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Open Mike 14/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 14th, 2016 - 91 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

[In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election]


91 comments on “Open Mike 14/11/2016 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Isn’t it time to remove this announcement? All it does is remind me of the US election.

    • weka 1.1

      Am in two minds. If I remove it, then the discussion will come back to OM (including the stuff that many people find objectionable).

      • Pasupial 1.1.1

        I’d say give it another week yet. At least until the protests die down a bit.

        • weka


          btw, I appreciate your and Stephanie’s comments in the other thread just now. I’m not going to reply there because I don’t want to give oxygen to it, but suffice to say that the difference between that post and Bill’s yesterday is glaring.

          • Zorr

            I don’t really know that I can remain subscribed to the feed from this site with a post like that nearly every day.

            On one hand I should be better than this and be able to “rise above it” and ignore such drivel but, at the same time, it is disappointing to see such alt-right rubbish posted here. The longer that it has gone on, the more surprised I am that it is continuing.

            The only reason I even piped up at all today was because today’s example was the most glaring and brazenly right-wing trolling I have seen yet.

            • weka

              Please stick around this week Zorr, and please keep saying what you think on this matter, because it’s all coming to a head and the more peple that are upfront about the problem the easier it is to see that there is one and what can be done.

              • Andre

                If you’re collecting those kinds of opinions, I too have got pretty bored with Every.Single.Topic getting diverted to getting Trump-jism and general fuckwittery sprayed all over them.

            • marty mars

              Yep been there and posted the same. I decided mysoginist, racist and all the other disgusting attributes of trump mean that i cannot allow that bully or his Lord haw haws to stand unopposed. We fight against that shit. We stand up for others against the lies and misinformation and we do it without thought of thanks or reward or recognition. We do it because our morals impell us to. Because if we don’t then we are allowing those views to foster and hurt people. No. We fight it.

            • lprent

              It is all about timing and providing time for the process to happen. We have put very few constraints on authors in the past – for good reason. There are way too many views.

              But Mike Smith and I (as the trustees of the site) as one of our very occasional meetings had a talk about where we’d put the limits on authors last week while he was in Auckland.

              Both of us value having a wide diversity of author opinion, and we are also old enough in the tooth and organisations to know how hard that is for most people to understand how hard that level of diversity is to achieve in a voluntary organisation. It’d have been easy enough for us to simply impose limits. But generally that just pisses people off and away. Frankly neither of us wanted to write the posts ourselves. Mike has his grandkids and golf, and I have a demanding real life job.

              However we appear to have reached a point where almost all the authors are damn near begging us (to one degree or another) to take an action. This mostly shows in the backend of the system.

              So we decided that we’d better put a policy in place about acceptable author behaviour as well as the existing one on commentators.

              We’ve never needed one before because the system operated more on person to person and personal contacts. But over the last two years we’ve been running author only comments on private posts to allow the authors to interact directly with each other. It has been an interesting albeit rather predicable experience – they have discovered their actual levels of disagreement not only on ideas, but on just about everything else. But one of the primary purposes of opening up that discussion was to allow the authors to figure out that there should be author limits, and why as trustees we haven’t put them in place earlier 🙂 Plus why the trustees were going to write those limits to further the principles of the trust that operates the site rather than those of just the current authors.

              I was meant to draft the author bounds last week. But work pressures and a nasty late in the week cold got in the way.

              But I think that having an arbitrary, rather weird, and essentially pointless post about a single person’s views in the midst of one of the largest NZ’s wider disasters… Well that means that I’m going to make some similarly arbitrary decisions based on what Mike and I decided last week. So CV just lost his ability to publish posts when he feels like it. The excessive use of the privilege to put up a responding ‘Guest Post’ by an editor means that they have been dropped back to author.

              Hopefully I’ll get some time to do the author policy in the next few weeks before I have to head off to Europe again for work.

        • Manuka AOR

          I’d say give it another week yet. At least until the protests die down a bit

          Please can we have a new one? The one that’s there – Post-US Election Discussion Post – is from several days ago and is filling up fast.

