers Corbyn, he is one of Britain’s leading climate change deniers What is your hero Jeremy’s views on climate change, if he holds the views of his brother I suggest your world would come tumbling down

  10. SaveNZ 10


    Submissions here if you want to stop oil and gas new permits in NZ

    Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says
    A relatively small number of fossil fuel producers and their investors could hold the key to tackling climate change

  11. joe90 11

    Cop assigned to a Democrat candidate’s security team thought he smelled a scandal and leaked to the Republican opposition that the candidate went to a Muslim event.

    A falafel restaurant.

  12. Siobhan 12

    The tragedy of profiting from a booming agricultural industry and being expected to provide your workers with 4.5 square meters of bed space.

    So now only four workers in a room that previously held 6.
    Noting that this rule has been in place for years but only now being enforced.
    Also taking into account that in our own homes..”4.5 sq m may be occupied as a bedroom by a person under 10 years of age.”.
    So, really, its not unreasonable to allow a grown human working long, physically demanding day, to have the personal space of a 10 year old.

    They’re a cut above the rest now“..”they” being workers who are here apparently fulfilling an urgent need, away from their families, and wanting to live a little more comfortably than a backpacker on holiday.

  13. greywarshark 13

    “There are decisions that have to be made that won’t be made if majorities composed of selfish and ignorant people continue to dictate policy.”

    That is a sentence in Chris Trotter’s latest thinkpiece. What are Standardistas thinking about at present? Anything useful to us peeps here in NZ?

  14. greywarshark 14

    Had a message that the site is not secure – the owner of the website has not configured it properly’ or something. What is that about?

  15. UncookedSelachimorpha 15

    Privatisation makes no sense, damages government finance and saves nothing – who knew!

    Britain’s public finances worse than Gambia, Uganda and Kenya, because of privatisation, IMF finds

    “Bank bailouts, rising pension liabilities and sell-off of public assets have wiped £1 trillion off UK’s net wealth, study suggests

    Rather than looking at each country’s debt and the deficit – a government’s income minus its expenditure – the IMF’s approach takes into account the benefit of assets such as publicly owned corporations and natural resources. These figures more closely resemble a company’s balance sheet.

    In this view, Labour’s proposal to renationalise railway franchises and water companies would not, as the Conservatives have claimed, cost hundreds of billions of pounds. The government would merely create debt on the liability side of the balance sheet while gaining an asset of the corresponding value, resulting in a net cost of zero.

    The asset in turn has the potential to generate future income. For example, privatised water companies paid £6.5bn in dividends and interest to shareholders over the last five years, according to data compiled by the GMB union.

    Yet another popular right-ring ideology is found to be a baseless lie, this time by that radical left-wing lobby group, the International Monetary Fund.

  16. Wayne 16

    Well, I read that article. Frankly not really credible. Which you pretty much know as soon as it says the UK is in worse financial shape than Kenya and Uganda. And presumably worse than Greece, Italy and Spain.

    On my visits to Greece and Italy in the last few years, it is very obvious that both have their public infrastructure in increasing decay and ruin. A very far cry from the UK, which really does have first class infrastructure.

    The article is about as credible as Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas saying she believes in free speech. Yes, she has said that, but is it entirely believable?

    The article basically says borrowing 100% of the value of the nationalised assets is effectively a risk free proposition, because of the revenue flows. In the real world it doesn’t take much to go wrong to defeat that proposition, especially in rail. Only a few things need to go wrong before you have revenue being well below the cost of borrowing. Look at NZ Rail, it needs constant propping up.

    • corodale 16.1

      Have significant UK entities shifted accounting volume to African books? Favorable for soluting profit? Bulge in African middle-class, with effective low-cost living?

    • Ngungukai 16.2

      Problem with NZRail is, it got asset stripped early on after privatisation and no funds were reinvested in the company. Anyone remember ?

      • reason 16.2.1

        Yes i remember Ngungukai ….

        I also remember one of the Fay Richwhite boys paying a $30 million dollar payment as a result of The Serious Fraud Office ..,.. to make pesky allegations of insider trading go away…. when they sold their railways shares early and made a fortune … while mom and pop investors lost money

        Privatization / asset sales were an expensive disaster in NZ ,…

        And like everywhere in the world …. politically connected deals allowed a few people to gain incredible wealth …. Oligarchs getting their hands on what citizens had already built up and paid for.

