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Open mike 13/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 13th, 2014 - 94 comments
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94 comments on “Open mike 13/04/2014 ”

  1. karol 1

    Some interesting articles in the Sunday news about the NZ of “haves”, “have nots”, inequalities and high end bludgers.

    Colin Espiner (who I always thought leaned to the right), spells out what Bennett and the Nats are doing with their bennie bashing – and compares it with tax evaders, etc.“Beneficiary bashing just too easy”

    It’s estimated welfare fraud costs the country between $20 million and $40m a year. Tax evasion, about which the Government has much less to say, has been estimated to cost the country anywhere from $1 billion to $6b a year.

    Why the double standard? Could it be that beneficiaries are an easy target? I hope it isn’t that simple, because Bennett is a better minister than that, and should have more empathy with those at the bottom of the heap, given her back story.

    So why else shout “look over there!” right at the moment?

    An NZ Herald article on people who have gone bankrupt and headed overseas where they can avoid paying anything back to debtors.

    An article by Morgan Godfery in the Herald on Sunday, on the celebrity royal tour that is a “colonial hangover”. He’s for a republic.

    Also interesting is that at the bottom of the Godfery artilce, is an editorial note:

    • The Herald on Sunday will publish a range of different views “out of leftfield” over the next few months.

    which suggests they don’t usually have many op eds from the left….?

    • Disraeli Gladstone 1.1

      I suspect their a view of an “institutional left” and a “out of leftfield left”. So Josie Pagini, Stuart Nash, these people the Herald regard as being the left they talk to and that people who know. So when they allow Morgan Godfery to write an article (and he is an absolutely brilliant and articulate writer), the Herald gets to feel good about giving these people a chance since no knows of them.

      Except, it’s bullshit, because we do know of them. They just don’t fit in the Herald’s box.

    • Tigger 1.2

      I suspect Espiner is simply trying to look ‘balanced’ due to his new job (cuff the right so he can skewer the left) but I’ll take the hits on National when I get them. Nice closing lines.

      “But the Government doesn’t want you to think about this, let alone get angry about it. No. It would much rather you focused your attention on an ancient, lazy stereotype.

      After all, beneficiaries can’t afford defamation lawyers. And they probably don’t vote National.”

    • geoff 1.3

      Colin Espiner said “I hope it isn’t that simple, because Bennett is a better minister than that,”

      What planet is he on?

      • marsman 1.3.1

        Exactly my thoughts too geoff. She’s incompetent as far as Social Welfare is concerned, she may be good at the neoliberal ‘Welfare is a problem which we need to get rid’ bullshit but she doesn’t give a shit about the real problem which is poverty. She is an arrogant piece of shit to boot.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          It’s not that she’s incompetent – it’s that she’s a psychopath.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Planet Key.

    • Trying to reduce benefit fraud does not mean IRD are not trying to address tax dodging and repayment avoidance. For example:

      Management of Debt and Outstanding Returns (M57)
      Taking follow-up action where returns are outstanding and where payments are overdue, including providing people with assistance on the actions they need to take to meet their obligations.

      2007/08 Budgeted $85,097,000
      2008/09 Estimated Actual $88,352,000
      2009/10 Estimated Actual $90,335,000
      2010/11 Estimated Actual $100,229,000
      2011/12 Estimated Actual $109,476,000
      2012/13 Estimated Actual $116,874,000
      2013/14 Budget $124,896,000

      http://www.politicheck.org.nz/factchecks/2014/4/9/are-national-doing-nothing-about-tax-fraud

      The IRD annual report details how they address compliance and avoidance.

      • Bill 1.4.1

        What’s your point Pete? You really do need to get a fcking grip!

        No-one is saying or has said that IRD do nothing to track tax. What is being said over and over again is that those on welfare entitlements are being vilified, that the sum totals involved are exaggerated, and that the punishments meted out are far harsher than for tax dodgers – who cost society much, much more money, while enjoying a free ride in the arena of manufactured public opinion.

        • Pete George 1.4.1.1

          Settle down Bill.

          I often hear people claiming National harasses beneficiaries but does nothing about tax dodging/evasion.

          @DavidCunliffeMP

          Welfare fraud, $23 million = National obsession. Tax dodging, $6 BILLION = National doing nothing.

