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Open mike 12/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 12th, 2020 - 286 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

286 comments on “Open mike 12/07/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Looks like the pandemic has shifted up to 2nd gear in recent months: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12347304

    The worst fears of epidemiologists have been realised: Covid-19 has mutated, and the strain now dominating the world is up to six times more infectious.

    New research published in the science journal Cell cites laboratory research as identifying small changes in the proteins that protrude from the surface of the Covid-19 virus. These changes, which have evolved during the past six months, enhance its abilities to jump between humans – but have not increased or reduced its symptoms.

    The study was conducted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Duke University in North Carolina and the University of Sheffield's Covid-19 Genomics UK research group.

    The team studied 999 British patients being treated for severe infections, as well as conducting laboratory experiments on how effective the virus was at breaching the defences of human cells.

    The researchers revisited their initial work in June after the scientific peer-review process challenged the extent of their findings. The revised results indicate the current strain – D614G – is between three and six times more infectious than the original first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

    That the virus has mutated once implies it may do so again. That the recent mutation enabled it to infect more humans makes it successful as a replicator. Classic darwinism. Folks that don't get the relation between mutation & selection in nature will inevitably start theorising a malignant intelligence possessed by the invading species…

    • Andre 1.1

      The shapeshifting lizard people sent coded signals through the 5G to mutate the Democratic hoax virus.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Yeah, not bad for starters, but things will probably get weirder the more cultural uptake we get on the theorising… 👽

    • Kiwijoker 1.2

      It’s mutated into the Boagvirus.

    • Sacha 1.3

      The other logical mutation is to become less harmful, so hosts are more able to pass it on without dying.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Nat supporter's critique of Nat leader: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12347352

    Third obvious mistake: on Thursday, on camera, he denied Boag was a Woodhouse source and denied talking to Woodhouse. The confession that Boag was a Woodhouse source and that Muller had in fact talked to Woodhouse came the very next day. So, Muller opened himself up to criticism of a lack of full honesty.

    At some point, Muller risks looking so incapable of handling political curveballs that he could make the Government's handling of quarantine facilities look good. At that point, the public stops listening.

    • Halfcrown 2.1

      "At some point, Muller risks looking so incapable of handling political curveballs that he could make the Government's handling of quarantine facilities look good. At that point, the public stops listening."

      I don't think the public are listening anyway with or without the dig against this administration

      Every day we read or hear from the right that this administration is incompetent could not organise piss up in a brewery and they are sooooo incompetent that it is more luck than judgement that the virus in NZ in not out in the community Something I get the feeling a lot of them are praying for so they can say “I told you so”. Remembering we had the likes of Hoskins advising us all how well Australia has controlled the virus and we should look to them for guidance (Yeah Right!) and National screaming to let students in and open “bubbles” as soon as possible for the tourist industry, perhaps some of these right wingers would kindly come on here and enlighten us chapter and verse how they would from day one have handled the pandemic crisis in NZ.

      As I said to a Tory Zealot the other day, shit I feel ever so lucky that I live in a country run by such a pack of “lucky” incompetents

      PM Ardern is thinking of hiring cruise ships to house the arrivals. What a shit hot idea have the cruise ships moored a couple of Ks off shore. Then we will see if any ungrateful shit will try and get out to take some selfies in a supermarket.

      • Just Is 2.1.1

        An exceptional idea, the cruise ships, they could anchor off Waiheke Island, and anyone with enough energy could swim for help from Hosking and Boag

        • woodart

          fantastic idea.

        • Gabby

          Or, just use Waiheke Island. Commandeer the unoccupied air bnbs.

          • Just Is

            Great idea, the Govt could comandeer the whole Island under emergency regulations and force the occupants out.

            I've lived on Waiheke and know it's to far to swim to any where else.

            Seriously though, an Island in the Gulf could just be the solution, easy to maintain the border.

            • Halfcrown

              Somes Island in the middle of Wellington Harbour used to be an isolation hospital

              • observer

                Every simplistic idea of an island fortress ignores the fact that a lot of people need to be transported there.

                Medical staff taking the tests, guards keeping the people isolated from each other, suppliers of food and other basics, etc.

                Managed self-isolation is not quarantine, that's the whole point. If one person has the virus they risk infecting others. Internal security is just as important, and that needs a lot of people. Otherwise it's just an incubation island, and we would end up with vastly more cases.

                • Halfcrown

                  Not my idea sunshine, I am just stating the fact that Somes was used as an isolation island as Waiheki Island was suggested.

                  I could not give a shit if it is simplistic, complex, or whatever.

                  • observer

                    That's your luxury and mine. We can do Random Reckons, no charge.

                    The people running them do have to give a shit. To save lives.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        I mean, cruise ships will be cheap these days. But they've proved to be petrie dishes time and time again – the ventilation will have to be retrofitted with better filters, for a start.

        • Halfcrown

          Agree with that McFlock. All I know is this, if these self entitled bits of shit are going to put me, my lovely family very dear and close friends and all New Zealanders at risk because they feel the rules don't apply to them they should be isolated for the whole quarantine time in a more secure facility . Be it Waiheki, Somes, a cruise liner or down Waihi gold mine as far as I am concerned. I could not give a shit or care less where it is provided the arsoles cannot excape from the quarantine facility.

          • observer

            What about the 99.9% who are not arseholes?

            • Gabby

              Well they're not a problem, are they.

            • Halfcrown

              What about them? They are not the problem also not arseholes.

              • observer

                How do you separate them in advance?

                Honestly, I have no idea what you are saying here. Are you saying that the thousands of people in managed self-isolation should be on cruise ships/islands/somewhere else … or not?

                Or are you saying that they should remain where they are, following the rules? So we should only take the 4 people who left the facilities, and put them on cruise ships or islands or something? Even though those escapers have been arrested and are either already in custody or facing court charges?

          • McFlock

            Bit harsh, there.

            Some of the danger those 4/30k put us in is because of our own contact tracing shortcomings and the low surveillance testing rates.

            Now, a single bad apple does spoil the barrel, but even I would think twice about sticking people in a hell-hole just because four people were dicks.

            • Gabby

              Just the four dicks.

              • McFlock

                I think 3 of them are back in iso and will face charges when they get out. Mr trash-a-telly went straight to gaol, so they're doing the prosecution by video.

                But the three make me giggle – maybe they'll get out of iso legally, then get home detention? lol

              • Incognito

                Don’t be sexist, one was a woman.

            • Halfcrown

              "Bit harsh, there."

              Agree there but only applied to those who feel they don't have to play to the rules.

            • Just Is

              Hang on, I wouldn't call Waiheke Is a hell-hole just cos Boag and Hosking live there

  3. ScottGN 3

    So Amy Adams is now fronting National’s attack lines on the quarantine escapees? Woodhouse has gone to ground and Muller is having a cup of tea and a lie down?

    • pete 3.1

      I read the stuff from Adams. Straight out of ASSOC – Adams Smarmy School of Crap.

  4. I feel a little like Horton having a 'who.' I have a reckon to share with all – but remember, it's only a 'reckon!'

    I reckon Hamish Walker is the fall guy – he took the hit for the Natz to try to stem the blood-letting.

    If he walks into some well-paid sinecures in the business world soon after leaving parliament, I reckon my reckon might just be true.

  5. ScottGN 5

    Linda Clark is totally demolishing the Nats and their motives and modus operandi on Radio NZ right now.

