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Open mike 12/11/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 12th, 2021 - 129 comments
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129 comments on “Open mike 12/11/2021 ”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    The sabres are rattling in Europe as migrant flows are deployed against Russia's enemies. Neighbours of Belarus say migrant crisis risks military clash | Reuters

    • Gezza 1.1

      From the link:

      “The EU accuses Lukashenko of manufacturing the crisis in revenge for earlier sanctions in response to a violent crackdown on mass street protests against his rule in 2020. Germany said he must be countered with all strength.

      “Lukashenko is making an inhumane power play with people,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who is set to become the country’s next chancellor, said.

      Lukashenko and Russia have said the EU was not living up to its humanitarian values by preventing migrants from crossing.

      Large groups fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and elsewhere started flying to Minsk this spring with the help of Belarusian travel agencies.

      Many have travelled to the border with Poland, Lithuania or Latvia and tried to cross into the EU, sometimes using wire cutters they say were given to them by Belarusian border guards.”
      ………………….

      Lukashenko’s the fly in the ointment here. Not sure I’d read too much into the posturing going on, even the Russian bombers patrolling Belarus’ border.

      Sounds like while the sabres are being rattled nobody actually wants to pull them out of their scabbards & use them, & certainly not Putin.

    • francesca 1.2

      The EU tried to totally scupper the Belarus airline in June , by refusing to allow it to fly over EU airspace or use their airports , back in June because of the Ryanair incident.

      Belarus then leased airlines from other countries, eg Turkey, running flights for migrants seeking entry to Europe.

      It's tit for tat, not a lot to do with human rights(after all what's happened to Saudi Arabia), but more an effort to wedge Belarus away from Russia, its long time ally.

      Crippling Belarus may hope to persuade Russia that Belarus is too big a burden to bear

      Sanctions always have unforeseen consequences, and a tendency to backfire.

  2. Gezza 2

    .
    Pooklet nap time

    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      Cute. smiley

    • mary_a 2.2

      Cheers Gezza (2). It's great to have you back on TS, sharing your delightful wildlife with us once more. The little pookies are soooo sweet.

      • Gezza 2.2.1

        Thank you, mary. 🌷

        Nice to be back here. TS is a great place for keeping up with (& learning more about) matters political, climatic, diplomatic, societal & a range of general interest matters continually raised by contributors.

        A bonus is there are great humourists & characters among them.

  3. Cricklewood 3

    So I hope this is an unintended consequence of the traffic light system that will be addressed and quickly.

    I have 2 daughters, both dance and have done since they were very small one is 10 the other is just turned 12. I have been told that the dance school is considered a gym so my 12 year old will be unable to attend or sit exams unless double vaxxed which I am far from convinced of the benefits in this age cohort.

    The 10 year old will be able to attend as will 11 year olds but as soon as they turn 12 they wont be able to attend until double vaxxed so if you went on your birthday at minimum 3 weeks of exclusion.

    Excluding children from sport and social groups under these mandates is fucking ridiculous and damaging it needs to be stopped. Activities for children should not be lumped in with gyms in terms of the traffic light system they should be treated similarly to schools.

    • Treetop 3.1

      What you raise is one of the reasons why Covid is hard on families with dependent children. I am not sure how much thought the government gave to your situation. There are a number of issues.

      1. Some of the under 12 in the dance group would have unvaccinated siblings at home.
      2. Wearing a mask would over heat a child at a dance class. Social distancing would not be practical.
      3. Even if there was a vaccinated and an unvaccinated class it is about the collective health of those who attend. Outside classes could be an option for the unvaccinated.
      4. There is no normal for children and socialising within their peer group is important as well as being able to continue through the grades of an activity.
      5. At some point classes could close short term or longer.
      6. In the interim applies to the levels, steps and then the traffic light system.

      Are the classes aligned with the school terms?

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        Edit my points were numbered but they got erased when I added a further sentence, so format is squashed.

      • Cricklewood 3.1.2

        Yes classes are arranged in line with school terms, and wont happen until we get to red light.

        The grades are often mixed age you will certainly have unvaxxed 11 year olds dancing with vaxxed 12 year olds.

        You will also have unvaxxed younger kids in studios immediately before and other classes.

        • mpledger 3.1.2.1

          People die from covid-19 and you are worried about your daughter missing several weeks of a dance class? I know your family is more important to you than anyone else but I think you need to take a walk and think about your priorities.

          • Cricklewood 3.1.2.1.1

            Yeah you're missing the point entirely… In the example of the dance class, what they are doing makes absolutely no fucking sense from a covid standpoint.

            I also think on a longer term basis excluding children especially in early teen years from sports etc is actually really fucking harmful.

            • Anne 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Everyone has had to pay a price since the arrival of the Delta strain. And children have not been immune. Your daughter missing a few weeks of dancing class – as mpledger pointed out – is a small price to pay.

              My understanding is, the pfizer vaccine for children will be available for the under 12s in the New Year. So, the present circumstance is very temporary indeed and soon all of them will have to be vaccinated. We only have 5 weeks before the kids are off for Xmas then another 5 weeks of school holidays. By which time the vaccination of all children – for their own safety and well being – will hopefully be well underway.

              • Cricklewood

                There are serious ethical concerns vaccinating those young cohorts.

                Not to mention children have paid a disproportionately high price given they have missed alot of education and have stunted socialization at a key point in brain development. Its wrong.

                Interestingly Taiwan is no longer allowing those under 17 to have a second Pfizer shot due to the disproportionately high levels of myocarditis in that age cohort.

                • Anne

                  I agree Cricklewood. The kids have paid a very high price by way of interruptions to their education and all the unsettling emotions that go with it. But I don't think missing a few weeks of dancing classes is on the same level.

                  Your last paragraph must be referring to the general Pfizer vaccine that has been around for the past year. The vaccine I am talking about is the one especially produced for children under 12 and was only internationally approved a matter of weeks ago. That is the one NZ and many other countries plan to use for children because it has been proven safe and effective for them.

                  • Cricklewood

                    Yes the proven vaccine which is now raising enough red flags for countries to pull the handbrake that not concern you Anne? It indicates that they are not as safe as promised we already know they are not as effective as promised.

                    For the younger cohort proven safe and effective is a real stretch. As it stands all that we know is kids generate an immune response and small trials didnt raise red flags with refards side effects. Whether or not its actually beneficial in real terms the studies are still underway and the prevelance of rare side effects we wont know until its rolled out.

                    I take it you are happy excluding the younger cohort if parents opt not to vax them. Can you see how this might cause some issues?

                    Do you think it should be mandated for everyone eligible? Should the state take action against parents who refuse to vaccinate children?

