Open mike 12/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 12th, 2022 - 173 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

173 comments on “Open mike 12/04/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    So "the radical-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon" almost beat Le Pen to get into the run-off.

    The former Socialist minister came in at a very close third with a significantly higher than expected 22% and at one stage, late in the evening as the big-city votes were being counted, looked as if he might pip Le Pen to the second round.

    Cementing his status as the only powerful voice on a weak and divided left, his passionate oratory and radical programme were a big hit with the young: he was far and away the most popular candidate among 18- to 34-year-old voters – who unfortunately for him were also the least likely age group to vote.

    He also benefited from a last-minute surge from left-leaning voters initially tempted by parties such as the Greens and the Communists but who concluded, too late in the day, that despite some of his more extreme policies Mélenchon was the only leftwing candidate with a chance of making it to the second round.

    If you frame Macron as centrist you get a rough three-way split in French politics nowadays:

    The radical realignment of French politics that began in 2017 when Macron swept to power at the head of his “neither left nor right” startup reached its logical conclusion with the near-total electoral destruction of France’s two traditional parties of government, the rightwing Les Républicains and the Socialist party.

    Here in Aotearoa the natural idiocy of the left and right is becoming more obvious to more people all the time, but voters remain largely addicted to the old binary switch.

    • Well spotted Dennis. The surge of the Corbyn-like candidate Melenchon has been massively under-reported in the media

      In the crap system France uses the top two now face off. If Melenchon had come second, and he was only 1.1% from doing this, he could well have beaten Macron.

      The legislative elections in June will be interesting.

    • Ad 1.2

      May as well have come in 90th.

      • Bearded Git 1.2.1

        Not really Ad. His presidential result will probably mean a surge for his party, La France Insoumise, in the upcoming legislative elections.

        He is an interesting character. From Wikipedia:

        Mélenchon has also called for the mass redistribution of wealth to rectify existing socioeconomic inequalities.[38] Domestic policies proposed by Mélenchon include a 100% income tax on earnings over €360,000 a year, full state reimbursement for health care costs, a reduction in presidential powers in favour of the legislature, and the easing of immigration laws.[39] Mélenchon supports same-sex marriage and women's right to abortion. He also supports the legalisation of cannabis.[4

        • Ad

          I remember the previous French election some fool trying to put another hero up the pop charts. It didn't matter then and it doesn't matter now.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Soper agonises over the impossibility of getting the PM to tell the truth:

    Ardern says she didn't want to get into dissecting the statement Wall made because it detracts from all the good work she has done.

    Evasion of the truth is apparently vital at this point in the electoral cycle. It would be dreadful for the PM to admit discriminating against a talented rep from the alphabet soup tribe on her own team. Bigotry on display! Distract everyone by doing the dance of the veils is Soper's thesis.

    Then he lets drop this morsel…

    The door's clearly not open to all in the captain's cabin, testified by one Cabinet Minister who sought me out at a social function recently to enlighten me about disharmony in the ranks.

    Knives are out, huh? The enemy within. Traditional Labour infighting on a re-emergence trend. Watch this space.

    • Peter 2.1

      Evasion of the truth is vital at this point? For Soper and some others, in a comparative sense the truth is far less important and vital than something else.

      That is, blood on the floor. Let's talk a mininiscule graze on a knee to a leg dropping off. That's what's vital.

      I mean just like that you've turned it into discrimination, bigotry and distraction.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        And here I was thinking that Soper was all in favour of evading the truth or facts or even common sense.

        He certainly does it all of the time. I am yet to see a story that he can't twist into a misognist rant against having a Labour led government led by someone without a Y chromosone.

    • Sanctuary 2.2

      The facts pertaining to Louisa Wall speak for themselves to anyone who understands how to work in complex governance environments. Wall was offered a high list place and a graceful retirement into a sinecure job as part of her leaving parliament. Her ungrateful shitting all over her end of the bargain – which was just to keep her mouth shut – means she is now a pariah to the political establishment.

      The most important job qualifications after experience in senior governance is the ability to accept collective responsibility, being a team player, discretion and confidentiality. Wall has displayed none of these important employment qualities. I can't think of a recent example of an electorate Labour MP in a safe seat being as comprehensively de-selected as Wall was in Manurewa, where it seems everyone at every level of the party were pleased to see the back of her.

      Once she pisses everyone off in her new job and leaves that one then she'll struggle to find a decent job were she can enact meaningful change, which is a pity because with just a modicum of discipline she could have been very effective. She will end up ineffectually complaining about everything.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        She will end up ineffectually complaining about everything.

        An archetypal leftist then, you reckon. Dunno if she really is tbh. Seems like a fairly well-organised alphabet-souper to me.

        All that blather you offer about Manurewa comes with no proof, of course. We could call it the Mike Williams ploy. How many suckers swallow? Not many.

        • Peter

          All the blather about Manurewa without proof?

          C'mon, you are prepared to accept Wall's perceptions as gospel and like Soper use them to beat Ardern up.

          • mac1

            "idle speculation will create a political climate rife with rumour." Now who wrote that? 😉

          • Dennis Frank

            you are prepared to accept Wall's perceptions as gospel

            Why would you think that?? The only ones who know the truth are the electorate committee. The media haven't even asked them, right? Next most likely to know is the local MP who they select. Her.

            Of course she may not want to disclose having alienated some or even all of that team. It's entirely possible. But we don't seem to be getting any unbiased views from her constituents that she's not been a good MP. So I reckon the usual Labour character-assassination method is behind the bullshit claims of lack of team-player expertise, obviously contradicted by her performance internationally.

            And I'm not beating Ardern up. I always give her credit when possible. She has to take responsibility for choosing not to confirm that Wall was telling the truth about what Ardern told her. Do voters trust Labour now? Decreasingly fewer. The PM's behaviour reinforces that downward trend.

            • Patricia Bremner

              The Prime Minister has decided in her wisdom not to exchange blows with an obviously disgruntled member. She pointed out it was an employment issue, one she had no control over. Louisa jumped, she was not pushed.

              Louisa Wall's perception of unfair behaviour does not wash. It appears she asked for seniority but fell short. Going by her current behaviour she has an entitlement issue.
              Twisting it to be a trust issue is your problem, not Ardern's. By the way, I looked a long way back, your praise for Ardern is thin on the ground and usually couched in disappointed tones.

              Yes, because people are "over it" they may vote for change. Sad, but the way of the world looking overseas at governments' struggles all over. imo.

              • Anker

                Whatever happened between Louisa, the PM and her electorate people is really nothing to do with us. We can speculate of course and Louisa has given us her take on what went wrong.

                But the PM is entitled to choose whoever she wants in her Cabinet. That is life in the workforce. I am sure she had her reasons

                BTW I think it is only human that those of us who are interested in politics speculate.

              • Dennis Frank

                your praise for Ardern is thin on the ground

                That's due to it being an accurate match to her achievements in office – which have been thin on the ground. If that were not so, Labour poll ratings would not have slid since the protest.

                I amply praised her onsite here when she invited the Greens into govt when she didn't have to. She made history doing that. Her problem with lack of follow-through since seems due to having a cabinet of mediocre to poor performers plus addiction to neoliberalism. I still thinks she has great promise & much talent – it's just that the current context doesn't allow it to shine…

            • Peter

              "The only ones who know the truth are the electorate committee. The media haven't even asked them, right?"

              You're the one who mentioned proof. Got any for that?

              And floating no proof of another side of the Wall story, a Mike Williams' ploy, and asking how many suckers swallow it all?

              That condemnation after saying Soper "drops this morsel…" He drops rancid morsels he knows bottom feeders will relish. They do.

              Funny that then they expect nothing less than Michelin quality to be delivered by others.

              • Dennis Frank

                proof. Got any for that?

                Get a grip. You know that what happens in a meeting is only known truly to those who attend, you just don't want to admit that reality. Hearsay & second-hand reports don't count. Hell, the cops would tell you that even eyewitnesses can't tell the truth half the time! They often complain about them disagreeing with each other about what actually happened…

    • Anne 2.3

      The door's clearly not open to all in the captain's cabin, testified by one Cabinet Minister who sought me out at a social function recently to enlighten me about disharmony in the ranks.