        Wealth stealing …. not wealth creation

        This former Rich list …. from either Stuff or the Herald …. shows 6 in the top 10 making money this way …. even more surprisingly 3 did it by looting from the Russian people.

        1 – Graeme Hart – $7b
        2 – Richard Chandler – $4.2b
        3 – Todd Family – $3.3b
        4 – Erceg Family – $3.3b
        5 – Michael Friedlander – $1.5b
        6 – Christopher Chandler – $1.4b
        7 – Goodman Family – $1.35b
        8 – Stephen Jennings – $1b
        9 – Michael Fay – $900m
        9 – Douglas Myers – $900m
        9 – David Richwhite – $900m

        Two others on the list are drug lords …. amassing their fortunes pushing and selling the drug Ethanol / Alcohol.

  17. Ed 17

    Bellingcat – Who is Eliot Higgins?

    • Ed 17.1

      ¿ Who Funds Bellingcat?

    • joe90 17.2

      Eliot Higgins got his start tracking Western-run arms to Syria.

      Since then, Higgins and Bellingcat have reported on Yemen, U.S. war crimes in the Middle East, and currently using open-source methods to try and shed some light on Khashoggi’s disappearance.

      • McFlock 17.2.1


        The best argument in favour of Bellingcat is that all of a sudden there are loads of conspiracy-laden youtube videos: the chosen medium of bullshitters who just want to suck people’s time. For the time taken to paste three links, we’re expected to spend an hour watching a video and doing nothing else.

      • joe90 17.2.2

        FYI, Ed, there’s this site called google.

        Using Mr Google I found a Bellingcat article alleging that despite initial reports Russia was responsible for bombing the Umar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb mosque in Aleppo, the US was indeed responsible.
        When the Pentagon denied it was a mosque, they proved them wrong and the US conceded.

        If you cared to fucking look, you’ll find more examples of Higgins and Bellingcat playing it straight and laying blame where blame is deserved.

        • mauī

          In his latest press conference they say they use a lot of volunteer labour. So this rag tag bunch of volunteers managed to find out the identity of the most keenly wanted Skirpal suspects on their shoestring budget within a couple of weeks, before anyone with some decent credentials could. What a joke.

    • Stuart Munro 17.3

      Where do you find such unmitigated pieces of shit Ed?

      You don’t even understand the role of Bellingcat, in a despotic state like Russia, that has murdered and suppressed its journalists so that they will not report on Putin’s wrongdoing.

      Your source has no facts whatsoever – an empty smear only. And you wonder why you get treated like a pathetic sock puppet for Putin’s program of invasion and murder. And then you have the effrontery to ask to be treated nicely!

      Do you know why the likes of the Spiegel were running Bellingcat’s stories?

      Because they were factual. Because they were timely. Because they repeatedly debunked Putin’s lies, using readily available (and thus checkable) open source material.

      It is the role of journalists to publish the truth, and Higgins found a way to find it. But the truth hurts murderous assholes like Putin and his pathetic apologists.

      • Ed 17.3.1

        Bellingcat or Seymour Hersh?
        I know who most people will find more reputable.

        • Stuart Munro

          Ed, you don’t know shit.

          • Ed

            So you think people will trust Elliot Higgins more than Seymour Hersh.

            • Stuart Munro

              It’s neither here nor there.

              I know I don’t trust you.

              You make CV look comparatively balanced.

              • Morrissey

                t’s neither here nor there.

                It’s actually the crux of the matter. You are rejecting Seymour Hersh.

                Well, it’s your credibility on the line.

                • Stuart Munro

                  You can take that argument from authority and stick it where Ed gets his pro-Putin links from.

                  • Ed

                    I get my links from Robert Fisk, John Pilger, George Galloway, Patrick Cockburn, Seamus Milne, Naom Chomsky, Craig Murray and Seymour Hersh.

                    We all get our ideas from sources.

                    So we all take an argument from authority.
                    Your authority is Higgins from Bellingcat.
                    My sources are a raft of experienced, reputable and independent journalists.

                  • Morrissey

                    You take your talking points from government mouthpieces like the BBC and the Grauniad. You “argue” from authoritarian propaganda.

                    Sy Hersh is one of the world’s best and most distinguished journalists. I suggest you start reading him. Then you can get on to some other real journalists: Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Nicky Hager, John Stephenson…

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Actually I don’t – but I guess you can’t imagine reading books and talking to people – the processes that operate as fact checks on what might otherwise be a media monopoly on news.