    • Yep, and IMHO I think she's accurate about the different gNatz factions – i.e. the 'old school' (almost all gone) operating with a few principles, versus the new breed (including the pompous Woodlouse) who want to win at all cost. Interesting too the email/communication Harman has received from one of the more principled.

      I've never voted for the buggers, but there used to be a few around who were basically 'good people'. McKinnon, for example, was concerned about prisoner rehabilitation and getting prisoners prepared for life after lockup. Spud was a bit of a dip, but one with a few principles. Even the man from the Eastern suburbs whose name should immediately spring to mind is probably wondering what's happened to his wonderful National Party.

      • Pat 5.1.1

        the cult of the individual happened

        • Ed

          The cult of the individual also explains the people who can't make sacrifices for the team.

          We so need a return to socialism on New Zealand.

          And the world.

        • OnceWasTim

          Yes it did! It also almost explains how people/peers one grew up with, and who shared similar beliefs (the importance of community, an egalitarian society et al) came to change their spots – some now some of the most selfish arseholes you could find anywhere. I sometimes wonder whether they were frauds to begin with

          • greywarshark

            Pavlovian responses – when you study marketing and find out how much 'behavioural' psychology delving into people's psyche and how attitudes can be changed to suit some group, they know more about our thinking than we do ourselves. That's why we need to learn more about our minds, our thinking – The proper task of learning for man is man – somebody wise said that or similar.

      • Anne 5.1.2

        I can add to that list of principled National Party cabinet ministers;

        Jim McClay

        Brain Talboys

        Duncan McIntyre (blotted his copy book in the end but basically decent)

        Hugh Templeton

        George Gair

        And going further back:

        Jack Marshall

        Ralph Hanan

        Tom Shand

        If any of the above are in graves they would be spinning like tops now.

        • I Feel Love

          Marilyn Waring, has done incredible work.

          Andrea Vance has an opinion piece up too, saying Dirty Politics is still alive in the National Party, that it's embedded.

          • Anne

            Yes, I forgot Marilyn Waring. She's one of the few left still alive and I hope she's enjoying the moment because what Muldoon and co. did to her was beyond shocking. And in those days there were no avenues through which victims like Marilyn could seek justice…no human rights and privacy commissioners, no formalised legal entities to assist them. They were on their own with no support.

            • mary_a

              @ Anne ( … Yes. Marilyn Waring and another decent National politician, Michael Minogue crossed the floor together voting against Muldoon. Mr Minogue died some years ago.

              • Anne

                Oh dear, I forgot him too. Mind you, MM wasn't past being a tad provocative from time to time.

        • OnceWasTim

          /agree, and with Marilyn Waring.

          I'm wondering how many of them (still alive) might start talking – in the interests of their precious Party. After all, we do need a decent opposition. Hopefully one that's not too big though. 🙂

        • Ed

          Were most of these National Party people before the cult of neoliberalism took over?

        • Halfcrown

          Have to agree with that list Anne could add a few more names like Tony Steel who refuse to go on the party list if he was not elected.

          These were the old school right wing like in Britain where they had McMillian, Heath Just to name two.

          Now we have the NeoCons only interested in money and could not give a stuff about NZ or the welfare of New Zealanders We have had 40 years of this type of rightwing politics since Thatcher in the UK and in NZ that crook Douglas gained control

          • Anne

            I wouldn't describe them as right wing – at least based on today's version of rw. They were politically conservative but they had a socialist streak in them although they would not have welcomed such a description at the time. 🙂

        • greywarshark

          I've got a book by Jack Marshall written for children. I think that shows a higher mind. I also have one by Jon Gadsby and Terry Jones. Great thinkers and kind minds at the core.

    • Ed 5.2

      Will have a listen after Mediawatch.

    • Ed 5.3

      Quite some demolition.

      Mora really isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, is he?

      And he also displays his Tory bias.

  6. observer 6

    Of all the opinion pieces being churned out on National's nasty mess, David Cormack's is one of the clearest and best.

    He takes the trouble to go through the timeline, step by step. First, A happened. Then B happened. Then C happened. Etc.

    Getting this right matters. Muller, Woodhouse & co cannot hide behind the fog of misunderstanding. They knew what they were doing – deliberately misleading the public, at every stage. They still are.

  7. Reality 7

    At last, some opinion writers and commentators are slating National for their very serious lack of moral compass. National's behaviour simply couldn't be shrugged off any more.

    Jacinda as always has behaved with dignity. She could so easily have had a field day (or more aptly, week) over Muller and his 'mates'.

    • Cinny 7.1

      Makes me wonder if they are saving face after the Al Jazeera piece. But I no complain, it's good to see the facts finally being published.

  8. dv 8

    I wonder if the Boag play is to get Kaye to the leadership?

    • Ed 8.1

      Based on response on twitter to Kaye yesterday, this isn't panning out too well for Kaye at the moment…

    • Kaye is unlikely to benefit from this, tainted by the Boag "friendship"

      National voters may choose to abstain, rather than vote for "the pretty little communist", or they may vote for Act.

      A large number of voters were undecided last poll. 15%? That is a big group.

      Still awaiting the TV3 poll from Reid Research, though it is interesting to see National's internal poll giving themselves 32% last week. No mention of Muller's number though.

      • dv 8.2.1

        I was thinking of what reason Boag might have leaked the data. Seemed very odd.

        I agree now its all gone to custard Kayes is tainted too.

        • Robert Guyton

          Kaye beat Arden in winning the seat they both contested in the past.

          A re-run of that battle now would be a great entertainment.

  9. ScottGN 9

    The thing I don’t understand is that Muller has turned out to be pretty bloody hopeless, let’s face it. But behind him are people like Hooten, Ralston and Janet Wilson. What gives? There must be another agenda?

    • Ed 9.1

      Are Ralston and Wilson behind this?


    • Gabby 9.2

      To be fair, Hootie Blowhard's pretty hopeless too.

    • Graeme 9.3

      Or has the whole sordid, hopeless mess that's the National Party has come to the end. They've played the same trick so many times everyone knows the cards and it doesn't work any more, so they've doubled down with worse cards and the whole show's fallen to bits. Spectacularly

      • Robert Guyton 9.3.1

        You've got it, Graeme. I wonder if the rot is so much part of their tree that they'll, even now, not change and send up another squawker soon.

    • bwaghorn 9.4

      My two bit conspiracy theory is that woodhouse is an assassin for the truly shit nat mps , think mark mitchell, and he has killed mullers leadership and now has slunk off to hide till things blow over.

  10. Just Is 10

    Here's a piece from Stuff, it's opinion, but still slams Muller for incompetence


    • Bearded Git 10.1

      Blimey Vance takes National apart…not just Muller. She knows it is all over for this election.

      • Just Is 10.1.1

        I was surprised too when I read it, I thought, how refresing it was to have this whole shambolic affair with National exposed for what it is, and also the History of Nats deceit.

      • Anne 10.1.2

        They can all see the writing on the wall so doing an about face because they don't want to fall out with the probable victors.

        Yes, its my cynical streak but after many years observing the media……

  11. Janty 11

    Just watched Q+A with Jack Tame, he was good. I get a gut feeling Nikki Kaye is telling “porkies” in denying her knowledge of Michelle Boag misdemeanours before it was out in the open. David Seymour was interviewed, is anyone thinking the right could be working on a National/Act coalition, could this possibly happen?? By the way The Standard is an excellent site, informed and intelligent.

