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Open mike 17/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 17th, 2020 - 302 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 …

302 comments on “Open mike 17/04/2020”

  1. At 10 am (NZ time) Trump will be holding a press conference about opening America up again – aka how the USA will commit economic suicide and plunge the whole world into depression.

    Go on to Trump's twitter to watch what might prove to be a turning point in 'Merican civilisation! History being made from the mouth of a narcissist idiot genius!

    • Barfly 1.1

      A very stable genius with bigly hands who will have builded the bigliest recovery in the story of the wurld you'll see!

    • Andre 1.2

      Voldemort: "Now, you put your faith in me."

      The yam Voldedolt: " When someone's the president of the United States, the authority is total"

      Also the kumquat Pol Pot: "I don't take responsibility at all"

    • RedLogix 1.3

      The exact opposite is going to happen.

      Only relatively small and isolated nations like NZ are going to be able to eradicate CV19 by lockdown. (And look at how difficult we are finding it.) Everywhere else it's going to become endemic until we can implement at least one of three other strategies, high intensity testing, effective treatment or vaccination at scale.

      (Big Fat Caveat. This is a thoroughly damned nasty disease that you don't want to get. Researchers are still learning unwelcome aspects, silent asymptomatic transmission is more common than thought and long term chronic complications are appearing.)

      Lifting the lockdown does not mean abandoning all defense. There will still be social distancing, increased hygiene, restrictions on gatherings, and testing will continue to ramp up. Each state of the USA will adapt their measures to their circumstances. It will continue to be messy and inconsistent and almost certainly there will be more deaths and suffering than necessary.

      It will be made worse by a political system that was in turmoil anyway, although I would argue the shock of this will crisis precipitate a more rapid resolution of the culture wars than might have otherwise been the case.

      But from every other perspective the USA is on the cusp of a massive regeneration. They have physical security, food security, energy security and still by far the largest military. Their economy is not highly dependent on the rest of the world. No matter how hard they try to stuff it up, the USA will remain the largest and most prosperous nation.

      The big one I am watching for is the return of industry into the NAFTA region. Watch for a resurgence of high end manufacturing into the USA itself. Watch for petrochem processing to take off on the back of almost free natural gas supplies. Watch for Mexico to become the centre of low end industry within NAFTA. Watch for the financial expertise within the City of London merge into Wall Street.

      The Americans have so much wriggle room they can afford to make mistakes that would be the finish of many other nations.

      • AB 1.3.1

        the USA is on the cusp of a massive regeneration..."

        That is the populist vision that got Trump elected – a fortress USA much less dependent on the world, with well-paying jobs repatriated from Asia, immigration tightly controlled, and an ability to impose its will on others through military power (or  the threat of it) that is unrestrained by international norms and institutions.

        Internally it is likely to be accompanied by further consolidation of monopoly capitalism into stronger corporate entities that are have penetrated all the organs of state power – creating a state-corporate nexus immune to the democratic will. Economic inequality would become greater, life more precarious for many, policing more militarised and surveillance ramped up.  While the front-end would continue the displays, conventional pieties and formal showpieces of the American republic, the back-end starts to look proto-fascist. The whole society then resembles an Amazon warehouse. This was all happening anyway – but a Trump regeneration accelerates it, and a Biden regeneration does nothing to stop it.

        • RedLogix

          That is the populist vision that got Trump elected – a fortress USA much less dependent on the world, with well-paying jobs repatriated from Asia, immigration tightly controlled, and an ability to impose its will on others through military power (or  the threat of it) that is unrestrained by international norms and institutions.

          It's not so much a vision as a reality. Let's deconstruct that para:

          1. The North America is a geographic fortress, few large countries have such defendable borders.

          2. It always has been relatively independent of the world, it's exports as a fraction of GDP are among the very lowest in the world.

          3. It is strategically energy independent. If you include Alberta and the Latin American countries where it can source oil from very easily, it's totally secure. 

          4. As a by-product of the shale oil revolution it has unlimited quantities of natural gas at extremely low prices. This is the ideal feedstock for a vast range of materials.

          5. As the CCP became increasingly strident and overtly hostile, the US was already starting to move it's supply chains back to the USA. CV19 will only accelerate this move dramatically. Some will land up in SE Asia, Vietnam, Thailand and some to Mexico … but the high end, high tech industries will come back to the USA. As the CCP continues to threaten Taiwan, the semiconductor industry will relocate to somewhere more secure.

          6. In an increasingly unstable world there is every incentive to co-locate your supply chains into the most secure place possible.

          7. The demographics of the NAFTA region (and wider Latin America) support a consumption led growth pattern for decades to come. Not only will they make stuff again, they have the markets to sell it to … again all within their own security envelope.

          8. And from Clinton onward the USA has been gradually withdrawing from these global institutions, either from neglect or by side-stepping them. Trump is now taking a wrecking hammer to what is left and insulting all their old allies to boot.

          I don't mean to suggest the USA is invulnerable, but it's geopolitical fundamentals are so much better than anywhere else. The logic of an economic resurgence in a period where it is clearly re-trenching it's connections with the wider world is hard to argue against.

          Whether this translates into a social regeneration is another question; and that greatly depends on how their political turmoil resolves itself over the next 5 -10 years. Because right now the USA doesn't even know what it wants for itself, much less anywhere else in the world.

          • aj

             The North America is a geographic fortress, few large countries have such defendable borders.

            Not from air (or space). As vulnerable as any other country.


            • Climaction

              Fairly ridiculous comment. Are you somehow suggesting nuclear war is the outcome of America retrenching it's economy? 

            • RedLogix

              Climaction is more or less right. While the USA is as physically vulnerable to ICBM's as anyone else, only Russia is a serious peer in terms of MAD. While US foreign policy in the past two decades has been appallingly negligent toward them, unless the Americans criminally provoke their homeland directly, a slowly decaying Russia is very unlikely to attack the USA

              Anyone else attacking the USA with nuclear weapons must have a death inviting annihilation on themselves. And the question is why? Such weapons are only used as a last resort. An America withdrawing from the world is less likely than ever to provoke a first strike by any nation. (The open exception might well be non-state actors such as terrorists.)

        • McFlock

          The thought scratching the back of my brain is that maybe some section of repugs, like Stephen Miller, are actually hoping covid helps address what they see as their demographic problem: i.e. kills or controls many of the melanin-advantaged poorer USians.