                      I care nothing for their reputation – I care for their adherence to fact in what I’m reading.

                      Judging by its effect on Ed’s gravitas I’m inclined to conclude Hersh is a screaming ninny like all the other screaming ninnies he introduces ad nauseam.

                    • McFlock

                      There’s sort of a scale at play.

                      There are the screaming ninnies like CM, then some previously good journos who now have a tendency to make the story fit their rant (Pilger- comparing his writing now from, say, the 1980s shows a completely different tone and a departure from reporting to commentary), and then there are some who aren’t outrageously biased, but what they actually write might not actually go so far as Ed seems to think it does (Fisk comes to mind on one or two occasions).

                    • Ed

                      Hersh is a screaming ninny like all the other screaming ninnies he introduces ad nauseam.

                      Morrissey, do you think Stuart knows anything at all about one of the greatest investigative journalist of the twentieth century?

                    • Morrissey

                      Clearly he doesn’t. As they say, give ’em enough rope. He just can’t help himself.

              • Ed

                I am only repeating what Hersh says.
                So when you curse me, you curse Hersh.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Take some responsibility for the nonsense you choose to parrot you jellyfish!

                  • Ed

                    Well I admit to not being original.
                    I do repeat the ideas of journalists I respect.

                    And please, can we lay off the insults.
                    Let’s discuss the issue without using swear words or abuse.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You deserve the abuse.

                      Straighten the fuck up you running dog Putin-pushing totalitarian fanboi.

                    • Ed

                      I am only repeating what reputable journalists say.
                      So when you curse me, you curse them and their views.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “I am only repeating what reputable journalists say”

                      Nonsense – you are highly selective. You select for those who reflect your prejudices. It’s not a pretty picture.

                    • Ed

                      Nonsense – you are highly selective.

                      Yes I am selective.

                      I select Sy Hersh above Bellingcat.

                      I select Robert Fisk, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Nicky Hager, John Stephenson, John Pilger, George Galloway, Patrick Cockburn, Seamus Milne, Naom Chomsky and Craig Murray ……… above Bellingcat.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      And that’s how you became the fine upstanding Putin-worshipping fascist troll you are today.

      • Andre 17.3.2

        The source of those kinds of pieces of unmitigated shit seemed like an interesting question, so I started googling from the @GrahamWP_UK visible in the bottom right of the vid. Hoo boy, that’s a hell of a rabbit-hole, with quite an RT presence …

      • Ed 17.3.3

        Be nice.

        • Stuart Munro

          Yes be nice.

          Be nice to the running dog apologists for the murdering Russians.

          Be nice to the braindead propagandist who fucks up the whole site with his worship of despots and epic fucking ignorance.

          Be nice to the inhuman wretch who supports the wholesale slaughter of Syrian civilians – a pathetic specimen of genus homo so debased he makes our resident RWNJ look enlightened.

          He’s such a nice lying piece of shit. We all need nice barefaced liars like Ed in our lives – it’s not as if there are real world problems that could be discussed.

          Listen to Ed – genocide is nice. Murder is OK. Putin is a fucking saint.

          Fuck off Ed.


          • Morrissey

            You’re willfully misrepresenting Ed in the most vicious and defamatory manner, Stuart. You know what you’ve just written about him is arrant nonsense. You sound like one of those National Party thugs from the 1950s, or a right wing union thug from the same era, hurling the word “commo” at anyone who refused to fall into line with enforced orthodoxy.

          • Ed

            These are lies, smears and defamation.
            I have never said any of the above.
            And you know it.

            • Stuart Munro

              It’s never stopped you making shit up about me or any number of other posters ED.

              Wake the fuck up – supporting a modern fascist state on a Left site will get you hated. With good cause.

              Take your love of totalitarian dictators elsewhere – this is not an appropriate platform for it.

              • Ed

                I don’t support a modern day fascist state.
                You have invented that.

                And please calm down.

                • Stuart Munro

                  What absolute bullshit. Day in, day out, you parrot Putin’s propaganda. This is how you support him.

                  If you ever looked critically at any of it I might say you were entitled to an opinion. But you never have.

                  • Ed

                    Does Patrick Cockburn “parrot Putin’s propaganda”?