      And despite Soper's continuing distorted conspiratorial drivel of the recent past, you actually believe him? I know how his type work having experienced it myself. They put words in a person's mouth then claim them to be the words of that person. Journos of his ilk use the tactic all the time. They know the target is going to keep their mouth shut because they are essentially compromised. Any attempt to explain what really happened is likely to make matters worse .

      • Incognito 2.3.1

        A friend of mine overheard at a party that my neighbour was fucking his pig. So, I decided to spread this story here, so that we can all wonder when he’ll stop fucking his pig and hear him squeal in denial.

        • Sanctuary

          Its how lazy centrist political media work.

          One journo says one thing, another megaphones it, then you get a pile on of stories about dissent and how the public hates divided governments etc etc – it'll fill weeks of columns and means that on the basis of one line at one event to one person they can relax and not think about anything for the next few weeks. See you later COVID and 1am briefings and people hating on political journalists – the great game of politics where the MSM press gallery get to play court jesters at the centre of attention is back!

          And just the other day we were all wondering why trust in journalists (one of the only professional groups where public trust is even less in people who have interacted with them) is at an all time low.

          • Incognito

            And that’s why lazy hacks work this way, because it works. Their pig-fucker memes get picked up and propagated by lazy unthinking parrots (aka brain-dead zombies) like Covid is spread: mouth to mouth and through the air. The parrots have not a modicum of self-awareness and self-reflection, similar to hacks such as Mike Hosking (cf., and believe they’re a neutral and objective (as in: observer) party in all this when it is crystal clear they’re the target and the host by which the disease spreads itself. And we do have a few quite colourful and rather loud parrots here on TS.

        • DB Brown

          We have polar bears now leaving the north and trying to mate with brown bears. That's an endangered species trying to breed with a common species in order to save itself…

          And that's why Tories fuck pigs.

          • Incognito

            Please don’t let your political bias cloud your thinking; pig-fuckers are on both sides of the fence, colourless, and colour-blind, but they spread a powerful pong.

            • DB Brown

              Yeah but you gotta admit that's a brilliant Cameron reference haha!

            • Anne

              Yes, they do exist on both sides of the political scale, but one side is decidedly lighter than the other.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.2

        I've never worked with him personally so I can't say if he's inclined to invent shit. I'd be surprised though. A decade of working with professional journalists & I didn't encounter any such instance despite expecting to when I started.

        I did see frequent tailoring of political stories to suit some predetermined view & was always monitoring that behaviour to suss out a covert agenda.

        My take is that Soper gets sufficient material to work with due to his seniority. He doesn't need to make anything up. I agree he exhibits his bias often enough but taking that into account is no problem. The difference between spin & reporting is usually evident. And adding interpretation has always been the prerogative of journalists, however much we may prefer they don't do it!

        • Anne

          I agree he gets sufficient material to work with, but the way he works with it is sufficiently deceitful to constitute misinformation at it best and disinformation at its worst. For instance, he bears a deep seated grudge against Jacinda Ardern and has done so from the moment she became PM. It is almost pathological in nature and you have to wonder what is behind it. He hates being outsmarted, especially by a woman nearly half his age, but whether there is more to it I don't know.

          • Dennis Frank

            I have no basis to disagree with you about that, Anne. To me the guy's too uninteresting to think about as a person – but it would not surprise me if you were quite correct about his pathology.

            The only reason I ever draw attention to his writing is political relevance. Media folk who do political commentary & analysis are influential. That makes them suitable targets for my critiques – but I try to be as fair in appraisal as I am of the politicians. I can't be totally objective (nobody can) but I make the effort.

            • Anne

              I can't be totally objective (nobody can) but I make the effort.

              Yes you do and I give you credit for that. I try to too but am the first to admit I often fail. There are some people whom I personally find abhorrent and Soper is one of them.

    • weka 3.1

      Here’s the explainer:

      GCFs say wear whatever the fuck you want and society should change to make that acceptable and normal. Gender ideologists think women who wear men’s clothes and look blokey are trans. The woman being referred to is a butch lesbian. GIs often reinforce gender stereotypes: this is how a man/woman is supposed to look.

      India Willoughby is a trans woman, who doesn’t understand why a butch lesbian is welcome at a women’s meeting but a male who IDs as a TW isn’t.

      this might seem superficial but it points to something that matters to women: are we allowed to escape gender stereotypes? Or are we supposed to confirm to the new gender stereotypes. Not butch but a trans man, because clothing.

      still think it’s silly? Young women who are lesbian are immersed in online culture that tells them being male is better than being female and there’s a way to escape the things that suck about being female: transition to being a trans man. If this were simply a teen culture experience, have at it. But those girls and young women are met by adult culture that tells them the best thing is to take puberty blockers, and later to take cross sex hormones and have their breast sand uterus removed.

      when those young women hit their twenties, many experience regret, their gender dysphoria is still there and they now face life long medically induced problems and pain with their bodies.

      there has been an exponential rise in girls and young women transitioning. Once they hit the medical system and/or mental health system the encounter the affirmation only model which prevents practitioners (the supposed adults in the room) from taking a neutral or precautionary approach and talking about abuse history, or mental health problems, of societal pressures, and instead they have to affirm the chosen gender identity.

      there are also families who prefer their kids to be trans so they don’t have to be gay. Which is why GCFs call GI regressive and homophobic.

      Note the problem here isn’t being trans, it’s the gender ideology movements that promote the above ideas.

      • Pingao 3.1.1

        Yes it is such a backwards step and something I never imagined would happening like this in our contemporary "liberal" western democracies. Banning women's dances and banning use of words like dyke (on facebook) and butch. Back to the closet I guess (yeah nah)!

        • weka

          It's bizarre, the layers of denial from the left. Otoh, it's been heartening to see so many gay men step up alongside lesbians and say fuck that shit.

      • ozaki 3.1.2

        "there are also families who prefer their kids to be trans so they don’t have to be gay. Which is why GCFs call GI regressive and homophobic." – bullshit. Sure anything is possible but to think this is more than one or 2 instances of just 'wrongness' a load of bullshit.

      • RedLogix 3.1.3

        All which I agree with.

        Yet here is the fundamental contradiction that I believe has caused so much squirming. Allowing that there is no single version of feminism, their core message of the past two or three generations has been 'sex does not matter, there is no difference and women can do anything men can'.

        Then along came the trans ideology that took that message literally. That there really was no such thing as sex and all was social construct. ooops.

        Well you will have to excuse those of us who believed sex mattered all along for just a teensy moment of schadenfraude. My view – the one that got me into so much hot water a while back – is that male and female are in the physical domain at least, a complement to each other, that while sharing much in common, each has strengths best used to help each other through what can often be a tough and difficult life.

        Yet as roblogic pertinently noted the other night – there is no gendered soul. That in the realm of the moral and spiritual all humans stand both equal and identical before our Maker. In worldly terms this translates into abstract concepts such as equality before the law, equal opportunity and dignity of the individual.

        But for the materialists – those who would remain blind to the abstract realities – this argument holds no water and have insisted on mapping and conflating our spiritual nature onto our physical one, demanding that men and women are the same in every respect in when clearly they are not. Of course being that there is no argument absurd enough for a literalist – the logical outcome has been trans ideology which eradicates even biological sex as a distinction.

        Which is the point where a few people like JK Rowling realised the emperor was wearing no clothes. And anyone at all familiar with the abstract themes of her famous books can see why she would see this so clearly, and so courageous in her pointing it out.

        • Anker

          Yes Red Logix you are allowed your schdenfraude. But my memory of feminism in the 70s was we reading books such as Or Bodies, Our Selves. We were aware that the female body was different from a male body and we wanted to find out more about ourselves.

          The push to say biology didn't matter was to do with the very rigid beliefs held about what the female sex could do.

        • weka

          Yet here is the fundamental contradiction that I believe has caused so much squirming. Allowing that there is no single version of feminism, their core message of the past two or three generations has been 'sex does not matter, there is no difference and women can do anything men can'.

          Then along came the trans ideology that took that message literally. That there really was no such thing as sex and all was social construct. ooops.