          • joe90

            Someone else has noticed.

          • Andre

            That would just be an indicator of intracranial malfunction among America's Pest and Blightest. Since the data indicates the strongest correlation of dying from COVID is old age, and old age is very strongly correlated with an increased likelihood of voting Repug.

    • Cinny 1.4

      He promised yesterday it would be a big day today…. I wonder if he will be on time for a change.

      Will there be slides????  Dim the lights and all that lololz.

      There are many live streams to watch it on, will post a couple when it starts, some streams leave their live chat open should people wish to troll participate or educate the MAGA crowd.

      And where is Fauci?

    • RedLogix 2.1

      At some point in the 70's I had hair half way down my back. I'm curious now to see if I can repeat this ….cool

      • Forget now 2.1.1

        Back hair is very hard to shave. Maybe you should get someone to help you get the bits between your shoulders if your part of the country goes down to level 3 next week? 😉

      • Anne 2.1.2

        No you can’t RL @ 2.1, it’ll look like something the cat dragged in. 

        Phil Goff had a beautiful head of long thick wavy dark brown hair. I thought it was a bit rich that a bloke could have hair like that while mine had to remain short because it was so fine. crying

  2. dv 3

    In the discussion about taxes yesterday I didn't see a Transaction tax suggested.

    I would be easy to implement, difficult to dodge and would catch money transfers overseas etc. 

    A bit like the credit card charge


    • RedLogix 3.1

      Yes. This was always the one I liked the most; it penalised those actors using money purely for it's commodity value more than anyone else because they tend to make far more transactions.

      To be seriously effective however it needs to be seen in the context of a global trading currency and common rules that apply to all tax jurisdictions.

      • dv 3.1.1

        Have you any inkling of how much money flows thru the banks?

        • RedLogix

          Nope. The general idea of an FTT is that the rate would be set so low as to be less than chump change for the kind of transaction most people would do. (Wild arse guess, something in the region of 0.1%)

          It really only have an impact on the the big players in the financial sector. Imagine what it could do to dampen the high frequency stock market traders.

          • dv

            500b  at 1% is 50 B

            1000b at 1% is 100 B

            NZ income tax is abt 93 b


            • RedLogix

              You're numbers seem to be too large by a factor of 100.

              500b at 0.1% is 0.5b

              But this is going about it backwards. Politically I'd detemine how much tax I wanted to raise (and it only needs to be some fraction of the total tax take, an FTT is never intended to replace all other taxes) and then do the numbers back from there.

              • dv

                I was using 1%.

                But your idea of how much tax I wanted to raise is better

                What is your feeling of how much money moves in and out of the banking system


                This would cost at !%  on a salary of 100k

                abt 2k cf to tax of 23k

                (I work on 100k in and 100k out) 

                • alwyn

                  You are actually using 10%. 1% of 500 b is 5 b, not the 50 b you have stated.

                  • dv

                    OOPs thank Alwyn.

                    ?Any idea of the amount of money that goes through the banks alwyn

                    • alwyn

                      I don't know the current numbers. However I believe that in 2017 interbank transactions between the New Zealand based banks were about $1.2 trillion.

                      I would guess that intrabank values would probably be another $500 billion. This would be about $1.7 trillion which was about 6 times New Zealand GDP. Each of these would comprise a credit and a debit between 2 accounts so you double the amount to allow for both legs.

                      At your 1% therefore you would therefore be coming up with a tax of $34 billion/year if I have the decimal place in the right place and my numbers are anywhere accurate. That is about the same as the total personal income tax paid in New Zealand.

                      That would not include transactions between an individuals different accounts. Are you going to tax me for putting money into a TD? And then tax me again when the TD matures?

                      None of these numbers include foreign exchange transactions. Those come to about another $4 trillion/year I think. Certainly in March 2020, according to the Reserve Bank they averaged more than $14 billion/day

                      Big bickies aren't they?

                      I haven't bothered with too many links. These are partly memory and partly my guesses. However some of the figures come from these two links.



              • McFlock

                ISTR the old Alliance Party policy was 0.05%, or 5c in every hundred dollars.

                So a million dollar house woule garnish a $500 duty (or a grand if it goes from bank to mortgagee to old owners).

                In January, EFTPOS transactions alone were $8bil. Basically just shy of $100bil a year.

                Thar would get a 0.05% levy of $50million. 1% levy would of course be a $billion.

                • Climaction

                  and i wonder who pays that at the end of the day. The same consumers who have taken pay cuts to keep their jobs and the business they work for afloat. 

                  it never means much to non front line public servants like professors with tenure and ministry analysts who haven't had to do there bit with a 20% reduction. but what a FTT is is the same as GST. it's broad based with no exceptions and is always paid by the final consumer as it's essentially a consumption tax. 

                  You'd be better to drop GST to 10% to encourage spending and help out the poorest who spend the most of their income on consumption.

                  • KJT

                    A large proportion of financial transactions are not to final customers.

                    They are things like share swaps, fund transactions, interbank transfers, profit taking and the like. Computer share trading being one of the largest.

                    The problem is without international agreement on FTT, many of these transactions can simply shift to countries without financial transaction taxes.

                    However that happens now, with income and company tax havens.

                    • McFlock

                      Pretty much. Someone who gets $20k a year will pay $100 over the year. The bank that transfers billions offshore will pay millions.

                    • Climaction

                      Simplistic. Costs are either over the line or below the line. above the line are direct costs and get priced in as a direct cost. FTT's are below the line costs as part of the EBIT. they'll be passed on in the form of increased margin requirements that will be probably be over compensated for in the oncharge to consumers as the banks know the maximum liability due for it, but not the actual.


          • KJT

            Always liked the idea of FTT.

            We already have a private FTT, a private tax, charged by the banks on credit card transactions.

            Usually buried in the prices everyone pays, so we don't see it.

            A bit more than 1%. 2.5% and up from there.

            • dv

              Love to see some modeling of the scheme.
              Yes re cc card transactions are already a FTT.


            • Climaction

              Of course, because your so simplistic in your thinking that you think only those engaged in financial transactions pay it. 

              Yet you've managed to point out the hidden cost of such taxes. No one gets a discount for paying cash do they? everyone pays the credit card rate. 

              this recession will only be exacerbated by any measures that restrict demand. 

              • KJT

                Every tax has a cost where it is levied.

                It also has a benefit where it is spent.