                    • Anne

                      When are you going to read comments properly and stop including negative remarks about matters not present in my comment in the first place!

                      If your claims re- Taiwan are correct, then the vaccine Taiwan was using could not have been the "Pfizer vaccine for under 12s " as it has only very recently been approved by the US medical authorities and [presumably] the WHO. As far as I can ascertain the trials in the US have only just finished and the vaccine is being rolled out across the country as we speak.

                      That is the vaccine NZ has managed to acquire (but unlikely to be in the country yet) and it will be rolled out early in the New Year. By all means, refuse to allow your children to be vaccinated by a vaccine which has gone through all the hoops and been approved for universal use. That is your prerogative.

                    • Cricklewood

                      Um I addressed your comment I said re Taiwan that indeed that is the Pfizer we are currently giving to those 12 and up.

                      The second part of my comment address the child dose vaccine and your comments re proven safety and efficiency which are actually far from settled.

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.2.1.2

            mpledger…my opinion, based on reading numerous research papers and after watching the shit show that was the JCVI recommendations over giving young children these products, is that those pushing these 'vaccines' onto a demographic who are infinitesimally affected by the disease is fuckwittery of the highest order. Immoral. Unethical and completely scientifically and medically unjustified.

            Question. [deleted]

            (Not going to link again…don't be lazy..look up the research for yourself.) The experts have appeared to have given up totally on any sort of herd/community/population immunity against Covid.

            [deleted]

            There is a logical progression here…can you think what that might be?

            And anyone who demands that a parent put aside their natural instincts to protect their children against some myth of the 'greater good' is beneath contempt.

            Shame on you.

            [I’ve deleted the claims of fact that have no linked evidence. I’ve left the opinions. We’ve been over this before and I’m not willing to spend more time on this. Each time you or anyone makes a claim of fact, you have to provide evidence as you go (that’s a quote, link and your own explanation interpretation). The reason for this is because otherwise we’re just talking past each other and it gets hard to make sense of what people are claiming.

            There’s been a lot of moderation on this topic in the past, I think everyone has had fair warning. I’m noticing in general, across topics, that I’m having to remind regular who should know better. This isn’t FB where people trade in their personal reckons, we require a high level of evidence for claims of fact because we want robust debate. Reread the Policy if unclear (that’s everyone, not just Rosemary) – weka]

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Rosemary, most of the information in your comment on covid and the vaccine is incorrect, but probably not worth debating further in this case.

              I hope good luck will see you through!

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Rosemary, most of the information in your comment on covid and the vaccine is incorrect, but probably not worth debating further in this case.

                Please…debate away.

                List the incorrect statement I made please.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                I'll make a start, eh?

                https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33716331/

                https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

                https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2101

                [please don’t do that. People shouldn’t be expected to read whole pages or research papers to understand you. Instead, quote, link, give your explanation or rationale. Yes, I know it’s more work, but it also holds a lot more water which matters in controversial debates. It will also improve the debate and lessen the accusations (both sides take heed) – weka]

                • weka

                  mod note.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Apologies…I post links to peer reviewed research that never get read and/or I try to give at least a precis of what the research I've read found.

                    Sometimes I feel what I say, my opinions, are worth nothing if not backed up by the science and sometimes I know that no matter what I say the person will have already made up their mind so what's the point?

                    So I spare them my ramblings and chuck the science at them.

                    Or not.

                    I will try not to get into discussions unless I can give it at least 80% attention.

            • Subliminal 3.1.2.1.2.2

              Hi Rosemary

              pushing these 'vaccines' onto a demographic who are infinitesimally affected by the disease is fuckwittery of the highest order.

              I think that there is sufficient evidence now from the UK to show that the effects of covd on children are far from trivial. Certainly the vaccines we have at present are far fro being effective enough but to trivialise covd in younger cohorts is not a responsible track to take

            • weka 3.1.2.1.2.3

              mod note.

          • Gypsy 3.1.2.1.3

            This "people die from Covid" narrative could be used to justify any damn thing. It's a bs argument.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      Cricklewood. Reason, common sense, consistency and sadly science have all been sacrificed on the altar of the Covid vaccines.

      From Monday I will not longer be considered a fit person to provide the care my C4/5 tetraplegic partner needs. The fact he too is un vaccinated does not affect the Health Order mandate other than to make it even more impossible for another carer to provide the care he needs. Ho hum.

      BUT, both he and I are welcome to attend the local base hospital in our un vaccinated state so he can have a routine yearly check up for his leukaemia which he was treated for 10 years ago. We just need to check in with the clinic the day before to assure them we have no symptoms. I assume that ALL attendees at the haematology clinic will be PPE'ed, regardless of vaccine status. Which is entirely appropriate.

      Logic departed long since. RIP.

      • Cricklewood 3.2.1

        Sadly you are correct, the debate around vaccination of young children will get very ugly I fear. Some will demand mandates for all sorts of childrens activities. Having kids looking suspiciously at each other will not end well.

      • weka 3.2.2

        From Monday I will not longer be considered a fit person to provide the care my C4/5 tetraplegic partner needs.

        I was wondering if you would get caught up in that.

        For those that don't know, the MoH is withdrawing funding from disabled people who are being cared for by their own family if the caregiver is unvaccinated.

        They can use the funding only for vaccinated caregivers, which is probably reasonable for staff coming in from outside the home, but makes less sense for family caregivers and makes a complete mockery of everything the government says about empowering disabled people in their own lives.

        It's one of the most fucked up things I've seen this government do.

        • Cricklewood 3.2.2.1

          Its delibrate cruelty no other explantion for it.

          Kindness went out the window a while ago.

        • lprent 3.2.2.2

          For those that don’t know, the MoH is withdrawing funding from disabled people who are being cared for by their own family if the caregiver is unvaccinated.

          Ummm. Tricky position for MoH, DHBs and for that matter for parliament. What you appear to not be considering is that this is an employee or contractor arrangement with a employer. It carries legal responsibilities for the employer. And potential large penalties in criminal, civil, and employment courts.

          As a direct or indirect employer, they or the DHBs are potentially liable for their employees who infect others or vice versa (as a reckless endangerment) regardless of who the employee is. There would have to be a specific legal immunity – something that would have to be accurately described by legislation.

          Then there are the insurance aspects. Diseases aren’t covered by ACC. No kind of insurance would cover sending high risk employees into a work situation as a deliberate act by the employer.

          It is hard to see how Parliament could legislate such a specific legal immunity for the employers about family members. If you even look at any family law you’d understand just how fraught that is. Because simply defining what is a family member is pretty damn undefined. Which is why the legislation tends towards being very limited and prescriptive. So there would be endless cases with long-term family ‘friends’ and ‘partners’ running through the court.