          Well you will have to excuse those of us who believed sex mattered all along for just a teensy moment of schadenfraude.

          Girls can do anything doesn't mean there is no such thing as sex. It means that girls can do a lot of the things they were being locked out of by sexist society.

          That is a different issue than ideology that says there is no sex binary or that sex is a social construct or that people can change sex. You are conflating ideas and muddying the waters.

          Whether men and women are the same has been much debated in feminism, so your experience of this looks more like your experience rather than some fundamental truth about feminism.

          • RedLogix

            You complain about a lack of left wing allies, yet when I explain my view very clearly you completely miss the point and accuse me of muddying the waters.

            Fair enough. I now regret saying anything and have nothing more to say.

            • weka

              We debate politics here, I'm not sure why your ideas would be immune to critique.

          • roblogic

            My own schadenfreude at seeing radical feminists hassled (who have penned some rather OTT screeds against men and traditional values of marriage and family) was quite short lived when I realised my own beloved family members (sisters, nieces especially) were gonna be endangered by a deeply misogynistic trans movement.

        • roblogic

          Thanks RL for this clear analysis and setting forth a position that should be uncontroversial. My view of the human person is that we are embodied souls, there is no separate disembodied self. The mind may imagine things but it is always grounded in a physical substrate. (Death however is another story)

          On the other hand, Gnosticism (both old and new) has a low view of the body and the material world … "we are not this crude matter" says Yoda. As if the physical realm is a cage to be overcome with transcendental meditation or in the worst case, transhumanism and damaging surgery to healthy flesh.

          I say instead

          God, grant me the serenity
          to accept the things I cannot change,
          the courage to change the things I can,
          and the wisdom to know the difference.

        • roblogic

          A small quibble on terminology, it's not "materialists" rejecting physical reality, it's postmodern deconstructionists like Judith Butler who reject scientific knowledge, or any authoritative claims about reality, viewing everything as a power narrative.

          So the claim that "there is no truth" has been taken as gospel by privileged Zoomer uni students, and if everything is a power narrative (rather than observation of reality via gathering evidence) then all that is left to do is overthrow anyone who disagrees

      • Anker 3.1.4

        You cannot alter your biology. The vast majority of us are born either male or female.

        But yes live as you want. Dress how you want. Fin d stuff to do that interests you and if you can earn a living out of it, even better (whether that stuff you enjoy doing fits gender stereotypes or not)

      • Francesca 3.1.5

        Weka, I fear you may be right about the leadership stuff of the Green Party that fucks about with what is a woman malarkey.

        A blunder, if it turns out to be true

        • Dennis Frank

          Let's hope they don't make the mistake. It's just a proposal at present – albeit a serious proposal.

          openly gay MPs in New Zealand's recently elected Parliament include Labour's incumbents Grant Robertson, Louisa Wall, Meka Whaitiri, Tamati Coffey and Kiri Allan and newcomers Ayesha Verrall, Shanan Halbert and Glen Bennett.

          They will be joined by openly gay Green Party member and spokeswoman for Rainbow issues Jan Logie, Chloe Swarbrick, Elizabeth Kerekere and Ricardo Menendez. About 40 per cent of the Green Party MPs are from the rainbow community.

          Presuming that 40% are driving the thing, the outcome depends on member voting tilting in the conservative direction. I'm not optimistic!

          • Francesca


            There's absolutely no controversy whatsoever about being gay. That's about who you love, who you're attracted to. Same sex .

            The trans ideology fucks about with sex and conflates it with gender.

            Here we go again, round and round.A transwoman is a transwoman and all power to that person .A woman is an adult female, and that does not include a person who has grown up as a boy then undergoes cosmetic surgery and drug therapy.

            • Dennis Frank

              Oh yeah, I am indeed aware of the various dimensions & nuances (even from my distance). What I'm pointing to is the overall syndrome likely to kick in. Minority rights plus herding. So you get the umbrella effect.

              I expect that user-defined gender will be the consensual framing that operates tacitly even if they don't make it explicit.

              They will claim that it allows men a chance at co-leadership. Technically true. The alienating effect on the electorate is unlikely to occur to the Green caucus (insufficient activated brain cells) but it may trouble activists in the party somewhat.

            • roblogic

              Yep, sexual attraction is physical and based on biological sex. Lesbians especially know this because they have been subjected to abuse from trans identfied males who demand affirmation and dates with lesbians, but those uppity women don’t want to

  3. Adrian Thornton 4

    Here is a documentary by French journalist Anne Laure Bonnel on the horrors of the civil war that has been raging in the Donbass since 2014.
    Thousands of Russian speaking Ukrainian civilians were targeted and killed by Ukrainian Nationalist troops with Ukrainian Government appoval…but it turns out that these civilians don’t carry the same value as civilians killed since the Russian invasion…strange how we seem to assign different values to civilian deaths isn’t it?…how are these lives measured and by whom I wonder?
    ….who are the ‘worthy’ civilians that we should care about?…well luckily for us our media certainly seem to know how this value system don’t you worry yourself, they will tell you exactly who to get outraged and feel empathy for, and who not to even think about…rest easy, your conscience friends, all the work of thinking has been done for you…..…..and you will be in good company too, just ask that long time defender of Human Rights, …..and you will be in good company too, just ask that long time defender of Human Rights, …..and you will be in good company too, just go ask New Zealands long time defender of Human Rights Gerry Brownlee.

  4. tsmithfield 5

    For those of us such as Redlogix and others who are interested in the geopolitics and demographics at play in the current Ukranian conflict, I highly recommend checking out some of the podcasts of interviews with Peter Zeihan.

    I have just watched this one and this one.

    He goes into the historical context of how Russia has been invaded through numerous points in their history, and how they are seeking to reinstate buffer states to protect them from future invasion at their weak points from where previous invasions have come.

    While there is no immediate invasion of Russia on at the moment, Zeihan points out the decline demographics in Russia, and how that, from a long term strategic outlook, Russia had to make this move now, or otherwise they would never be able to do it.

    And that stopping at Ukraine makes no strategic sense because they would simply end up with longer borders that need protecting should Russia secure Ukraine. Hence the next stop would be Moldova as part of the plan.

    Zeihan makes the point that it is actually quite dangerous for the world that Russia is performing so badly in this war because it is clear to everyone, including the Russians, they would stand absolutely no chance against NATO in a conventional war. Hence would likely resort to nukes in such a conflict.

    These podcasts were done several weeks ago. Zeihan thought at that point that Russia would eventually win in this conflict due to overwhelming mass, despite taking a lot of casualties. It would be interesting to know if he sees that any differently now given the change in the course of events since that time.

    Zeihan has made the point that NATO definitely wants to confine this conflict to Ukraine, and hence is keen to support Ukraine so that Russia's military is bled dry and doesn't have the capacity to keep extending its fight.

    Well worth spending the time to listen to these podcasts. It is also great to hear intelligent interviewers asking great questions. Something that is very much missing in our media here.

    • Stephen D 5.1

      Thanks TS.

      What would happen in Ukraine were able to go on the offensive. Would attacking oil wells, bombimg fuel depots inside Russia be red rag time?

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        The Ukranians have already done that. That was a very ballsy attack. The Ukranian helicopters went in at below tree line apparently to avoid the radar.

        Whether it was revenge or what the Russians were planning to do anyway, but soon after the Ukranian attack on Belgorod, the Russians targeted some fuel depots and refineries in Ukraine.

        So, I guess the Russians have some degree of tolerance, in that it is probably expected in a war that your enemy won't simply be a willing punching bag.

        • Scud

          Please note that attack, has neither been confirmed nor denied from the UkrAF or from the Ukranian Government.

          The only confirmed attack by the Ukrainian Military on Russian soil, was a Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) on a couple of Airbases & Military Installations around Rostov on the Don.

      • Scud 5.1.2

        Highly unlikely that the Ukrainian Military will undertake Strategic Attacks within Russia, as its SRBM units got a bit of a belting at opening stages of the Russian invasion.

        The Ukrainian SF Units are currently tired up attacking the Russian Army Rear Ech inside Ukraine or providing Recon & Targeting information for it's Joint Fires Targeting Cell.