          Many thanks.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        Those discussions aren’t about the US election, Weka, they’re about the ongoing tanty of the unelectable author from Dunedin. You yourself have noted the difference between the debate Bill initiated and their alt-right hate-speech.

        • weka

          true, which is a good a reason as any to keep it out of OM. If the people that want to talk about the US election find it objectionable too or that it is ruining the debate then they can start saying that.

          I also think that having the dedicated posts was a great success despite all that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I agree.

          • Zorr

            If it was in Open Mike, at least it wouldn’t be publicly announced on both the RSS feed and Facebook that CV has made yet another Trump puff piece and is holding court with all his alt-right hate speech buddies.

            • weka

              Good point, hadn’t thought about the RSS feed and others 🙁

              Thanks everyone. There’s some decisions being made today in the back end. I expect things to improve.

              I’m still interested to hear people say what it is that they want to see on the site (or not see), or why they may or may not want to be here.

              • Zorr

                I want to see more local politics discussion and how we can organize here in our own country. I’ve always felt that the Greens and “left arm” (if you will) of Labour are well represented around here and I really appreciate knowing what is happening even if I am unable to be involved in the grassroots myself.

                Also, I really appreciate the well argued differing viewpoints even from authors I don’t agree with because it enriches my political understanding and can sometimes fill in blanks in my knowledge.

                So… tl;dr – local content and well argued “points from the Left”?

              • lprent

                Like Facebook, the RSS feed has for some years only done excerpts. That is all that it announces.

                I’ve left that last post up simply because there had been a number of people commenting on it. I’ve got a standing bias that if people write comments that don’t need moderation, then I leave them on site.

                • weka

                  Sounds fair to me, and as a commenter I know how shit it is to have a post removed and all the comments disappear.

              • TheExtremist

                I just don’t want to see feeds from Fox News, Breitbart and other alt right sources.

                • weka

                  Sweet, looks like that’s over for now, in posts at least.

                • One Two

                  Why not?

                  Are you into censorship?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    People prefer to hideout in their own comfortable internet cul de sacs

                  • TheExtremist

                    Not into censorship at all, if I want alt right news I’ll visit alt right websites.

                    • One Two

                      This site and the ‘rules’ is not designed for you specifically ,as far as I know. Your comment is self-centered

                      And as you refer to fox news as ‘alt right’ perhaps you should stop using lables and if you must, use them correctly at least!

                    • TheExtremist

                      I didn’t specifically cite fox as alt right, though it could read that way.

                      Secondly I am aware I don’t make the rules but I still gave an opinion (opinions were in fact sought from the mods).

                      So what’s your fucking problem?

  2. james 2

    Interesting – Not long after making the largest assets forfeiture in NZ history, Bill Liu has flown home to China and been arrested at the airport.

    This is the same Bill Liu who was granted NZ Citizenship against all official advise and an interpol warning by Shane Jones / Labour.


    Also its not that long since John Key was up there and Bill Liu was discussed.

    It almost smells like a deal has been done.

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      Like the Kim Dotcom deal? Some transparency around these deals would be welcomed by the people of New Zealand.

      Too much to ask of a John Key government, I guess.

    • ropata 2.2

      Bill Liu, Kim Dotcom, and the debacle in the USA exemplify the corrosive influence of the rich on democracy, and how money ruins elections. F*ck off Bill Liu

  3. Muttonbird 3

    I see John Key has taken some advise on talking about people’s emotions and well being after the earthquakes today. Very concerned is the prime minister suddenly, after having shown no concern for the vulnerable, ever.

    I imagine the John Key we know was gently rocked awake in the small hours. “This will take the heat off the Pike River blockade”, he smiled as he drifted back to sleep.

    Bill English on the other hand would not have slept well at all. His surplus is now in doubt.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Comment very much to the truth I think. Oh suddenly jonkey is the voice of understanding and compassion. He certainly knows how to shovel it without getting any dirt or blisters on his hands.

  4. JC 4

    Nothing like a natural disaster to take the Spotlight off a number of issues…

    Pike River
    RMA reform
    And so on….

    Thoughts to the people affected above

    But this is Crazy!