    • Ed 11.1

      Here is the link for the interview with Nikki Kaye.

      Jack Tame interview with Nikki Kaye on TVNZ Q and A

      What I took from the interview……

      Kaye has close links with Michelle Boag. Her 'second mother.'

      Kaye and Muller do not seem to be in regular touch.

      Kaye dodged answering straightforward questions.

      Kaye likes using the word 'gutting' and 'gutted'.

      Michael Woodhouse is in deep trouble.

      Jack Tame was not at all convinced…….

      The timeline does not stack up.

      The interview posed more questions that it answers.

      I used to respect Kaye – no longer.

      • observer 11.1.1

        Her "perception" line was insulting. Repeated several times. Yes, it's *our* fault for hearing Todd's own words, and us thinking he meant to say them.

        This was a scheduled, set-piece interview. She would have prepared her lines carefully. And that's the one she went with?

      • Anne 11.1.2

        I gave her full credit for fronting up to what she knew would be an incredibly tough interview.Then at the end she spoiled it by trying to compare Hamish Walker's action to that of David Clark's action at the start of the lockdown.

        Both amounted to poor judgement, but one was unintentional and no-one was hurt by it, and the other was deliberate and left 18 unwell people and their families deeply hurt and distressed.

        They can't help that nasty streak can they.

        • Peter

          Spoiled it by mentioning Clark? " … the other was deliberate and left 18 unwell people and their families deeply hurt and distressed?"

          What was damaged was far beyond the 18 people and their families.

          It was and is about the confidentiality of information held officially. It's about ethics. It's about dirty politics.

          Kaye is bright enough to understand that. My only dealings with Kaye had me coming away thinking she was a weasel. I haven't changed my mind.

          She is bright enough to know that Clark is a straw she can clutch to. Not clutch to as some sound, intellectual argument, but to deflect from what she knows but cannot face up to enough to speak of.

          When she holds up that straw she deserves to be condemned even more. The act of desperation will be picked up by the defensive, desperate, embarrassed and thick among her party's supporters as a talisman of their righteousness.

          You give her credit for fronting up and merely 'spoiling' things? Fronting up and then acting as intentionally as her scumbag colleagues isn't just spoiling things.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.3

        "I think there's a couple of things here, Jack".

        Just awful.

        • Sacha

          Quite a smart line – forces interviewer to let you talk longer than ‘one thing’ would. They do have some media training going on, just not good enough raw material to work with.

          • Robert Guyton

            Deputy Leader of the National Party, Nikki Kaye would have us believe that she didn't ask Boag any questions because her "second mother" was crying??? Questions that a Deputy Leader ought to ask, without resile? What softies Michelle Boag and Nikki Kaye turned out to be; overwhelmed by emotion to the exclusion of reasonable discourse. Completely believable, of course. Todd Muller too, refrained from asking Michael Woodhouse any straight questions as well, for fear of provoking tears, I suppose. Perhaps we ought to soften our approach to these snowflakes, for fear of a melt-down?

            • Sacha

              I found that part of Kaye's explanation plausible. Muller on the other hand..

      • anker 11.1.4

        Anybody a bit sick of National playing the victim card in this…..Kaye "people have lost their jobs". "Its understandable Boag was crying on the phone to me"

        As Linda Clark put it so well about Boag stating she had an unhealthy relationship with politics "Michelle is in the business of PR. She does it well". I can't help but agree…….Boag every utterance is likely tilted to her comeback.

        6 years after the book Dirty Politics, National are finally being exposed…………long overdue

      • Treetop 11.1.5

        I need to re listen to the Tame/Kaye interview. Kaye compromises herself by even ringing Boag once. A simple text from Kaye to Boag saying I am unable to contact you for now would have been wise.

        Kaye raises how Woodhouse deletes the emails and what the right thing to do is, is to go to Heron. Muller needed to go to Kaye about Woodhouse and a statement from both Muller and Kaye that discussions are occurring with Heron. Kaye, Muller and Woodhouse were doing damage control without knowing what all the facts are between the 3 of them.

        So why did Muller not tell Kaye about Woodhouse and did Muller not do so because he did not want Kaye to ring Boag?

        And when Kaye found out about Woodhouse she did ring Boag.

        Muller might be looking for a replacement for Kaye, that is what I would do and back bench Woodhouse.

        Probably the only fact that I will not question is that Boag would be deeply distressed by her behaviour.

        • anker

          Treetop I doubt Michelle was deeply distressed by her behaviour. More deeply distressed that the whole racket is getting exposed.

          Appointing Michael Heron to investigate good move by Hipkins.

          I wonder if National thought come clean early lose a scalp or two, the move on.BTW Todds time in Chch didn't seem to go so well with saying "Geri build this!" Opened the floodgates for complaints. Reminds me of Basil Faulty during the fire drill saying to his guests "you are happy with the hotel" then next thing you know they are all listing their complaints.

          Also has Todd not heard of the term Gerrybuild??????

          The Govt doing well to keep their mouth more or less shut at the moment.

          Labour 57

          National 24

          Greens 11

          Act 5

          NZ first 3

        • Patricia Bremner

          Kaye is unlikely to benefit from this, tainted by the Boag "friendship"

          National voters may choose to abstain, rather than vote for "the pretty little communist", or they may vote for Act.

          A large number of voters were undecided last poll. 15%? That is a big group.

          Still awaiting the TV3 poll from Reid Research, though it is interesting to see National's internal poll giving themselves 32% last week. No mention of Muller's number though.

    • Cricklewood 11.2

      Biggest long term risk to the left this election is Labour doing the impossible and getting 50 percent and both the Greens and Nz First falling below 5 percent.

      The right of National will likely shift their vote to Act possibly getting them close to 5 percent and with an electorate deal and handful of Mps.

      This will matter when it comes to the 2023 election when Lab could end up in a situation where natural coalition partners are thin on the ground and we end up with a Nats Act govt unpicking the knitting as it were….

      • Cinny 11.2.1

        I can confidently say that the Green's won't fall below 5%

        • weka

          I think it's unlikely. Not impossible though, given how many left wing voters don't support them generally.

          • Just Is

            Hi weka, the other day you mentioned a lot of issues around erros for names or email addresses, today I encounted a problem, google chrome had been making suggestions which resulted in an error occurring. A nuisance it was.

            Hope this helps

            • Incognito

              Interesting, it could be Auto-Correct and/or Auto-Complete settings in browsers. Poor Lprent is working hard trying to figure out what the problem(s) might be. I reckon 99.9% is an ‘error’ at the client side.

              • weka

                could be both. If it's user only, how would you account for the increase in recent months?

                • Incognito

                  Lack of daylight leading to inattention 😉

                  I’ve been patiently (mostly) correcting them; comes with the job as Moderator but it pays well so I don’t mind.

                  • weka

                    I don't think it's any darker this winter than previous ones 😛

                    Yes, it's in part the mod notes that have made me aware of just how much it is happening.

                    I heard there is a 50% pay rise in the offing.

                    • Incognito

                      My performance review with the TS HR Manager didn’t go so well so I’m hoping for 20-25% pay increase. I’m looking for a position on other blog sites but they’re not hiring. I think it is because of Covid because most sites could definitely do with a good Moderator. Some are so bad I’m almost thinking of offering my services for free but that always raises suspicion.