        • tsmithfield

          I know Ukraine neither confirmed nor denied the attack. But if they hadn't done it, it would have been an outright denial I think.

          Most commentators I have read believe it was the Ukrainians who carried out the attack. But it is hard to be exactly sure because the Ukranians and Russians have the same helicopters.

          The alternative to a Ukranian attack is a false flag attack by the Russians. But it wouldn't have made any sense them attacking their own logistics, especially since they were already having major problems with logistics. And they didn't need any excuse to attack the Ukranian logistics.

          And that fuel depot was a nice big juicy target for the Ukranians that I am sure they would have loved to hit in some way.

          So, I think that is why that most accept the Ukrainians were responsible.

          • Scud

            Tsar Poot's has got a decent Best Bets Form Guide, of conducting a False Flag event which which Poot's which Poot's has done before. It's also a part of the FSB, GRU & Russian Military Maskirovka Playbook as well.

            From what I've read so far, that most people including me, that if Tsar Poot's did undertake a False Flag attack, it didn't get much traction anywhere incl within Russia especially after saying the UkrAF was wiped out numerous times by the Government & by Russian media

            • tsmithfield

              I can understand a false flag operation if it was (supposedly) a Ukranian attack on a school in Russia or something like that. Probably some bombs exploding on a school when “luckily” all the children were away on a field trip or something.

              That would provoke rage in the Russian population and probably give the Russian army justification for using chemical weapons or nukes on Ukraine.

              But targeting a fuel dump as a false flag? That is just normal war stuff, and unlikely to achieve much so far as a false flag is concerned.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Thanks for the Zeihan links. He is often well ahead of a lot of others and while I do try to take into account the fact he is very pro-American – at the same time he has plenty to say that is critical of the US.

      Not well known, nor mentioned in his bio, is that Zeihan studied for some period at the University of Auckland and in his earlier material often mentioned NZ with both wit and fondness.

    • Stuart Munro 5.3

      I've quite enjoyed Zeihan, but I think the theory of gaps in Russian defenses has dated badly. Of course Mackinder's heartland theory has dated even worse, but it remains popular in Russian ruling circles because it makes them seem important.

      If Russia were to be invaded by the West, or even China, it would likely begin with a contest for air superiority, which, once established, would allow invaders to essentially immobilize ground forces while striking targets or delivering troops to critical locations. The long ground slog the German forces undertook in WWII is no longer desirable, it is more of a rapid Iraq type campaign that they have to fear. And that means the defending the gap model that partially drives contemporary Russian geopolitical strategy is not especially useful. Large western garrisons can be bypassed, and cannot fall back on political centres in time. This is not especially new – Rommel rendered the French defensive lines meaningless by bypassing them. The soldiers who manned them could not fall back fast enough to matter.

      • RedLogix 5.3.1

        but I think the theory of gaps in Russian defenses has dated badly.

        I get that air superiority and missiles have changed the game, but you still cannot bomb your way into occupying a territory. That still needs infantry, tanks and heavy mech on the ground. And in turn these require suitable terrain, flat open ground being ideal – mountains, swamps and water much less so.

        And what has dramatically changed since WW2 is that satellites in space have eliminated the element of surprise; there will never be another Blitzkreig because it would be spotted the moment the columns and logistics to support it were formed. Indeed this exactly the problem Putin faced on the border of Ukraine – which he countered by lying about his intentions. Well he will never get another chance at that again either.

        Ultimately Zeihan's argument is not just about plugging the gaps – but about the sheer inability of Russia to sustain a credible defense along their existing borders. They simply lack the manpower or economy, and both factors are trending against them.

        So while I accept the gaps theory isn't a complete or watertight argument, I do not think it can be lightly dismissed either. And it remains consistent with how events are playing out.

        • Stuart Munro

          It rather depends on one's object. Occupying territory is fine for border wars – but when it comes to regime change at bayonet point, it doesn't contribute much. Mind, there is no fast decapitation available if you've antagonized a population by crude occupation for a lengthy period.

          Until recently, Europe could not field a dominating ground force, even were it disposed to move on Russia – China would be the only state that could. Their strategy would have had to be more surgical, and the gap defense was thus preparing to win the previous war.

          With the rise of drone and similar warfare, I expect we will see significant changes in forces before the next major conflict, assuming the current one plays out reasonably soon.

          • RedLogix

            but when it comes to regime change at bayonet point, it doesn't contribute much.

            That works if you have the people onside and they do not resist their new government – but the exact opposite happened in Ukraine. Czar Poots tried to install a Vichy regime but it got kicked out. Instead he has had to resort to old fashioned invasion and butchery.

            On the Russia theme I'm listening to this interesting perspective right now:


  5. Dennis Frank 6

    Mark Jennings, co-editor of Newsroom, on changes in our msm:

    After three years co-hosting TVNZ’s early morning show, Breakfast, John Campbell is returning to a reporting role… Campbell’s strong brand and skills have helped Breakfast stay well on top of AM. Nielsen ratings figures for the week beginning February 8th (the first week of the revamped AM) had Breakfast at more than double the audience of its rival in the commercially important 25 to 54 demographic… The fact that AM averaged less than 20,000 viewers daily in the 25 to 54 age group will be worrying TV3’s new owner, Discovery.

  6. Stephen D 7

    Trying to put some figures together on the cost of utilities over time. And having a real struggle. Any ideas on the cost of a unit of electricity, or a litre of water, or a kWh of gas in 1990??

  7. Stephen D 8

    As good an explanation of why Aotearoa is so expensive to live in, as any I've read.

    Basically, our government should not be so timid when it comes to regulation.

    • tc 8.1

      Not from this centrist mob who are still pushing members out from a few leaders back.

    • lprent 8.2

      Just try google.

      Something like "nz price of kwh in 1990"

      When it comes to basic stats like that, then the search algorithms do pretty well with clear queries.

    • Ad 8.3

      Good and honest article about our baked-in political and cultural limitations concerning price.

      I was surprised though that he didn't mention GST.

    • KJT 8.4

      Mortgage interest rates are a big one.

      Though the absurd, Reserve Bank ACT has a lot to do with it.

      Higher interest rates than Australia for one.

      As New Zealanders are again to be punished for expecting decent wages, by rises in interest rates.
      Which will again attract more “Hot money” from offshore, pushing up our dollar and making our businesses less competitive.

      Again transferring more wealth from workers!
      and adding an extra charge to business borrowing for small businesses. Big business , of course, borrows at discount rates from offshore.

  8. Dennis Frank 9

    Hero takes control:

    Army General Alexander Dvornikov, the commander of Russia's Southern Military District, has been named as theater commander of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine, according to a US official and a European official. Dvornikov, 60, was the first commander of Russia's military operations in Syria, after Putin sent troops there in September 2015 to back the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    From 2000 to 2003 Dvornikov served in Russia's lengthy pacification campaign in the north Caucasus, including the Second Chechen War, which left the regional capital of Chechnya, Grozny, in ruins.

    Dvornikov was awarded the title of "Hero the Russian Federation" by the Kremlin in March 2016 for his services.

    Putin is sending the signal that his command structure has been proven inadequate to the task. Tacit signalling. Announcing removal of key players would look too much like a confession of weakness. Problem: how well can heroes lead when soldiers are deserting en masse?? And when we got those reports about the demise of the famous WWII tank battalion, one of them included the interesting detail that the commander had shot himself around the time of the invasion – because when the tanks were taken out of mothballs, only one in ten were found to be operational. Gulp!!

    • While some of this may well be true you should be careful not to swallow all of the western propaganda Dennis.

      • Dennis Frank 9.1.1

        Yeah, valid point inasmuch as most of it is from Ukrainian sources. I take the view that long-standing personal relations are anchored in deep context, multi-generational, bridging Ukraine & Russia. On that basis Ukrainian informants get informed by Russian informants they have deep personal ties to going back many years. I haven't heard of Russian state control preventing cell-phone conversations.

        Antiwar protests by Russians reveal a considerable disgust in the populace. Nationalists may have a working majority but humanism arises from human nature – sympathy & compassion likewise. That female news producer who interrupted the war news with an antiwar placard behind the newsreader had a Ukrainian parent & a Russian parent. So I think there's a strong basis for a word of mouth flow of info that transcends propaganda.