                Government is going to be driving demand, for some time.

                The broader the base they get the money from, to do it, the better.

                Even your hero, Bill English, said that recently.

                • Climaction

                  broadening the base spreads in many directions. so have all working tax citizens paying positive tax. happy to scrap WFF as well as implement an FTT? it's the same thing.


                  This government should look at being bold and not just reverting to lame, socialist responses like socking it to industry and the wealthy.

                  Why not cut tax at lower incomes, remove similar benefits to the lose income tax payers so they are net not affected and get rid of that layer of red tape with it's inherent cost to tax and administer the benefits?

                  it'd certainly help develop the manufacturing base you are so fond. 

                  • KJT

                    Unfortunately we need the red tape, to keep large private companies, honest.

                    Right wing memories are so short.

                    Socking it to the wealthy makes them use their money on something useful, like productive businesses, or Government spending on infrastructure.

                    Cutting tax to low income earners, obviously increases demand. Glad you agree.

                    Or, we could have "simplistic" right wing solutions, like tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity for everyone else, which are playing out horribly right now in the USA.

                    Getting rid of GST, has merit.


                    • Climaction

                      So red tape has to penalise the lowest paid in society to keep private companies honest. Strange logic base you start from, as long as it’s assume you start from anything logical

                      my suggestion has nothing to do with private enterprise. If we can reduce red tape 20% here, 20% there, we’ll be a much better country if we target those savings.

                      and fuck the msd workers. Low and middle income workers shouldn’t pay tax just to give box tickers a job 

                    • KJT

                      Forgotten leaky homes already.

                      How did removing "red tape" go, there?

                    • Climaction []

                      Such false equivalence really demonstrates your lack of understanding of my point.

                      removing bureaucratic red tape administering welfare that only adds to the cost of welfare, reducing the amount to those who need it,  is not the same as not having a comprehensive enforced building code.

                      but resort to puerile whataboutisms. A clear demonstration of the shallowness of other people’s slogans masquerading as your own ideas

                    • KJT

                      Bit of projection there, mate.

                      By the way I've written whole blog posts about removing the excessive bullshit rules, sanctions and penalties around welfare.

                      But, that is not what you meant, was it.


                    • Climaction []

                      It is what I meant. 

                      if we look at the burdensome cost of administration as a tax like any other, we can then really evolve our thinking as to what tax, our economy and the interplay with the government all look like to the benefit of the whole nation. Not just the mandarins in ivory towers in Wellington who have budgets to spend, jut not to earn

                    • KJT

                      So. Do you favour a sufficient, UBI?

                    • Climaction

                      No, I favour lower taxes for all as there is less administration cost (tax)

                      letting more people keep more of their money. a few rich people will benefit, but a greater number of people on lower incomes will benefit more in proportion. Something that always seems to be forget in the rush to condemn tax cuts.

                    • RedLogix

                      letting more people keep more of their money. a few rich people will benefit, but a greater number of people on lower incomes will benefit more in proportion. Something that always seems to be forget in the rush to condemn tax cuts.

                      It's a balance. At the extremes we know that zero tax is unsustainable because there is no social infrastructure to enable people or businesses to function. At the other extreme 100% income tax eliminates any individual incentive to improve their condition. The optimum tax rate must logically lie in between.

                      The right consistently places a higher value on individual freedom of action and favours lower taxes, while the left correspondingly values collective action and higher taxes. You could argue that if both factions are unhappy then you probably have it about right.

                      Having said that NZ's govt fraction of the economy is much lower than most people think. Most developed nations lie in the range of 35 – 45% of the economy, while NZ lies very much at the lower end. Worse still we include retirement provision (NZ Super) into our core govt figures, while in most other nations it's some mix of govt, business and private provision.. This distorts our figures substantially and means core govt taxation in this country is a lot lower than is commonly assumed.

                      We are emphatically not an overtaxed socialist hell-hole … we would have a lot of room to increase taxes.

                    • KJT

                      Tax cuts are never neutral.

                      Even less so, when the result is less money for the State services that non wealthy people, need.

                      Tax cuts in New Zealand, have always resulted in increased costs to the less wealthy, as Government services disappear, or become more expensive, from the replacement private provision.

                      Power and housing are the obvious examples.

                      The history of tax cuts from 1984, on, has been a massive transfer of wealth from communities, to shareholders, land speculators, and bankers.

                    • Climaction []

                      lumping one policy (tax cuts) in with all the others post 1984 paints a terrible picture. Removing it and looking at lowering the lower tax rates paints a completely different picture. 

                      2% reduction in tax on income of 50,000 gives someone on about the average wage an extra thousand dollars a year. Huge for someone on 50k a year. Someone on 200k a year also gets it, but it only represents .5% of their gross income.

                      but fuck everyone on 50k because 1984 and rich people will also get 1000 right KJT? 

                      it’s like watching someone dying of thirst refuse a drink of water as it comes from their worst enemy. Excruciating in modern society. I often think unreformed geriatrics and boomers pose the greatest threat to a cohesive society. You keep on reinforcing that view. 

  3. ScottGN 4

    Ursula von der Leyen has issued an apology to Italy for the EU’s extraordinary failure of leadership over the Covid crisis.


  4. Forget now 5

    If it doesn't make too much extra work for the moderators, it might be nice if the site had a COVID-free commenting space. Obviously it's the most important thing in the world to most people (including myself). However,  there are still issues of social inequality and climate change (amongst others) that tend to get drowned out with bewailing every swoop of the Crow.

    It was a while back now when I used to comment under a different name (not Dspare – which got autosuggested to my spam-mail, something else I can't recall now), there used to be a politics-free Weekend Social, and during  one election  a second evening OM ("Daily Review"?). So it's not like there is no precedence for such compartmentalization.

  5. ScottGN 6

    Be good to have Daily Review back. 

    • Anne 6.1


      It is useful for summing up the day's activities and developments on a separate thread for general discussion.

  6. Observer Tokoroa 7

    Who let Madman – Duncan Garner – llose

    Duncan Garner like a young teenager, rubbished The Ammbassador from China on RNZ TV  at 7:30 this morning. He was Rat. Abusive beyond measure.

    He should be Sacked – Permanently. as should the silly woman who assisted him.

    It is possible, even likely that China will remove New Zealand from the List of their Friends. Even take us off Trade.

    He earlier rubbished the Effort our Nation has undertaken.