          This is essentially the legal position that most employers are in. Where they are been given legal coverage for mandates in potentially high risk medical areas by the use of the Health Acts by parliamentary legislation and government orders in council, both legal routes have been very prescriptive and quite unambiguous. That is what is required for them to be effective in the short time frames available.

          Basically I’d suggest that you look to this at the legal review of the pandemic legislation that we will be doing a few years down the line. Offhand, I can’t think of a good way of legally defining the bounds of this.

          Your best bet would probably be to make the funding a grant to the people being cared for so that they become the employer – then they can incur the legal risk.

          It’s one of the most fucked up things I’ve seen this government do.

          Not really. It is just that you’re mostly looking at it from the viewpoint of the carer and the cared for – without looking at it from the legal position of the funding agency.

          If you look back in family law, you will find similar issues appearing every time that direct funding is given on a family basis. DHB cases from the 70s and 80s being the obvious one.

          • weka 3.2.2.2.1

            What you appear to not be considering is that this is an employee or contractor arrangement with a employer

            I definitely considered that, and then ran through my head the various aspects and still concluded that the government and the MoH basically don't give a shit. In two ways: one is the normal way that disabled people get treated in NZ. Two is that they're not philosophically inclined towards any leeway for unvaccinated people (i.e. they're sending a very strong message at the same time as casting as wide a net as possible, so why would they want to exempt anyone when coercion seems to be helping the vax rate?)

            Asking around it looks like the MoH said no, then yes (due to low risk), and finally no. Really hard to follow what exactly happened and why (Rosemary might know more), or whether the final decision was based on the legals you refer to, or was more about health policy.

            If the issue is one of risk, consider that a severely disabled man who is being looked after by his wife, and she doesn't work anywhere else. MoH would have written a list of who was covered by the health order, and they could have included exceptions. They're not mandating all NZ workers, just some, so I think your argument about legal risk is overstated.

            The DBHs and MoH don't have to be in the employer role (afaik the MoH never is, and the DHB only where they act as a healthcare agency), they can and do give funding directly to the disabled person. I'd be very surprised if all family caregivers have insurance.

            There's also the option that the caregiver is self-employed.

            Because simply defining what is a family member is pretty damn undefined

            Pretty sure the MoH will have already done this, given they have specific programmes aimed at family care givers.

            Obviously a family care giver who worked outside of the home with other vulnerable people or in key positions would be a different story (and I'm fairly certain this is who the original policy was written to cover).

            Your best bet would probably be to make the funding a grant to the people being cared for so that they become the employer – then they can incur the legal risk.

            Ok, hearing Rosemary grimace all the way from Northland on that one. A huge number of disabled people in NZ are living below the poverty line. Thanks to successive governments refusing to address disable people's income, and messes around ACC vs WINZ. And no, I don't think WINZ would come to the party on the funding.

            And, where the MoH funds people directly, they are not allowed to use that funding to pay unvaccinated caregivers, including family. That's the point. The government is going hard on this, I doubt that people with private income to pay caregivers will be ok even if they are willing to take the risk, afaik it's just flat out against the law now.

            But I do expect a lot of this stuff to go under the radar. The Panel recently had someone decrying hairdressers working from home under the table during covid, as if hairdressers haven't always done this. Lots of care work and cleaning gets done this way too. Unvaxxed people who lose their jobs will look for under the table work. Disabled people who can afford it will get desperate for workers and hire who they can. It's not like there's already an abundance of workers out there.

            • Treetop 3.2.2.2.1.1

              Vaccination is not mandatory if you live with a person who is disabled. It is mandatory if you are employed by a person who is disabled.

              For me it is about the welfare of the disabled person and not some wacko law when it comes to being vaccinated when in the company of a person who is disabled in a shared home.

              • weka

                Yes, but also, pretty sure it's if you are a paid caregiver (rather than simply an employee), so it would cover self-employed people as well.

                • Treetop

                  To make it simple who pays the self employed carer and who pays the employee who is the carer?

                  I think there are two different contracts when it comes to funding.

                  • weka

                    depends on the funding stream, but the MoH does give funding directly to some clients who then can choose their own caregivers (as employees or contractors I think).

            • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.2.2.1.2

              Been away from the computer for a bit (a friend left strict instructions on my To Do notice board for me to spend less time screening) but not to worry…you have it well and truly in hand. (Peter has IF, and yes, although it was not Gazetted when we were informed by HealthcareNZ the other day, family carers providing care in the family home do come under the Health Order mandate fuckwittery.)

              We have been here before, and my brief period as a paid family carer has allowed us to stock up and stockpile medical supplies etc (which are difficult to source for some reason) so we are, as usual, prepared.

              Pissed off, but prepared. Fuck 'em we say. Raise the drawbridge and lower the portcullis and restock the moat with piranhas.

              To celebrate the completion of Peter's new accessible bathroom (after nearly two years) we found a local home based carer to come in to ride shotgun in case I had forgotten how to do bathroom transfers and the like…and in case Himself decided a blackout was in order. This very, very capable woman had had her first Pfizer shot with huge reluctance, and only because her clients need her and she was forced to have it. She was crook for a week. I haven't heard if she's had her second.

              This is a shit show.

              We are living through the most extraordinary of times and we must, above all, reject the notion that there is only 'one source of truth'.

              Thanks weka for batting on this.

            • SPC 3.2.2.2.1.3

              The arrangement lprent suggested would be OK for those on super.

              • weka

                do you mean people on Super pay a family caregiver from their pension? Afaik, the mandate is on all health workers, doesn't make where the funding comes from. And which people on Super have the income to pay for lots of support?

                • SPC

                  Er no – simply that those who get money to pay a carer would not have their super cut (WINZ can only stalk benefit payments).

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.2.2.2

            The NZ Governments (of all persuasions) have almost prided themselves on treating non ACC high needs disabled Kiwis and their chosen family carers like shit.

            This is nothing new and completely expected.

            In our experience, Ministry of Health bureaucrats have a profound sense of authority based on a dearth of actual knowledge and expertise. To the point of actually causing harm to those they are supposed to be supporting.

            And they do not care.

            https://publicaddress.net/access/the-family-carers-case-here-we-go-again/

          • Foreign waka 3.2.2.2.3

            Weka
            Inhuman behavior is a consequence of pressure applied from powers we depend on. This was true in other countries with far more severe implications but the principle stands. I am disgusted to read that this is implemented. Insult to injury.

      • RedLogix 3.2.3

        I typed out a couple of responses to this – but reluctantly was compelled to self-moderate.

        More than anything else right now I feel ashamed.

      • Treetop 3.2.4

        You do not need to answer, but is the Pfizer vaccine the reason for you not getting vaccinated?