    “We don’t need the power so why ruin this amazing place”


  5. Grim 5


    we are at the stage were no new houses need to be connected to the grid, for a new build the above solution or an increasing number of innovations can make families independent, no transmission costs or ugly infrastructure, win/win for end users and governments.

    People being in control of their own power, power to the people 🙂

  6. b waghorn 6

    sorry for the big dump but i cant link to the nzfarmer fb page, this guy got a terrific take on things,

    I was taught at Lincoln – where every day was like getting a frontal lobotomy – to maximise production. That was 12 years after Britain had joined the EEC and NZ was no longer their farm. We should have changed then away from gross production being the measure to productivity (Output/Input), market position, profit, resilience, diversity and environmental function.
    We didn’t. We just poured more and more on and increased the proportion of ‘effective’ farm area, and actually got less output per input because idiots like Fonterra thought everyone should increase gross production by another 4% p.a.. Apparently the law of diminishing returns doesn’t hold to these guys.

    We wholeheartedly put the foot down on what Willard Cochrane called the technology treadmill in 1958. Look him up. You grow more, the price comes down, you go for scale efficiencies, people leave the land, less people are employed, we pollute the streams, lose ecosystem services, bulldoze other options because it’s all about scale, increase our risk and reduce our resilience to everything including drought, and then crap in our own market positions with our drive for treating land, people, water and animals as ‘units’ in a factory. And we end up corporate owned, with profit, processing and expenditure sucked out of the province.

    And yes, we are stuffing our rivers as well as our rural communities and farm economics. And we have stuffed our market position as well – and so every time we make an efficiency gain – the stronger buyer of the god awful commodities we cannot seem to think about avoiding, says thanks for your efficiency, and then takes that gain by dropping the price. And then we do it again for them. Holding price is always more important than gross production, and part of that narrative that *keeps* our price is the way we treat our water and our land – the quality of what we produce *and* what we *do* on the land. Cater to the discerning buyers and charge the hell out of them. But they didn’t mention those dynamics of market power at Lincoln way back, because they were too busy teaching us to be agronomists to satisfy their “feed the world” myth. The result is rural decline.

    Is the economic unit size less or more than it was 40 years ago? Morgan Williams tried to warn the sector (not an ‘industry’, a sector – rivers run through it) in 2004 with the Growing for Good report. It’s still on the PCE website. Look it up.

    And for heavens sake if someone in the public is concerned about the quality of the rivers we used to swim in as kids, don’t assume they are extreme vegans. So dismissible. How about thinking about alternative primary sector strategies rather than putting your brains in neutral and laughing about those who dare to suggest we ought to have clean streams (silly public, what do they know) – A clean stream is – by the way – the best indicator of a well run farm because everything of value on the land – soil, OM, nutrients, faeces, etc – is good on the land and bad in the stream – a lose lose. If you lose it, you don’t just get a crap stream with crap stock water (less productivity + more animal health costs = loss profit), you have to replace what you’ve lost, or just accept less capacity to avoid drought etc.

    This is not about urban v rural. It certainly isn’t about ‘vegans’ and you know it’s not. It is about a future for our rural communities that isn’t a spiral down to a corporate Mordor like the mid West of the US that just voted en masse for Trump because they now have little hope. Go and read up what happened there. We are 30 years behind and it’s already hitting us.

    Credit: Chris Perley

    [Tidied up the formatting a bit – weka]

    • KJT 6.1

      Farmers I knew used to care about things like water quality, sustainable stocking rates and looking after the land. They took pride in it.
      Some still do.
      Funnily enough the ones that also care about training, rewarding and keeping good staff.

      We need to show we support them.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Be great if there was a quality mark for products made by good farmers. Guess the closest now is ‘organic’.

      • Brigid 6.1.2

        The farmers I knew cared nothing for all those things. And when finished with the sheep dip it got poured into the Orere Stream. The poor bloody eels weren’t impressed one bit. I doubt the little kids paddling at Orere Beach liked it either.

        Then they got to be Auckland City Councilors. (Not the eels. They eventually died)

      • greywarshark 6.1.3

        Good one b.waghorn
        A really good overview that explains a lot. It explains minds that are not excited by new ideas, can’t imagine two different futures one following present behaviour and goals, and a second that seeks to trial innovations that are assessed as likely to appeal, have an initial target market, and carve off the successful to form new businesses (that stay in NZ under NZ control and labour.) Now that would have been a strategy.