                    • weka

                      I thought we were in it for the love of it 😉

                    • Incognito []

                      Of course we are! The money just helps to pay the bills but doesn’t substitute for the immense job satisfaction I experience every day when I go to bed.

                • Sacha

                  Some coded alteration in field focus while @lprent has been working on something else with the comments form?

              • Anne

                Yeah, I left a comma after my name a few weeks ago.

                Btw, part of the problem seems to be that the cursor sits in the comment box next to the name. Didn't it go straight to the start of the comment section before? If so, that would account for the upsurge.

            • weka

              thanks JI, I'll pass that on.

          • Sacha

            If the Nats stay weak up to election day, Greens should benefit from voters wanting to pull Lab left just like Winston First will from the right.

            • weka

              Maybe, probably. Or maybe there will be another big Lab vs Nat drama in the few weeks before the election and Jacinda will shine and people will vote for her again. It's pretty clear that NZ still doesn't want a strong green government /shrug. Good on the Greens for having pulled Labour leftward and greenward, but I'm not sure the electorate will see it that way.

              • Sacha

                Greens benefit from being the only other option on the left for late vote switches, regardless of their policies.

                • weka

                  Why would people switch if they like JA and what Labour is doing?

                  • Sacha

                    MMP calculus – people seem to vote to reduce the power of a large party. Only takes a couple of percent to make a difference.

  12. AB 12

    Tuned into Q&A a bit late. Saw some guy in a luxurious living room with designer fireplace. He was spouting the sort of dull commonplaces you'd expect from some rando bloke down at the pub. Thought, "wow this guy must have pulled a few tricks to end up with such swanky kit". Turned out it was the 'legendary' Rob (Rod?) Fyfe.

  13. The Chairman 13

    What’s going on in China? And will it impact us?

  14. observer 14

    Today, yet another idiot who wants New Zealand to abandon the inconvenience of due process and an independent justice system:


    ("None of the soft, cuddly touchy rubbish that we keep seeing continuously with these people, they need to be hammered to the full extent of the law.
    If these people, who have been looked after and waited on hand and foot, are going to abuse the privilege – lock them up. Don't muck around, lock them up.")

    Cuddly? Continuously? Muck around? There have been 4 cases. 3 resulted in arrest and charge. Of those 3, one (Hamilton guy) is in custody, refused bail. The other 2 are in isolation and will be in court when it is completed.

    So that leaves one person, the most recent case (Waipuna midnight window-breaker). This person is receiving treatment, and is in isolation. We can infer mental health issues are a factor. We do not yet know if they will be charged.

    But never mind, some guy saw something on telly and had a rant. He wants people who are locked up, to be locked up. Why won't the government take control and not waste time with charges and courts, dammit!

    • The Al1en 14.1

      21 years in prison will sort them out 🙄

    • xanthe 14.2

      I dont blame the govt for having to react given that the situation is evolving so quickly and so many things are out of their(our) control.

      so with the benefit of hindsight and not as a condemnation it looks like they need to have some sort of assessment of incoming travelers suitability for managed isolation on arrival. and some travelers diverted to sites with enhanced surveillance and mental health/addiction services. I would be fairly sure that the last two at least (hamilton , waipuna) escapees could have been identified as high risk at such an assessment

      • anker 14.2.1

        But,but but Xanthe apparently our Queenstown business man is a really nice guy according to close associate.

        In an ideal world that would be a good thing to do, but to do a proper assessment would take far more time and resources than available.

        Anyone not cooperating in isolation should go straight to jail or its equivalent.

        Mental health resourses available would be a good idea to people quarantining. If only Todd and Amy were in charge, they would have known this and set this up from the get go. Better team and all that (sarc)

  15. The Chairman 15

    A little old but still well worth a look

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      This bit: "he sheepishly told Todd Muller on Tuesday night that he too had been on the receiving end of Boag’s emails. Woodhouse claimed the emails were unsolicited. Except Boag had told him she had some useful info with which he could attack the Government and could she please have his email address. He gave her his personal email address. I’m not sure if Woodhouse knows what unsolicited means."

      Too many syllables. Younger generations hate that shit. Can't blame him. But if I were Todd, I'd show him the dictionary definition and ask him if he knows the meaning. If he says no, I'd explain that the National Party needs spokepeople who are literate, therefore he fails to qualify. If he says yes, I'd explain that lying to the leader of the National Party is behaviour incompatible with being a Nat spokesperson.

      A clever leader can always use political dialogue to eliminate non-performing spokespeople. In the example I've described, the binary option hinges on truth-telling, but the design creates a lose/lose outcome regardless, for the hapless one. Machiavelli could be channelled by Hooton (after sufficient tokes) presuming Todd is unable…

  16. Robert Guyton 17

    Michelle Boag – "Second Mother of the Nation".

    She makes us so proud!

  17. aj 18

    Q&A with Seymour. Early on, portrays NZ tax as 'highest tax rates on the Pacific rim".

    A bit later when describing the advantages of NZ, one of them was "our low tax rates". Tame should have picked up on that contradiction

  18. The Chairman 19

    Is the Green's new tax policy a vote winner? Or will it turn voters off?

    With Labour showing little enthusiasm for it, it's unlikely to get much traction being implemented unless the Greens make it a bottom line in negotiations.

    Should they make it a bottom line?

    • bwaghorn 19.1

      I hate wealth taxs . Taxing unrealized profit is shit .

      I have no wealth to tax by the way .

      • The Chairman 19.1.1

        The tax fails to capture the likes of the banking sector, who own very little in assets, yet make a powerful load of money, whilst capturing some that aren't that well off but live in a city where house prices have boomed.

        Those that hate it have little to be concerned about unless the Greens make it a bottom line.

    • Andre 19.2

      I pay what is effectively a wealth tax, in the form of Cullen's Foreign Investment Fund tax, on retirement savings in the US built up in the decade I worked there.

      As a US citizen, I am also obliged to pay tax in the US when their calculated tax bill is higher than what I already pay in NZ. Because the US taxes capital gains and New Zealand does not, I have also paid substantial capital gains taxes to the US.

      The total amount I have paid in capital gains taxes is waaay more than the total wealth taxes (FIF) I have paid in New Zealand. Yet the FIF tax irritates the shit out of me every time I have to cough it up, but the capital gains tax does not.

      That's because the capital gains tax liability comes at a time I have the cashflow to cover it, whereas the wealth tax lands at arbitrary times when there isn't a related cashflow to cover it. Indeed, because of exchange rate movements, on occasion I have had to pay FIF tax even when the foreign investment has actually lost in its home currency.

      The way the Greens’ proposed wealth tax is structured will also drive all kinds of undesireable avoidance activity.

      So as far as I'm concerned, the Greens' wealth tax is so ill-conceived and unfit for implementation I am going to have a very difficult time voting for the Greens. Labour may get my vote this time around, even though my highest voting priority by far is around environmental issues. Because the proposed wealth tax is such a crap idea.

      • Sacha 19.2.1

        So you will not vote Greens over a policy that is unlikely to survive coalition negotiations with Labour? Whereas their environmental ones are.

        • Andre

          As far as I'm concerned, that policy is so ill-conceived that it raises serious questions about the judgement and fitness for office of those that propose it.

          • Incognito

            Labour will welcome you with open arms. It’ll be a vote for status quo, IMHO.

            • Andre

              Yeah, status quo is a big smelly dead rat for sure. But it's still easier to choke down than an attempt to step in a really crap direction.