        • Bearded Git

          True. Genuine word of mouth info is valid.

          In the fog of war events often take a long time to become clear. Our MSM prefers instant pro-western soundbites.

    • Macro 9.2

      And true to form following his appointment…

      Russia uses chemical weapons in attack on Mariupol: unconfirmed reports

      Looks like another relentless series of Syrian style atrocities about unfold on Ukraine. BASTARDS.

      • Scud 9.2.1

        It's unconfirmed atm Macro but in saying that, old mate has form of using such Wpns before in Syria.

        • Francesca

          Care to cite the occasions when Russia used chemical weapons in Syria?

          Assad is accused of it , but to my knowledge Russia has not been accused of one chemical weapon attack in Syria

          • Scud

            Old mate, had operational control of both Russian, Syria Military Forces & the Wanger Group during the Syria Civil.

            And that's about as much as I can say in the matter, without getting a wee visit for a please explain.

            • Francesca

              Just one little link old mate, where Russia has been accused of a cw attack in Syria.Couldn't give a tuppeny fuck for your wee wink nudge nudge.

              • Scud

                Please have a read of this from the Pravda



                Please if you don't want to keep it civil & maintain a level of decorum. Then please don't bother replying to my posts & wasting my bloody time.

                • Francesca

                  Ok first of all this is Ukrainian Pravda

                  second is a quote, though I can't read Russian and don't do Telegram Talking about smoking the rats out of Azovstal, and having to consult the chemical experts.If what I'm hearing about the urgent and failed attempts to evacuate some important assets from Azovstal, I'm picking that the DPR and Russia will be very keen to get these assets out alive

                  How do you feel about tear gas?

                  Or actual smoke?

                  The second link is sourced from Azov, who are pretty pissed off no one has come to rescue them .

                  This is from the same Biletsky of untermenschen fame.Ukraine to lead the white race blah and et cetera

                  Not that credible in my book , and you should check out some of the witness testimony from Mariupol residents on how Azov has terrorised them ,through the Patrick Lancaster channel

                  • Scud

                    As a former CBRND Instructor, Advisor, Argent Detection & Recon Detection ie Mapping out fallout in the Field.

                    I'm very very familiar Tear Gas which doesn't effect me btw, Your Population control chemicals/ Sprays & I've inhaled god knows what else from various smoke generators.

                    Also I've Posted my cse reports, to prove I'm not a bullshit artist & what I'm talking about.

                    But to take a very dim view to people like you who nail their respective colours to assholes like Tsar Poots & who's Military atm which has used Rape as Wpn of war, undertaking genocide & now this


                    This would be a clear violation of Article II Section E of the Genocide Convention of 1948.

                    And do I despise people like you & your cohorts?

                    Is because I had the pleasure of working in East Timor during INTERFET in 99-00 at digging up bodies & help the IRC & various other NGO's piece to a genocide map for possible War Crimes investigation. I also I had the pleasure to escort & protect females from pre teens to the elderly who were raped by the TNI when law & order broke down during the UN Chap2 Mission.

                    One particular episode, I had a young woman late teens, who won't let me go because she was gang rape by the Local TNI Timorese Battalion. Who turned up at the Airport before they were kicked out.

                    Then there is Sth Sudan which was whole different level of pure evil bastard.

                    How people like you sleep peacefully is night?

                    Because I bloody well can't some nights!

                    Anyway if my sources & right in Ukraine? You, Locke, Minto, that Muppet Green spokeswoman on Defence etc & Trots etc are about to eat some very humble pie & I hope you bloody well like.

                    Because I will have great pleasure watching you lot, try & justify Poot's & his Military actions in Ukraine without mentioning NATO or the Azov Battalion in the Mariupol Pocket.

                    PS, apparently the Russian Paratrooper who raped a heap of under five yr old Ukrainian kids/ babies has been arrested.

                    I've made my piece tonight & I would retire to my quiet place, where Weka & a few others can contact me.

                    To decide weather I will return here to again to comment as I have also been working on another post about the recent release of the Irish Commission into the Irish Defence Force

                    PPS, This is for Adrian, mate if you went to understand what went wrong in Afghanistan? Read the Book called the, The Ledger by Daivd Kilcullen & co & it's worth reading as there is no BS from him or the other person.

                    • RedLogix

                      I totally get your anger. It is the correct response to Poot's butchery.

                      It is one thing to question and challenge the conventional narrative, we should all be courageous enough to do it when needed. But there as some who loose all perspective and their moral compass along with it.

                    • Francesca

                      Scud , thank you for your comprehensive reply

                      You missed, as did I , that while tear gas is permitted for use by national police for crowd control, it is illegal in war situations.

                      Regarding Basilin's quote, and remembering that after all the DPR are doing all the heavy lifting in Mariupol, there is this to consider.

                      Basilin spoke of "smoking out the rats"in the Azovstal .The rats being remnants of the Azov with embedded foreign mercenaries.Azov now being sanctified as marines

                      The RPO-D is carries a less dramatic smoke-laying filler, which upon detonation creates a broad cloud of opaque white smoke between 55 m and 90 m long, depending on the conditions. This allows an infantry formation to immediately lay smoke at a stand-off distance, without having to wait 30 seconds or more (or possibly an hour) for mortars, artillery, or aircraft to lay smoke for them — and they can send the projectile to the exact location of their choosing, on demand. The RPO-D can also be used in an offensive capacity, to lay smoke over enemy positions to interfere with their fire or visibility, or even to "smoke them out" (the smoke produced by this weapon has been described as irritating to the eyes and lungs in high concentrations, though not toxic)


                      I gather other measures that won't end in destroying the valuable steel works, or possibly the potentially valuable pows are also being considered

                    • Scud []

                      Sorry Francesca, I must apologize as I had assumed that you had a basic understand of both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) & the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) with its various Articles, Protocols & sub paras etc. Thence I left out the Tear gas/ CS Gas being ban under the CWC in Geneva in 1952.

                      As for the Mariupol Steel Works, it's my understanding from reading the current assessments of the situation in Mariupol.

                      That blast furnaces, actually stopped working sometime late in the 1st or early in the 2wk of the Russian invasion. Blast furnaces by nature are a very sensitive as they have to run constantly 24/7 365 days of the yr & if they stop for any reason! The are completely rooted & you have to build a complete new Blast furnace, because it will be full of shag & the molten Iron ore turns to solid steel inside the blast furnace.

                      I'm hoping, I've got the terminology right on how a blast furnace stops working?

                  • RedLogix

                    Patrick Lancaster has been around a while. Note the date on that article.

                    None of these people are accredited journalists, just grifters.

      • Francesca 9.2.2

        You're taking this guy's word for Gospel

        Andrei Biletsky

        Name ring a bell?

        In 2010, Biletsky said Ukraine’s national purpose was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen [inferior races]”.

        Our western values really have taken a tumble when we're supporting guys like this

        Anything to bring NATO in

        • Macro

          No I'm not taking his word alone – I'm taking the numerous reports of there being such an attack including the statement by the Russians – as reported by Zelenskiy in his address today.

          Today, the occupiers issued a new statement, which testifies to their preparation for a new stage of terror against Ukraine and our defenders. One of the mouthpieces of the occupiers stated that they could use chemical weapons against the defenders of Mariupol. We take this as seriously as possible.

          I want to remind the world leaders that the possible use of chemical weapons by the Russian military has already been discussed. And already at that time it meant that it was necessary to react to the Russian aggression much tougher and faster.

          • aj

            If there is one take from any war, it's that you can't believe anything without independent investigation.

          • Nic the NZer

            Who is the mouth piece Zelensky is refering to with that claim? I can't fathom why Russia would want that message put across as it potentially draws the western military in more directly, but maybe the context is relevant.

            I have seen Zelensky backing a 'close the skies' message which would be a very dangerous step if implemented. He seems very keen on western direct military intervention in Ukraine, which is widely considered an unsafe line to cross.

            • Scud

              A few Muppets in the Breakaway Oblast's & on Russian TV have been bumping their respective gums for a WMD style attack on Ukraine.