          And that “Tax dodging, $6 BILLION” is at best misleading and exaggerated.

          “those on welfare entitlements are being vilified, that the sum totals involved are exaggerated, and that the punishments meted out are far harsher than for tax dodgers”

          Can you substantiate that? If you can I’ll post on it.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.1

            And Pete George rushes to National’s rescue – again.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.1.1.1.1

              And once again wastes the Left’s time demanding to be shown proof of long-established facts.

              The sky is blue? Can you substantiate that, it looks grey to me.

              • freedom

                like the srylands the other day, wasting time and saying I had obvious mental health problems because I believed over 200,000 kids in NZ live in poverty.

                (Which I admit I was annoyed by, seeing as he knows full well I have admitted on this blog that I live with PTSD and Chronic Depression. So thought it somewhat of a cheap shot.)

            • lurgee 1.4.1.1.1.2

              There is still a valid point.

              The actual figures for revenue lost through tax evasion are between $1 billion and $6 billion per year.

              (As quoted in the NZ Herald last year: “$1 billion to $6 billion a year – is the amount calculated to be lost to government coffers through tax evasion each year.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10871292)

              By using the $6 billion, Cunliffe immediately gives the other side a ‘Get out of jail free’ card because they can attack the figure, not the point.

              As happened here.

              Just another example of a good idea poorly executed.

              • McFlock

                So if he’d said $1bil, they wouldn’t try to quibble over the number?

                Look, it’s tory playbook page 2: any number the opposition comes up with, no matter how robust, quibble over it and claim that the slightest debatability in the amount negates the entire argument.

                All you can do is let themexhaust the tactic so it no longer works. Getting into a debate about the minutae derails the wider argument.

          • Bill 1.4.1.1.2

            those on welfare entitlements are being vilified

            Just from the past day or so Pete….

            http://www.writehanded.org/blog/2014/04/10/jet-setting-beneficiaries-how-lucky-are-we/
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/9918632/Life-on-the-wings-of-Paulas-dole-is-a-breeze
            http://www.thelittlepakeha.net/2014/04/04/wrestling-with-the-narrative/

            that the sum totals involved are exaggerated

            I’m not about to dig back through the archive for the discussion and the links. Suffice to say that if a person on entitlements is ‘had up’ for fraud, they are done for the entire total of their entitlement and not merely the portion that has been fraudulently claimed. And it is that sum total that is reported in the media.

            punishments meted out are far harsher than for tax dodgers

            There was a lot of commentary on a recent study highlighting the frequency of jail time for ‘beneficiaries’ versus tax fraudsters. Again, I’m not about to run around finding it. I’m sure you can use google search. Also note…tax dodgers who do jail time, do it in lieu of repayment while those of entitlements do jail time and can then be chased up by WINZ to repay the entire sum total of all their entitlements (not just the portion of their claim that was fraudulent)

            • RedBaronCV 1.4.1.1.2.1

              Pete seems to be confusing those who have had an assessment or default assessment issued which gives the figures he quoted (and amounts due as debt) with aggressive evasion where amounts are omitted from returns or schemes set up to gut tax.

              On a completely different angle would Lprent be able to put in one of those thread closers like email inboxes have. Then we could just close Pete’s threads up so we don’t have to read them.

          • NZ Femme 1.4.1.1.3

            “…Can you substantiate that? If you can I’ll post on it..”

            This is substantiated through the research of Dr Lisa Marriott, Senior Lecturer in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University.

            “Her analysis of court data on the most serious offending from 2008–2011 shows that 22 per cent of people found guilty of tax offences received a custodial sentence while 60 per cent of benefit fraudsters were imprisoned.

            Dr Marriott’s investigation also shows tax crimes are more costly, with those given custodial sentences committing offences valued at just over $800,000. Benefit fraud averaged $67,000 per offender.

            Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.

            “So the figures for tax evasion are phenomenal while they are relatively small for benefit fraud,” says Dr Marriott, “but we have quite different attitudes to the two crimes.”

            http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/research/projects#MarsdenFastStart

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.3.1

              +111

            • Pete George 1.4.1.1.3.2

              Thanks, that’s helpful.