                    Ditto…..Robert Fisk, John Pilger, George Galloway, Seamus Milne, Naom Chomsky, Craig Murray and Seymour Hersh.

                    I admit to not being original.
                    But I do not think these reputable journalists are mouthpieces for the Russian state, as you claim.

                    Remember – please stay calm.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Some are journalists – which makes them as good as their last story.

                      Chomsky is not a bad commentator, but his linguistics is nonsense.

                      Galloway and Murray are not journalists, nor are they journalists’ bottoms, they are screaming nutjobs on a par with Drudge – catering to a select audience of complete fuckwits.

                      Perhaps you should choose a more credible group to worship, since critical appreciation seems to be beyond you.

                    • Ed

                      So as I repeat them, I am not parroting Putin……

                      I really wish you would calm down and stop swearing and cursing.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yes you are – when they pick up the crap stuff his PR team are trying to push, and you push it too.

                      Putin: “Sieg Hiel”
                      Hersh: “Sieg Hiel”
                      Ed: “Sieg Hiel”

                      You think one stage of disconnection puts you in the clear?

                      Think about the crap you post and take some responsibility for its factual accuracy.

                    • Ed

                      I see you have given up actual debating and that comment is below despicable. Please retract it.

                      Sy Hersh is the son of Jewish immigrants.

                      Seymour Hersh is one of the world’s most renowned investigative journalists. He played a leading role in exposing the 1968 My Lai massacre and the Bush administration’s torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

                      He has decades of journalistic experience, which won him numerous awards, including the Pullitzer Prize, two National Magazine Awards and five George Polk Awards.

                      Did you know that?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You weren’t debating anyway – you are incapable of it.

                      You hide behind a handful of authorities and never recant even your most egregious errors.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      What Hersh is neither here nor there – you posted a perfectly unsupported set of criticisms from him – not reporting – the same kind of opinion airing that characterized Drudge and all his successors. And you lap it up.

                      And you regurgitate it on here, and then whine when you are properly criticized for it.

                    • Ed

                      Are you going to retract your comments about Seymour Hersh being a supporter of fascism?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “Are you going to retract your comments about Seymour Hersh being a supporter of fascism?”

                      Certainly not – I didn’t accuse Seymour Hersh you pathetic weasel

                      I ACCUSED YOU!

                      You are the supporter of fascism here – our daily dose of treacly Putin admiration and Assad apology.

                      Don’t try to hide behind Hersh you pitiful muppet.

                    • Ed

                      Your words.

                      Putin: “Sieg Hiel”
                      Hersh: “Sieg Hiel”
                      Ed: “Sieg Hiel”

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yeah – have you managed to work out what it means yet?

                      You’re a fascist worshipping punk.

                      But stay calm.

                    • Ed

                      The conversation is over.
                      I shall not debate issues with someone with such a violent and aggressive manner.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You’ve never debated in your life anyway.

                      How about you think for a bit about whether this is really the best platform for Craig Murray’s or RT’s latest piece of denialism before you post it next time.

          • reason

            ha ha ha beautifully done Stuart

            By calling Robert Fisk,
            Glenn Greenwald,
            Jeremy Scahill,
            Nicky Hager,
            John Stephenson,
            John Pilger,
            George Galloway,
            Patrick Cockburn,
            Seamus Milne,
            Naom Chomsky and Craig Murray ….. as being the authors for” the fine upstanding Putin-worshipping fascist troll you are today.”

            … You’ve gone stark raving reds in the head … unhinged.

            Your the one who can’t answer honestly regarding Syria ….

            “Saint Putin” is a stand out example of your lies Stuart ….

            No wonder I doubt your honesty on the three question warmongers quiz … It’s “irrelevant” when you don’t want to “get out” …. or stop the fighting / war in Syria

            “get out” …. 3 mins 10 secs

            • Stuart Munro

              You do know that stacking more authority appeals one on top of the other reduces rather than increases their persuasiveness? Or maybe you don’t.

              I notice you’re citing Hager? I’ve read most of his stuff as it happens.

              It is not usually characterized by the screaming ninnyism that delineates Ed’s journalists of choice. By all means post a Hager link and I will read it.

              Oh please, do tell us more about your three questions 🙂

              If you genuinely believe such a facile exercise enables you to sort the sheep from the goats you’re even stupider than your ill-judged support of Ed suggests.