              Its all open source, if you care to do your own research.

              • Francesca

                For fucks sake Scud, muppets in Poland have been bumping their gums about getting nukes in Poland.You going to take that as a given too?

                Info war old mate, info war, wink, wink, nudge, nudge

            • Macro

              Ukraine and Russia are in constant communication over a variety of matters concerning this ongoing war. Communications to which we are not privy obviously. I have no doubt that at some point in those discussions some official in Moscow has said to some official in Kyiv that the use of chemical weapons against (what Moscow considers to be their own citizens in Mariupol) is perfectly legitimate.

              • Francesca


                You have no doubt in an ongoing information and propaganda war??

                NATO and Biden has said that CW are a red line .CW and they're all in .Boots on the ground, rather than just flooding the place with weapons .

                So in whose favour would it be to suggest that Russia might use chemical weapons?Think Russia would be wanting that ?A total vote loser poisoning his own people?How does that make sense?

                Think Zelensky might want to up the ante on that though?

                Zelensky's been pressuring for a no fly zone since the beginning.There's nothing for him to lose by yelling from the roof tops, atrocity, CW, rape and pillage.Every day until he gets what he wants and we all get WW3

                (Which I think we're in covertly anyway)

                • Macro

                  Oh FFS! There is only one perpetrator in this mess and it is not Zelenskiy. Putin needs to declare VICTORY by 9 May. The pressure is on, and a recalcitrant population in Mariupol who want not a bar of Russian oppression are standing in his way of self glorification. So yes it makes complete sense for him to call in someone whom he can rely upon to use any method to rid himself of these maddening people.

          • Francesca

            Are you really prepared to believe every allegation from Zelensky, with no verification whatsoever??

            He's desperate to get NATO in, more arms, debt forgiveness, he'll pull any trick in the book to get it.

            • Macro

              I'm more prepared to believe Zelenskiy, than propaganda from Russian sources. The simple unalloyed fact is that at this present moment in time Russia is committing countless war crimes* and is preparing to commit even more horrendous crimes including land mines and, mining houses, cars with delayed timing explosives, raping and committing sexual violence against women

              *5800 documented today and rising.

              • Francesca

                Yes, these are all Zelensky's allegations.

                He's got a lot to gain by making them

                • Macro

                  No they are not all Zelenskiy's allegations these are war crimes being independently verified by EU, UN and other agencies and you too can see for your own eyes the horrific damage being perpetrated on innocents daily.

                  • Francesca

                    They are not being independently verified .Evidence is being gathered

                    “We are not saying that this specific incidence is a war crime. We cannot establish that yet. That is why there needs to be detailed forensic examinations, for example. That is why there needs to be detailed monitoring and information gathering of what happened to whom, by whom, and on what particular date. Now we are working to do that kind of work, as are other bodies.”


                    • Macro

                      Ok so were are down linguistical niceties now. They haven't been committed they are just being investigated! Seems almost a forgone conclusion however that those investigations will confirm what everyone who has eyes to see knows already.

                      From 2 weeks ago

                      GENEVA, March 30 (Reuters) – Russia may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and destroying hospitals in its pounding of Ukrainian cities, the top United Nations human rights official said on Wednesday in her strongest comments yet on the conflict.

                      Addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet urged Russia to end its five-week invasion.

                      "Homes and administrative buildings, hospitals and schools, water stations and electricity systems have not been spared," she said. "Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes."

                      Bachelet said her office had received credible allegations Russian forces had used cluster munitions in populated areas at least 24 times. Her office was also investigating alleged use of cluster munitions by Ukraine.

                      Russia has denied using such weapons or targeting civilians since launching on Feb. 24 what it calls a "special operation" to disarm and "denazify" its neighbour.

                      Bachelet said that her office, which deploys nearly 60 U.N. monitors in Ukraine, had verified 77 incidents in which medical facilities were damaged, including 50 hospitals.

            • DB Brown

              You seem desperate to blame the victims here.

              Something something propoganda, something something, you're all idiots, something something, Zelensky's committing all manner of things.

              Gaslight much?

              And you tell others to get a grip.

              FFS & PFFT!

  9. Ad 10

    Great to see our government providing active logistical support to the government and people of Ukraine.

    New Zealand Sends C130 Hercules And 50-strong Team To Europe To Support Ukraine | Scoop News

    That's give the RSA's something to cheer about.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Every bit will help. Start small, get some intel and logistics on the ground in what is a tough, fast moving environment and then see what is both possible and likely to work.

    • Scud 10.2

      I doubt the RSA's would be cheering Ad, because those in the RSA & like me know the haste realty of war as the mental & physical scars last a lifetime.

      Cheering War or wanting a war are best to those nationalists Muppets of either side of the political spectrum.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        No none is cheering or wanting war Scud.

        \You yourself are on record seeking to support the Ukrainians – and more directly than NZDF is tasked here.

        This is NZDF doing what it ought, and not entering Ukraine airspace to do so.

  10. Woolly Mammoth 11

    Onanistic gesture, surely?

  11. Joe900 12

    Daley's mob would remain tenants in their own land had they listened to her.

    • Sanctuary 12.1

      Peace will only come from diplomacy, but what type of peace the diplomats decide upon will be decided on the battlefield.

      As Jackie Fisher said – Everyone desire peace, as long it is a peace that suits them.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      When you listen to people like Daley demanding diplomacy when there is no tolerable basis for negotiation – you quickly realise what they really mean is 'surrender'.

  12. Byd0nz 13

    Looks like Uncle Sam put the squeeze on our independent foreign policy pretence as we kowtow to his demands of military support for NATOs war on Russia.

    I would sooner we encourage the end of sending weapons to Ukraine and pushing for a negotiated settlement rather than NATOs stated stance of a military end to the conflict which can only mean a protracted misery for the Ukrainian People who are being used as an expendable pawn in this diabolical Geo Political Game (emphasis on game) of military chess.

    • Sanctuary 13.1

      I assume your bed has an enormous angle built into it to accommodate the mental gymnastics you bed down with every night?

      • weston 13.1.1

        Same could apply to you also sanc i imagine it wouldnt be easy managing your pillows around that conspicuously large nose ring .!!

      • Byd0nz 13.1.2

        Inane reply. Sanctuary.I assume your a warmonger who rejects dialogue to end a tragedy brought about by NATOs aggression and the UNs inability to debate Russian legitimate security concerns, a debate that could have avoided the slaughter of Ukrainians and the people of the Donbas. But how could a warmonger like you begin to grasp my peaceful point of view.

        [lprent: I hardly think that NATO accepting the requests of nations to join a mutual defence treaty is aggressive.

        Of course neighbouring nations get worried about the frequent Russia troop movements and fostering of breakaway movements with Russian “volunteers” into neighbouring nations without being invited. Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia come to mind. I guess that Russia is worried that these activities might come to an end if all its neighbours join military mutual defence agreements. Is that what you mean by ‘aggressive’.

        However, I don’t see anything explaining “…NATOs aggression…”, perhaps you could point to uninvited non-UN supporting troop interventions by NATO. And as far as I am aware the UN has no capability to intervene with defence alliances.

        I’m getting tired of this kind of lack of linking or explanatory bullshit – looks like astorturfing to me. Unlike the UN I can decide on exactly what is an unlawful access here.

        You’re not getting close to ‘robust debate’. Banned for 2 weeks to reflect on that. If you can’t achieve the standard of robust debate, then I’ll look at escalating the bans up to permanent. ]

        • roblogic

          Byd0nz’s “peaceful” point of view is idiocy. Russia rolling out their tanks armies and flattening cities is just a “security concern”, but NATO considering extending a treaty of cooperation to Ukraine is warmongering aggression???

          Here’s a fact check of your claims about the Donbas.

          Too much Fox News and RT rots the brain.

          • Byd0nz

            Another DH missing the point. That of Russian legitimate security concerns put to the UN and totally disregarded by that body.

            So, say Russia was to reinstate missiles to Cuba and some Central American Countries that the US shat on, you wouldn’t call that aggressive then, you don’t think the US would go all apeshit about that and seek a UN debate in the Security Council. Or would your hypocrisy prevail?