              • Incognito

                When ticking the box a large number of steps are taken all at once, and not all in the same direction. Take one forward, and two backwards. A famous quote by Neil Armstrong comes to mind but I can’t recall it.

          • Sacha

            that policy is so ill-conceived that it raises serious questions about the judgement and fitness for office of those that propose it

            National are looking mighty good right now.

    • anker 19.3

      Friends of mine who are dissapointed the Govt haven't done more for beneficiaries are voting Green

    • RedBaronCV 19.4

      A wealth tax should be a backstop. It's easier to tax higher incomes at higher rates ( with the loopholes extinguished. Trust rates = top personal rates, Imputation credits use it or lose it) to stop excessive tilt then use a wealth tax at a much higher level than the greens proposal to reduce past inequities.

      We could also do with some ways to tax the offshore investors who have a bolt hole etc here. And possibly some form of resource tax that in the early stages is offset against company tax due. So if you take water you are taxed, send it offshore as is it becomes the final tax pretty much. Use it for something onshore then it's offset against the company tax due.

      Likewise we could do with a border tax for goods coming from countries that have slack health and safety and labour laws. We just import those slack rules by default- it would need some further thought to create a grey list of exemptions.

      • The Chairman 19.4.1

        Some interesting proposals, RedBaron.

        A wealth tax at a much higher level of wealth would have gained the Green's proposal more support IMO.

        • RedBaronCV

          I agree that a wealth tax at a much higher level could have gained the Greens more support. My gut feel is that the greens didn't have enough expertise to fall back on when designing their wealth tax.

          It's never going to be easy to administer but unless you capture the wealthy residents who have a bolt hole here and billions overseas and the ones with a super yacht and a helicopter pad in the back yard it's not going to be considered a wealth tax by the rest of the peeps.

  19. The Chairman 20

    China vs the US, some food for thought

  20. The Chairman 21

    The New Zealand Public Party is engaging in talks with all the minor parties in the hope that they will come together under one banner. They plan to post updates on this.

    How do you think they’ll get on?

    • Ed 21.1

      Did you see John Pilger's 2016 documentary 'The Coming War on China.'?

      Here is the trailer. The full film is also up on Youtube.


      Warning – the film is not for the fainthearted.

      Caitlin Johnston reviews the film as follows.

      'As we've been discussing for years now, the relentless quest of the US-centralized empire-like power alliance for total world domination has put it on a collision course with the surging economic powerhouse of China which refuses to be absorbed into the imperial blob. The empire's continued existence depends upon its ability to undermine China before it grows too powerful or the empire grows too weak to stop its ascent, at which point global hegemony becomes impossible and we are living in a truly multipolar world."


      • Wayne 21.1.1

        A China US war is not going to happen. Both nations are nuclear powers. China has a huge military presence in its immediate region. Way too big a risk for the USN. The continental land masses of the two countries is too great and too invulnerable to be fundamentally threatened by the other nation.

        i have read a huge amount of speculation of this from left and right. It is not going to happen.

        • Ed

          Have you seen the documentary?

          • Andre

            Hmmmm, a video by John Pilger. Spruiked by Caitlin Johnstone. Thanks, but I'll go with a few minutes of rational thought instead.

            • Ed

              On what basis are they irrational? Or is this just your personal belief?

              Is it they they do not unquestioningly support the Empire and neoliberalism?

          • mauī

            Doesn't look like it Ed. It is a superb documentary.

            • Ed

              Not rational…..

              "Pilger is a strong critic of American, Australian, and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist and colonialist agenda. Pilger has also criticised his native country's treatment of Indigenous Australians. He first drew international attention for his reports on the Cambodian genocide.

              His career as a documentary film maker began with The Quiet Mutiny (1970), made during one of his visits to Vietnam, and has continued with over 50 documentaries since. Other works in this form include Year Zero (1979), about the aftermath of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, and Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy (1993). His many documentary films on indigenous Australians include The Secret Country (1985) and Utopia (2013)…….

              …..Pilger won Britain's Journalist of the Year Award in 1967 and 1979. His documentaries have gained awards in Britain and worldwide, including multiple BAFTA honors."


          • Incognito

            What documentary? Your YT clip @ 21.1 that was 1’42’’ long? I thought it was a trailer for yet another Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy: Hole in One.

            • Ed

              That was a trailer for John Pilger's film.

              I found the film confronting and concerning.

              According to Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian,

              "John Pilger lays bare the historical horrors of the US military in the Pacific, exposing the paranoia and pre-emptive aggression of its semi-secret bases. This is a gripping film.A strong corrective to our bland and complacent indifference to the new war-game scenario in the Pacific."

              Here is a Youtube link to the whole film.


              And Bradshaw's review.


              • Incognito

                Thank you, Ed.

              • Andre

                Just in case anyone might be tempted to spend nearly two hours watching a four-year old piece on a topic that's had an awful lot of water under the bridge in the interim, here's a discussion of it from outside that peculiar echo-chamber that includes Pilger in its pantheon of heroes to be unquestioningly worshiped.

                Despite the journalist’s long career of opposing tyranny, oppression, and dictatorship wherever he may find it, Pilger’s loathing of the United States has led him to produce a film that acts as an apology for Chinese totalitarianism, distorts the truth about Asian politics, and presents China as a passive victim in a potential new superpower war. Actually, my sympathy for his intellectual descent is less sincere than my anger; what I watched was an incendiary spectacle that manages to circle the triumvirate of narcissism, ignorance, and propaganda.


                • Morrissey

                  Andre, you're still smarting from your heroine Dame Kim's dismantling by Pilger in 2003.


                  His advice to her on that hilarious yet educational occasion might profitably be taken by your good self: "Read, just read."

                  • Sacha

                    Someone is certainly living in the past.

                    • Morrissey

                      Exactly, Sacha. He needs to get over her humiliation on that long ago evening and (to quote the supporters of Bill Clinton in 1998) move on. To be fair, I don't think Dame Kim has ever recovered; she seems to have doubled down on the lazy recycling of official propaganda for which Pilger so memorably upbraided her.

                    • Incognito []

                      Irony 😀

                    • Sacha

                      Sometimes it's all that is left, a faded husk.

                  • Ed

                    I do not understand Andre's attack on Pilger and Johnstone.

                    Johnstone is definitely in the present.

                    Both are brave advocates against the powerful.

                    • Andre

                      Pilger and Johnstone are both so blinded by their hatred of western societies, particularly english speaking ones, that they have become unable to see, let alone publicise, the very real harms and atrocities committed by non-western authorities. Instead they prefer to falsely attribute all harms in the world solely to these western societies they loathe and pervert themselves into producing apologia and propaganda for truly loathsome totalitarian dictator thugs.

                      And that's the charitable interpretation of the motivation for their actions.

                    • Ed

                      Can you provide some actual evidence to support them 'producing apologia and propaganda for truly loathsome totalitarian dictator thugs'?

                      Or was that an evidence free statement?

                    • Andre

                      Their writings on Assad. Pilger's Serbian genocide denial. Their Putin apologia on topics such as MH17 and the Skripals.


                      This piece covers Johnstone quite well:


                    • Ed

                      Caitlin Johnston's reply to the smear piece to which you posted.


                      If Ben Cohen is one of your source of news, that explains a lot.

                      I prefer to stick with Pilger.