              But I don’t believe that you believe it – it was a tool by which an intellectually dishonest person such as yourself can cobble together a crude criticism – lacking either the honesty or the intellectual capacity to find a real one.

              No-one who includes Galloway in a list of authorities wishes to be taken for anything but a raving loon.

  18. Ed 18

    Abby Martin is a great journalist.
    Here she investigates the Syrian War.

  19. Drowsy M. Kram 19

    Frustration over Ed’s comments seems to have morphed into palpable hatred.

    Parts of SM’s comments on today’s OM made Ed’s look pretty good. Not considering the merits of their ‘positions’, just the presentation (setting The Standard).

    “lying fucking Russians”

    “your vile propaganda”

    “your inner circle of likeminded dupes and traitors to the humanist cause”

    “Fatuous nonsense as usual Ed… it seems that your role model is Philby.” [More fatuous nonsense?]

    “Ed, you don’t know shit.”

    “the nonsense you choose to parrot you jellyfish!” [Inventive – please Sir, I want some more.]

    “You deserve the abuse. Straighten the fuck up you running dog Putin-pushing totalitarian fanboi.”

    “Putin-worshipping fascist troll”

    “the braindead propagandist who fucks up the whole site with his worship of despots and epic fucking ignorance”

    “inhuman wretch” – “a pathetic specimen of genus homo so debased”

    “He’s such a nice lying piece of shit.” – “barefaced liars like Ed” – “Fuck off Ed”

    “Wake the fuck up” [Good advice.]

    “absolute bullshit”

    “a select audience of complete fuckwits”

    “the crap you post”

    “you pathetic weasel” – “you pitiful muppet”

    “You’re a fascist worshipping punk.”


    • Antoine 19.1

      SM is on fire today. Its like watching Eminem end some mumble rapper’s career.

      And you suck for going through a long post carefully highlighting every mention of the word ‘fuck’


      • Drowsy M. Kram 19.1.1

        Suck and ‘fuck‘ – you’re a funny one, A., but I appreciate your feedback. Good too know where you stand.

        I know very few Russians. Have never visited Russia (or Salisbury), and unlikely to do so.

        Before retirement I knew a (rather blunt) Russian co-worker – quite liked them, but not reciprocated. And a lab manager (in Cambridge) by the name of Tatiana (married to a pilot). And a mass spectroscopist (Igor), now possibly in Auckland. [My God, they’ve cracked it!]

        Growing up in Auckland we were friends with a Dutch family; the father had driven Russian jeeps in Indonesian jungles, spoke Russian and did some translating. He was keen for our family to see ‘The Great Moscow Circus’ when it toured Auckland (some time in the early 70’s?) – Popov’s performance on the slack wire was memorable and great fun.

        I was, regrettably, too young to fully appreciate that the circus existed primarily for communist propaganda purposes – “lying fucking Russians” [there’s that highlighting thing again – how do I turn it off Daddy?] And why didn’t my parents tell me the truth? Mind you, my siblings and I did refer to our father as ‘Da’…

        • Stuart Munro

          Many years ago I spent a lot of time working on Russian and Japanese vessels. They had memorable names.
          The Akebono maru meant something like ‘light of the new dawn’.
          Russian vessels were often named for heroes – I was on vessels called the Darvin (Darwin) Gissar (Hisser), Bratya Stoyanovy (stoyanov brothers) and another called Propagandist.

          The crews were decent enough, if a little keener on drinking eau de cologne than seemed altogether healthy. They were underpaid and overcrewed though – typically 80 people on a boat other nations would crew with 30. Their agents made the kiwi charter agents look almost respectable however – no mean task. It was a rare seaman that got his pay home intact.

          Jack Vance ran across them in his seagoing days and wrote Wyst Alastor from some of his impressions of the soviet system.

          • Antoine

            > Jack Vance ran across them in his seagoing days and wrote Wyst Alastor from some of his impressions of the soviet system.

            Interesting, I did not know that


            • Stuart Munro

              Vance is a great classic science fiction writer – the old stuff always explored an idea, so the Languages of Pao is Vance’s take on Sapir Whorf. But The Potters of Firsk may be his best single work.

    • Morrissey 19.2

      Brilliant work, Drowsy!

      Poor old Stuart has been hoist by his own petard, I’m afraid.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 19.2.1

        Thanks Morrissey (and Stuart @

        Alas, I’m not sufficiently knowledgeable or connected to properly evaluate the merits of all SM’s arguments, but read and appreciate his comments here.