        When it comes to an alternative I was surprised when I heard that the Astra Zeneca vaccine (non mRNA) was going to be offered as an alternative. Another one needs to be found which is also not a mRNA one.

        Immuno compromised is another topic. Even in the past.

        I do think that the government need to make an exception when it comes to an unvaccinated person being the sole carer of a person in a household bubble providing the person who has the care agrees and is not coerced. There is no point in swapping a problem/s for another one. As well vaccination is not mandatory in a household. I agree with a person needing to be vaccinated were they to go into another household to give care.

        So there is a difference when it comes to what goes on in your household.

        There certainly are some curve balls and some need a bit more thought.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.4.1

          Treetop. A very close friend, in her early thirties and an early recipient of both Pfizer shots, developed a string of symptoms…including heart issues… and being an avid researcher I dug around a bit.

          I simply googled her symptoms and added 'Pfizer shot'. I was totally unprepared for what I found. One website which supports US sufferers of a condition I happen to have had experience with had a new thread on its forum with 456 pages of 10 comments each of people sharing their post vax stories. I had not heard of this website before…nor that it was an actual 'thing' that I had suffered from on more than one occasion. What I'm trying to say is that these people were not my tribe.

          That thread is over 750 pages now, and some of those vaccinated (because they were more likely to suffer from Covid) are still very debilitated, some are suicidal and almost all of them regret the day they took the shot. All of the shots. Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, AZ. A US site….has become a haven for sufferers throughout the world, including NZ, who like me made a symptom specific google search and found an island of discussion and support. All of those sharing their stories were met with dismissal and disbelief when they sought medical help.

          My young friend is largely recovered, thank the goddess, but she did have Holter heart monitoring and an MRI and a CT scan and an ultrasound. And an ambulance when she collapsed unable to breathe at work.

          My partner, after 50 years post spinal injury, is by his own description neurologically fucked. Prone to autonomic dysreflexia, thermoregulatory impairment and orthostatic hypotension at the best of times, the last few years have seen his instability increase. Change…temperature, posture, eating too quick, light, stuff in the air… whatever the fuck can cause extreme dizzines, faintness, blackouts and weird one side of the face rashes. He has become an incredibly delicate wee flower in his 70s… but it is the low, low barely- double -digits blood pressure that has him most worried.

          These new vaccines are simply too big a risk.

          Thanks for the support on the carer thing. I was Peter's unpaid carer for over twenty years and have only been paid for the work under Covid dispensation fro April last year.

          Will we miss my income…a bit…but we knew this was coming months ago so we are prepared.

          • weka 3.2.4.1.1

            These new vaccines are simply too big a risk.

            I thought at first you said too big an ask. Also true. Science is just not good at assessing risk for the outliers.

            • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.4.1.1.1

              As you will know…we largely have to do our own risk assessment and management…because we sure as hell haven't got a hotline we can call.

              • SPC

                Sure.

                And there is information we do not have at hand yet.

                1. Vaccination method. Will they aspirate? That alone reduces risk of vaccine into the blood etc.
                2. Will the government provide AZ antibodies (last over 6 months) as an alternative to vaccine.
                3. When will Novavax (not so good at preventing Delta infection but some may prefer its risk profile) be available as an alternative to the AZ and Pfizer?
                4. Can the unvaxxed or one dosed choose one dose of Pfizer and one dose AZ (common in the UK and evidence suggests this is OK – downside is the 2 vaccines have different risk profiles)?
                5. Can people choose their booster – say double dose Pfizer plus AZ vaccine or Novovax or AZ anti-bodies.
                6. When will the under 65 have access to booster doses. This speaks to any sort of long term semblance of immunity (lasts well to 4 months then fades to still effective at 6 months and less so afterwards). They have ordered 4M vaccines 5-11 (one or two dose?) and one dose boosters for those over 65 health workers and the health compromised. But nothing about any boosters for others and when. The UK is providing boosters at 6 months from the second dose for all. We should have booster does before next winter for all who want them.

                So that leaves one with risk management assessment planning

                For example

                Delay vaccination till

                1. someone aspirates.
                2. and then take the 2nd dose 12 weeks later so that immunity lasts through winter.

                PS For mine the risk of long COVID – vascular damage, organ damage and aging of the cells from infection weights risk on the side of being protected – the balance to that is capability of reducing risk of infection.

                • SPC

                  The other unknown is the Health Ministry plan for rationing.

                  For example they have finally funded the diabetes 2 drug that prevents deterioration to need for dialysis – but only for one third of those who need it.

                  They might import treatments (anti-virals and fluvoxamine – anti-inflammatory that can be used before the steroid can be) but restrict provision of them to only some – this would increase the number of long COVID outcomes.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    The other unknown is the Health Ministry plan for rationing.

                    I have no doubt they have one. The groundwork has been done for it to be acceptable to not treat the 'willfully unvaxxed' , to 'prioritise' and 'make the hard decisions'.

                    From many comments here on TS from 'Lefties'… there is a real appetite for the 'tent in the corner of the hospital carpark.'

                    If that is to be the case, and I have little doubt that there will be more of this attitude from those in healthcare, then at least doctors should be able to prescribe medicines and recommend therapies that may not necessarily have been approved by the bureaucrats at Medsafe. ( I am talking about off label use of established drugs with many years of safety records.)

                    • SPC

                      People say all sorts of stuff because of their insecurity (interning Japanese banning Moslem migrants etc), it’s those who do that are of more concern.

                      (I would not rely on it, but if infected and without adequate health back up would raid the Evie McTin for a cookie).

          • Treetop 3.2.4.1.2

            I know you do your research carefully on medical matters. You have always come across as being very devoted to the health of your partner.

        • weka 3.2.4.2

          There is no point in swapping a problem/s for another one

          Thing that really fucks me off is that if we hadn't spent the last however many decades forcing many disabled people to live in poverty (financial and health), I think many of the current hesitant disabled people would choose to vaccinate. If people feel they will be looked after, then they are often more willing to take risk.

          The degree of health privilege expressed by lefties in recent months is mindblowing. But it does sit alongside their relative reluctance to actually do something about the poverty of disabled people.

          • SPC 3.2.4.2.1

            I think you mean the neo-liberal regime straight jacket managing elected governments, including those nominally centre-left.

            Actual lefties have sought income support for those with disability at super levels, and both income support for carers and the continuance of income support to those with disability while with working partners.

          • Treetop 3.2.4.2.2

            There is restructuring and there is restructuring. One puts people's welfare first, the other puts cost of services first.

            • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.4.2.2.1

              One puts people's welfare first, the other puts cost of services first.

              During the family carers cases hearings…so many , over such a long time…one aspect that was poorly described was the cost benefit of having a family member providing some very high level advanced personal cares.