              One issue I’ve seen mentioned is that welfare fraud is often relatively simple and most evidence can be found within Government data from social welfare and IRD, so presumably is easier to detect and easier to prosecute. Tax evasion can be far more complex and easier to hide in private company records (or absence of records).

              It’s more difficult to recover huge amounts of money than small amounts in any sort of fraud case.

              Tax evasion covers a wide range of situations and demographics, from corporate level fraud to individuals failing to report income avoiding income tax and GST, and paying cash for work avoiding PAYE and ACC.

              None of this excuses either type of fraud.

              My opinion is that large scale fraud should result in larger sentences.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s ok, National: Petty Officer George has found an excuse: those fruit are just too hard to reach.

              • Poission

                My opinion is that large scale fraud should result in larger sentences

                The use of multinationals by the US and other regimes to make their companies more competitive (read subsdise) is the fundamental cause of financial instability (read minsky instability) and that this is done in plain sight ie not hidden should be ringing alarm bells in every jurisdiction where tax takes are not meeting expectations (read forecasts)

                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-06/tax-expert-explains-how-apple-pays-193m-tax-on-27b-revenue/5303426

                • This is a world wide problem that needs world wide solutions. We can’t address this on our own.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No excuses here, no sirree. Just some hand-wringing.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yes we can. Sure, we may see a slight decline in imports but that’s nothing compared to being constantly stolen from. We’d probably see an increase in products made here as well.

                    • srylands

                      No we can’t.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, SSpylands, we can.

                      You can’t, because you’re an idiot.

                    • vto

                      I don’t know if srylands is an idiot mcflock, I think he simply has no ability to think critically, which is a genuine shame.

                    • srylands

                      No we can’t. Forget it. It is not happening under any government. You are an idiot McFluck. And an extremely rude one.

                      What are you going to do that does not breach WTO rules genius? Or our bilateral tax treaties?

                      Grow up.

                    • bad12

                      Sod off SSLands you raving little Nazi…

                    • McFlock

                      SSpylands, I’m sure even you could figure out how to address tax evasion across the board in NZ without contravening the WTO. It doesn’t need to involve access restrictions or subsidies.

                      You pointless waste of space.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What are you going to do that does not breach WTO rules genius?

                      Drop out of the WTO. Belonging to it obviously isn’t doing us any good.
                      Drop out of the World Bank as well and set up our own banking system thus removing any need for foreign money.
                      Put in place reciprocal tariffs that means that trade is fair.

                      There, done.

                      Unilateral action will lead to us becoming disconnected from globalisation.

                      And this is bad how?

                      Oh, that’s right, it’s not.

                  • Poission

                    We can get our own house in order by eliminating them in NZ (there is no financial advantage for NZ except for the laundromats run by law firms)

                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10844389

                    That you could do it relatively fast,and introduce sunset clauses (event horizon for the black holes) for trusts would show that NZ could by a leader ,Europe would follow very quickly.

              • freedom

                The rate of convictions is one thing, but the regularity of the incarceration of convicted benefit fraudsters compared to convicted Income/business tax fraudsters is eye-watering in its contrasted realities Pete.

                and btw, home detention in the nice house with sky and internet and delivery to your door of whatever you want to buy is hardly what those in stuck in 23 hours a day lockdown would call incarceration.

                Why not get Politicheck to do a little work on that particular subject?

                • That’s why I’m engaging on it here.

                  • McFlock

                    Why should we do your work for you? You’ll only fuck it up later.

                  • Bill

                    No Pete. Going by the nature of your comments, you’re engaging in order to evaluate opinions or formulate opinions of your own. And that has got absolutely nothing to do with facts.

                    Facts do not need to be dressed up. They need to be stated within their correct context – end.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      +1

                    • Bull Bill, you’re making up assumptions.

                      Social media can be an effective way of identifying different angles to issues. Yes facts are facts but finding all pertinent facts can be quite difficult. Crowd sourcing angles can help, sometimes substantially.

                    • Bill

                      Pete. I’m not making any fucking assumptions whatsoever. I’m simply reading the content of your fucking comments.

                      Think about this Pete. Facts are (as you acknowledge) facts. Yet you say you are seeking different angles to issues and that crowd sourcing angles can (sometimes) substantially help in finding facts. I mean, seriously!?

                      If the fact is false, it’s false. If it’s being used in a misleading way, it’s misleading. If it’s being used out of context or being divorced from other pertinent facts, then it’s misleading, yes?

                      What I, or anyone else thinks about fields of thoughts surrounding facts is completely and utterly irrelevant. As I pointed out when you first popped up as being prominent within this fact checking malarky – you lack the critical faculties or approach necessary for such a role. Your latest comment just underlines that contention in big shouty red marker pen.

                    • Bill, I don’t know what you look for on blogs and in social media but I see a lot of very good information and facts, often from experts in their fields. People are often happy to provide information and links to facts if you ask, even here sometimes. Of course it’s not the only place to look but it can be useful – as has been demonstrated above. The more people providing input – and constructive criticism – the better.

                      In politics sometimes the only way of getting pertinent information is if someone tells you. The more people you ask and the more places you look the better the chance of finding out. Especially in a modern interactive world.

                  • Hamish

                    You’re engaging on here because you’re a shameless, attention seeking nitwit.

                    • bad12

                      Lolz, Petes heavily into being transparent you know, that’s why you have just seen right through Him…

    • vto 1.5

      Espiners most interesting comment concerned South Canterbury Finance.

      $1,700,000,000 paid to crappy investors in SCF.
      That is 57 years worth of benefit fraud…. 57 years worth …..
      Key and English knew on the day they were elected that SCF was going to fail. Why then, was the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme amended by Key and English to allow SCF to continue to participate? THIS IS THE QUESTION FOLKS

      This is the single biggest fraud conducted in NZ – the fraud of Key and English in letting SCF participate.

      THIS IS THE FRAUD

      57 YEARS WORTH

      (apologies for the shouting, but it is needed)

      • dv 1.5.1

        Deposit Guarantee Scheme amended by Key and English to allow SCF to continue to participate? THIS IS THE QUESTION FOLKS

        AND against treasury advice.

      • tc 1.5.2

        Yup, SCF has a stench about it that should be dug up when the opportunity arises.

        Be a good reminder to all NZ what this regime has been really all about and just maybe slap a bit of that gullability out of the sheeple.

        Shonkey and cohorts will have covered their tracks and the trail is cooling but I dont care if noone gets fingered, NZ needs to see how the nact blagged nearly 2bill easy as pie.

  2. Once was Tim 2

    “Colin Espiner (who I always thought leaned to the right)…..”
    I’ve noticed amongst some of my Natzi/right wing acquaintances that they’re becoming a little embarrassed by their own excessive greed and troughing as that gap widens. The other day as I walked through Wellington with one such and we passed a number of closed down premises, I stopped to talk to one of the growing number of ‘beggars’ to learn their story. They had to admit that they’re not the exceptions spin doctors would like us to believe.
    (Btw – not only are they beginning to question their excess, but they profess to hold ‘Christian values’)

    • JanM 2.1

      Though no longer adhering to the dogma, I was raised in a Christian household in which care and concern for others was paramount. This was before that ghastly American religious concept of personal wealth and entitlement crept in to our society – it’s like a cancer, and anything less aligned to the original concepts of Christianity is hard to imagine.

    • North 3.1

      What is painfully clear is that Paula Bennett is by ommission at least, a dirty liar.

      Add to that ‘a bully’. Add to that ‘a sociopath’ who advisedly foments hatred against the weakest and poorest in society. And for what ? For her personal advancement and her personal power.

      I hope there are sermons being delivered around the country this morning which brand her for what she is – a dirty liar, a bully, a sociopath. I borrow JanM’s final sentence in her comment @ 2.1 above.

      • JanM 3.1.1

        I wonder if there are enough ministers with the fire in their bellies to stand up and be counted about how we are treating those of us in need

    • Or you could use the handy RSS feed button on the bottom of the page?

  3. North 4

    Q + A right now – the staggering hypocrisy of Richard Prebble contrasting Hone’s colours when he entered Parliament with MANA talking to KDC now ??????

    Prebble made a career out of scabbery then extended it with scabbery. FFS !!!!!!

    • mac1 4.1

      I have found it true enough in my own life to say that the failings that people despise in others are often what they despise in themselves.

      (Edit: this comment directed at Prebble!)

    • David H 4.2

      Yeah But Cunliffe made good sense. Prebble is just a fool.