            The whole Ukraine situation need not have happened if the Security Council acted responsible instead of allowing the US to call the shots. Unless you consider the Ukrainian attacks and killings in the Donbas since 2014 then your tears for Ukraine are crocodile tears and show up your warlike nature.

            • roblogic

              The present invasion and war crimes shows that Ukraine's security concerns were legitimate, and Russia's rhetoric was pure bullshit to obscure Putin’s dream of violently installing the Empire of Greater Russia

        • lprent

          See mod note.

        • adam

          perhaps you could point to uninvited non-UN supporting troop interventions by NATO

          Second Iraq war, The booming of Libya, I'll give you the UN supported a no fly zone over Libya, but the booming they did not.

          What was NATO set up for, to offer mutual defence against the old Soviet Union and it's then allies in the Warsaw Pack.

          So what about the agreement to not expand the NATO? That deal has not been honored, and it's not a stretch to point out that Russia is being encircled.

          Like the encircling of China with military bases is a non- aggressive act as well?

          Totally agree Russia is a bad actor with it's neighbours, but then again, what power in the world is not a wanker in that regard?

          But back to the point, flooding Ukraine with weapons is stupid, it just means more civilians are going to die. And what the hell is wrong with trying to negotiate a peace settlement? And how the hell did sanctury add to a ‘robust debate’?

          • Incognito

            And how the hell did sanctury add to a ‘robust debate’?

            Unless you want to get dragged into being moderated as well you better stay out of moderation, especially when it goes like this: but what about X? He started it!

            In any case, 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

            Happy commenting, and stay away from moderation angel

            • adam

              I'm not moderating, I was adressing the point.

              Edit: removed grumpy response.

              • Incognito

                Ok, here goes, just for you: stay out and away of moderation of others, don’t interfere, and don’t litigate. It is a sure way of pissing off Mods (e.g. me) and it is spelled out here, not just for you, but it seems you need a refresher: (i.e. wasting Mod time and arguing with moderation).

                Unfortunately, I did read your “grumpy response”, which was visible for 8 mins before you edited it. That was a smart move, BTW devil

                Let’s drop this and move on angel

          • roblogic

            The wiki page for NATO has a more balanced perspective on the interventions you mentioned. They were not unilateral at all, but done by request of parties under assualt from ISIS or the ravages of civil war. It’s never simple

  13. Ad 14

    A key NZ Government department is having to essentially re-nationalise supply of a vital commodity because New Zealand was and is under too much control from one main company.

    NZTA taking control of NZ's supply of bitumen for roading – NZ Herald

    With such a pressing intervention logic by a Crown entity required for (almost) the whole of New Zealand roading, bitumen supply should have featured in the Commerce Commission decision about the sale of Z Energy.

    If this is what our resilient oil supply looks like, we are in serious trouble.

    • aj 14.1

      Having just paid a large sum for a double chip seal of an old 200m sealed drive, I totally support the NZTA's decision.

    • Graeme 14.2

      It's not really a recent occurrence. I was involved in surfacing in the late 80's and bitumen was referred to as 'black gold', the margin in the stuff was absolutely eye watering.

      The company I worked for was 100% opened by BP, the main opposition near 100% by Shell. At least there were two companies kind of hammer and tongs on the pricing, but really both were strongly protecting their margins, not in a fight for domination.

      At a previous employer the Borough Engineer was gutted we had a gasometer hole full of coal tar we couldn't use and had to pay for bitumen form the oil companies. The coal tar was a waste product from the town's old gas works and had kept the towns roads and footpaths sealed for ever, and virtually for free. Unfortunately a little harsh on the environment, and the workers. Didn't have any weeds in the footpaths or cull-de-sac heads though.

    • roblogic 14.3

      So we are incrementally rebuilding the old Ministry of Works? 👍🏼

      • pat 14.3.1

        No, the MoW was more than just a bunch of guys leaning on shovels….it was a counter to the bean counters at Treasury who viewed everything from a finance perspective…The old MoW had huge expertise and influence on previous governments because they could argue the economics of the real economy.

        • roblogic

          Renationalise Fletcher's! And Winstone wallboards while we're at it. Build up some stockpiles. Just in time supply chains are not resilient. And the power of Rogernomics capitalism has failed the housing market. It has delivered super profits to the capitalists though.

          • pat

            Fletchers have never been a Gov business….though they certainly grew with Gov largesse…so it would be impossible to "renationalise Fletchers"

        • Poission

          And the training schools in Vogel street,for Engineers,QS and draughtsman

          • pat

            And all that implies…direct gov access to impartial expertise…and all pre paid.

            • Poission

              The concept designs,QS etc to near shovel ready was a big saving,(and no margin)

              • pat

                And we threw it away…it would take years if not decades (if ever) to regain it…the height of stupidity.

                • Poission

                  There was a lot of IP, that was pretty much given away both at MOW and the Local councils with good design capability. WCC quarry and street works dept,could not afford new rock crushing equip,so they built their own,where it used rock on rock to reduce size,eliminating friction,and cheaper to run,

                  • pat

                    Given away is right….we were once upon a time world leaders in all sorts of tech….until Douglas and co sold us out….and not just MoW…DSIR was another well of expertise.

  14. Jenny how to get there 15

    Post-truth politics

    From Wikipedia

    …Post-truth politics' historical nature has also been discussed with regard to more traditional areas of communication and journalism studies such as propaganda and disinformation.[8][9]

    As of 2018, political commentators and academic researchers have identified post-truth politics as ascendant in many nations, notably Australia, Brazil, China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others…..

    But for real post-truth politics, instead of competing narratives, only one narrative is allowed. II

    Russia has opened at least three criminal cases against people for spreading what it calls fake news about the Russian army on Instagram and other social media, the Investigative Committee law enforcement agency said on Wednesday.

    "…..A law passed on March 4 makes public actions aimed at "discrediting" Russia's army illegal, and bans the spread of fake news, or the "public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation". Andrei Kolesnikov, a Moscow-based political analyst.

    "I am convinced that this natural and necessary self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to meet any challenge." Vladimir Putin Current President of Russia

    "Putin is intensifying his actions to destroy Russia and is essentially announcing the start of mass repressions against those who don't agree with the regime," he said. "This has happened in our history before, and not only ours." Mikhail Kasyanov former Prime Minister of Russia

    Information Sourced from Reuters March 17, 2022

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [The first part, including the quote from Wikipedia without a link, you’d already said in your previous comment in Micky’s Post, so this is spamming by unnecessary duplication.

    The second part, and again without link, was utterly irrelevant to Micky’s Post and another example of you pushing your own wheelbarrow wherever and whenever you see an opportunity.

    I’m done wasting my time on you and giving your warnings and the next one will be a straight ban – Incognito]

    • Incognito 15.1

      Mod note

      • Jenny how to get there 15.1.1

        Fascism ascendent

        Spain was once Germany's training ground for later atrocities in Europe.. Today, Syria is Russia's training ground for current atrocities in Europe.

        Destruction of cities practiced in Spain by the German Nazis in Guernica, were later carried on in Poland against Warsaw.

        Destruction of cities practiced in Syria by the Russian revanchists against Aleppo, are now being carried out in Ukraine against Mariupol.

        Don't support fascism. It shouldn't have to be said.

        …..irrelevant nonsense that seems to suggest your fragile ego is still hurting after 5 years. Stop playing the victim, as nobody is interested in your personal baggage and feelings of how unfairly you’ve been treated here.


        12 April 2022 at 1:10 pm

        Mod note

        Yes I am feeling hurt, but not just for myself personally. It is not me that is being treated unfairly, but all for the victims of the Putin regime in Syria, and now in Ukraine. Their suffering has been belittled and dismissed by knowing liars and useful idiots. These misleaders have done their best to undermine the veracity of media reports detailing the atrocities being committed by the Putin regime and its allies.

        The people of Syria who stood up against Assad fascism have had every form of shit thrown at them. Thousands of them are being tortured and murdered and disappeared even today, and millions more have been driven out of their homes and their country. The Syrian people and those who have first hand knowledge of situation have been maligned and slandered and attacked and scapegoated, and silenced, by commenters and authors on this site.