              To pay for registered/enrolled nurse level care would be too expensive and 'allowing' unregulated carers to perform some of the RN/EN level tasks raised a raft of liability issues. Not providing the care would put the patient in hospital (very expensive) or their life at risk (cheap, and many think this is actually the desired outcome).

              Paying a family carer at the same rate as an unregulated carer with the disabled person giving permission for that family member to perform those high level care tasks you'd think it would have been an obvious win/win/win.

              But these are bureaucrats…

    • NiandraGem 3.3

      Cricklewood, in the context of a global pandemic that has killed over 5 million people, your kids’ dance classes are unimportant. Get a life.

  4. Foreign Waka 4

    So how deep is the rabbit hole?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300452605/saliva-testing-processes-slammed-by-auditorgeneral

    How much more is there that we have no means of knowing let alone checking? Is NZ becoming a country throwing proven checks and balances over board to get the wink wink nudge nudge instead?

    • weka 4.1

      that's really bad. Might be corruption, but I'd be looking first at an already stressed system degenerating under the pandemic stress. Also decades of neoliberal managerial culture. Not excuses, but if we want to fix this shit we need to be honest about the systemic issues, not just want heads to roll.

    • Subliminal 4.2

      I think that it's fair to say that in general the move from pandemic to endemic is ideologically driven rather than science based. An interesting article at naked capitalism gives a lot of insight to the roots of "living with covd" and the necessary tragedies that this will entail. in the case of NZ, by the end of summer we will have obtained complete transmission of Delta throughout the country if national summer holidays are given the ok. From the article:

      Having an infectious disease become endemic is not the same as having a sore throat as much as our media would like to portray it that way. If COVID follows form to the previous coronavirus pandemics that have become endemic, we have literally years to go before our immune systems collectively call a truce with it.

      I wasn’t sure I’d be able to maintain my composure for long enough to do a proper job of shredding the McKinsey propaganda. But GM, unsolicited, did the heavy lifting, so please give him a big round of applause!

      Below find McKinsey text in italics, with GM’s comments in normal typeface.

      Some countries are, therefore, resetting their expectations: “For this outbreak, it’s clear that long periods of heavy restrictions [have not gotten] us to zero cases,” said New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. “But that is OK. Elimination was important because we didn’t have vaccines. Now we do. So we can begin to change the way we do things.”

      Or, what probably happened, New Zealand was pressured by its “international partners” to abandon elimination because it made them look bad (plus probably some other reasons). Michael Baker (who was one of the epidemiologists leading the elimination program) has said on several occasions now that the shift in policy came without any consultation with the scientists who were working with the government on COVID policy while elimination was the goal. They were completely taken out of the decision making process, which is quite telling.

      The clear implication is that we are no longer following the science but have been co-opted into the business and economy centred view that peoples lives (the plebs) are less important than profits. The government could have stomped on the "freedom" protest organisers but instead has seen them as a useful tool to steer us towards endemic. The poll results could be read as the population realising the slide in commitment by the govt towards protecting peoples health. I dont know the Greens position on covd but there is an opening now for someone to make gains by filling the elimination space that has been abandoned by Labour.

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        I'm ok with the government not simply rubberstamping every suggestion from the scientific community. There are a wide variety of factors that might make a course of action counterproductive or impractical, so the ideal might not always intersect with the possible.

        What I would like, however, is for advice regarding other factors (economic, administrative, enforcement capabilities, legal practicalities) to be as well-publicised as the scientific advice. Are we fighting a holding action to minimise ICU demands as region by region becomes exposed? Or is there just a "resistance is futile" atmosphere permeating the government because the white-ants have finally eroded the necessary compliance rates to the point that either the govt gives up or starts actual mass arrests? Or does polling in Auckland just look bad?

        Everyone and their cousin has become a certified google epidemiologist with a side-hustle of immunology, just as we were all google seismologists and mining engineers ten years ago. But there doesn't seem to have been the same level of focus on the arguments for relaxing lockdowns as there was for implementing them.

        Maybe that's the difference between science and the social sciences. Maybe it's maybelline.

        • Subliminal 4.2.1.1

          Absolutely agree McFlock. It feels as though we are being left out of the conversation. It would be nice for a bit of transparency. Maybe the govt could let us in on their thinking rather than trying to herd us in the direction they have decided to take

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Govt inserts Green lever into the economy:

    The Government will soon be issuing sovereign "green bonds" to help raise finance towards a move to a low-carbon economy. Green bonds, which provide financing for low-emission or environmental projects such as renewable energy or reforestation, have increasingly become part of climate financing around the world.

    Last year, the global green bond market reached a cumulative issuance milestone of US$1 trillion since its inception in 2007 – a year before the World Bank began issuing them.

    Money raised from the bonds would be used to support projects that help reach the net-zero carbon 2050 target the Government has set with legislation. "Green bonds will enhance the development of New Zealand's sustainable finance market," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/climate-change-nz-to-issue-green-bonds-to-help-decarbonise/KY5V3H46G3FLI6F2VRUNAHM5ZU/

    This strikes me as a substantial shift away from greenwash.

    "The creation of a green bond programme will add a new financing tool we can use to deliver the low-carbon projects we need to meet our climate targets," Climate Change Minister James Shaw said.

    "Something in the order of 80 per cent of the global economy is now covered by some form of net-zero target. To meet these targets and cut emissions in line with what the science requires, capital needs to be directed towards activity that will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Green bonds will be a crucial part of that."

    New Zealand Debt Management at the Treasury is leading work on the green bond programme.

    So what we seem to have here is both design and enforcement method. Time will tell if the combo actually works – but it does promise a morphing effect, away from neoliberalism towards sustainability.

    • RosieLee 5.1

      So, who's making the money?

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        surprise Well, the short answer is the players in the game compete to produce winners. Privacy law prevents anyone knowing the truth, as usual.

        Obviously a socialist would point to Grant Robertson, author of govt investment policy, as a player in the game. Grant would respond "Are you kidding? I'm a neoliberal. I just do policy. Others handle the money side of things."

    • weka 5.2

      Yaaay Greens.

      this does look good. Depends on what the funds to towards I guess.

    • Subliminal 5.3

      World bank is immediately a red flag for me. First question is do bonds equate to a loan or is this a gift. Then if a loan are they denominated in $NZ or $US. If US then we are effectively selling our souls since we will always be open to political pressure through currency manipulation. At present all govt bonds are in $NZ. If push comes to shove we can always get the Reserve Bank to buy them back. QE for the people. Once we owe $US its game over for any remaining shred of independence.

      With govt bonds in $US its irrelevant what value our currency is at. In fact if our currency devalues its easier to pay back. Debt in $US becomes very hard to repay if your currency comes under attack.