      • Anne 4.2.1

        Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Michael Bassett (and one or two other former Labour luminaries) have never forgiven the left of centre faction inside Labour for winning “the faction war” of the 1980s and early 1990s. I witnessed the bitterness and vengeful attitude they displayed towards Helen Clark in particular during the 90s. It was as if they believed they were the ones who had been betrayed when in reality they did the betraying… of the principles which have always guided the NZ Labour Party. Their sexism, and the degrading way they talked about Labour women MPs behind their backs was awful.

        I am of the view Prebble’s extreme hostility towards Labour – and the Greens by association – has it’s origins more in personal bitterness/hatred towards them than it does in political considerations. Nothing would give him more pleasure than to see them destroyed and he will continue to do his bit to achieve that goal. Very sad because he was once quite a likeable character – its true. 🙂

        • JanM 4.2.1.1

          He probably was – his dad was a lovely man 🙂

          • Anne 4.2.1.1.1

            Think he was more like his Mum. His father seemed a quiet and thoughtful gentleman.

        • Hamish 4.2.1.2

          Very sad because he was once quite a likeable character – its true.

          When? I’m seriously curious.

          What I find intriguing about Douglas, Prebble, Caygill and co is that they likely came from socialist backgrounds. What did/do their families think about their actions?

          • Anne 4.2.1.2.1

            Back in the 70s Hamish. He was a young man in his 20s, but even then he was a bit of a pain in the sense he liked to be the one who had the last say. I remember Labour Regional meetings in Auckland where he would be leaping up and down in his seat being a pain in the neck. But at least he was a Labour loyalist in those days. I don’t think he has any political principles any more. He just goes where he thinks its going to be best for him.

            You’re right. Douglas, Prebble and Bassett (I think) came from strong Labour backgrounds. Don’t know about Caygill but expect he did too.

            • Hamish 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Thanks for the insight Anne.

              Do you know how Prebble was ‘got’ by, I assume, the treasury? Or did Roger get converted first and then he brainwashed Prebble?

              • Anne

                I think it started with Douglas. He was the guru of Labour’s neo-liberal faction back in the 80s. Even had Lange fooled for a while, but he eventually saw the light. And to be fair I think quite a few people in Labour who originally supported Douglas eventually saw the light too.

                Who brain-washed Douglas is harder to ascertain but business tycoon Alan Gibbs was in there somewhere…

                • Hamish

                  Yes and Douglas must have been indoctrinated before the Lange government because he hit the ground running, right?
                  I thought that the treasury in the 1970s had something to do with pushing supply side/neolib on governments?

    • tc 4.3

      Prebble is an a grade trougher now, he is protecting all those baubles just like DPF, hooten etc.

      They are all playing out their little cameos in the msm on cue.

  4. Chooky 5

    Clearly in light of the half billion spent in Britain on useless Tamiflu and useless stockpiling here there needs to be revisions in the health business

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

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

    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/leadership/biography/CA4A4DEFEE490E350AF86239DE21DA3F/catherine_deangelis

    • Chooky 5.1

      more on Tamiflu

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

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

      In New Zealand it is all swept under the carpet as per usual by the bureaucracy ….someone needs to be held to account….at very least a review and changes must be made as to how we evaluate big drug company big profit items eg vaccines bought by the government and foisted on the public

      This is taxpayer health money that is being wasted

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Nothing makes the private sector big money like that delicious combination of imagined crisis, fear, hype, and lots of experts saying all this tax payers money must be spent on corporate products, ASAP!

        • bad12 5.1.1.1

          Yep CV, i have posted a comment or two a month or so back relating to Tamiflu,H1N1 and how there is some belief that this whole ‘program’ of pandemic fear was in fact rumored to be a payback to big Pharma for the US CDC,(who decide what the annual flu predominant in the western world will be every year),having got it horribly wrong in a previous year causing big Pharma a substantial loss by having them produce the wrong flu jab in the millions for that year,

          There is of course no ‘proof’ of the truth or otherwise of such a rumor,(can anyone imagine the participants ‘fessing up’)…

          • bad12 5.1.1.1.1

            There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye, i have been digging around looking for something that would indicate a tie in with ‘bird-flu’ that has no means of infecting humans and the ‘habit’ of H1N1 to suddenly reappear as a full on flu in people that years ago during the supposed ‘pandemic year’ had a dose of it,

            Surrounding these re-infections might be a co-dose of the chicken pox and/or a painful bout of shingles,

            Can a flu virus be made that uses another virus to piggy back on where the flu virus may not have the means of infecting the human body from the outside but if it were piggy backed onto an entirely different virus as the means of entry might in turn replicate,

            That’s a good question…

    • Bill 5.2

      The bigger picture is that this tamiflu debacle hat finally opens the door wide on all pharmaceutical research/testing.