        But farmers who just follow the same practices as long as there is money in them, and flog the country till it starts to decline, and never humble themselves to think they could be doing better and seek a new way, are showing less brain and cunning in using their potential intelligence than the animals they are farming with theirs.

    • Molly 7.1

      Do I need to point out that there are probably hundreds of people currently organising and working with the effects of the earthquake today?

      Going to list them all?

      • Brigid 7.1.1


        The rest of them probably don’t even have names. Why should they? They aren’t important rugby playing type boys.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.2

        There probably are, are you going to point out that Richard has enough money and investments that he could live on a tropical island and spend his time helping produce future All Blacks but instead hes out helping in the aftermath of the earthquakes

        • Pasupial

          Given how inadequate the government support is likely to be, it’s probably good that there’s a celebrity rugby player putting his face out there. It might mean there’ll be more donations to cover the shortfall between what people need and what the EQC is willing to part with. But given Brownlee’s involvement, I doubt it’ll be enough.

          • Puckish Rogue

            If people want to see it that way then its all good, basically I just thought it was a good story of someone helping out

            • Molly

              “…basically I just thought it was a good story of someone helping out

              It is.

              It is just that oftentimes it is the only story that can get told.
              Over and over again.

              “…are you going to point out that Richard has enough money and investments that he could live on a tropical island and spend his time helping produce future All Blacks but instead hes out helping in the aftermath of the earthquakes”
              Some of those other stories will be about people who have very little, giving to others and sharing without thoughts of anything but alleviating distress. When we don’t share those stories, we may become too grateful for the crumbs that fall from the feast table, and expect others that have never been seated there to do the same.

              This newspaper column devotion to celebrities being even “better” because they are acting like normal decent human beings, requires very little more than an adoring public, and a good press secretary.

              I would prefer a balance of acknowledgement, and as that is unlikely to happen – could do without the reinforcement of celebrity adulation.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Want some cheese to go with that whine?

                He’s doing a good thing and you bag him for it, would you rather he stayed home and did nothing?

                • Molly

                  “He’s doing a good thing and you bag him for it”
                  Actually I haven’t.

                  “would you rather he stayed home and did nothing?”
                  False dichotomy PR. Lift your game.

    • Gangnam Style 7.2

      Proudly brought to you by Westpac…weren’t you the other day educating us that reality TV was not real, yet you believe this? Funny how there were cameras present dontcha think? Or does RIchie have them following him round constantly?

  7. Sacha 8

    Ghost town here today. Almost like a whole lot of public servants aren’t at their desks. 🙂

    • Craig H 8.2

      Come on now, I was on leave already (although my office has not opened today)… IF anything, I post more from home than from work as I post on my phone at work during breaks which makes it difficult to post much…

  8. greywarshark 9

    This is interesting from RadioNz today.
    Coming on about 15.20. Or listen later to the audio.

    Ginger Gorman: Inside the lives of Internet Trolls
    When Australian journalist Ginger Gorman found herself on the receiving end of the bile from internet trolls, she did something unusual. She contacted the trolls to find out more about why they attack people they don’t even know online. What she discovered about these online bullies is not what you might expect. Some don’t even believe the vicious statements they make. She now uses her insights to help people who have also been attacked by trolls and to build safer online communities.

  9. greywarshark 10

    UBI – Someone talking about it, explaining it, perhaps making new points about it if you already think you know about it, discussing.

    2:20 Is a Universal Basic Income the best way to allieviate poverty?
    It’s estimated that there are more than 600 thousand people in poverty in this country, which is 1 in 7 households. The gap between rich and poor is widening here and in most other western nations, so if we agree that this is a problem, what can we do about it?

    Raf Manji is a Christchurch city councillor who like many economists, believes a universal basic income is the answer. He explains how it would work.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      So how much effect would UBI have on wages and low wage workers lives?

      On NZ wages from economist Bill Rosenberg.