        Found some of the language used in OM yesterday distracting (obviously), possibly to the point of detracting from arguments, but diversity of opinion and style is to be expected.

        I was trying (@19) to convey (poorly) a personal view that repeated targetted abuse (as opposed to constructive criticism) is off-putting. Unless it’s witty and directed at a ‘common enemy’, and even then everyone has their limit.

      • Stuart Munro 19.2.2

        Not so at all.

        I’ve connected Ed back to his motivation – or more likely that of the Russian PR guys he unthinkingly parrots

        Bellingcat has embarrassed Putin again – so Ed is in to bat against them.

        Look at his arguments – are they “Bellingcat are factually inaccurate”? Nope.

        What we have is skepticism and personal abuse, and attempts to link them to US intelligence.

        Scepticism – sure – fact checking is fine – notice that Hersh does none.

        Personal abuse – it can be clever but it wasn’t. In this case it covers Hersh’s lack of a substantive criticism.

        US Intelligence – the oufit that clogs Assange’s feed whining that US might feed tips to Bellingcat? Not proven – but if the tips are factual, so what? It was Russian intelligence that supplied the faked video of the Ukranian fighter. Hersh is trying to sell a double standard to protect his Kremlin masters.

        Award winning journalist – pshaw. Whaleoil was an award winning blogger for a bit there.

        • Morrissey

          You’ve been shown up, sir. You should deal with it, rather than exacerbating the situation now.

          • Stuart Munro

            Don’t be ridiculous Morrissey the Liar.

            You pathetic conspiracy twitchers really don’t get it at all with your gnat-straining nonsense trying to impugn the US in the freeform mess they’ve created in the wake of the Iraq invasion. The invasion is quite sufficient without striving so desperately to make shit up.

            Try as you may even you can’t dig the pathetic Ed out of the hole he’s dug himself by his dedication to at best unreliable, but generally ridiculous sources.

            You could of course dig yourself out a little, if you exerted yourself to validate or resile from your standing lies:

            * That the UK funded ISIS

            * That those who oppose Ed’s inanity are dedicated to sending others to die

            But of course they’re not true, and so they only erode your façade of gravitas.

            • Morrissey

              Abuse only makes you look foolish, my friend.

              • Stuart Munro

                There comes a time when the lies become too much and there needs to be a house cleaning.

                It would be nice if Ed were marginally literate and followed some kind of decorum in respect of his posts. In the absence of that however, I’m not going to tolerate naked Putinist propaganda from him.

                I will hound him unmercifully if he posts further interested untruths, until he stops. And I will hound you when you lie also – your ego not withstanding, you have a responsibility not to lie.

                Are you going to validate or resile from your lies, Morrissey the Liar, or wear the sobriquet you have chosen for the rest of your days?

                • Morrissey

                  I think you need one of these, quite frankly, Stuart…..

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You can keep both of them Morrissey the Liar – they’re more your kind of people than mine.

                    A nutbar and … what is it they say about Trump?

                    Twinkle twinkle little Czar
                    Putin made you what you are.

                    Did Britain fund ISIS Morrissey? Or are you a lying asshole Morrissey?
                    Run and hide all you wish – the truth will follow you.

                    • Morrissey

                      Did Britain fund ISIS Morrissey?

                      Britain and the US created ISIS, and they still defend them as “the Syrian opposition.”

                    • Ed

                      You need to read a lot more if you don’t know the answer to the links between the Jihadis and the UK and the US.
                      You don’t believe Morrissey’s opinion or mine.
                      So do some research.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yeah nah.

                      There’s only room down that rabbit hole for gibbering idiots like you and fascist fanbois like Ed.

  20. Ngungukai 20

    Wow some fireworks on The Standard yesterday some people getting fired up, plenty of abuse later in the day.

  21. Eco Maori 21

    Kia ora The AM Show this day in 2018 it be real hard to climb up ones ladder life in Auckland.
    Cory is a good Basketball player.
    Labour has done more to lift the lower class wellbeing than national.
    national has loaded the lower classes living costs up
    And there you go they stopped putting the money in the Cullen fund.
    birnard would you rather we just carry on burning carbon and our environment loan billions to build heaps of roads and load the moko with dept. Next minute We have to get the IMF to bail us out.
    You moan about your credit card balance and now you want the government to spend up large have you heard about a save dollar saved is like earning 2 dollars We have the opportunity to turn our country into a beautiful carbon neutral country for our the next generation.
    Is that the main problem for weed 5x more tar is that a good excuse to locking millions up around the world mean while the alcohol barons are rubbering there hands getting billions in profit from there drug that has a direct link to the death of millions come on.