      • Dennis Frank 5.3.1

        Good points. World Bank was once a red flag for me too but it seems to have headed towards being part of the solution in recent years. I've put a request for appraisal on Michael Reddell's site…

        • Subliminal 5.3.1.1

          If you find out they are hawking green bonds as US denominated debt you will know that they have gotten a lot worse because it will signal that they have figured out how to enslave first world countries as well third world. I'm a cynic on that front especially as it's pretty recent since they tied Ecuador in a pretty little bow that will take some undoing.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Sally Brooker is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago, a principal investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and co-leader of the German-NZ green hydrogen relationship building team. Her opinion:

    storage of green electricity in batteries (small short haul) and in hydrogen (medium haul) will enable zero-emission planes on New Zealand’s domestic network.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/nz-in-the-box-seat-on-hydrogen

  7. Tricledrown 7

    Chris Bishop is making lots of noise around no need for MIQ for fully vaccinated people to be in MIQ.

    That doesn't take into account a new variant emerging.if a new variant arrived which was more deadly that wasn't suppressed by existing vaccines it would be wise not to panic and keep MIQ in place until Covid is brought under control.Its easy for opposition to pick away at the existing govt,when you don't have to make the decisions.

    • Treetop 7.1

      Contact tracing is not keeping up with unlinked cases and Bishop wants to put more pressure on health workers and overload the hospital capacity quicker.

      Not only a new strain emerging but antibodies waning and the R number increasing with the current Delta outbreak.

      What is Bishop going to do when health workers become unwell or are partially burnt out?

  8. joe90 8

    Of course he's a yarpie.

    A prison officer at the Waikeria jail in Waikato is on “special leave” after allegations he assaulted and strangled an inmate.

    Anthony Prinsloo faces charges of injuring with reckless disregard, and strangulation, which carry maximum penalties of five and seven years imprisonment, respectively.

    Prinsloo’s charge sheet says the charges relate to an alleged assault of prisoner Christopher Ranapia at the jail on June 20 this year.

    Prinsloo has entered a not guilty plea to the injuring charge, and has yet to enter a plea on a more recently-added charge of strangulation, which was described as “intentionally or recklessly impeded Christopher Ranapia’s normal breathing by applying pressure on or to his throat, neck or both”.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/126940647/prison-officer-on-special-leave-after-claims-he-strangled-an-inmate

    Waikeria Crackdown

    Am I headed for the pound again ??

    Officer Anthony Prinsloo (a South African) has just officially charged me with breach of a prison rule after having found me in another inmates cell watching Lisa Owen interviewing me on “Newshub Nation” on TV3 on Saturday morning .

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/06/26/arthur-taylor-crackdown-by-prison-for-watching-my-interview-with-lisa-owen/

    • francesca 8.1

      Not a great fan of ethnic slurs, and don’t like populist jargon either, but had never heard this one.

      Japie is a South African male first name, of Afrikaans origin, often found as a familiar or shortened form of the names Johannes and Jacobus.

      The name may be occasionally used as an ethnic slur for Afrikaners, in which instance it is also spelt according to English orthography: yarpie. This comes from the Afrikaans term plaasjapie, meaning "farm boy".[1] It has socio-economic connotations similar to the NZ/Australian term bogan or the American hillbilly. It may or may not be an offensive term depending upon intent and context of use.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japie

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Yu Kongjian teaches Green design recycled from ancient times:

    One of China's most prominent urban design thinkers and Dean of the prestigious Peking University's college of architecture and landscape, Yu Kongjian is the man behind the sponge city concept of managing floods that is being rolled out in scores of Chinese cities.

    In 2015, following President Xi Jinping's endorsement, the government announced a multi-million yuan plan and an ambitious goal: by 2030, 80% of China's municipal areas must have elements of a sponge city and recycle at least 70% of rainfall.

    Much of the concept is influenced by ancient farming techniques Prof Yu learnt growing up in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, such as storing rainwater in ponds for crops. It has won Prof Yu and his landscaping firm Turenscape many awards. "Nobody would drown, not even in the monsoon season. We just lived with the water. We adapted to the water when the floods came," he says. He left for Beijing aged 17 where he studied landscaping, and later studied design at Harvard.

    "I'm a Chinese traditionalist," he says with a laugh. "We have thousands of years of experience, we have the solution you cannot ignore."

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-59115753

    • Sabine 9.1

      We need this guy to come here and teach our town planners that concreted places don't absorb water and thus surface flooding.

      We need the water in the ground, not on concrete to collect all sorts of pollution and then go via the storm drain to nowhere.

      • Dennis Frank 9.2.1

        Indeed, and that's an excellent photo to start with! yesheart Onsite here I often advocate my favourite leftist principle: social equity. As this example from your link indicates, it's essential for any economy.

        "Every village has an official 'water guardian', who ensures that the water is distributed evenly. The family whose land is at the bottom of the terrace gets the same water as whoever is at the top."

        This style of agriculture is also a model of resilience:

        "You can't mechanise the terraces," explained Goodman. "You can't use tractors or other machines because of their shape and location. And they're often knee-deep with water. So, the Hani are still using buffalo or doing the hard work by hand, using the same picks and hoes and hand tools that they've used for hundreds of years."

        Nobody paid much attention until the 2000s, with the arrival of new tarmac roads and a local authority determined to get the terraces highlighted on Unesco's World Heritage List. (This was finally achieved in 2013, the UN agency stating: "The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically.")

        Yuanyang county, the home of the terraces, has a population of some 370,000 people, with almost 90% coming from tribal groups. Come bustling market days in villages such as Shengcun, the Hani are joined by their Miao, Yao, Dai, Zhuang and Yi neighbours to trade and attend to regional business, to eat and drink, to gossip and smoke their distinctive, elongated bamboo pipes… In a time of shrinking natural resources globally, Goodman says the Hani can give the world lessons in land management, as well as in how to live in harmony with the environment. "They are proud of what they've achieved," he said. "They accomplished something marvellous that has held firm for possibly 1,300 years."

  10. Pete 10

    The faces of covid today;

    1. “The Taranaki town of Stratford is on high alert today after six people tested positive for Covid-19.

    One person is in hospital and the other five are isolating at home. All of the cases have a link to the Auckland outbreak.

    Taranaki DHB medical officer of health Dr Jonathan Jarman says the six people were very reluctant to get tested and have not been using the tracer app.”

    2. “The West Auckland woman says her 68-year-old father, who fled a conflict-scarred country 20 years ago for a better future, spent the last five days of his life in agony coughing up blood and was too weak to move, waiting for officials to say he should go to hospital.”