    • Cinny 7.1

      duncan is channeling his inner fox news narrative.  Fox is hard out blaming china while lamenting agent orange.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.2

      Leaving aside Garner's opinion, are you referring to the same ambassador who on the 18th February 2020 it was reported that she admonished NZ for continuing the ban on travelers from China?

      Not very friendly of us since at the time the World Health Organisation was holding the line that all was well and China had this pesky wee greebly well in hand.

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing, eh?

      OT, it may very well be you have personal and vested interest in the preservation of the pre Covid 19 status quo…to some of us this is a wonderful opportunity for a much needed reset.

      My personal opinion is that being isolated, again, will be the best thing that's happened to Aotearoa since….ages.


      • Carolyn_Nth 7.2.1

        David Parker is working to ensure that NZ's blessed isolation doesn't happen.  He was a guest at the epidemic committee yesterday. He, and the NACTs are wedded to international trade relations for business.

        Parker was talking about regional trade blocks rather than global ones. He has been communicating with relevant representatives and officials in south east Asian countries.  There is an "not all eggs in one basket" approach.

        His mic or audio feed was not very clear some times.  But he seemed to be saying that TPPA requirements were being (temporarily?) waived or ignored – especially with respect to each country trying to ensure their own supplies of PPE and other medical requirements.

        Could Covid-19 be doing what all our protests couldn't? Kill the TPPA?

        • Rosemary McDonald

          "….what our protests couldn't and kill the TPPA?"

          Here's hoping.

          You know, the lightening speed at which this government signed the 'revised' TPPA after all their pre election mouthings convinced me that not voting for Labour was the right choice.

          I very nearly relented and put aside the memories of the betrayals of the last two Labour led governments…but simply couldn't….and gave the Greens both votes instead. 

          But back to trade…I'd like us to do a complete reset.  If we can manufacture or grow it here…

          • Wayne


            Here's hoping not.

            New Zealand needs to be able to sell its primary products, they are now our only exports. CPTPPA makes it easier to sell them. That was always the gain for New Zealand in TPPA. And will remain so.


            • Rosemary McDonald

              Yes dear.

              Rest assured that everything is going to back to normal.

              Sending you cyber kindness and kuddles at what must be a challenging time for you and your friends.


              • Wayne

                I dint say everything would be normal. I said our principal exports for the next two years will be primary exports, no tourism, no international students.

                CPTPP will help boost that. While you might think it a bad thing and should be scrapped, clearly the government doesn't. 

                And thank you for your thoughts (ignoring the irony in them).

                While it might be sensible to have a bit more production in NZ of some essentials, that is not going to be a generally applicable proposition. Physical trade of goods and IT services will continue, and in the latter case will expand.

            • millsy

              The TPPA or CTPAA or whatever it is called now, locks in privatisation, low wages, anti-unionism, etc.

          • RedLogix

            If we can manufacture or grow it here…

            Everyone senses that the post WW2 period of global growth and relative stability is ending … and everyone is planning to retrench their supply lines to more secure zones.

            But only a some countries will be able to do this without significant cost and without reversion to the economic and conditions that prevailed before WW2. 

            • Blazer

              'relative stability'….this sums up U.S foreign policy post WW2…(37 invasions).

              Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, said the following regarding Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” (1)

        • Molly

          David Parker was present as a member of the select committee. at a hearing I attended for the TPPA roadshow.  I stayed for a few different presentations, as well as accompanying a friend.

          His body language – and actual language – for those who had concerns and raised them was boredom in the extreme, dismissive and arrogant.  But how he – and others – perked up when the Association for International Business did their presentation – which consisted of no detail, but Go Ahead ASAP. 

          I left at that point, having been given confirmation that the ill-organised  badly implemented TPPA submission roadshow was the farce I thought it was going to be.

      • Janet 7.2.2

        I agree with you that being isolated again will be the best thing that,s happened to Aotearoa since ages….. And Lock down has given so many people a break from the grindstone and space to enjoy their families and most importantly the space to think a bit. Its not all bad.

    • tc 7.3

      Rantings to get ratings, emotional V rational, welcome to the NZ media.

      I thought Bradbury had a point worth considering in amalgamating TVNZ/RNZ leave Mediaworks etc all the ad revenue and let the market decide.

      Watching them grovel for assistance given their immersion in DP, ponytail gate etc is f'n priceless. Yesterday's business model, time to move on and not at taxpayers expense.

      • bwaghorn 7.3.1

        I no it's wrong of me but I just cant take to tv1s morning show and watch garner and richardson even though I wouldnt cross the road to piss in their hair if it was on fire. 


    • Gabby 7.4

      Is there a danger that the Chinese government might stop 'investing in' our productive land?

  7. Adrian Thornton 8

    Just to prove the point that so called 'moderate' centrists on the Left are in fact extremists who will defend their sick depraved Liberal ideology to the determent of the entire planet (let alone their own countries) just like their counterparts on the Right…

    ‘The People Have Spoken. Bastards’: Leaked Labour Report Shows Party’s Own Senior Staff Acted To Keep Corbyn Out Of Power


    • Molly 8.1

      There are some who don't like being around others that show them in a bad light.  Rather than admit failings, and make changes, they will endeavour to pull those people down.  The UK Labour Party, unfortunately consisted primarily of this personality type.  God forbid they had someone they could trust to do the right thing – their comfortable lives were predicated on being able to act in the blurred lines.

    • bill 8.2

      I'm curious as to whether that document makes reference to advice being given to Kezia Dugdale during that time – her teaming up with the Tory Party to campaign against the SNP in Scotland is arguably what swung that election (the Tories enjoyed their biggest gains of a generation at the expense of the SNP, UK Labours natural 'coalition' partner, while Scottish Labour more or less just treaded water)

  8. Reality 9

    Would like some advice please on why I can’t click on Reply. I have to go to the end of the thread. Thanks.

    Re earlier comments on hair – waking soon after 5 I sometimes tune into Kate Hawkesbury’s ZB session (usually have to tune out quite quickly).  Twice I have heard her complain at not being able to go to her hairdresser.  Her blonde (or lack of) tresses are causing her great angst! She was complaining this morning Jacinda is talking to us like toddlers and that it must be because she lives with one.  What a self obsessed pair she and her husband are.

    • weka 9.1

      What device are you using?