  22. Eco Maori 22

    Friday a the weekend off I’m at the farm put the device down and my tanonga moko sent my post lol.
    Ka pai Mr Collins I Tau toko your story about having a better reflection of our society culture mix repsenting us in Management in Government and business.
    Ka kite ano. P.S have a good weekend the brand is stained

  23. Eco Maori 23

    It is time the Whole World woke up to the fact that we all need to work with each other and Papatuanukue the earth to fix the unbalanced effect carbon has on our climate instead of fighting Wars.
    We have the technology to achieve the best outcome for our future generations.
    We just to tell the politicians that we want to respect our future generations right to a happy healthy life and a happy healthy environment on earth.
    Ka kite ano link is Below P.S It is not to late to act

  24. Eco Maori 24

    Sola power it looks like it is more effective and efficient to have roof top solar on the people house than large scale solar farms. Big businesses prefer large scale as they can carry on milking money out of people.
    Roof top houses with solar give the power to the people with prices stability and big savings over the life of the solar panel to the people.
    I say the best solar power solution is personal roof top solar don’t let the big companies sell you a different story the power is generating were it is needed there are no cost and low loss of the powers delivery to the user.
    Long distance transmission power lines are not necessarily rooftop solar.
    Ka kite ano link below

  25. Eco Maori 25

    Kia ora Newshub the White House guest well no comment no need to lol.
    Yes if one keeps stepping on other people toes you will all ways have bad Karma around you.
    I Heard that William Shantener /Captain Kurk was coming to Aotearoa He’s a cool young fella yes ECO a treaky some would have worked that out with the words I use Rocket lab is going from strength to strength he’s a bright man our Peter.
    The Christchurch new library looks cool te Mokopunas are enjoying it reading is good for all I do a lot now.
    Good on the lung transplant lady Chrisy
    She has a real determination and is thankful of her donater Kia kaha Chrisy.
    Ka kite ano. P.S I’m busy with the mokos

  26. Eco Maori 26

    Kia ora The Crowd Goes Wild Wairangi & Co. Storm Eco is a horse fan had a few adventures with them.
    Big weekend for League in Aotearoa I thought they mite have had a big marketing programme going.
    That Ice Hockey looks like a hard sport
    Ka kite ano

  27. Eco Maori 27

    Kia ora Nation the price of fuel goes up and down every day why the fuel companies are gouging the prices.
    The oil drilling ban is a good thing if not than we will carry on burning our environment. High prices of oil will make the change to electricit cars faster.
    I is cool that the government is setting up a justice review system for Aotearoa we need one and others can see this hence this coming to the front.
    The other organisation that have been formed to do this job don’t serve the poor and are not independent IPCA.
    KA KITE ANO P.S we have to mitigate climate change NOW

  28. Eco Maori 28

    Kia ora Newshub of course Z energy CEO is going to state that there is enough competition in our fuel industry he is protecting their profits a biest opinion.
    Congratulat to the newly weds Loyd
    There are allways unhappy tolls E hoa.

    Here’s a problem the vegan or the lab grown meat people can answer if we grow all our meat in a lab what happens to the gift from atua the bovine do we just let them go into extinction.
    I say if we can farm cows with a proven low carbon footprint and humane why not carry on eating meat.
    Its not like big companies have been trustworthy tobacco chemicals carbon many more issues that these companies hide .
    Pagalim are awesome creatures the most traffic animals no one knows of must be highly sort after if it gets its own personal guard.
    Rhino are in danger to.
    We know who to call out on this problem China enough said.
    Its cool that the good Kiwi quadriplegic get more funding to beable to complete in the Papatuanukue games.
    Ka kite ano

  29. Eco Maori 29

    I have to be more fought full with my words when I’m around the mokos they take up a lot of my head space.
    The endangered animals parts being smuggled around the world is a problem the World needs to take ownership of and fix it. Ka kite ano

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    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    16 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    20 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    20 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    20 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    23 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago