Open mike 15/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 15th, 2015 - 118 comments
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Step up to the mike …

118 comments on “Open mike 15/10/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    I wonder………will information like this change our government’s commitment to do something about climate change?

    Global heat records tumble again as El Nino boosts September warmth

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/73030055/global-heat-records-tumble-again-as-el-nino-boosts-september-warmth

    • Bill 1.1

      An average of 0.5 degrees above the norm is huge. (They don’t explicitly state it, but I’m assuming they are centigrade measurements).

      Will governments change their commitments? No. They aren’t capable. They’re institutionally locked in to what they do – promote and protect ‘the market’; seek a market solution to a non-market phenomenon. Risible really.

  2. Paul 2

    New Zealand news at its most cringe-worthy.
    After weeks off the radar, the European refugee crisis hits the news in the Herlad again.
    Why?
    Because its travel writer was on a luxury cruise on the Mediterranean and bumped into them.
    Our MSM’s standard of news is just so bad.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11529301

  3. Paul 3

    Another deal that is NOT a free trade deal.

    ‘NZ – EU FTA takes giant step

    The ink is barely dry on the TPP and New Zealand has the prospect of another giant free trade deal in the offing with the European Union taking the first steps towards an FTA with New Zealand.

    It was announced early this morning that the EU Commission will seek to negotiate separate FTAs with both New Zealand and Australia as part of its trade strategy for the next four years.

    The caveat is that talks will take in account “EU agricultural sensitivities.”‘

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11529418

  4. Paul 4

    Looks like an interesting talk.
    But is Jim Mora the right person to be MCing a debate on dumbing down the media?
    Maybe this was intended irony.

    ‘Is the media being dumbed down, and what alternatives can online media offer audiences? What’s happening with quality journalism? Where’s it all heading and what are the implicatons for ordinary New Zealanders? Does it actually matter?
    Radio New Zealand and Massey University are hosting a discussion about the future of journalism and the shape of the media today.
    Auckland Art Gallery
    What: The Shape of the Media
    Where: Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium
    When: 6:30 – 8pm, Friday 23 October 2015

    Your MC for the evening will be Jim Mora, who along with Professor Graeme Turner – one of the leading figures in cultural and media studies in Australia and internationally – and a panel of locals, will debate the quality and value of the media.’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/about/events

  5. Huginn 5

    The Fix Hep C Buyers Club

    About 50,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that causes inflammation of the liver.

    Long term about 10% of people with Hepatitis C will die of complications including cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Most people with the disease suffer a long term chronic fatigue and carry with them an ever present fear of infecting close contacts.

    Until recently, treatment was difficult – but now everything has changed.

    Working with researchers around the world, including New Zealand’s Dr Ed Gane, a US pharmaceutical company called Pharmasset developed a tablet medication called Sofosbuvir which provides a high cure rate with far fewer side effects than everything previously used to treat hepatitis C .

    We are now close to being able to think about eradicating hepatitis C entirely, in the same way that we eradicated smallpox and have nearly eradicated polio.

    In November 2011, Pharmasset was acquired by Gilead for $11 billion. Since then, Gilead have made over $22 billion marketing Sofosbuvir under its brand name ‘Sovaldi’.

    Gilead is asking $1,000 per tablet, around $84,000 per patient.

    That means it would cost $4,200,000,000 to cure nearly everyone in NZ who has hepatitis C – and we all know that is not going to happen.

    There is an alternative. Manufacturers in places like China and India who do not recognize patents, are producing these drugs at around 1/50th of Gilead’s price – that’s around $2,000 per treatment.

    For that price, New Zealand could cure nearly all of its 50,000 or so hep C sufferers for around $100 mil instead of $4,200 mil.

    Think about that for a moment – it means that for the money that John Key spent on the flag – so far, we could have cured 1 in 4 of New Zealand’s hep C sufferers – already.

    This tells us what the TPPA is going to cost us. We will pay more, much more for medical treatment and very few of us will be treated. And perhaps worst of all, our aspirations for a better life for all of us through science will be ruthlessly choked back.

    If you, or anyone you know has hep C, then you should check out the FixHepC Buyers Club which is helping people access the medication that they need to clear hep C and testing it, for less than $3,000 Aus.

    http://fixhepc.com/getting-treated.html

    Here’s a Sydney Morning Herald article about the Fix Hep C Buyers Club

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Good on them but under our new regime the imperial masters should be suing them into oblivion any day now

    • Northshoredoc 5.2

      Don’t see what this has got to do with the tppa at all.

      For those with an interest Pharmac is currently working on this area.

      • Huginn 5.2.1

        This is what it has to do with TPPA:

        “It’s possible and in fact highly probably that patents will run for a little bit longer and that means the Government will have to pay for the original drug as opposed to the generic for a little bit longer,” Key said on Tuesday as he headed into National’s mid-morning caucus meeting.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70605894/john-key-says-nzs-drug-bill-set-to-rise-under-tpp-but-patients-protected

        • Paul 5.2.1.1

          Northshoredoc in denial about the TPP.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1.1

            No, NSD prefers to debate issues using facts rather than ill-informed rhetoric.

            Knowing how Pharmac works is not shilling for the man.

        • Northshoredoc 5.2.1.2

          Nope patent law in NZ remains unchanged – data exclusivity for biologic meds, which this is not, may be extended from 5 to 8 years.

          • Tracey 5.2.1.2.1

            BUT won’t that be one law that needs to be changed to accommodate the TPP agreement IF its provisions on patent protection are different?

            • Northshoredoc 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Tracey I’ve explained the difference between data exclusivity and patents from a pharmaceutical point of view previously. I’ll try to link back to previous comment latter today.

              • Pat

                would you also be able to explain the motivation for the industry’s desire for extended data protection IF it has no impact on financial return? a return derived almost exclusively from publicly funded purchases? Oh and a brief discourse on “evergreening’ wouldnt go amiss either.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Who said it would have no impact on financial return? I appreciate you think NSD did. He didn’t.

                  • Pat

                    “The extra costs to PHARMAC under the TPP are a nothing. Your comment regarding business was usual for access to biologics has more to do with PHARMACs operating policies and procedures and the way they manage their budget than any trade agreement and will continue to do so.”

                    Daily Review 06/10/2015

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So in fact NSD said “a nothing” – ie: very small. There was extended – and quite informative – discussion with Miravox.

                    • miravox

                      “There was extended – and quite informative – discussion”

                      From the very limited perspective I was discussing, I had three concerns:
                      1. A trade deal should improve access and that is not happening with the TPP. I don’t like that we’ve traded away improved access to biologics now for primary produce exports in the future. It’s cetainly not a ‘free’ trade deal.

                      2. The cost of administration and a possible delay in the availability of generics has to be met, even if it isn’t much in overall health system spending. I worry (not expect) health funding – who knows for what – will be affected by an increased (at best, no reduction in) cost of Pharmac doing business. Specifically that it may be met through reduced, rather than improved access to biologics for people with auto-immune diseases. The effect may not be much in health system terms, but in personal terms it is huge.

                      3. I don’t agree that three biologics, as NZ has, for treating inflammatory arthritis is sufficient given the variable nature of the disease. This has bugger all to do with superiority of one drug over another and much to do with how a patient responds to the biologic they’re given.

                      As an aside – maybe if social and wider government costs were taken into account in Pharmac decision criteria there would be a bit more money available for these very expensive drugs.

                    • northshoredoc

                      I may have led you slightly astray Miravox, apparently we have rituximab and tociluzimab available and funded in NZ for appropriate patients as well..so five agents not three.

                      I also completely agree with your comment regarding pHARMAC’s decision criteria which is not just an issue in this area of medicine.

                      I still think you misunderstand the effect of the trade deal on the availability of medicines which are more influenced by the PHARMAC ‘ops’ and budget in the first place, patent law in the second place and whether the companies in question actually registering the medicine in NZ.

                  • Pat

                    define “very small”….esp. in terms of a health budget already under extreme pressure?
                    the subsequent discussion which highlighted purchases practices of Pharmac reinforces the role price plays on availability of treatments to NZ health practitioners…so yes we can keep to minor costs to Pharmac…but at what cost in terms of treatment options?…and if we ignore the likely legal challenges and chilling effect as demonstrated by Australias experience post FTA.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I dunno. Less than the cost of bribing Saudi princes? Less than the cost of passing legislative favours to the National Party’s owners? Less than the costs of having a massively incompetent bunch of self-interested troughers leveraging their time as MPs to build lucrative business careers (h/t Blabbermouth Lusk)…

              • Tracey

                Thanks Doc, much appreciated. Not trying to dis you just trying to understand

                • northshoredoc

                  Hi Tracey

                  Data exclusivity in its most basic interpretation is the protection of clinical test/trial data (safety and efficacy) required to be submitted to a regulatory agency and prevention of generic drug manufacturers from relying on this data in their own applications.

                  In NZ this is 5 years at present and moving to 8 years for biologics under this agreement.

                  To take the discussions on the Hep C drug discussed above (Yes it is outrageously priced in the regulated jurisdictions) the first major patent on this medicine which will be the substance patent expires in the middle of the 2020s, however the data exclusivity will have expired from a NZ perspective 5 years from the date it was registered by Medsafe – 2014.

                  • tracey

                    Bear with me

                    Patent products the product, the process of producing it etc and applies to anyone copying that in toto for the period of the patent (which can be renewed) and data exclusivity relates to testing regimes as opposed to the creation.manufacturing processes of the drug itself?

                    If yes, thanks for the clarification. If no. Help.

                    • northshoredoc

                      Not quite, data exclusivity relates to the data generated from the testing.

                      When the medicine is registered by the regulator in a country like NZ they look at the manufacturing data regarding process, good manufacturing practices, sterility etc etc as well as the actual data from trials in animals and humans looking at safety and efficacy.

                      When a company producing a generic copy of the medicine wants to get registration and supply the medicine they only have to supply the manufacturing data.

          • nadis 5.2.1.2.2

            8 years is better than what the drug companies wanted – they get 12 years of data protection in the US.

        • alwyn 5.2.1.3

          Don’t you think it is misleading to put this statement into your intro?
          “Key said on Tuesday as he headed into National’s mid-morning caucus meeting.”
          I, and probably most other people, read that as meaning Tuesday 13 October but when I looked at the link I discover it was about three months ago. Many things have changed since them haven’t they, and as NSD points out the longer period of patents, and hence increased prices, will not apply to these drugs.
          Obviously Tim Groser did good work on holding the drug patents to existing times.

      • Tracey 5.2.2

        Are you saying you don’t think the IP provisions under the TPP would leave Pharmac (and our Govt) open to being sued by a company from a TPP country for buy a drug in breach of patent law?

        • Northshoredoc 5.2.2.1

          Pharmac don’t buy drugs in breach of patent law. If they do, I,m assuming they and the company breaching the patent could be sued as of now anyway. You would know the law better than me I expect.

          Individuals can purchase offshore and import for personal use to avoid these issues and medsafe rarely gets involved – need a reputable offshore supply obviously.

      • savenz 5.2.3

        For a so called Doctor Doh! Join the dots between USA high medicine for profit and TPP regulations on patents. Even Mr Liar Key has had to concede that medicine will cost more with TPP.

        • Pat 5.2.3.1

          and there within is the problem savenz…northshore doc is that….not a patent attorney working for the most litigious industry in the world…even with the entire text of the patent provisions the overwhelming majority will not be able to foretell the potential for big pharma to protect their position….but one thing is for certain they are not seeking to reduce their return and they have had partial success….IT WILL COST THE TAXPAYER MORE.

          Whether you think its justified to protect that data is a whole other argument, but it is disingenuous in the extreme (or perhaps naive) to hold that it is not going to have a financial cost.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.3.2

          Nope patent law in NZ remains unchanged – data exclusivity for biologic meds, which this is not, may be extended from 5 to 8 years.

          I can join the dots because I understand the meaning of the word “not”. Do you?

          The “logic” around here is along the lines of “The TPP is bad, so everything bad that I can think of must be in the TPP”. It makes it very difficult to discuss the real issues, and in doing so, undermines informed protest.

          Own goal.

    • Huginn 5.3

      Oops – here’s the Sydney Morning Herald link:

      ‘Dallas buyers club’ site for hepatitis C drug inundated with inquiries http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/fixhepc-the-buyers-club-for-hepatitis-c-drug-inundated-with-inquiries-20151002-gjzud9.html via @smh

    • Once was Tim 5.4

      “There is an alternative. Manufacturers in places like China and India who do not recognize patents, are producing these drugs at around 1/50th of Gilead’s price – that’s around $2,000 per treatment.”
      …. and doesn’t that just show that the TTPA is NOT actually about free trade the neo-libs are supposedly so fond of ….. and competition …. all those capitalist ideals.
      I wonder where Simon Upton stands on this.
      It seems to me we let ideology get in the way of practical concerns, and its a bloody lazy (and anti-intellectual) approach that’ll guarantee us some serious social problems in the very near future.
      The pro-TTPA protectionists should try nursing a liver cancer sufferer till they pass on and watch their body eat itself up (much like an AIDS sufferer).

      • One Two 5.4.1

        China and India are the primary targets for future ‘trade agreements’

        • Once was Tim 5.4.1.1

          Of course they are. they might not find India as much of a push over as they suspect.
          Corruption and a host of other problems aside, sovereignty and the way other nations treat their citizenry are liable to become big issues in any negotiations.
          In a funny sort of way, perhaps thats because they understand (i.e. live with and respect) diversity, and all that comes with it. That’s something the ‘ism’ of the neoliberal doesn’t understand.
          I imagine there’ll be a bloody big shit fight.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.5

      “”It’s not OK that you can make a $1 tablet and market it for $1000. That’s obscene,”

      http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/big-pharmaceuticals-and-the-hepatitis-c-drug-trail-dubbed-a-miracle-cure-20150924-gjtupf.html#ixzz3oZVCempS

      Hands up all those who still think Big Pharma are in it for the good of human kind.

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention Huggin.

      There are these little wars going on, largely under the radar, that deserve much higher profiles.

      • You can make a tablet for $1 after you’ve figured out what the tablet needs to have in it. You can’t do the figuring out part, which is the actual work involved, for $1 per tablet, which is why the company that did the actual work involved doesn’t charge $1 per tablet. It’s also why pharmaceutical companies don’t want people who didn’t spend the time, effort and money figuring out what the tablet needs to have in it, selling the tablets for $1. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp.

        • Huginn 5.5.1.1

          Gilead, the company asking us to pay $1,000 a tablet is not the company that did ‘actual work involved in figuring out what to put in the tablet.

          The company that ‘figured out what what the tablet needs to have in it’ was Pharmasset. They did that figuring out with help from people like Prof Ed Gane, whose research is funded by us, the people of New Zealand.

          In November 2011, Pharmasset was acquired by Gilead for $11 billion. Since then, Gilead have made over $22 billion marketing Sofosbuvir under its brand name ‘Sovaldi’.

          Gilead is the company that is using the monopoly power that a patent gives it to market a tablet that costs $1 to manufacture for $1,000.

          • Psycho Milt 5.5.1.1.1

            Gilead didn’t pay directly for the work involved in figuring out what the tablet had to have in it, but they sure as shit paid for it. If they paid $11 bil for Pharmasset, that’s effectively $11 bil for Pharmasset’s work in figuring out what tablets need to have in them. It’s lucky we have publicly-funded researchers like Ed Gane contributing to that figuring out, because otherwise it would have been an extra unknown $X bil on top for Pharmasset and that would be going directly on to the price of the tablets. Thanks to the public research contribution, Gilead has only the $1 manufacturing cost of the tablet, plus their operating costs, plus $11 billion to recover. If they’re gouging on top of that, sure it merits a complaint – but saying they could sell the tablets for $1 is ridiculous.

            • weka 5.5.1.1.1.1

              The $11 billion has already been recouped, so it’s manufacture plus operating costs plus prift for shareholders. We don’t know how far above $1/pill the latter is.

              I’m also wondering if the developed world is subsidising the lesser profit in places like India which are getting the pills cheaper.

            • Huginn 5.5.1.1.1.2

              The cost of manufacture for the last tablet is $1.

              The parallel imported tablet costs around $10

              Gilead’s tablet costs $1,000

              Gilead has already recouped the $11 billion that it paid for Pharmasset.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.6

      And perhaps worst of all, our aspirations for a better life for all of us through science will be ruthlessly choked back.

      That’s what capitalism does. It chokes back the life of the many so that a few can have much.

  6. Paul 6

    Anyone like to comment on why Labour has caved in so pathetically on the TPPA?
    Is there a joint letter/ petition that could be sent to Shearer, Goff, Nash and King asking that they either come out in opposition to the TPP or they’ll be booted out next election?

    Chris Trotter says it so clearly.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/10/14/flouting-the-rules-why-has-andrew-little-rejected-a-winning-tppa-strategy-for-a-guaranteed-loser/

    • Tracey 6.1

      Do you know if Labour have listed the Law changes they will NOT support which will be needed to enforce/enact the TPP

    • The lost sheep 6.2

      Anyone like to comment on why Labour has caved in so pathetically on the TPPA?

      Maybe they’ve come around to the same conclusion as Helen?
      It has some pro’s and con’s, and it ain’t the greatest deal, but overall we are better in than out?

      • Mike Bond 6.2.1

        It is just a pity they at first they came out strongly opposing the TPPA and said they want nothing to do with it. Then Little does a complete turnaround and shows everyone that he is not a leaders arse. I know National will not want to see Little kicked out as leader as with him there, the election in 2017 is a sure win for them. Labour need to get a leader that is going to take a stand and enforce Labours policies and if National adopt one of their policies, they must not then turn around and call it bad just because National are doing it. As was mentioned on this site yesterday, Labour are in disarray and need to regroup fast if they want to avoid another humiliating defeat.

        • Ad 6.2.1.1

          I sure as hell won’t be donating to Labour leading to 2017 unless they can figure out how to be an Opposition and Oppose something.

          With regard to Labour’s positioning, I think CV was more on the money with disdain and rage compared to Trotter’s perplexed surprise.

          • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1.1.1

            Opposing something you disagree with is fine, opposing something merely because the government is doing it is dumb

            Labour needs to stop acting like a dog chasing every single car that goes past hoping to get some traction and concentrate on the issues that they really don’t agree with

            National bad hasn’t worked for the last 7 years so its not going to suddenly start working now

            • Ad 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah nah. TPPA was the biggest story on the political landscape for months, and essentially Labour passed on it.

              There’s stuff worth having a crack at. That was one of them.

              Labour’s nuance ended up just looking like lack of political guts.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well ok fair enough but I guess what I mean is at the moment Labour seems to have a negative opinion and every single thing National put out and it makes Labour look negative for the sake of being negative

                A better idea for them would be to ignore some of the small issues and focus on the big issues instead of trying to spread themselves so thin

                • Ad

                  After 7 years in Opposition they should not have to be told this shit.

                  Plus, they aren’t going to get into government in 2017 unless they start looking and acting like an alternative government. That means common media positions with Greens and NZFirst.

                  I see no poll shift starting that gets the current lot out until 2020. That’s a lot to play for.

                • Grindlebottom

                  +1

                • Tracey

                  You’ve forgotten 2002 to November 2008 aye PR. Cos negative clearly DOES work but it needs a decent and well financed machine along side it.

            • Tracey 6.2.1.1.1.2

              “Opposing something you disagree with is fine, opposing something merely because the government is doing it is dumb”

              Which doesn’t explain

              a. your support of this government on all it does (or most);
              b. your failure to have voted once for Labour between 1999 and 2008

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1.3

              opposing something merely because the government is doing it

              So when you’re making decisions you only ever consider the pros and pay no attention to the cons?

              Yeah nah – opposing argument is essential to good decision making.

            • savenz 6.2.1.1.1.4

              Actually I think most supporters believe the opposite to Puckish Rogue that the Labour party’s problem is that it is NOT chasing National’s bad decisions at all, merely passively supporting them by a lack of effective action or a half baked measure like changing surveillance to 24 hrs without a warrant instead of 48 hours without a warrant. The idea of privacy and lack of accountability seems to have escaped them.

              Likewise agreeing with the Nats to keep TPP (if that is what he said and since there have been zero retractions from Labour that I can see we have to assume that is his intent) but flout the rules, which is plain stupid especially when you put forward a late half baked opposition to TPP but then appear too lazy to pull out later if someone actually voted you in.

              That is why their ex supporters are angry and upset. Labour Fucked up yet again!

              That’s why they are called Nat LIte, ged it?

            • Stuart Munro 6.2.1.1.1.5

              National is a comprehensive moral, economic and intellectual failure.

              Labour could do a lot worse than promise to imprison all of them and audit everything they’ve done. Gerry would certainly have a lot of explaining to do – and I imagine Stephen Joyce’s media adventures are very far from the scrupulous standards required of real governments.

              There may be lower and dirtier lifeforms than Gnats, in the unplumbed abysses off the Marianas Trench or the chthonic depths of the Krubera Caves, but they are by far the worst things that have ever sullied the light of day in NZ.

              The reflex damning of Gnats is if anything an under-reaction.

      • Pat 6.2.2

        IF that was the case then why not make that your publicly stated position and defend it….why prevaricate with “bottom lines” that are nothing more than scotch mist?

        • Puckish Rogue 6.2.2.1

          Using occams razor I’d suggest that Labour thought the TPPA deal was going to be really bad, thanks to all the doom and gloom spouted by all the “experts” (Jane Kelsey) and so they gambled and hoped it would make them look like a government

          However they severly underestimated John Key (again) and he played Labour like a violin (remember all the talk about Pharmac?) and so now because the deal isn’t nearly as bad as anyone thought Labour have to start the dead rat swallowing…again

      • Bill 6.2.3

        Can’t see any positives at all.

        As I wrote in a previous comment, the models in use that ‘predict’ likely consequences are all over the show. On the TTIP, the one used by the governments had ridiculous assumptions built in and still only showed a marginal up-side.

        When the same data was thrown through the UN Policy Model – a model that holds up quite well in real world scenarios apparently – everything was on the down side.

        Labour share of gdp – down.
        Government tax take – down
        gdp – down.
        Employment – down.
        Financial instability – up.

        The only winners were the corporates who get increased profit from that drop in labour’s share of gdp and who also get enhanced access to, among other things, formerly public service provision.

        I don’t know what model was used to give a scenario for the TPPA. I have looked. I certainly haven’t seen any mention of the UN Policy Model.

      • Tracey 6.2.4

        “but overall we are better in than out?”

        We won’t know until everyone can lay their eyes on the detail. At the moment we have selective releases of information and selective figures and so far only a discussion of financial good or bad. People and society are more than just the financial implications of something.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Cleared out my mobile cookies, so posting again so it remembers me.

    While I’m at it – Lynn the mobile theme is self-defeating. If you scroll to the bottom of the screen there’s a button to select whether you want the mobile site or the desktop one. But when you scroll down, it also stats loading new pays, which them pushes the mobile / desktop buttons out of view. It took me 4 attempts before I was able to successful press on the desktop link before it ran away from me.

    • tc 7.1

      Can the desktop option be placed at the top please as the device determines which theme it gets so often it switches back to mobile theme and is hard to get back to the more readable desktop theme.

    • lprent 7.2

      Infinite scroll on the front page is a pain for that. I usually change using a page from the menu drop down or a short post.

      My development time for TS this year has been severely constrained by colds, new jobs, and my parents getting fragile. All of which cut into the evening, weekend and holiday time required. But that is one that i should have done long ago. I brought a full license for the toolkit at the start of the year to do that and other tasks.

  8. Ad 8

    Got to give a shoutout to Kelvin Davis for flying over to Australia about the NZ citizens held in camps.

    There’s a guy who knows how to make a good fist of a small portfolio.

    Most other Labour spokespeople could learn a good lesson from him.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      A while back I called into Kelvin Davis’ electoral office in Kaitaia. The lady fronting the office was approachable, informed, intelligent and respectful. She gave me useful answers to my inquiries and provided me with contact details of a couple of folk who might give further info.

      With electoral staff like that….

      This was shortly after Kelvin had done the walk against domestic violence.

      And…he DID walk, with a small support crew. We saw them a couple of times on our peregrinations in the Far North.

      Sadly….his electoral office has a thick glass or perspex security screen to protect staff from attack. There has been incidents.

      Some folk just can’t see when they have something of real value available to them.

      • Chrissy 8.1.1

        Thanks for the great feedback! Just to let you know I have changed that horrible Perspex security screen – it was too constricting!

  9. Chooky 9

    The Western corporate BIG Pharmaceutical industry is contributing to the global rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

    ‘Drug giant Pfizer buying antibiotics from dangerous factories’

    http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/corporatenews/storyoftheday/entryid/1822/drug-giant-pfizer-buying-antibiotics-from-dangerous-factories.aspx

    …”Pfizer and other pharmaceutical giants source antibiotics from dirty, dangerous factories in China.
    These factories dump raw antibiotic waste straight into the environment.
    That creates a perfect breeding ground for antibiotic resistant “superbugs” — which spread globally.
    These superbugs have been called a “catastrophic threat” to public health, and could kill millions.

    Months of behind-the-scenes digging into big pharma’s secretive operations has revealed these links for the first time. Pfizer and others are putting their profits ahead of our health, by buying cheap antibiotics from dangerous factories with a string of serious environmental and safety violations…

    Overprescription of antibiotics and widespread use in factory farms are two of the known culprits behind antibiotic resistance. But pollution generated by the massive antibiotics production industry is an overlooked hidden killer. By dumping antibiotic waste into the environment, these factories create huge breeding grounds for superbugs. Concentrations of antibiotics in polluted waterways can be as high as in the bloodstream of someone on a full strength dose of antibiotics. And these are the factories that Pfizer, McKesson, Teva and other Western pharma giants are buying from.

    ‘Corporate Death Factory’

    http://paov.ca/mediamenu/alternative-news/4098-corporate-death-factory1434046503

    …”This isn’t just a problem for China or for Pfizer customers. Modern air travel and trade mean that the rapid spread of infectious diseases is the new reality. Infectious superbugs that thrive in the waste dumped by these polluting factories in China quickly find their way into the bodies of children, adults and the elderly around the world, with fatal consequences.