    3. "Some of them didn't believe that Covid was even an actual thing. They thought it was a conspiracy until they actually got it. And so you've got a lot of those, kind of misinformation out there that our people are getting.” (Paula Ormsby, Waikato women's branch leader of Mongrel Mob Wāhine Toa)

    4. "The Bay of Plenty town Murupara has the country's lowest vaccination rates – less than half of the eligible population has had even one dose.

    A local doctor, who rejects the Pfiizer vaccine, is closing his practice rather than accept government mandates." The 30 year GP in Murupara has said, “I am not an antivaxxer and would personally administer this vaccine should my patient be adequately informed and give free choice.”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018820227/covid-19-murupara-racing-to-get-vaccinated

    • mpledger 11.1

      There is a criteria for a covid-19 death. I am guessing that it is something like – anyone dying from any cause within 30 days of diagnosis (or maybe recovery) from covid-19.

      There has to be a pretty strict criteria so that there is uniform counting across countries etc. But sometimes human-made criteria can't cover all the permutations that life throws up.

      Sometimes it is easier to over-count (slightly) then to spend time splitting hairs.

      • Jimmy 11.1.1

        That's bloody ridiculous! The guy was out on his driveway, and probably would have been off work for a week with Covid, then back to normal. Don't you think lead poisoning would be a more likely cause of death?

        I would have thought we would want to keep our deaths from Covid as low as possible, not artificially inflate them………what's next? An asymtomatic person tests positive and while leaving hospital to go to MIQ gets run over by a bus! Notch up another Covid kill.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.1.2

        Yes, it is called a "case definition". You need them in epidemiology – they work well but any case definition will usually include false positives and false negatives.

        Simplicity is also desirable. In this case, simplicity has trumped accuracy, I am guessing. You could make the case definition more nuanced (to exclude this case, for example), but probably not worth it for tracking the big picture.

        • Jimmy 11.1.2.1

          I was thinking, a good defense lawyer could probably get the shooter a not guilty verdict as the bullet didn't kill him, Covid did!

          • McFlock 11.1.2.1.1

            Well, no, a trial is akin to a case review rather than an epidemiological aggregate.

            Additionally, on the mortality records the primary cause of death will still eventually be the bullet. But those get finalised after the coronial cases are closed, so lag a couple of years.

            Keeping them in the epidemiological aggregate looks a bit silly for small numbers, but then with larger numbers we might find that shooting victims with covid are more likely to die than non-covid victims, so maybe it could be regarded as a contributory cause (albeit not primary cause) of death.

    • aom 11.2

      So… because a person died, having been shot, is it reasonable to conclude that he couldn't have passed on Covid? If he wasn't listed as having Covid, could the usual tracking and tracing of contacts have been done? Are Covid deaths recorded because the person died with, or died of, the infection?

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        Died with. But we're not exactly living in a time where people are dropping off all over the place. Brits in particular were trying the "it only means died with not of" line last year, which is why the excess mortality stats also gained prominence.

        It actually tends to work the other way – because a lot of governments got overwhelmed (charitable explanation) or wanted to hide the true toll of their incompetence (most likely), they actually stopped tests and counts unless they absolutely couldn't avoid it. So in a lot of the world, 2020 mortality was higher than expected but by much more than the official covid count.

        But then there's the question about what other things emerged to raise mortality rates by 15-20% at the same time covid hit the world. Godzilla sneaking around the place?

    • Craig H 11.3

      For violent deaths, they have to be referred to the coroner, in which case cause of death isn't legally established until a finding is made. In the meantime, the reporting is that someone died while Covid positive until the Coroner's determination arrives, after which the figures can be updated.

      This no doubt seems weird, but came about to avoid deliberate undercounting of deaths for political convenience (HIV was bad for this).

  11. Robert Guyton 12

    James Shaw speaks 🙂

    " It’s been a whirlwind week of kōrero, talanoa, media, meetings, and negotiations. There have been some really positive developments, but some issues remain. Over the next two days countries need to come together to agree an outcome that keeps us on track to address the climate crisis. The consequences of not doing so are intolerable.

    As I told countries on Tuesday:

    For decades political leaders have known what would happen if they did not act to cut emissions. They had a chance to stop it. But they didn’t. And so, it falls to us. Right here. Right now."

    (Copied from Facebook. Anyone wanting to read from the source could copy some of the text, paste it into their browser’s search bar and have it appear, effortlessly, I reckon).

  12. pat 13

    "They saw the winners sent home with their laptops and smart-phones. They saw themselves heading out to work every morning, as usual, to do what were once called the “shit jobs” – but were now referred to as “essential occupations”. They wondered about that. If their jobs were “essential”, why weren’t they paid the same sort of wages as the people on “Zoom” meetings, whose jobs clearly were not? They saw a world which kept on working pretty well, even when more that half the workforce was doing nothing more productive than exchanging e-mails. Some members of the Team of Five Million seemed to have a whole lot less to do than others. Something was definitely wrong with this picture."

    That picture has been askew for quite some time

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/11/behold-losing-class.html

  13. garibaldi 14

    So Devon Conway punches his bat and breaks his hand. So much for "a champion team will always beat a team of champions". His lack of self discipline has just helped Australia's chances of taking the final.

  14. Brigid 15

    "Glasgow: The shock new pact between China and the United States unveiled in Glasgow has been hailed as a breakthrough as the deadline looms for the climate summit’s negotiations.

    The world’s two largest emitters declared global warming an existential crisis which demands co-operation between the superpowers.

    In a boost to the flagging COP26 talks and sign of a possible thawing in the fractured relationship between both countries, Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and his US counterpart John Kerry stunned observers by unveiling the joint declaration pledging tougher action this decade.

    The agreement was negotiated in secret for months during about 30 virtual meetings and negotiation sessions in Shanghai, London and Washington before final terms were settled in Glasgow on Wednesday night local-time (Thursday AEDT)"

    "Xie described climate change as an “existential crisis” and said agreement between the US and China on how to deal with global warming far outweighed their differences on the issue.

    Kerry, a former US secretary of state under Barack Obama, framed the surprise agreement as much-needed momentum for the COP26 talks.

    “The two largest economies in the world have agreed to work together to raise climate ambition in this decisive decade,” Kerry told reporters in Glasgow.

    “Our teams have worked together for months, and we have worked in good faith. We have found common ground.”

    Kerry described the joint-declaration as a “road map for our present and future collaboration” on climate change."