      • ScottGN 9.1.1

        I’m using an iPad weka and I can’t use the reply function with it either (though I can do a primary comment). If I want to reply to someone I have to use my iPhone, it’s really bloody annoying. Be great if it could be fixed.

        • weka

          is this recent or has it been like that for a while?

          Can you shift between the desktop and mobile versions on the ipad?

          • weka

            I'll point Lynn in the direction of this conversation, but I suspect if it's not a new thing it might come down to the numbers of people using certain devices.

          • ScottGN

            It’s been like that for ages. I think I just have the desktop version on the iPad??

            • weka

              Can you switch between the two on your phone?

              • ScottGN

                I mostly just open the standard via chrome on my phone. Use the app occasionally. There doesn’t seem to be any difference in the phone?

          • ScottGN

            Reply works using the desktop version on the phone though just not the iPad.

            • lprent

              Now that is freaking odd. Needless to say the one thing that I don't have at home is a iPad. 

              I'll have a look at the site tester sites for something.

              Weekend is upon me. I guess that will become apparent.

    • bwaghorn 9.2

      I use a samsung ph and find I can rarely comment while in desktop,(which I like because I can check replies) so change to mobile for commenting. 

      • weka 9.2.1

        Comment at all? Or using the Reply button?

        • Alice Tectonite

          I find the reply button intermittent on the desktop version regardless of device or OS. Seems fine on the mobile version (android).

          Desktop version viewed on my phone doesn't let me comment anyway (can't type in comment box).

          • weka

            I've had that not being able to select the text box thing too, but it seems to have some right this year.

          • ScottGN

            How do I open the mobile version on my iPad? Sorry if that’s a dumb question…

            • Forget now

              I find the mobile version is pretty janky when it comes to editing comments. Especially if I leave the tab to confirm a fact or quote. Sometimes the comment gets kicked down to the bottom of the thread. Other times (despite the timer having minutes left) I will get that; "you can no longer edit this comment", message.

            • bwaghorn

              Go to the bottom of any post and it should have desktop/mobile,  touch the mobile.

        • bwaghorn

          Comment at all . 

    • Gabby 9.3

      She just realises her audience includes a fair number of fuckknuckles with the capacity of toddlers, e.g. Horeskin.

    • weka 9.4

      Lprent are you seeing this conversation?

    • lprent 9.5

      Ok. I can only find one possible mechanism.

      The code has a deliberate search for some phrases in the browser string for the type of  browser for "bot", "spider" or "crawler" and turns off the Reply link if they are present.

      That was to prevent spiders from crawling down every possible link on the system and in this case triggering replies. I'll turn that off as I suspect that what we have now in hardware wasn't what we had back in 2011 when that check was put in.

  9. Cinny 10

    Here is a link for watching the live stream of POTUS at 10am our time.  FYI, he is not always on time.  The comments will be closed for that particular stream.

    Here’s a link for watching it with live chat open, FYI it’s a MAGA chat, and they get very upset when a person shares any facts and doesn’t lament the POTUS. It’s rather amusing if one is in the mood.

    Going to make a cuppa, see you at 10am 🙂

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.1

      You won't be seeing me Cinny.

      Busy, got shit to do.

      And if I did have the time… I can think of about 63,767647 things I'd rather do than watch and listen to that twat make a twat of himself …again.

      You enjoy.😄

      • weka 10.1.1

        Lol, me too.

        I'd love it if someone live reported the useful bits though, or even just a summary at the end, assuming it's not only more blather and lies.

      • Cinny 10.1.2

        LMFAO !!!!

        Ok so he's going to open up the country, has a four phase plan, much like ours.

        He bragged about doing the most tests, thanks to the worldometer link I had a fun time sharing all the countries who have carried out more tests per capita than the USA.

        Trump bragged about ventilators, said he wasn't and hasn't been campaigning (never mind that little film earlier on in the week).

        Fauci was there.

        Judging from the right wing chat, people really want to get back to work, it seems they don't get paid sick leave. 

        And yes he is very pale around the eyes, like he's being wearing sunglasses on a tanning bed.

        The MAGA crowd don't want to listen to the health professionals, they calling Fauci and the 'scarf lady' traitors etc.  That's how desperate they are to believe trump and validate their own support of him.  It's nuts.

        God help 'murica.

        • Peter

          Much more restrained today. The minders must have got him at his most malleable and mild and persuaded him to wind it back a touch with the big shots already fired this week.

          Those shots proved he's not just the King of America but King of the World. You only have to convince one person that that is the case – him. 

          From the entertainment perspective the best stuff is from just out the back, off screen.

          The U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier was sacked from his job on aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. He wrote a 'five page letter' that he apparently shouldn't have written. "I mean who writes five page letters. It's not a literature class," according to the Commander-in-Chief.  (Turns out it was four pages.)

          The Literate-in-Chief was very upset. Crozier's crime really, wasn't that he wrote it or didn't follow the chain of command, but he didn't send out a tweet.

          Unfortunately the crew on the ship did not realise they are military people, they are dispensable. A secret enemy might even get them. Ain't no vaccine or bone spurs going to save them.

          "Sailor dies from Covid-19 and almost 600 of crew test positive." 


      • halfcrown 10.1.3

        I like it 100%

        • dv

          Perhaps he said we are the top in the world, we are the bestest (in cases and deaths)!!

    • ianmac 10.2

      Have you ever seen the orange one so pale?

    • observer 10.3

      "It’s rather amusing if one is in the mood."

      True. Gallows humour, laugh-otherwise-you'd-cry stuff. I've indulged on occasion.

      The fascinating part is the medical experts trying to cope with the child, while holding on to their jobs and the facts, which are diametrically opposed  …

      Trump: "2 + 2 = 198!"

      Reporter: "Doctor, is that right?

      Doc: "As the president rightly says, 2 + 2 = 4."

      They do this with a straight face, which is truly Oscar-worthy.

    • ianmac 10.4

      He is staying on a script though he states how wonderful his leadership has been to save the USA (lies) and how well he is helping the Governors to achieve great things.

      Someone else wrote this. Trump does not look well either because he had to give such a speech or because he has a bug.

    • Anne 10.5

      The bully boy won't answer questions properly and he won't let anybody else answer questions properly either. 

      Its all about being great, stupendous, incredible, fantastic, unbelievable, geniuses, beautiful….. and America is the best at everything and has the best doctors and the best hospitals and the best government and lots and lots of ventilators (did you know they cost as much as cars) and everyone is working wonderfully together and we need to build a lot more bridges… we need bridges. The people of America are the bravest people in the world and its all going to be so wonderful yes… its going to be beautiful. You just wait and see.

      Would someone like to tell me what the hell he's actually taking about? 😕 

      Edit: He mentioned all the dead people in his opening gambit then forgot about them. Needed to get that bit out of the way as soon as poss?

      • ScottGN 10.5.1

        So he capitulated to the governors? Surprise, surprise.

        • Andre

          It's setting up storylines to be able to take personal credit for giving them the tools to succeed if it goes well, or put all the blame onto them if it goes bad.

          Notably absent is anything around getting federal and state and local resources working together to try for the best outcome for people on the ground.

      • Cinny 10.5.2

        Would someone like to tell me what the hell he's actually taking about?

        How magnificent he thinks he is, pretty much sums it up.

        Lolz Miss 15 is like… mum you only watch the trump show so you can troll….. no darling I'm trying to educate myself… she's like… nah mum you're trolling 🙂  Smart girl 🙂

        Edit…. It’s disturbing how trump praises himself saying he’s saved so many lives, meanwhile he forgets and seems to dismiss the thousands who have died, apart from as you said a short mention at the start.

        • Andre

          Not sure what kind of education you might get from watching Donny Dingleberry. Truth and facts simply bear no relationship to the words erupting from his sphincter.

          If you have reason to be interested in which particular big spiny bug up his ass is wriggling at that particular moment, then you might get a clue about that. But otherwise, it's just null data, random noise emitted for the purpose of self-pleasuring.

      • Adrian 10.5.3

        He is talking Authentic American, a language in which the correct syntax and phrasing are entirely superlatives. I was trapped in an AirBnB  overseas for a few days with some 20 something Americans and fuck it was tiring.

      • bwaghorn 10.5.4

        America is the best at everything ,trump got them to the top of the covid stats in no time at all .

        • Anne

          I meant to include that:

          Have a look at the charts. America is at the top. We're the best in the world.

      • Still his three or four phase plan is a recipe for disaster. States like Wyoming have few cases, but no border controls (or very few) and Americans, by and large, don't wear face masks.

        Cases will spread into those states who open up too early (which means all of them) and another surge is almost guaranteed.

        I hope I'm wrong, and time will tell, but I can't help being grateful I'm living in New Zealand and we have a competent PM and government.

  10. ianmac 11

    The Mighty Guru has spoken from his throne in Parnell.

    Sir John Key has sounded a warning about how New Zealand's economy will struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but believes New Zealand is in a better position than many countries to beat it.

    Oh boy! Actually he added nothing to that which is general knowledge and that underlines just how his content has always been so vacuous.


    • tc 11.1

      Shonky speaks and granny herald echoes it with zero analysis or critique as usual.
      Joyce /Blinglish getting an airing also with the usual waffle from nat’s current crop.
      How many former labour PM's and finance ministers have been asked ?

      • Forget now 11.1.1

        We'll Dunne was a former labour MP (however embarrassing that fact may be, still better than Prebble). If they were to interview a former labour finance minister, you know it would be Roger Douglas. Former labour PM would  probably be Palmer or Moore (actually are they still alive? I have been away from the NZ politics scene for a while).

        • JanM

          Mike Moore died in February this year. The official opening of parliament was changed into a series of valedictory speeches from all sides of the house

      • alwyn 11.1.2

        Well I've seen statements by Helen Clark on several occasions. She doesn't need to ba asked, does she? She will bloviate without ever being asked.

        Mostly about the UN these days. She rants on about how useless they are. The pain of discovering that no-one had the slightest interest in having her as Secretary General still rankles. 

        Palmer seems to have shut up shop. Perhaps he is redrafting his proposed Constitution for a post-Coronavirus future.

        As for the Ministers of Finance. I would be interested to see what Caygill and Douglas have to say. Is Cullen still alive? Last I saw about him was that he had cancer but I'm not sure what happened to him.

        That's about it though. Not a terribly interesting lot except for Douglas though are they?

        • Forget now

          I would be cautious about lobbing accusations of bloviation from your conservatory there alwyn. I have found that Clark errs towards the terse rather than verbose in her statements, but perhaps she's mellowed with age.

        • Peter

          Clark will bloviate without ever being asked? Ive seen statements by Clark.  I presume that's because she was asked her opinion. I heard that she used to be Prime Minister and worked overseas for a while. I assume that gives her certain unique perspectives and why the media might seek her out. 

          What's your excuse?   



          • alwyn

            She certainly has a lot to say though, doesn't she? I'm not sure that she is helping New Zealand though.

            Calling Trump foolish about the WHO


            Trump doesn't have a clue about Coronavirus


            Security Council missing in action


            Does it help New Zealand for a former PM to attack World Leaders. It is certainly something that Key has gone out of his way to avoid.

            • Muttonbird

              Clark was involved with and spent a significant part of her life involved with the very organisations she was talking about.

              Key meanwhile was involved with the ANZ's capital rule breaking and their corrupt dealings with the Briscoe family. And he was personally involved in this.

              I'm not surprised he's keeping a low profile…

              …he can’t afford not to.

              • alwyn

                I don't believe Key was on the ANZ Board when the mistakes in the ANZ calculation of Capital adequacy ratios occurred.

                He was there when the ANZ voluntarily reported the mistakes to the RBNZ.

                Who on earth are this Briscoe Family you talk about?

                • Muttonbird

                  He's been shown to be an absent director on the issue of ANZ's capital holdings, and involved in personal property deals with a corrupt CEO David Hisco.

                  This is why Key's language is so conciliatory. He knows that to go all, 'get some guts' on the government would be to attract serious criticism.

                  His post-political failings have rendered him useless to the National Party's campaign strategy.

                • Incognito

                  Don’t play dumb, you know it was Hisco.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Hi Incognito. Have you read alwyn's comments on Michael Cullen at 11.1.2?

                    • Incognito

                      No, not yet. Any good?

                    • Muttonbird


                    • Incognito []

                      In the back-end I can only see a date & time stamp but I will have a look in the front-end later. I like being enlightened, especially by Alwyn. I will fasten my seatbelt so that I won’t fall off my chair.

                    • Muttonbird

                      I'll help.

                      Is Cullen still alive? Last I saw about him was that he had cancer but I'm not sure what happened to him.

                      Deliberate trolling of Cullen and his family, imo.

                      This is me reporting the comment by the way.

                    • The Al1en

                      A bit weak trying to get someone moderated for that. 3.5/10 at worst.

                    • Muttonbird

                      I put myself in the position of a family member reading that. You might like to do the same.

                      If you think that is weak, well…

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Plenty of people on this site and others who have said far more offensive things than that MB.

                      I doubt Michael Cullen or his friends and family spend much time reading comments on political blogs.

                    • Muttonbird

                      That others have said worse is no excuse.

                      alwyn knows Michael Cullen is alive and in the biggest battle of his life yet decided to put the boot in anyway.

                      It was a trashy comment by a trashy commenter. I think The Standard would be better off without him.

                    • The Al1en

                      I could tell your motivation was 2/3 of the complaint.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Well, we don't comment in a bubble, do we? There was a concerted effort here about a year ago to confine any and all argument to the thread at hand.

                      This is not workable because it requires each commenter to forget any and everything about the commenter they are responding to.

                      alwyn's comment was deliberate and lazy and happened to troll a pretty important member of the NZ political community while he fights cancer.

                      If that was not motivation enough then I gathered all of alwyn's other anti-social comment history as backup.

                      Sue me.

                    • The Al1en

                      Would have been more convincing, and less obviously partisan, if you had also reported the above comment about Moore, which states almost exactly the same thing.

                      “Palmer or Moore (actually are they still alive?”

                      “Is Cullen still alive? Last I saw about him was that he had cancer but I’m not sure what happened to him.”

                    • Muttonbird

                      I've never read a comment by forget now until now. It looks like his was stupid, while alwyn's was deliberate and stupid.

                    • Forget now []

                      More ignorant than stupid surely, Muttonbird? Lazy too, as I chose to ask the community rather than look it up myself (though I honestly couldn't be bothered what with the janky commenting system for mobile contributors).

                      BTW; "theirs", not; "his".

                      [How about you learn to argue your point rather than insult people. First warning – MS]

                    • Forget now []

                      I am not allowed to call myself ignorant and lazy MS? Wow, things have changed a bit around here!

                      That reminds me of a bloke in prison ,who was in for armed robbery because; he'd gone into a dairy and threatened to cut himself up unless they gave him some smokes. Unpleasant sure, but you have to look at the rules from a really strange angle to get to that interpretation.

                    • The Al1en

                      I think your try is unconverted.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Ditto. If you want to talk motivation, it looks like you're picking sides because of the commentary here around the way England cheated their way to the CWC trophy.

                      Edit: You edited. The original comment I was replying to was one word, “Unconvincing”.

                    • The Al1en

                      Yeah, clearly the cricket win and demolition of your rugby team has deeply affected me negatively and made me extra bitter. lol

                      Or it could just be you're swinging and missing on this one.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Ok. You're fine with what alwyn said. I'll store that away for next time.

                      Have nice night.

                    • The Al1en

                      I attribute it the same as you did for the Moore comment, but it's obviously not my decision, so you may yet still have your scalp.


                  • alwyn

                    "Hisco" not "Briscoe"

                    That never even occurred to me. I was not "playing" anything.

                    Even if it had I wouldn't have thought that John Key selling a beach house to him for what would seem to have been fair market value was somehow "corrupt". I suppose if you have KDS anything seems to be corrupt.


                    • Incognito

                      Of course, it never occurred to you. I’m really struggling to give you the benefit of the doubt. You see, you’re always very quick to correct others and pull out info from decades back, e.g. https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-16-04-2020/#comment-1702946 and https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-16-04-2020/#comment-1703001. It is possible, but not plausible IMO, that you had a temporary hiatus in your razor sharp memory and couldn’t connect the dots.

                      Here are two comments of yours to refresh your memory: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-24-06-2019/#comment-1631369 and https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-24-06-2019/#comment-1631270.

                    • alwyn


                      I realise that you aren't going to accept this but when I saw "Briscoe family" the only thing that came to mind was Rod Duke's empire.

                      Haven't you ever heard a group of related companies, such as Briscoes and Rebel Sport being referred to as a family? That is what I thought he (or she) meant and I even googled them, and Rod Duke, to see if their was any connection to John Key.

                      And no there wasn't.

                      The idea that someone could mean Hisco, when they typed Briscoe never occurred to me.

                      I mean to say. If I identified someone in a comment as "Mark Cooksley" would you think I was talking about the former All Black lock or would you automatically think I was talking about Michael Cullen?

                      On the other hand when somebody says things like

                      "alwyn knows Michael Cullen is alive and in the biggest battle of his life yet decided to put the boot in anyway.

                      It was a trashy comment by a trashy commenter. I think The Standard would be better off without him."


                      "alwyn's comment was deliberate and lazy and happened to troll a pretty important member of the NZ political community while he fights cancer."

                      I don't need an explanation of that. I don't have to accept that they telling the truth or that they are making any sense though.

                      [I think that you were trying to say that you realise you’re on thin ice, which is correct.

                      Your tone-deaf comment about Michael Cullen was a factor in the creation of a rather unpleasant thread that also indirectly led to one commenter being banned for a month. However, you don’t take any responsibility for how others may perceive your comment(s), which is why I classify it as tone-deaf.

                      I find your excuse about the Briscoe-Hisco mix-up rather weak. Given the context of the comments and the absence of any known connection between Key and Briscoe, it would not have taken rocket science to figure out what was meant. In any case, this had nothing to do with your tone-deaf comment and all this does is make you sound like a whiny child.

                      So, here we are again, you wasting Moderator time for the wrong reasons and trying to wriggle your way out of it. I’m getting quite sick of this, I have to confess, but short bans don’t seem to work with recidivist commenters such as you. That said, I won’t Blacklist you this time – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 11:45 PM.

            • Bearded Git

              Trump has been a complete idiot over many things. Why would Helen not call him foolish?

              Most of the world thinks the same.

              • Chris

                Why the fuck does Helen Clark feel the need to tell us what she thinks about Trump anyway?  Everyone knows Trump's an idiot.  We don't need the likes of Helen fucking Clark to tell us what we already know.  In fact, why do we need to hear from her at all?  She's obviously bored and in need of a bit of attention.  I'm sick to death of her throwing her views around as if she's some kind of old wise woman.  I wish she'd piss off. 