      For some time, there has been a wealth of information around regarding the research/testing of psychotropic medication. Unfortunately, a lot of that info is propagated by the scientologists, and so has been summarily dismissed despite of the quality of the information.

      Maybe that will change now insofar as the regime underpinning tamiflu is a mirror image of what some (not just the Church of Scientology) have tried to highlight with regards psychotropic medication. I really do hope so.

      p.s. wasn’t there a scathing article on tamiflu when it was being rolled out? From memory the shelf life and efficacy were being questioned even as governments were stocking up. Also there was concern over the influence Dick Cheney was able to exert given that he was a major shareholder. Was all something like that. My memory gets a bit fuzzy these days, so don’t just take my word for all of that.

  5. tricledrown 6

    Tamiflu is most likey overpriced but is effective in lifethreatening circumstances but only mildy effective in everyday flu’s.
    Given swine flu could have turned out much worse it was a good decision tamiflu is not a vaccine.
    Now the flu vaccine has a swine flu vaccine included.
    Big pharma profited out of ignorance and panic they should be made to pay the price gouging back.
    To say we are getting overcharged in general for vaccines is bullshit.
    Vaccines save us .
    +save $100’s of millions a year in health costs.
    Pharmac have worlds best practice in purchase agreements.
    My children have all been vaccinated and are much healthier than those who weren’t.
    I read widely on health care issues.
    People who believe vaccines are dangerous have no scientific evidence to back their claims other than a retired Pro Wrestler with conspiracy concerns.

    • Chooky 6.1

      Tamiflu “effective”?…it has been proven to be not effective…..and may even be harmful

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

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        The real shocker from that story is that the only way Japan could get health advisories to prescribing doctors was via the mass media.

        Dr. Hama says the health ministry’s initial alert last year received little notice, even among medical professionals.

        “It was not reported, distributed through the mass media, so doctors do not notice that warning,” he said.

    • Ergo Robertina 6.2

      ‘Tamiflu is most likey overpriced but is effective in lifethreatening circumstances but only mildy effective in everyday flu’s.’

      The initial ‘evidence’ furnished to support claims of a reduction in flu complications included trial patients self-reporting pneumonia, with no clinical testing of the diagnosis.

  6. Zorr 7

    Even a stopped watch is right twice a day:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9936129/Judges-handling-of-abuse-victim-slammed

    I actually find myself on the same page as the SST. What a world we live in! >_<

    • RedBaronCV 7.1

      Yep I agree. This judge seems to have the concept of restorative justice totally screwed. She is not the offender’s therapy, she should not be asked if she wants to be and refusal to do so should not be counted against her or even commented on. I saw one survey where around half the people who attended the so called “restorative justice” conferences left feeling worse than when they arrived.

      The sentence seems very light But hey a lot of this isn’t really that unusual I suspect. Time for the Chief justice to have the retirement talk with this Judge and the time is well overdue for all Judges to be sent off for some solid learning about behavioural attitudes and how they represent the whole community not just those with the same prejudices as them and how the judges own prejudices affect them. Justice isn’t just a male view of reasonable. .

    • Rodel 7.2

      The stuff article, headline and opening sentence is dramatically overstated..Judge Saunders was not “slammed”.
      The judges reluctance was successfully challenged by the crown prosecutor, the judge agreed but was criticized by McVicar. No problem there..but”slammed” is sub-editor’s sensationalizing to provoke public interest.All too common in our tabloid media.

  7. freedom 8

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9936792/Dissent-as-Mana-and-Dotcom-draw-nearer

    The spin in that opening line is a fucking disgrace! As if the headline wasn’t bad enough.

    Two political parties had a meeting and now the group leaders want to discuss it all with the grass root members… my god what a travesty.