    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/existential-crisis-united-states-and-china-stun-cop26-with-joint-climate-change-pact-20211111-p597wq.html

    • Dennis Frank 15.1

      Thanks, Brigid. Seems like a breakthrough. Perhaps prudent to await further analysis before we get too excited. Simulation is a strategy of govts since whenever…

      Since it doesn’t show up here I’m guessing it’s a bilateral thingy: https://ukcop26.org/cop-president-daily-media-statement-and-latest-announcements-11-november/

      Although this other report of it shows it happened at the venue: https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/china-us-make-joint-statement-cop26-climate-summit-2021-11-10/

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        I linked briefly to this development a couple of days ago. It's the outcome of significant on-going negotiations and it's not at all clear who the players are, what their motives and commitment to this really is.

        Nor do we have any details on the intended 'co-operation'.

        So far all the talk is around methane reduction – but that's literally only a half measure. The CCP knows full well that it risks being the very odd man out in this game, their CO2 emissions being larger and growing faster than any other major nation. You can parse the data however you like, but unless the PRC turns this corner no other actions anywhere else in the world will matter much. They know this.

        They also know that solar and wind power does not work in their climate zone – nor can anyone reasonably demand they should 'shrink' their per capita energy use. This leaves just one singular path forward. The question has to be – are the US and the PRC planning to cooperate on a new generation of nuclear power?

        If this is true – there could be a great deal more to this deal than is apparent so far.

        • Dennis Frank 15.1.1.1

          Yeah, you got it. The fact that they've been doing bilateral negotiations for months suggests an ongoing mutual commitment to actually getting a substantial deal done. But it's also in their mutual interest to signal an output @ COP26. So there's a wee bit of a fudge going on.

          Re the nuclear angle, your summary of the relevant logic is apt. No point precipitating a public relations disaster via premature announcement. Framing of that would be crucial. All the scientific, economic & political ducks in a row is the design challenge. If they're engaged on that task it'd be a massive breakthrough.

  15. francesca 16

    Julian Assange and Stella Moris are getting married in Belmarsh prison

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/nov/11/julian-assange-allowed-to-marry-partner-stella-moris-in-jail

    Typically the Guardian gets it wrong claiming they met in the Ecuador Embassy .They met in 2011, when Moris was called in to help Jennifer Robinson, long time lawyer of Assange

    In the RT link Amy Goodman interviews Stella Moris

    She's an impressive young woman

    https://www.rt.com/uk/540043-julian-assange-marriage-moris/

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Typical state behaviour though:

      Assange and Moris have been engaged for five years, and have been asking officials at the maximum-security prison for permission to arrange a wedding since May. When they finally received a reply, they were told the matter was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). As the CPS represents the US government in the extradition proceedings against the Australian-born publisher, putting them in charge of the marriage basically gives Washington veto powers, which is “completely outrageous,” Moris told Democracy Now.

      Hard to disagree with her, but I must point out that the state has sovereign power. Therefore bureaucrats are authorised to pass the buck whenever possible. The referral to the CPS by a bureaucrat seems malevolent yet I bet that bureaucrat has nothing in his employment contract requiring him to make decisions in accord with the human rights of prisoners.

      Therefore, as state agent, he is free to choose where to pass the buck. There's no requirement in the law around state constitution in western countries that requires the state to make decisions based on ethical conduct or human rights as far as I know. Sure, most western countries signed up for the UN Covenants that describe such rights, but I'm unaware of any actual constraint resulting from the signing that binds state employees into acting in accord…

  16. Gezza 17

    Geez, this sounds like very bad police/MOH coordination … ☹️

    “Distraught family members who were allegedly let through Auckland’s border by compassionate police officers for the funeral of their Covid-infected father subsequently had their border exemption application declined.

    Three siblings travelled from Whangārei to farewell their father before they received a response from the Ministry of Health on their application, the Herald has been told.

    The family claim they were allowed into Auckland and attended the funeral, after which their travel exemption application was declined.

    Now they fear they may have trouble returning home.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-family-of-glen-eden-man-who-died-denied-border-exemption-after-travelling-to-funeral/4EGO5TPI2R5VKFQCYTREPPPCKE/

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      Looks like what happens when humanitarian concerns come into conflict with the little hitler syndrome. Bureaucrats are big on rules and small on humanity…

      • Gezza 17.1.1

        With respect, Dennis, I think little hitler syndrome is an inaccurate & unfair description.

        I was a public servant for 34 years, but I was never a bureaucrat & studiously avoided employment in any roles that required a bureaucratic temperament or attitude.

        What most likely has happened here is classic bureaucracy tho. The person or persons charged with making the decision are too far removed from the people affected by it & most likely have little effective discretion to depart from firm & generally successful (so far) rules that have kept covid under control (until delta).

        My bet is that at MOH there was a collective “If we say yes, we’ll open the floodgates & there’ll be a raft of such requests in future that we can’t then deny”-type decision. So the decision was to hang tuff for what seemed like a good reason.

        Policepersons, on the other hand, are the sharp end, dealing with people face to face on a daily basis. They have lots of discretion. Many of them are moved by simple human compassion that comes from seeing grief daily. The longer they’re in a frontline role the better they get at becoming sensible, pragmatic decision-makers.

        • Dennis Frank 17.1.1.1

          Fair enough. I accept such nuances characterise the public service. Your point re the police/public interface & pragmatism is a good one. Anyway, feel free to admonish me again whenever I air my stance on public service bureaucrats. Since it is based on half a century or so of observing the little hitler syndrome evident in media reportage of their decision-making, it'll probably keep showing up! wink

          • Gezza 17.1.1.1.1

            There’s no doubt that there ARE some little hitlers in the public service, in both case officer & supervisor roles, and I’ve met some of these psychopaths – but in the case of these applications for covid exemptions it’s a safe bet that at least two people – and very likely more than two – are involved in collectively making & then approving the final decision.

            Most public servants in my experience are not the cold-hearted inflexible bastards they’re often stereotyped as. They’re ordinary, compassionate, empathetic folk like the rest of us. What counts is the policy criteria they get charged with enforcing, but don’t usually have any input into developing.

            • Blazer 17.1.1.1.1.1

              'Gliding On' has alot to answer for Gezza…probably one of DF's favourites…right timeline.wink

              • Gezza

                .
                🤔

                👍🏼 😀

                Altho Gliding On was right on the mark with many of its characterisations of how govt departments operated in the 70’s, when I joined, right down to the decor, office layouts, tea ladies & typists.

                Things changed massively after Roger Douglas raided & stripped out the economy. No more tea ladies, just a kitchen area & free milk, sugar, cheapest instant coffee & tea – and open plan offices (with cube walls, if you were lucky).

      • McFlock 17.1.2

        Well, no, there are good reasons for it.

        The cops letting them through without a pass were endangering people in other regions. I can understand why, but they took a risk that was above their pay grade.

        edit: ah, ok, they were going the other direction (into akl) so not too bad. Still it’s a bit like going overseas – if you go without everything done first, there’s no guarantee you won’t get stuck.

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