      It is therefore extraordinary to see Treasury advice that wage rises, such as through the Living Wage, are “not well targeted at the intended demographic of low income families”. Much better they say would be greater targeting of existing support: Working for Families, early childhood education subsidies and “service interventions” for children under five, along with yet more pressure on beneficiaries to work 3-5 days a week.

      While acknowledging that “the return to tertiary education is comparatively low”, rather than advocating policies to raise wages for those gaining qualifications, it opposes raising low wages saying “lifting low wages without adjusting top wages risks reducing the premium for skills even further”. The same arguments could be applied to any increase in low wages. In this view, wages apparently no longer have a purpose of providing decent incomes. Instead we must have a system of increasingly complex, targeted subsidies and penalties which force people into low paid, insecure jobs inadequate to provide a sustainable and dignified existence for adults and their children.

      Keith Rankin’s take on a decent wage for workers. Get your teeth into what an academic who has studied the subject has to say.
      You will have to give up television or beer tasting for a few nights!

      existing means to a Universal Basic Income.
      © 1996 Keith Rankin, Economics Dept., University of Auckland

      The Social Wage as a Definitive Component of Political Parties’ Philosophies 1996

  10. Craig H 11

    Living wage: $19.80/hour based on 60 hours work per week for a family of 2 adults and 2 children.

    To not be eligible to receive government assistance for a family of 2 adults and 2 children: $28.66 per hour based on 60 hours per week ($23.89 for 1 child).

    We’ve got some work to do in this area…

    • james 11.1

      Interesting – so what would the living wage be for 2 people with no children? or a single person living with parents?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        It would be far too hard for a right winger to work out. Let someone who can do Maths worry about it: your only interest is to white-ant the idea.

      • Craig H 11.1.2

        Not sure about living wage, but the accommodation supplement cuts out at $21.35 per hour for a couple, again assuming 60 hours work per week between them.

  11. greywarshark 12

    This moves the discourse against overweening government along.
    Read Abuse of Power at No Right Turn for the full story – no charge either, from the blogger and not from the police (yet). Get it now while it doesn’t cost.

    In October 2014 the police raided the home of political journalist Nicky Hager. The search was later ruled illegal, and now the police have been ordered to pay nearly a quarter of a million dollars as an interim payment of …
    No Right Turn By Idiot/Savant

  12. Thank you to whoever put the semi satire post up on fbook – laughed out loud. ‘I’m a racist …’ good fucken work.

    • Andre 13.1

      That was satire?

    • McFlock 13.2


      The pic brought to mind the title “Brokeback Dictators”. Very butch.

    • The fastest a post has ever been removed from TS 😉

      For those that missed it, here’s the video that went with it:

    • weka 13.4

      Irrespective of whether it was satire or not, it was also an abusive, very personal attack on someone. IMO, that behaviour makes TS less safe, and that includes authors and commenters. The last thing we need right now is another macho shitfight on the front page.

      • marty mars 13.4.2

        Good points hadnt thought of all that.

      • te reo putake 13.4.3

        Thanks for destroying the post forever, chief censor weka. TS readers should not have filth like that put in front of them. And on a political blog, too!

        What’s the world coming to when sensible right wing posts about why President Pussy is Really a Good Thing can’t be published on a left wing blog without being attacked satirically? I feeling faint just contemplating the horror of it all.

        Better to burn a billion books than let people make up their own mind. Better to shoot a few cartoonists than let people smirk at the pompous and the precious having their vanities pricked in print.

        Yes, there are some posts that are too tricky for the likes of TS readers. Sadly, there are a few of us who are sufficiently sophisticated to make the big calls. You’re doing wonderful work, weka. Pip pip!

        [you are welcome TRP. But seeing as how you have brought this to the front end, let’s just be clear about what has happened today. There are now 6 authors in the back end who are in general agreement that both yourself and CV have been causing serious problems for the site over a long period of time and that something needed to be done about that. At this stage I will leave it to Lynn to explain what action has been taken if he wants to.

        I didn’t censor your post, and I didn’t destroy the post forever. I removed the post off the front page until such time as the authors could decide if it was going to cause further problems. A copy of the post was and still is available. No-one thought that post should be published, that’s why it hasn’t been.