                      "John Pilger has won television academy awards on both sides of the Atlantic — an Emmy Award and a Bafta for a lifetime of work. He holds the United Nations Media Peace Prize and recently was awarded the prestigious Royal Television Society award for best British documentary. Pilger has twice won British journalism's highest award, Journalist of the Year, and has also been International Reporter of the Year."


                      "John Pilger's work has been truly a beacon of light in often dark times." Noam Chomsky

                      Over and out.

                    • Morrissey

                      Andre writes, in apparent high seriousness, that "Pilger and Johnstone are both so blinded by their hatred of western societies, particularly english speaking ones…"

                      That is of course, nothing more than basement-level partisan name-calling, of a calibre identical to that of his hilarious "calling out" of Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and Jeremy Scahill as "useful idiots."

                      Open mike 07/06/2020

                    • Ed


                      Chomsky rates Pilger. Andre does not.

                      Take you pick of who is the best judge of good journalism.

                    • Incognito []

                      Appeal to authority is weak and pathetic, in my perspective.

                    • Morrissey

                      Andre does not read enough to be able to comment with any degree of intelligence on the work of John Pilger. The fact that he has so little discrimination as to actually cite a piece of crap by someone as intellectually wanting as Ben Cohen is a sad commentary on how serious, or otherwise, he is. Perhaps a little more time actually reading—unlike clicking on articles by social media airheads, it takes time and effort, as Pilger reminded Kim Hill—would greatly benefit our Bidenista amigo.

                    • Incognito []

                      Nice put down but maybe Andre just disagrees with your heroes and you on certain (?) issues. Maybe you have done too much reading to grasp and accept this. Maybe your head is too big for your boots. Maybe you should just let it go when you have no proper arguments other than intellectual snobbery and arrogance. Maybe you are just another pompous self-absorbed critic on and of the Left who feels the need to offer impose their reckons as God’s gift to the great unwashed unread.

      • The Chairman 21.1.2

        Did you see John Pilger's 2016 documentary 'The Coming War on China.'?

        Yes, I've seen it. However, as Andre pointed out, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since it was made. Furthermore, it incorrectly paints China as a passive victim. When the reality is, China has been building up their military might and is becoming more aggressive.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 21.2

      NZPP? A distraction; way less than 5% I reckon, in which case a wasted vote, but we’ll see.

      Visited their website – NZPP ‘policies‘ aren’t evidence based, much like the opposition National party's mitherings on our government's generally excellent response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Maybe they’ll scavenge disaffected Nat votes as that party’s support dwindles.

      Honestly, right now there's no place I'd rather be – "We don't know how lucky we are…"

    • Robert Guyton 21.3

      As well as any catherd.

  21. Robert Guyton 22

    "Let me get this straight. Woodhouse is claiming that he's cooperating with an official inquiry that's just been launched while at the same time deleting emails pertinent to that very same inquiry?"


    That's clearly expressed, contrasting starkly with the pabulum from Muller et al.

  22. Chris T 23

    Who are you to criticise how dad brought me back, mortal.

    [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.]

    [If you cannot control your troll urges then I’ve got a solution for you – Incognito]

  23. Ad 24

    Highlights from the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan:

    • Establish a Clean Energy Industry Training Plan to support thousands of people into jobs.
    • Introduce grants to halve the price of installing solar in privately-owned homes, and offer grants and low-interest loans for businesses to transition.
    • Upgrade all 63,000 social and community homes with solar panels and batteries.
    • Ban new industrial coal boilers within the first 100 days in Government.
    • End coal use in Aotearoa by 2030.
    • Create a $250 million Clean Energy Fund which communities can draw from for local renewable energy projects.
    • Simplify planning rules to make it easier to build wind turbines.

    All consistent.

    But one glaring absence is the redistribution of the 16% of national electricity generation that will become available in 2021 once the Tiwai Point smelter ceases operation. Are they unable to join the dots from the largest electricity threat+opportunity that we've faced?

    A second absence is EECA. Under Jeanette Fitzsimmons two decades ago, the Greens won the formation of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency. It's essentially the minor conscience of the state network system. This is the natural home for most of the Green's current proposals.

    Also the Greens have not mentioned structural reform of the Electricity Authority and of Transpower. Under the previous Electricity Authority there was going to be a pricing signal put out that electricity would cost more the further you were away from the generator. This was turned around when then-Minister Collins wrote to the Board saying essentially she could not handle the cost of Aucklanders having their power bills put up – even if it meant Tiwai Point electricity would cost more – so think again please Board.

    So the Board folded like origami, and now we have the results. The new government subsidises the winter power bills of old people up the wazoo, and Tiwai Point is goneburger.

    Surely the Greens could have had some useful policy insight into how price signals are sent to the whole of consumers?

    Finally, since the government still owns over 50% of our main electricity generators, could they not have some policy opinion on what these companies actually do and how their profits are used?

    I want to see a Green party with some structural ambition for all consumers and across all available state sector instruments, not just minor upgrade programmes.

  24. Ed 25

    I have written a post based on Glen Johnson's article.

    Is it possible to have a guest post?

    • weka 25.1

      Hi Ed, can you please post the article here. And tell me a bit about the post. Have you read the submission guidelines?

      • Ed 25.1.1

        Thank you weka for all you do on this site.

        I posted it under Open Mike on 13th July.

        Comment number 5.

        • weka

          One of the things I look for when guest posting is whether the author is willing to do the work to get a post published, or whether they expect me to do the work. You will get a better response if you do the work. I know how to set up guest posts, so please trust me on this.

          Can you please reread my comment above, and answer the question and tell me briefly about the post.

          • Ed

            The post is about the narrative we are being fed about COVID and how the media controls the conversation.
            We are told about the economic impacts – but any conversation about other angles is ignored,
            2 factors in particular :
            a) the woeful condition of our health system after 35 years of neoliberalism
            b) the clear connection between our treatment of nature and the outbreak of COVID and other pandemics

      • Ed 25.1.2

        Here is the post…..

        A different narrative for COVID 19 in Aotearoa

        Over the past few days, an excellent article has been bubbling away below the surface on the Standard and other left leaning websites in the country. Glen Johnson, a New Zealander ‘who has worked as a foreign correspondent in the MENA region for more than a decade’, penned this opinion piece on Al Jazeera.

        His observations on the behaviour of the National Party has been gone over before. In this analysis, I want to look at an aspect of his article that may have been missed. Under the section ‘Omission and the economy’, Glen Johnson makes the following important observation on two key omissions in our corporate media’s coverage of the story:

        “The opposition, business elements and an instinctively conformist media moved quickly to set the agenda, artificially narrowing the parameters of public discourse.

        There were, for example, no deep-dive stories into the state of the health system, eviscerated by aggressive neo-liberalism since the late 1980s, yielding the country acutely vulnerable to COVID-19.

        Little was said about our hyper-globalised societies' increasingly fraught relationship with nature, of which COVID-19 is a symptom.”

        The Standard needs to shine a light on a different narrative to the one we are given by the mainstream press. We should be focusing on the 2 stories Glen Johnson mentions.

        1. The state of New Zealand’s health system. This excellent report by Branko Marcetic describes how The Key government ‘slashed health funding’.

        2. “Our hyper-globalised societies' increasingly fraught relationship with nature”.