    Did you know that sort of behaviour was allowed in a modern democracy?
    Imagine wanting to garner informed consent for democratic action, terrible, just terrible.

  8. joe90 9

    Trent Reznor is giving away an album.

    http://theslip.nin.com/

    • freedom 9.1

      ty joe for the goodness
      -when word gets out,
      that only being able to share with three friends is going to need some subtle footwork 🙂

  9. captain hook 10

    didja see paula ‘lewinsky’ beenit on the catwalk. looked more like the baby elephant walk to me.

  10. bad12 11

    ”Gush oh gush gush”, i run into the Woyals this morning on my way home from the vege market, not literally of course, and no the thought didn’t even cross my mind,

    The Spongers in chief had the luxury of crashing the Red at the Kilbirnie lights this morning on their way to the airport,(it takes a ten vehicle convoy to get these sponges from government House to the airport with i presume 5 sets of traffic lights along the way all stopped by the plods disrupting our day while these wastes of space get whisked off for a trip down South),

    We made eye contact, gush, i swear we made i contact, gush, well me and the plod stopping the traffic at the bottom set of the Kilbirnie lights sure did when i started yelling ”why should we be stopped for these spongers”(if looks could kill and all that, haven’t seen one of them since way back when i got the stare of death from John Bank’s pet plod Inspector Sharky as i gave it to Banks about His appearance that day in the District Court),

    i consoled myself with the fact that their Woyal lownesses were being dragged through the back entrance to Wellington airport, and, the prices at the vege market were again good on my pocket and well worth the effort of dragging myself out into a Wellington Southerly,

    18 pieces of fruit, half a pumpkin,half a red cabbage, a bunch of spring onions, 2 avocados, bag of carrots, 2 tomato,2 lemons for 17 bucks,

    Have found that you have to do a circuit of all the stalls befor you buy to check who has the best prices of the week, pity the people selling there weren’t provided with a prominent and permanent space in a central location so they could sell their stuff, would sure as hell fix what ails the supermarkets 40% markups in a short space of time,

    Tonight’s dinner, baked Terakihi fillet(with onion and tomato), surrounded by a vege bake featuring Kumara, Potato, Pumkin,Broccoli, and Carrot,topped off with a thick sauce flavored with peanut,garlic, and ginger along with a side dish of roasted red cabbage basted with clover honey…

    • Anne 11.1

      A ten vehicle convoy? That is absurd. Okay lets do a list.

      Police car in front lights flashing.
      Plain car with DPS bodyguards.
      Official car carrying personal staff – lady in waiting, male equivalent whatever that is, couple of secretaries.
      Will and Kate.
      Another police car lights flashing.

      So who is in the other five? Boot lickers and spies?

      Talk about going the American over-kill way!

      And your dinner sounds delicious Bad12.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 11.1.1

        I don’t know what time Bad12 buys his grocery! According to the now almost sickening media coverage, the royals were in Dunedin at 9:30am. They must have been in the plane by 9am at the latest.

        Buying grocery at 8am, that’s commitment there, I have to say.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          one reason I never got into farmers markets or fish markets. They’re all closing just as I’m getting out of bed 🙂

          • Disraeli Gladstone 11.1.1.1.1

            I’m a morning person. But I’m a “in my dressing gown, breakfast and tea, at my desk writing” morning person. Out of the house on a weekend by 8am? That doesn’t happen too often!

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism

    Advocates see the “neoliberal agenda” (i.e. freeing the market from constraints such as regulations and tariffs) as going hand-in-hand with freedom, even when the results across the world tell a very different tale.

    We barely have to look before finding new new waves of protest (e.g. Turkey, Brazil, and Slovenia) against the intimate connection between neoliberalism, corruption, authoritarianism, and austerity measures.

  12. ffloyd 13

    I was just wondering if the fact that p William being a best friend of d.Beckham makes him thick as batshit. Maybe he should ask p.m.clodhopper! His new bff.

  13. Paul 14

    From the propaganda rag the Herald.
    All Blacks’ great Richie McCaw met the royals, saying they were “just like normal people”.

    Of course they are.
    They lead normal lives.
    They have normal jobs.
    They have normal incomes.

    Who believes this nonsense?

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