        Please don’t tell lies about me again, it’s against the site rules to do so. Given that I started the day wanting to write a post about the quake and one about the deep sea oil exploration off the East Coast that is happening as we speak, and instead spent the afternoon running round putting out fires you and CV had set, I’m in no mood to have my time further wasted. We can do better than this. Thanks – weka]

        • I deleted the most recent version you attempted to post, not weka.

          CV’s behaviour has been dealt with through the appropriate channels, which you refuse to engage with. It did not need to have gasoline poured on it, which was the only thing your “satire” was going to achieve.

        • weka

          I see Lynn has now put an explanation of actions taken, upthread.

        • te reo putake

          You removed the post. That’s censorship. I have never lied about you. Nobody asked you to censor the post. That was all your own work.

          You’ve removed the only extant copy of the post, so for all practical purposes, you have destroyed it.

          However, you say a copy exists. I’d like a copy of the post. Can you please email it to me? Thanks.

          [I deleted the post after you reinstated it to the front page from its Private status, and I offered a copy of the post in the back end. Banned 2 months for telling further lies about me and wasting moderators time at a time when we have all got more than enough to deal with. I’m not going to hash this out in the front end any further, you still have access to the back end and the authors forum, so you can use that if you want to. – weka]

      • miravox 13.4.4

        Wow. I go away for a day and all hell breaks loose on The Standard.

        I can understand trp’s post, despite being satire, was also a personal attack on another author and so was removed. It’s a TS call, so I’m not making any comment on that. I hope I’m allowed to express an opinion on this, so here goes…

        I’d quite like to make the point that Colonial Viper has been making this place less safe for weeks, I’ve been deeply offended by some of his unsubstantiated remarks, straight out lies and the direction of recent posts and he has barely been censured. Several people have expressed shock that they have come to a site that they assumed represented the values of the broad left , and find the repugnant shit that cv has been producing.

        It’s a bit like a football match – the instigator pushes a line that is aggressive, offensive and his responses are bereft of any indication that any attention has actually been paid when called out on outrageous plays; the instigator gets away with it for so long that someone finally retaliates. The retaliator then gets the red card and the instigator gets another play, probably whistling as he goes about his business.

        Thankfully lprent has finally taken away cv’s authoring rights. I understand the voluntary nature of the site, and the level of work for moderators, and hopefully the new author policy will tweak a few things so this situation doesn’t reoccur. I suspect he got a bit of leeway in comments because he was an author, but CV could have been red-carded to the end of the US election weeks ago – from posting and commenting, imo. Other people have been banned for less and it’s not like there is no precedent for that – it has happened to right wingers at NZ election time before.

        [lprent: I dropped CV from author to contributor. That means I removed
        1. His ability to publish wherever he wishes. He can write them. But a admin or editor would have to publish the post.
        2. His ability to moderate on his own posts.

        Unlike the commenters we have never had any particular policies governing authors. Just very rough guidelines. Now we’ll be putting some in. They will be of some kind of a behavioral boundary nature. ]

    • Lanthanide 13.5


      [Two month ban for such flagrant stupidity] – Bill

      • te reo putake 13.5.1

        To avoid the wrath of Bill, readers might like to pop over to https://tereoputake.wordpress.com/ where the matter can be discussed without ban hammery consequences.

        Cheers, y’all. The Standard is broken. But it can be fixed.

        • Manuka AOR

          The Standard is broken. But it can be fixed.

          It’s like a rambunctious family. Don’t give up.

          Look what is happening y’all – and look at who started this divisiveness

          Dividing, destroying, annihilating – that was the name of the game for one party and one person – Please, please, don’t let them win!

          When the longtime mods are all banning each other – It’s like your parents belting it out in front of the kids. And it began not from within TS but from a group who’s agenda is to do exactly that! Divide and conquer – the name of the game – the stuff of fascism and dictators.

          Again, please don’t let them win, don’t let them destroy something as valuable as we have had on TS before these conflicts began.

        • KJT

          The Standard has been broken.
          By you!

  13. weka 14

    [In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election – weka]

  14. Manuka AOR 15

    John Campbell with Leonard Cohen’s biographer:

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  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
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  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
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