        George Monbiot wrote an article in the Guardian in March headed 'Covid-19 is nature's wake-up call to complacent civilisation.' To summarise, his conclusion is that ‘we begin to see ourselves, once more, as governed by biology and physics, and dependent on a habitable planet.’ George is not alone; UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is an ‘unprecedented wake-up call’ for all inhabitants of Mother Earth. Jonathan Safran Foer have explained why 'factory farms are breeding grounds for pandemics.'

        Caitlin Johnston is an excellent independent journalist who writes prolifically on a variety of issues. A key focus of her writing is that we are drip fed a daily narrative to shape our thinking. Most recently she has written a fine passage entitled ‘As Long As Mass Media Propaganda Exists, Democracy Is A Sham.'

        The recent collusion between the New Zealand media and the Dirty Politics brigade of the National Party shows how our own democracy is under threat as well.

        We need to change the conversation.

  25. dv 26

    See act wants introduce and insurance scheme to pay for unemployment

    0.55% of income tax paid and get 60% of average annual income.

    Is that in increase in income tax?

    AND do the numbers work.?


  26. Whispering Kate 27

    Hi Grey I see on Newshub that Michael Baker the Epidemiologist is suggesting that some returnees are presenting with addiction problems and need help staying in isolation for 14 days. He suggested as one of the props to help their stay over being Nicotine patches. I thought to myself maybe my email to the Hon Chris Hipkins (which was then forwarded to Dr Megan Woods) has been actually taken in and discussed. I can hope but its probably such an obvious idea that many others have proffered their opinions as well. But I did the deed and the next day it has been suggested. Amen to that.

    The eminent doctor also suggested health checks and help for other mental health issues. They need to get on top of it whatever the outcome.


  27. Gabby 28

    No reason to expect a lower incidence of mental illness and addiction than in the general population after all.

    • Whispering Kate 28.1

      In that article I posted it said that precautionary people who do long haul flights do take patches and use them. When people on flights get stroppy and have to be tackled and put in their place its probably a booze fuelled but nicotine and drug deprived person losing control. As you say these inbound citizens are just a slice of the usual population.

    • Incognito 28.2

      Not everyone copes equally with the stress of confinement and I don’t see the need to invoke labels such as addiction and mental illness.

      • Whispering Kate 28.2.1

        Even if the stress of being confined is, as you say not a reason to call it a mental health issue – then explain why does a person smash a window and break a fence to get out if it is not a problem they have in their head. By the way having mental health issues should be looked at just like a physical illness – it isn't a label even if you see it as such. Plenty of people have issues with phobias and they need tending to just as you tend to illnesses such as ulcers or a pain in the gut. They are not in a prison and can have walks outside. More in depth health checks should be provided so these poor sods who are suffering confinement are seen to.

        • greywarshark

          Yes Whispering Kate – this propensity for not 'labelling' anybody prevents reality being discussed. Went to hospital for checkup yesterday and had a full, frank and friendly discussion about my various conditions, unfit etc and my heart. Thank goodness there hasn't been a slither away of medical people about fatness as that's another problem I can talk about straightforwardly without it being regarded as reprehensible or shameful; it just is and part of the current trends in society.

      • Gabby 28.2.2

        Why not? Mental illness doesn't go away because it's not nice to 'label' it.

        • Incognito

          Just because you say or do something stupid doesn’t mean you are mentally ill. That’s the label right there. Use it or abuse it and stigmatise people who you dislike and/or disagree with. Even better, call them addicts as well; a double whammy that will ensure no constructive conversation is possible. Labels are convenient ‘tools’ for lazy thinkers who like to jump to conclusions that are immediately followed by judgements and associated contempt – does that ring a bell with you?

          Should those escapees be locked up and have their voting rights revoked too?

          It is fascinating seeing how lefties can quickly turn to into a hard-line righteous moralistic lynch mob when the framing includes the right labels. It is just too easy and yet they blame the media, the biased journalists, right and centre-wide politicians, and just about everybody else instead of having a good look at themselves.

  28. Chris T 29

    Awesome band.

    Well one dude really, but excellent when he gets people in.

    His dad was actually quite a now famous quantum physicist.

    Not that anyone will care, this my fav by them. Needs to be as loud as possible.

    (Apologies if this is a bit spammy, feel free to delete if it is)


    And second fav'


    [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.]

  29. observer 30

    I think this puts Muller's political incompetence into perspective.

    Patrick Smellie suggests a way forward for Todd Muller, a simple mea culpa.

    Now, I don't think that's enough, and I guess most people on here wouldn't either. BUT the point is that we are not his target voters. If Muller did follow Smellie's advice, he would stop the bloodletting, and he might be able to "move on".

    But I suspect Muller is too stubborn and/or stupid to see this. Smellie is giving him a way forward, one that some of his own MPs are probably urging him to take. In short, "Stop digging. Because your opponents will happily hand you a shovel."

    His pride and self-belief won't let him. Awareness score: zero.

    • Muttonbird 30.1

      He's going to have to do something because right now the entire country sees him as 'lying Todd'.

      I mean that was a flat out lie he told on Tuesday and while some of the media have finally done their best to highlight it, most are continuing to go easy on the Nats because they are apparently too big to fail.

      • observer 30.1.1

        I don't think "most" are. Newshub is a strange outlier, but you only need to Google-News "Todd Muller" and you'll find widespread critical coverage. Dozens of examples have been linked on this very blog.

        Muller is hiding, but we can't blame the media for him doing that. The Nats who do pop their heads up get grilled (Kaye on Q&A, Woodhouse on RNZ, etc).

      • Jilly Bee 30.1.2

        Yep, I bet our Toddie was busy at Reconciliation/Confession explaining to his Parish Priest about his porkies and asking for forgiveness before attending Mass today. I wonder how many Hail Marys and Our Fathers and whatever else he has to chant ad infinitum to absolve him of his sins.

  30. Fireblade 31

    Madame Boag.
    By Sharon Murdoch.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 31.1

      Thanks for another Murdoch beaut! Can a mod shrink the image slightly so that all the words 'on the right' are within the frame/border?

      • Fireblade 31.1.1

        The image is the correct width when viewing the mobile version, but the right side gets cutoff on the desktop site. Maybe the mods or Lprent can figure out why it's happening?

        • Incognito

          It happened because the original image was too large. It’s in this recent thread: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08-07-2020/#comment-1727469.

          • Fireblade

            Thanks. I'm still a bit confused. I resized the image to fit in the image preview window width (without changing the aspect ratio), but obviously something still went wrong. I might experiment on some old Open Mikes or maybe just give up using the feature.

            Thanks for your help anyway.

            • Incognito

              I confess it’s all too technical for me too but I do know how to set the width to 550px in the back-end, which is what I did. It’s a new feature (toy) for commenters and it will have some teething problems. My gut feeling is that if the original image is no more than 550px wide, there shouldn’t be any issues. But what do I know?

              • McFlock

                yup – the image is displayed at its actual size, but the "box" comments are displayed in is only 550px at max indent (10 replies all nested).

                If it's 1800px wide, then we only see the leftmost 550px because the hole in the box we peek at it through is only 550px wide. But a 400px picture we can see all of it through the box.

                There's a width setting on the "insert picture" gui, blank defualts to image actual width. People can just put "550" in that.

                • Incognito


                  I have tried the new feature as I’m not visually inclined and I didn’t know that commenters have some control (or not, for that matter).

                  • Incognito

                    Blast! Trying too many things at the same time too quickly!

                    That should read “I have not tried …”.

      • Incognito 31.1.2


  31. joe90 32

    Oh joy.