        If I knew what was going to happen when I was Syria I would have stayed. I would have stayed helping the Palestinian refugees in the city of Latakia, maybe I could of helped them, or just been with them, as they were bombed and shelled and then forcibly rounded up and taken to the city's football stadium, many to be disappeared, the rest to driven out of the city and out of the country. The refugee camp out on the coast of the city leveled.

        Instead I had to agonise over the live stream of the refugee camp being straffed from the air, and shelled from the sea.

        When I was in Latakia in the refugee camp a Palestinian man confided to me that, "Assad is no friend of the Palestinians"

        What was the refugees crime?

        To support the popular protests against the Assad regime.


        Why trust in the media is declining

        Written By: MICKYSAVAGE

        Jenny how to get there

        10 April 2022 at 3:45 pm

        The rise of far right influencers and conspiracy theorists might have something to do with it.

        That 'you can't trust the news media' and that 'all politicians are corrupt,' is a time tested far right strategy to undermine democracy.

        My comment as it relates to this post;

        The success of viral conspiracy theories slandering the first responders risking their lives to rescue victims of the fascist bombing campaign against the Syrian people, is just one example of the fake news that has emboldened and encouraged the forces of Far Right extremism and state fascism world wide. And undermined people's faith in the Mainstream Media trying to report this war.

        There is a war on truth going on.

        This website is a microcosm of what is happening throughout the media sphere.

        Excusing genocide, censoring opposing views, slandering the victims of genocide, undermining people's faith in our journalists, and democratically elected leaders empowers the enemies of democracy.

        Now we are on the brink of world war, and we are asking ourselves how did we came to this point.

        Maybe we need to look at ourselves.

        [Let’s start at the end of this melodramatic longwinded reply, which did not address the Mod note at all, and you were mixing up things again and shovelling all shit that you could find onto a big pile of BS with a big signpost that was completely irrelevant to the Mod note:

        Maybe we need to look at ourselves.

        You don’t know the truth, you think you do, but you don’t. Nobody does. You think you’re a defender of and crusader for truth, but believing this doesn’t make it true. These are simply your own opinions about yourself and self-justifications for your own actions & inactions.

        You believe that you can and must judge others by your moral standards. This includes “commenters and authors on this site” and whatever you think is going on at TS, as it is, according to you “a microcosm of what is happening throughout the media sphere.” You’re constantly projecting.

        As such, you’re not contributing to robust debate, but simply moralising & judging, virtue signalling, and spoiling attempts by others to have a genuine debate about controversial and sometimes painful topics.

        You’re not the only one demonstrating this kind of behaviour, sadly, as there are a few other moral crusaders around here who prefer to have a go at anything and anybody whom they perceive to have picked the ‘wrong’ side. Starting your comment the way you did straightaway gives away your game and state of mind; others might cry out ‘reds under the bed’. Discussion is futile!

        Let me remind you that have written literally thousands of comments on this site for over 13 years, at least. That’s the “microcosm” you’ve been inhabiting, freely, willingly, and without undue pressure. The people running this site have given you free-range and let you roam. Yet, all you can do is moan and complain and you still don’t abide by the simple rule of no more than 10 links per comment. In my personal opinion, most of what you write is an utter waste of time, with appalling formatting & editing and so much irrelevancy, but you’re free to do so here, as long as you follow the very simple rules of engagement of this site ( Because when you don’t, you become an actual waste of my time as Mod – Incognito]

  15. joe90 16

    If true, they're eating their own.

    Colonel General Sergei Beseda, head of the Fifth Service of the FSB, is being held in Lefortovo prison.


    The Fifth Service is the only department in Lubyanka that was created by Putin when he was director of the FSB. In 1998 Putin established a tiny directorate to supervise regional sections in charge of recruiting foreign nationals and gave the directorate a large mandate to spy in the former Soviet Union. In twenty years, it became the powerful Fifth Service, Putin’s chosen weapon to keep former Soviet countries in the Russian orbit. And it was run by one of Putin’s most trusted generals at Lubyanka, Sergei Beseda.

    ( Lefortovo prison was an NKVD interrogation and torture facility during the Great Purge )

    • Francesca 16.1

      I dunno Joe

      Why did the Ukrainian negotiator Denis Kireev get taken out by the SBU, no trial , just shot dead in the street?

      • joe90 16.1.1

        Have wartime traitors ever had public trials?

        February 14, 2022, 11:18

        Former first deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank (2010-2014) and member of the Supervisory Board of Ukreximbank (2006-2012) Denis Kireev has been working for the special services of the Russian Federation for many years and leaks information about the purchase of weapons for the Ukrainian army.

        This is stated in the investigation of Channel 5.

        In the operational materials of the FSB intelligence, the Ukrainian banker goes under the operational pseudonym "Khoroshiy". Since 2006, he leaked data to the FSB of the Russian Federation on the purchase of weapons for the armed forces of Ukraine. And also about the enrichment schemes of Ukrainian oligarchs,” says blogger Yaroslav Bondarenko in the investigation.

        It is reported that criminal proceedings were opened on these facts in July 2020, but its results are unknown. At the same time, after the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Kireev continued to maintain contact with curators from the Russian special services.

        The investigation notes that the banker Kireev still continues to communicate with his curators, and for this he travels to Russia every month. This year he has already been to the Russian Federation twice.

        google translate

        • Francesca

          Yes yes Joe, another Ukrainian site.

          Well , according to them they don't vet very well do they?

          Or maybe Russia sympathies are more widespread than they'd like to admit

      • Dennis Frank 16.1.2

        Quite feasible that you would jump to that conclusion but double-agents always run the risk of being taken out by either side. We don't know the details so best to remain agnostic about which did it. I think Ukraine toting him as a nationalist hero points to Russia behind the elimination (mostly likely using a pro-Russian Ukrainian).

        If they believed he was betraying them they'd not bother with the hoopla. I'm just speculating of course. Could be knowledge of his role as a double was limited to a few other players only. Could be he was taken out to prevent him testifying in court.

  16. Pataua4life 17

    Nothing to say sorry about Shane when you speak the truth.

    Least he had more guts than the PM.

    • roblogic 17.1

      It was a calculated shot at the Australian Labour Party and Reti should pull his head in. It’s not Australia’s fault that conditions in the NZ health system are so shitty and we can’t retain staff. Reti should look at his own party’s horrendous track record of freezing health worker salaries before mouthing off

    • Drowsy M. Kram 17.2

      Get some guts, eh?

      Least he had more guts than the PM.

      More balls (maybe), but more guts is debatable. The former Natz deputy leader's "big brain" has let him down (again.) Just imagine ScoMo & Luxfusion – what a pair of nuts.

  17. joe90 18

    1918/40/91. Lithuania knows a bit about Russian invasions.

    We in Lithuania always knew that Russia might be capable of this. We had a taste of a "light" version in 1991, with "only" 14 people killed and about a thousand injured. We constantly tried to forewarn our partners — but for the most part, they thought it was an exaggeration, an example of Russophobia. No, it was simply our fluency in their language; it was expertise and Russo-realism.

    Why are so few willing to listen to this expertise? Even now, priority is given to those few Russian intellectuals who beg us not to equate all Russians with Vladimir Putin, asking us to remember Russia's contributions to world culture. I hear their cries of despair, but how are they constructive or relevant now? We already know, from the insights of Alphonse de Custine to André Gide to Orlando Figes, that throughout the ages the main preoccupation of Russian intellectuals has been "What will the world think about us? Won't the greatness of our cultural façade be diminished?" — and never mind the massacre of Ukrainian innocents. There are also the voices of some Western commentators, both on the left and right, arguing for "understanding" that the current Russian aggression may be a "natural" reaction to NATO expansion in 1997 and afterward.

    I feel that a cultural translation is required, as the Russian intellectuals cannot be impartial and the Western critics often lack basic comprehension of Russian culture and language.

    The latter, arguing that what is happening now is Russia's reaction to NATO expansion, are in fact supporting Putin's mindset: There is no rule of law, no democracy and no national sovereignty; no results of national referendums are valid; the world is just a cake to be sliced by those who happen to hold a knife.

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