    The reason this happens is simple — Pfizer and other big pharmaceutical corporations make more money by relying on cheap, mass-produced antibiotics without strong environmental and safety procedures in place. And until now, no one has known. If we can change that, by generating a global outcry, we can get big pharma to stop buying from these dangerous factories.”…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Well that sucks. China needs the rule of law now more than ever.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      Chooky
      Thanks for that heads up. On top of Salvoj Zizer noting that there is eugenics thinking going on there, It is time that they started to come out of their materialistic nation-strutting phase of being big and better, and come into their philosophical stage of being respectful of people, ethical, wise, fair and responsible. There have to be some large nations that can hold to these tenets with more than devious lip-service.

  10. Gangnam Style 10

    I woke up this morning about 5am to get ready for work & on Stuff.co.nz was an article & headline on the frontpage “John Key supports euthanasia bill”, I just had a look online a few minutes ago & now it’s gone, curious.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    Imagine what a competent progressive government could have achieved with the $105 billion Bill English has pissed away like the ketone laden residue of an after match function.

  12. RedLogix 12

    “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.”

    -FDR October 31, 1936

    This is the Labour Leader we need.

    • Olwyn 12.1

      I think we will only get a leader of that kind when a groundswell of grass roots opposition produces one. At the moment we still expect managerial politics to make the sort of waves that can only be made with the backing of forceful political movements. Even Corbyn, with the People’s Assembly behind him, now treads a precarious path among a well networked mob with highly placed allies, media contacts, favours to call in, etc, etc.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      FDR’s backbone was stiffened and his hand strengthened by massively popular socialist, communist and union movements of the day. Sit down strikes and worker riots.

      These forces no longer exist today.

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Oooh look!

    The Herald wants a new Deputy Leader for Labour.

    Annette King is “excellent in the role – loyal, experienced, sensible in public statements, liked and respected by friend and foe, a safe pair of hands. ”

    ….but Jacinda Ardern is ” young, presentable and appears to have a popular following.”

    Which is kinda what National has done, only in reverse.

    Obviously the secret to political success….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11529269

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Half of world’s wealth now in hands of 1% of population – report

    Global inequality is growing, with half the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population, according to a new report.

    Under the purely competitive free-market paradigm then everyone would have an almost identical income and it would be a subsistence living (until we ran out of resources at which point most would simply die).

    This growing inequality that we see is proof that we don’t have such a paradigm and that the paradigm that we do have is tilted in favour of the very few.

  15. whoa this could be big

    “Another theory is that megastructures have been placed in orbit, perhaps solar collectors catching energy from the star. Such hypothetical structures are known as Dyson swarms or spheres.

    The weird star was the only one of 150,000 stars watched over four years to behave the way it does.

    Kepler was looking for tiny dips in the amount of light emitted by the stars. The dips can be shadows cast by orbiting planets. Normally, they happen regularly and for a few days at most.

    But the light from KIC 8462852, 1480 light years away, darkens at irregular intervals by as much as 20 per cent and can stay dark for up to 80 days.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/73043524/unusual-far-away-star-could-be-orbited-by-massive-alien-structures

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere

    • weka 15.1

      just in time for the end of the world 😉

    • DoublePlusGood 15.2

      I’d have thought it passing through an irregular dust cloud would be more likely.

      • McFlock 15.2.1

        Well,I would have thought that the star passing through an interstellar dust cloud wouldn’t have the same behaviour, because the dust cloud wouldn’t be that dense. Hmmm. Unless the interstellar cloud was beginning to gather around a planet or something. So a mix of cloud and planet.

  16. It is the end of the world as we know it and the beginning of a different world.

  17. Morrissey 17

    “Police in Israel are moving to quell a WAVE of Palestinian attacks…”
    Did someone from the Israeli consulate write that for Warwick Burke to read out?

    Radio NZ National, Thursday 15 October 2015

    That nasty piece of hysterical distortion was intoned, as ominously as possible, by veteran newsreader Warwick Burke halfway through the 4 p.m. news. I’m sure that whoever wrote that crap for him was consciously stirring up that image of feral untermenschen descending as “a wave” on the poor citizens of Jerusalem, but surely only the most brutally committed, ideologically blind, ignorant-beyond-all-hope zealot would actually believe it.

    The idea that the Palestinians are inflicting terror on Israelis is, of course, the exact inversion of the truth…..

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2015-10-12/israel-is-a-terrorist-state/

    • savenz 17.1

      +1 – yeah people do get angry when settlers steal their land and kill them.