    Madrid (CNN)Spain’s large-scale study on the coronavirus indicates just 5% of its population has developed antibodies, strengthening evidence that a so-called herd immunity to Covid-19 is “unachievable,” the medical journal the Lancet reported on Monday.

    The findings show that 95% of Spain’s population remains susceptible to the virus. Herd immunity is achieved when enough of a population has become infected with a virus or bacteria — or vaccinated against it — to stop its circulation.

    The European Center for Disease Control told CNN that Spain's research, on a nationwide representative sample of more than 61,000 participants, appears to be the largest study to date among a dozen serological studies on the coronavirus undertaken by European nations.

    It adds to the findings of an antibody study involving 2,766 participants in Geneva, Switzerland, published in the Lancet on June 11.

    There have been similar studies in China and the United States and "the key finding from these representative cohorts is that most of the population appears to have remained unexposed" to Covid-19, "even in areas with widespread virus circulation," said a Lancet commentary published along with Spain's findings.

    "In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable," said the Lancet's commentary authors, Isabella Eckerle, head of the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases, and Benjamin Meyer, a virologist at the University of Geneva.


    • Ed 32.1

      Any chance Johnson, Trump or Bolsonaro will be shown that?
      And change their policies as a result.

      As you say, oh joy…..

    • joe90 32.2

      Tragedies no doubt, but I'm all out of empathy for the willfully ignorant.

      "I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it's not."

      Those were the final words of a 30-year-old patient who died at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio this week after attending a so-called "COVID party," according to the hospital.


      • Macro 32.2.1

        An epidemiologist, an ICU doctor, and a scientist all walk into a bar.

        I'm just kidding – they know better.

        • I Feel Love

          shit finally hitting home with the USians, Trump wearing a mask, Republican states talking about going back into lockdown, Tuckers script writer sacked for his secret racist sexist troll account, heat wave, storms, … the greatest country in the world!

    • xanthe 32.3

      This also means if true that the effort to find a vaccine will fail !

      • joe90 32.3.1

        Or they don't want the competition to develop a vaccine.

        It might be the next best thing to a coronavirus vaccine.

        Scientists have devised a way to use the antibody-rich blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors for an upper-arm injection that they say could inoculate people against the virus for months.

        Using technology that’s been proven effective in preventing other diseases such as hepatitis A, the injections would be administered to high-risk healthcare workers, nursing home patients, or even at public drive-through sites — potentially protecting millions of lives, the doctors and other experts say.


        But the idea exists only on paper. Federal officials have twice rejected requests to discuss the proposal, and pharmaceutical companies — even acknowledging the likely efficacy of the plan — have declined to design or manufacture the shots, according to a Times investigation. The lack of interest in launching development of immunity shots comes amid heightened scrutiny of the federal government’s sluggish pandemic response.


        Advocates for the immunity shots say businesses are reluctant to invest in a product that could soon be replaced by a vaccine, so the government should offer financial incentives to offset that risk. Billions of federal dollars are already being spent on vaccine research through Operation Warp Speed, and funding for an IG shot that could serve as a bridge to a vaccine would come with a relatively modest price tag, they say.


      • Incognito 32.3.2

        No, it does not say or mean that at all. Please read the comment again and preferably the links in it too.

        From the one Lancet article:

        Our study only detected IgG antibodies, but the extent of the immunity they provide is unknown at this moment. However, cellular immunity, which was not evaluated here, might also play a role in protecting against SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.

  32. The Chairman 33

    Here's one for the anti-vaxxers

    [It looks like you’re sliding back to your old habits of posting open-ended questions without stating your own opinion and (long) video clips without any commentary as to why anybody should click and watch those. If you want to debate here then start with stating your opinion and arguments in favour of it, and saying that you’re concerned does not constitute an argument, it’s a feeling. Don’t just spam the site with empty fluffy comments and other trivia as you’re wasting people’s precious time and sucking them into hollow rabbit holes of concern and word-fuckery. Please don’t let this go any further because I won’t let it escalate with the election coming closer. Please don’t argue with me either because I’ve been there, done that – Incognito]

  33. Drowsy M. Kram 34

    Wow, The more left than mostChairman is back on OM in all his 'political probing glory':

    "What’s going on in China? And will it impact us?" @13

    "A little old but still well worth a look" [The Deep State Hiding in Plain Sight] @15

    "Is the Green's new tax policy a vote winner? Or will it turn voters off?" @19

    "China vs the US, some food for thought" @20

    "The New Zealand Public Party…" "How do you think they’ll get on?" @21

    "Here's one for the anti-vaxxers" @33

    Are there any local topical political issues that might also be worth mentioning? Just wow
    "As transparent as a transparent thing."

  34. Fireblade 35

    RNZ Sunday Panel with Linda Clark and Richard Harman.

    The first part of the audio discusses Boag, Walker, Woodhouse, Muller and the seriousness of what has occurred.


  35. weka 36

    Entertaining thread after an American tells lies about NZ/makes a tit of themselves.

    Couple of reply gems,

    • weka 36.1

      • observer 36.1.1

        The ignorance on that thread is breathtaking. They seem to genuinely believe we're living in a gulag.

        • weka

          Kind of scary how ignorant. And in the age of internets, it's willful.

        • Peter

          Berenson is jut another American living in an embarrassed country trying to make himself and other losers feel better by finding someone to belittle and bully. His ignorance will go down well at home amongst those like him.

          It ain't over 'til it's over and all that but it was a good night in the crowd at the rugby last night but a bit windy for the match in Wellington today.

          Meanwhile the four states in the US with populations closest to that of NZ:

          Minnesota 5,640,000. Covid cases 41,600 deaths 1,547

          South Carolina 5,148,000. Covid cases 57,400 deaths 951

          Alabama 5,903,000. Covid cases 52,000 deaths 1,114

          Louisiana 4,648,000. Covid cases 77,900 deaths 3,402

          New Zealand 5,002,000 Covid cases 1,544 deaths 22

          Berenson can keep his wonderful country with their wonderful individual rights where the president can have individual citizens with their individual rights attacked in the streets so he can have a photo taken by a church.

          And where ordinary people with their individual rights have the right to be treated fairly in a criminal justice system but some have far better individual rights depending on whether they are a friend and accomplice of the president.

          I'm not on his forum, twitter or whatever it is. If I was I'd tell him this stuff.

  36. observer 37

    Another day, another call for another exception …

    And as usual, with vague assurances about theoretical safeguards which will of course be totally different from the actual safeguards.

    Tell you what, let's fund our Covid health response with a bond system. Every business (or opposition MP!) calling for some special treatment will pay a huge upfront fee, refundable only if there are zero cases resulting. Otherwise they lose the lot. Put a price on the promises. That should shut them up.

    • anker 37.1

      Madness re calling for cruise liners to return……………………and begging the question do they seriously think there are people in the world at this point in time thinking "yeah lets do a cruise, great idea, what could possibly go wrong"

      • Incognito 37.1.1

        Shipwrecking, food poisoning, Legionnaires’ disease, sea sickness, et cetera.

  37. Ed 38

    If the media has any integrity, there should be a queue of journalists queuing tomorrow to question the honesty of Muller, Woodhouse and Kaye.

  38. Muttonbird 39

    I hope the media savage Rimmer's welfare policy this week.

    Rich people who lose their jobs can claim up to $60,000 of taxpayers money and avoid the "stigma" of claiming a benefit.

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