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Open mike 16/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 16th, 2022 - 73 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 …

73 comments on “Open mike 16/08/2022 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Can we cut the bullshit and get back to running the country please.

    • AB 1.1

      Right wing ideology attracts sociopaths and left(ish) wing ideology attracts self-imagined messiahs. Who didn't know that already?

  2. Jimmy 2

    I've run out of popcorn! Bought a whole lot when Uffindell was happening, but now need to re-stock due to Sharma.

  3. Jimmy 3

    I didn't realise Uffendell was that distressed. Sharma certainly isn't as he seems to be on the offensive.

    • Mac1 3.1

      "Sharma also said he has fallen into a cycle of depression and had begun to contemplate suicide". https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/mp-sharma-unleashes-fresh-wave-allegations

      Illness of this type is not a popcorn event but a time for friend, family, collegial and professional support- to have time off, to rest and rebuild spiritually.

      Ardern offered the best advice that I could have had in my times of depression- "…. Gaurav is a valued member of the team, " and "we want to make sure he is getting the support he needs," she said.

      What Churchill referred to as 'the black dog" is not enjoyable.

      • logie97 3.1.1

        Just saying.

        Would it not be a an opportunity for "openness" for the caucus to invite the journalists who have been posting on this story to be in on the forum?

        It seems to me that, while the source of information for the press is Mr Sharma alone, the journalists carrying the story should have complete access to the deliberations.

        Otherwise the Labour Party will remain at the mercy of whatever Mr Sharma has to say next. If he loses to the caucus, he will continue to pursue his side of the story and feed the media continually. On the other hand, if he is seen to be treated fairly and reasonably, the press would have to cover and examine his statements accordingly.

        • Louis

          "the journalists carrying the story should have complete access to the deliberations"

          God no! that would be madness.

    • Bearded Git 3.2

      The Herald has seized on Sharma's sad rant to deflect from the Uffendell disaster. Talk abut false equivalence.

      • gsays 3.2.1

        Similarly there is a lot of talk about Sharma around these parts and not a lot of korero about Lorck.

        • Sacha

          Maybe Lorck has not been running her mouth off to media?

          Meanwhile I note there is a dedicated discussion about Sharma rather than duplicating it here.

          • gsays

            My observation was more about what folk like to talk about, not what the various bullies/victims have to say.

            If Lorck has done what has been alleged, it's not surprising she is keeping her head down.

            • Louis

              The claims are being investigated, so neither Lorck nor the Labour party can talk publicly about it. Hard to see how moving furniture and being a one time sober driver constitutes bullying.

            • Sacha

              My observation was more about what folk like to talk about…

              Conversations tend to rely on things being published. No publicity, no discussion. Pretty basic.

      • Grantoc 3.2.2

        Bearded Git

        The rest of the media ran with the Sharma story in the same way that the NZ Herald did.

        And I dispute that any of the media (including the NZ Herald) 'seized on Sharma's sad rant to deflect from the Uffendell disaster'.

        More like Sharma saw an opportunity to take advantage of a story about MPs' and their apparent bullying of others to air his own grievances about being bullied in the Labour party caucus.

        Unfortunately for Labour and its acolytes (Except for Sharma, who appears to be reveling in the media spotlight) the Uffendall story got put to bed by the Nat's (for now at least), and the media turned to the emerging Sharma story. Sharma seems dead keen to keep on stoking it up – even as I write this.

        You have to also say that Sharma has proven to be a pretty shrewd tactician in all this too, and seems to know how to manipulate the media to his own ends.

        The story's got nothing to do with 'false equivalence'.

  4. Anker 4

    If Sharma's claims about bullying are accurate (and I don't know if they are), then this is very bad and will likely sink the ship. Just my opinion of course

    • alwyn 4.1

      As soon as the lynching has been organised and the Caucus meets Sharma will "be gone by lunchtime" as somebody once said. Well in a month anyway.

      The PM will announce that he will be expelled from the House in her most kindly manner. As the song goes. "The Caucus made me do it. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to do it". Then she will tell him he has to go and about the middle of September tell the Speaker he is out.

      • Jack 4.1.1

        A good summary.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.2

        As soon as the lynching has been organised and the Caucus meets Sharma will "be gone by lunchtime" as somebody once said.

        Might "somebody" be a former Gnat leader – perhaps one Don Brash? He's all heart.


        You could be right re Sharma – not unlike Jami-Lee? Another one bites the dust?

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/08/national-s-previous-scandals-under-scrutiny-after-sam-uffindell-amits-to-violently-assaulting-boy-at-school.html [Jami-Lee Ross, Todd Barclay, Hamish Walker, Andrew Falloon, Jake Bezzant, and (my personal favourite) Merv ("I'm that confused") from Manurewa]

      • bwaghorn 4.1.3

        I'm going to bet you one imaginary chocolate fish that Ardern doesn't expell him, wrap him up in cotton wool thick enough to protect everyone and deselect him next election is my reckons

        • alwyn

          "wrap him up in cotton wool".

          I really don't think that is possible. She has got to keep him quiet and I don't think he is going to do that voluntarily for another 14 months. I don't think he will go quietly unless he is fed a scalp. Would Ardern drop Kieran McNulty onto the back benches to appease him? I think that that would be the minimum he would take. The alternative is to promote him but I can't see that happening.

          The only way I can see to get rid of him is to tolerate another month of his complaints and then have him out of the House. He isn't like Louise Wall where a well paid sinecure will shut him down. He is very highly qualified and can immediately get another job that will pay him far more, and is far more prestigious, than what he has now.

          At the moment though I think his pride has been very badly dented by his treatment by people he, justifiably I would think, believes are not nearly as capable as he is. He wants utu.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            He wants utu.

            No shortage of NZ pollies wanting utu, but be careful what you wish for wink

            Ross response created seed of destruction for Bridges [25 May 2020]
            He [Jones] says it’s too early to say how new National Party leader Todd Muller will perform…

          • Louis

            You appear to have forgotten what started this. What about the staff that complained about Dr Sharma's repetitive controlling and bullying behaviour? A mp doesnt get put under management and is barred, albeit temporarily, on hiring staff, for nothing.

          • LibertyBelle

            "Would Ardern drop Kieran McNulty onto the back benches to appease him?"

            Not a chance, IMHO.

          • Louis

            "Would Ardern drop Kieran McNulty onto the back benches to appease him?"

            On what grounds? Why should the PM do that?

            • alwyn

              Why? Why don't you just reread the sentence you are quoting? I am not suggesting that she should, and much less than she will. I do think it would require something like that to shut him up for the rest of his time as an MP.

              • Louis

                I did read what you wrote, hence the question. So you're suggesting the PM should throw a minister under a bus just to appease Sharma?

          • Robert Guyton

            How wrong can a man be!

        • alwyn

          She would appear to not care what he might say. I guess that she is betting on the idea that he will not put up with the loneliness of his future in parliament and that he will quit of his own accord.

          I don't think he will go quite so quietly but I don't know him so perhaps she is right. We shall see.

          • Louis

            That's just your opinion not based on any facts at all.

            • alwyn

              Of course it is my opinion. Have I ever said anything that makes you think I have some special insider status? I assure you I am not a bosom buddy of the PM and someone in whom she confides her secrets.

              Are your comments here about what may happen in the future based on anything else? Have you ever heard of Niels Bohr? He was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. One of his immortal comments was “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future!”.

              About the only thing I have found to be reliable when predicting what politicians will do in the future is to assume that whatever they do will be the thing that is best for them. There are very few occasions when that assumption will lead you astray.

              • Louis

                No, and I never thought you were, but you are inclined to write your opinions as though they are facts, when they are not. The rest of your comment is a bit of a tedious rant.

                • alwyn

                  The comment you are complaining about causes you to object that is "just you opinion" Now you appear to be complaining that I write my opinions as if they are facts.

                  Well that comment contained 64 words. It included

                  "She would appear", "I guess that", "I don't think" and "perhaps she is right".

                  How much more do I need to put in to make you realise that they are only my opinions?

      • mikesh 4.1.5

        Can she constitutionally expel him from the house given that he was elected by the people of Hamilton West? He hasn't actually been convicted of a criminal offense.

        • alwyn

          Yes she can. Have a look at the 2021 bill.

          The original waka jumping bill of 2001 didn't allow it but the later one that Labour put through, alone, in 2021 applies to all MPs.

          • Belladonna

            However, I'd be very surprised if Ardern did.
            The last think Labour want is a bye-election, especially in a seat they'd be likely to lose, and with a possible independent MP who would take it as a god-given opportunity to grandstand.

            Suspending him from caucus is a very canny move, politically. He's completely sidelined, and unlikely to get any media time, once he's emptied his shot locker of allegations – think of how ineffective JL Ross was in the same situation; but she doesn't have to risk fallout from a distracting bye-election campaign.

            • alwyn

              The December date is particularly cunning. She can advise him that she plans to evict him from the house about the time the House rises in mid-December. Then she can put the boot in in mid-January while everyone is still on the Summer break.

          • alwyn

            I apologise. I should have offered you a link to the bill.


            Clause 55(A).1 says it applies to all members who were elected as representatives of a party, which includes Sharma.

            Clauses 55(C) and 55(D) say what she has to do. It would take about a month to action as he gets 21 working days to say why he is a good boy.

    • Louis 4.2

      To date, Dr Sharma has not offered up any proof to his claims. But what about the staff that have complained about him?

      • LibertyBelle 4.2.1

        'Proof' is an unreasonable expectation when dealing with claim and counterclaim. However Sharma's claims are not without varying degrees of support.

        His claim that caucus members (excluding him) were invited to meet last night, and did in fact meet, have been verified.

        His claim that there is bullying within the Labour Party and Parliament is at least supported by screen shots of text messages, until those are either verified or discredited.

        And at least one other Labour MP has claimed "there were bullying issues within the party, as well as Parliament".

        • Louis

          Of course proof' is a very reasonable expectation Libertybelle, particularly when the claims are defamatory and slanderous. I thought everyone would know that. It is irrelevant that he has support from some, he still needs to back himself with the proof. It was an informal meeting. He didn't attend the formal caucus meeting on Tuesday, despite setting a time that would suit him. The anonymous screenshots with no dates didn't do anything to support him. "And at least one other Labour MP has claimed" again not verified. You seem to have forgotten what got Dr Sharma in this position, his controlling and bullying of staff and his refusal to correct his behaviour.

          • LibertyBelle

            No proof is not reasonable, evidence is. The media (not Sharma) has provided evidence via eye witness testimony of another MP. You can choose to ignore that if you wish.

      • alwyn 4.2.2

        How much proof have you seen for the Politburo's claims that he is the bully?

  5. Ad 5

    A Westpac economist gets so, so close to giving this government and the Reserve Bank some credit for our absence of economic crisis when so many countries are in deep trouble ahead:

    Westpac Economic Overview, August 2022 – Pushing Through | Scoop News

    'Tourists are starting to return to New Zealand, which means we’re getting more value out of our natural assets. And the resumption of migration will help to address skill shortages in some areas, if not economy-wide.”

    • Poission 5.1

      Same old BAU analysis,when the elephant in the room is still inflation.Zoltan Pozsar poses the problem as such.

      “The aim of today’s dispatch is to highlight risks to the peak hawkishness view. We won’t be forecasting. We’ll be observing. And you’ll draw your conclusions.

      Thus, with slight exaggeration, the low inflation world stood on three pillars:

      first, cheap immigrant labor keeping service sector wages stagnant in the U.S.; second, cheap goods from China raising living standards amid stagnant wages; third, cheap Russian gas powering German industry and the EU more broadly. U.S. consumers were soaking up all the cheap stuff the world had to offer: the asset rich, benefiting from decades of QE, bought high-end stuff from Europe produced using cheap Russian gas, and lower-income households bought all the cheap stuff coming from China. All this has worked for decades, until nativism, protectionism, and geopolitics destabilized the low inflation world…”


      The arguments coming out of Europe and the US are that a lot of the cheap stuff coming out of China is settling in warehouses,as thoughtful people who work for a living prioritise their spend to shelter and food.This in turn has seen order books falling in China as well as domestic consumption there drop,as the property bubble inverts.Hence commodity prices fall….

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Always good to hear another bankers' view, even if it's not relevant to New Zealand.

        I do have a preference to be optimistic that more of the world that affects New Zealand will stabilise than be destabilised in the next year. My entirely unrealistic reasons for this are:

        • The markets that hold New Zealand up are holding up. They are: China, United States, Australia and Japan. Pessimism on inflation and employment hasn't been warranted. People very much want what we make and are buying. Commodity prices esp dairy and other foods are through the roof. Our doors are open again.
        • The government is responsive. It is funnelling money into benefits and projects on such a scale that wage increases are at least decreasing the impact of inflation.
        • The real estate economy is cooling due to clear policy directions, both RB and government. I have no idea if it will last. I'm taking it as a stabilising signal for now. Mortgagee sales aren't rising too much. Same with bankruptcies.
        • We are 5 months into the Russian Ukraine invasion and 3 years into COVID, without a 2008-scale recession. NZ has had approximately 1 crisis every 2 years since 2008. Previously we would have a recession at least once a decade. That tells me the NZ economy and the developed world economy is more robust than the stories are telling us individually.
        • Poission

          China yesterday cut its rate by .10%,unemployment has increased,and the building developers have been hung out to dry ( CCP policy is housing is not an investment,but some where to live) mortgage holders do not want to pay developers as they are at risk of not seeing completion,and a significant downturn in the worlds largest market for property and construction.

          Here the RB is the reason for house price decreases and as the increase in recent purchasers selling at a loss increases (0.7 to 1.9%) following interest hikes almost surely.

          Adding stimulus to a hot economy is always inflationary, unsustainable,and adds debt costs that will be difficult to recover.

        • Belladonna

          I can't contribute to the analysis – but my gut reaction hopes you are right.
          Recessions are really bad news for the vulnerable in society.

          Stabilization is a much better forecast/outcome.

    • pat 5.2

      Bank economists (especially) should be ignored….they talk their book.

      Jawboning is the major tool of bankers , including central.

      What they wish and what occurs are often two different things, especially when the financial pressure is applied.

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    The very best advertising is free…

    I especially like this reply…

    Can one die from Irony?

    • weka 6.1

      what's your point? Are you trying to suggest that the claim is the vaccine prevents covid? I can't believe you are that stupid, so what are you trying to do exactly?

      • Mac1 6.1.1

        I think she has argued that infection can come from sources outside of the family.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.2

        Goodness me weka…full noise on the insults, eh?

        In my opinion, only the willfully blind (or stupid) would fail to see the irony of the quadruple jabbed CEO of Pfizer not trusting the efficacy of one of his products and instead rushing for the further protection of another one of his products.

        The other product being of similar dubious efficacy.


        In the original studies submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization, Paxlovid’s drugmaker Pfizer found that rebounds happened in 1-2% of patients—the same rate as in the placebo group.

        Dr. David Ho, professor of medicine and director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University, is studying Paxlovid rebound and believes the prevalence is likely higher. “In my own experience, I have now counted 15 friends, family members, and colleagues who have taken Paxlovid, and over half have rebounded,” he says. Though that’s not a scientific tally, “physicians with large COVID-19 practices will tell you that it’s not rare.”

        And while we're at it…there's a prospective study out of Thailand on the effects of Albert's 'vaccine' on the hearts of young recipients. (FYI.."prospective" means they got baseline measurements from the trial participant before they received the vaccine… to rule out any pre-existng heart issues.)

        And it's not looking good. At all.


        Cardiovascular effects were found in 29.24% of patients, ranging from tachycardia, palpitation, and myopericarditis.

        Triple vaxxed nurse educator youtuber, (formerly staunchly pro vax plus) has an explainer video here for those who can't be bothered downloading and reading the paper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekTR0w2M9-U .

        Back in the day, weka, when there was actual medical science being done instead of whatever the fuck is going on at the moment…any hint that a pharmaceutical product could cause such an effect in a population group that is at almost zero risk from the target pathogen would cause an immediate suspension of that product in that demographic.


        In the study group…the rate of actual diagnosed myopericarditis was 1 in 300 second doses.

        A tad higher than the experts claim.


        (56-69 cases per 1000000 second doses)

        At the very least….adolescents receiving mRNA vaccines should be monitored for side effects

        And yet there is no legal requirement in NZ for reporting of Pfizer vaccine adverse effects.

        Do you not think this is strange?

    • Macro 6.2

      Friend of ours, who for her own reasons, chose not be vaccinated is now fighting for her life in intensive care in Waikato Hospital.

      Take care – this is not a mild illness for the 60+ brigade, and is not a respecter of persons, no matter who you are.

      • LibertyBelle 6.2.1

        Agreed. My 80+ mother has covid, and is thankful for the relatively mild symptoms and her 2 boosters.

    • Robert Guyton 6.3

      Did you view the anti-vaxx documentary, Rosemary? I missed any commentary from you.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    Hey, this Twitter thing is loaded with interesting stuff…bring on more rainy days.

    This is one for those who still claim the vaccine mandates were perfectly justified in terms of Public Health initiatives.

    Actual Public Health experts from around the world disagree.

    Of course this will be ignored by most of you. A pity, because it contains serious warnings for the future viability of Public Health initiatives.

    Again I will provide this…. a very serious and considered discussion amoung public health experts and staunch vaccine proponents…but I doubt if many are ready yet.

    A precis, for the closed minded and/or the lazy.

    'If you're going to take the extraordinary step of imposing mass vaccine mandates on a wide population you had better make the sure vaccine works.'

    • Drowsy M. Kram 7.1

      …for the closed minded…

      Snort laugh – there are (at least) two sides to every 'story'. Some choose to lurch loudly away from consensus expert opinion for their own reasons, but that's not for me.

      Evaluating potential unintended consequences of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and passports [29 July 2022]

      Summary box

      • In a recent article published in this journal, Bardosh et al. set out to ‘outline a comprehensive set of hypotheses’ for why COVID-19 vaccine policies (namely, vaccination mandates and passports) ‘may cause more harm than good’.

      • The authors’ treatment of the potential unintended consequences of COVID-19 vaccine policies contains several shortcomings that may mislead, rather than assist, the ethical evaluation of such policies. Among others, these include drawing conclusions that are not supported by the hypotheses they adduce, mischaracterising potential unintended consequences, and raising concerns related to key ethical concepts without fully articulating the rationale or justification for those concerns.

      • Investigating and evaluating the potential unintended consequences of COVID-19 vaccine policies is crucial; however, in doing so, we must be careful not to overstate the normative weight of hypothetical unintended consequences and resist the temptation to arrive at policy prescriptions based on those grounds alone.

      • Sacha 7.1.1

        …drawing conclusions that are not supported by the hypotheses they adduce, mischaracterising potential unintended consequences, and raising concerns related to key ethical concepts without fully articulating the rationale or justification for those concerns.

        Does sound familiar.

    • DB Brown 7.2

      "Data availability statement

      There are no data in this work."

      Bout says it all really. But they drag up every talking point they can to make a case out of the nothing data they present.

    • SPC 7.3

      Maybe the real learnings were

      1. recognise infection immunity
      2. end mandates once the vaccine no longer prevents infection and onward transmission.
      3. then move onto to screen access to buildings (temp checks and rat test if high) and regular workplace testing.

      Social harm is going to occur whatever policy is applied. The variable for a nation was health policy based on what level of spread could be safely managed, given the health profile of a people and the capacity of the health system.

      As for future planning – better ventilation in schools etc.

  8. SPC 8

    The UK Labour party continues its narrative, the left is antisemitic, it is not … and so should be in government. It's the one thing it and the UK media can agree on, not having a left wing government.

  9. aj 9

    ….the left is antisemitic….

    The 4-part series 'The Lobby' by Al Jazeera Investigations is essential viewing to help put context around the destruction of Jeremey Corbyn's Labour Party. Can be found on YouTube (about 25 mins each part.)

    Also Chris Williamson's recent publication of "Ten Years Hard Labour"

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