      • tinfoilhat 17.1.1

        Violence begets violence begets violence, will anyone be brave enough to give peace a chance ?

        • McFlock 17.1.1.1

          yep.
          But then someone shot the last Israeli PM to try.

        • Morrissey 17.1.1.2

          That’s a very lazy “analysis”, tinfoilhat. You sound just like the late Garth George.

          The violence in the Occupied West Bank is almost entirely one-way. Pretending there is a “cycle” of violence only minimizes what the IDF and the fanatical, heavily armed illegal “settlers” do every day.

      • Morrissey 17.1.2

        The robots are hard at it, recycling the same crap…

        “Coming up after the break: A new WAVE of attacks sees Israel RAMP up security!”

        —-Simon Dallow, Television One news, 6:15 p.m., Thursday 15.10.15

        The orgy of ignorance continues….
        After the break, Wendy “Fist Pumper” Petrie tells her viewers of the “worrying upsurge” in violence, “as Israel tries to stop a WAVE of violence!”

        She cuts to a simply outrageous report by an MSNBC churnalist, who notes in apparent high seriousness: “This deadly escalation has also seen PALESTINIAN victims… The fear is that this is not part of the REGULAR CYCLE OF VIOLENCE….”

      • savenz 17.1.3

        They also get kinda mad when people occupy their country and bomb them, looking for terrorists that didn’t exist in that country until the above behaviour.

    • Gabby 17.2

      They do seem to have got a bit stabby of late.

      • Morrissey 17.2.1

        Gabby, I know you’re being light-hearted, and yes it’s okay to make jokes, even about the occupation—but let’s bear in mind that the Palestinians suffer extreme mob violence every day, year after year, and have suffered that violence since the illegal occupation of the West Bank began in 1967.

        That this violence is systematically ignored by the Israeli police and the media does not make it any less real.

        • John Shears 17.2.1.1

          +1 Thanks Morrisey what a sad state of existence for Israel and Palestine citizens to face every day of their lives.

    • Chooky 17.3

      +100 Morrissey @ 17

      radionz is increasingly a political disinformation mouthpiece for the right wing:

      …..only this morning on Morning Report did they have on a USA commentator who argued at length that Hillary Clinton won the debate against with Bernie Sanders ( link not put up…wonder why?)

      http://usuncut.com/politics/6-reasons-bernie-sanders-actually-owned-the-debate-despite-what-pundits-claim/

      …and the other day Catherine Ryan had on a Jewish commentator who concluded at length that the Syrian problems were all about Russia and how bad it is and how bad Putin is…all the bad things he has done in other areas

      …no mention of Israel’s claims to the Golan Heights …a large part of which belongs to Syria…and the other part is under Israel control…a trophy after one of their wars…and is contested by the UN

      …no doubt Israel would like ALL of the Golan Heights….so why was USA stirring up trouble in Syria again?….and against the democratically elected Assad? ( nothing said unsurprisingly)

  18. Plan B 18

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/15/stephen-harper-master-manipulator

    Possibly the most depressing article I have ever read about politics and democracy

  19. Morrissey 19

    Five Facts About The Assange Siege

    1. Assange has not been charged.

    2. Assange does not “believe” there is an espionage case against him, it is a fact.

    3. Assange has not “refused to come to trial or indeed be questioned”.

    4. Assange did not “flee”.

    5. Assange has already been cleared and the woman says the police made it up in order to “get him”.

    https://justice4assange.com/Cambridge-Union-Statement-Fact.html

    • Chooky 19.1

      +100..setup job…but why, given he was warned, did he fall into the trap?

      • Morrissey 19.1.1

        He was young and dumb, and couldn’t resist temptation. As smart as he is, even Assange never came to grips with how depraved, dishonest and desperate the British and U.S. elite actually are.

  20. Chooky 20

    The other side of the story:

    ‘BUK manufacturer says Russian-made air defenses ‘absolutely’ not involved in MH17 crash’

    https://www.rt.com/news/318653-buk-manufacturer-outdated-warhead/

    “The damage caused by shrapnel to the aircraft involved in flight MH17 could not have been caused by a modern Russian BUK missile, the manufacturers of the weapon Almaz-Antey have stated….

    • Morrissey 21.1

      This government is satire-proof. When Woodhouse dies, they could make some sturdy boots out of his hide.

      Someone should suggest that to the reigning intellectual of parliament, David Seymour, and he’ll get the government to agree to it.

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