                • Peter

                  Maybe we hear from her for the same reason we hear from you.

                  To paraphrase just in case you get a sense of it:

                  "Why the fuck does Chris feel the need to tell us what he thinks about Trump?  Everyone knows Trump's an idiot.  We don't need the likes of Chris fucking whoever to tell us what we already know.  In fact, why do we need to hear from him at all?  He's obviously bored and in need of a bit of attention.  I'm sick to death of him throwing his views around as if he's some kind of old wise man.  I wish he'd piss off."

                • Forget now

                  I feel much the same about you, Chris…

                  I'd listen to a wise woman over a wise-ass any day of the week.

                • weka

                  I would have thought Clark's background in Health, and the UN, would make her opinions useful. She holds a position of power and knows how to use it, in this case she's acting appropriately in criticising Trump and networking to pressure other powerholders to step up and do what is necessary. This isn't some random reckon, this is deliberate criticism designed to have impact.

                • I feel similar when hearing John Key spouting off but accept that as a former PM of 8 years he is always going to be asked for his opinion.

                  While Key has his moments, the thing about Helen is that she is super-intelligent and, with that and her background, she is likely to bring an interesting and useful perspective to the debate. 

                  • Chris

                    Perhaps, although I've never really noticed anything overly spectacular in what she's said since leaving NZ politics, but again that doesn't mean much.

                    What gets me about Helen Clark is how she presided over welfare reform that was a continuation of what Richardson/Shipley/Bolger did in the 1990s, and at a time when everyone was expecting the Labour government to at least begin fixing the damage, not continue it.  I don't want to say she's 'intelligent' but she certainly knew what she was doing which makes it worse.  So much of it went under the radar because we weren't expecting it from a Labour government, but the consequences were immense.  She could've at least put the brakes on, but instead we've ended up with way more mess than was necessary because the scene was set for Key et al to go to the next level, which of course they did.  We now, of course, have so much more to wind back.

                    Whether justified or not that's my main bias against Helen Clark.  When I see or hear her I just think hypocrisy.


            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Given Key's political 'legacy', I doubt that he would have to go much out of his way at all to avoid making such attacks.  Even if they were called for  wink

            • Peter

              Does it help anyone for a current  USA President to attack World Leaders? It is certainly something he doesn't go out of his way to avoid.

              Clark has as much right to make comment as the guy living over our back fence. Or you. Are you pissed off because her views get attention? Her views get prominence while yours are in places like this for people like me who put carping in the place it belongs?

              Some don't want to hear from the 'been there done that mob' who have some experience and knowledge. We;; not if it's Clark I mean, If it's Key it's fine. Or Rodney Hide. Or Peter Dunne. Or Steven Joyce.

            • RedLogix

              HC did a good interview as usual. I admire her persistence in the face of so many failures at the 'multi-lateral' level (as she likes to put it).

              Her defense of WHO is to be expected if a tad selective, but otherwise I always appreciate her highly informed commentary.

            • Anne

              You didn't listen to this one through to the end did you alwyn. If you had you would have known that Helen Clark was talking from a position of immense knowledge and experience. Considering the appalling conduct and gross incompetence of the the current POTUS, I thought her choice of words in respect of him were quite diplomatic.


              Given she is an integral member of a group of former world leaders and that her standing among them is very high, I would have thought you would be interested in the behind the scenes information she was able to reveal. I certainly was, but you prefer to remain ignorant of the truth because you presumably don't care.

        • Muttonbird

          This is a really poor comment from you.

          You trivialise the very serious health challenges faced by former minister of finance, Michael Cullen.

          It says plenty about you.

      • Stunned Mullet 11.1.3

        "Shonky speaks and granny herald echoes it with zero analysis or critique as usual.
        Joyce /Blinglish getting an airing also with the usual waffle from nat’s current crop."

        Don't despair the heralds very good at publishing equal opportunity nonsense from both sides of the track.



    • observer 11.2

      Key's gonna Key, but he doesn't even get the gold or silver medals in today's Herald Idiocy Contest. Hosking (obviously) and Peter Dunne (absurdly) have the awards sewn up. World-class levels of stupidity there.

    • alwyn 11.3

      Wow! I don't know whether you are suffering from Confid 19 but you certainly have a very serious dose of KDS don't you?

      • Barfly 11.3.1

        The guys an arsehole – even worse he's yesterdays arsehole – KDS should be associated with the fawning sycophants of his bygone era lamenting the passing of whatever they imagined him to be.

      • observer 11.3.2

        There's a certain nostalgia for Key (Mike Hosking is president of the fan club) and a misguided belief that things would be so much better under good ol' John.

        So for the record, here's Key in March 2020, when the daily news was dominated by the discussion about closing NZ borders to keep out Covid19 …

        More tourists, more virus, bring it on!

        • Stunned Mullet

          Gosh he was officiating at the opening of a hotel….. truly he must be Satan

          • observer

            Caricaturing is the weakest of debating points. You can do better.

            No Satan. Not even as bad as Bridges. But the point (as I'm sure you know) is that the nostalgics claim Key would have had some special awareness, and they are exactly the same people who say "Ardern should have known in Jan/Feb! Close the borders, problem solved."

            It was BAU for Key in March – as it was for most of us.

            • Stunned Mullet

              But the point (as I'm sure you know) is that the nostalgics claim Key would have had some special awareness, and they are exactly the same people who say "Ardern should have known in Jan/Feb! Close the borders, problem solved."

              Really ? Who exactly are these people ….. ?

  11. AB 13

    Maybe we should be grateful for Mike Hosking? As right-wing C-19 denialists go,  he is relatively harmless compared to these gun-toting loons in Lansing Michigan. Though I'd encourage Mike to do a similar drive-by protest outside the Beehive in his Ferrari – proclaiming his divine right to buy ripped jeans even in the face of disease and death.

    • Peter 13.1

      Recently he was distraught that it was taking him so long to get to his hairdresser because of traffic and roads. Cruelly, when the roads became much more open hairdressers were off limits.

      I see his picture briefly on flicking through the Herald online but have never particularly looked at his hair. Maybe he'll let it go, let it grow and he'll be all woolly. Sort of symbolic of his thinking.

    • ScottGN 14.1

      The new Taieri seat could be marginal Nat leaning now. It’s gone from being mostly souther Dunedin to mostly rural North, West and South Otago.

      • ScottGN 14.1.1

        New Lynn might be a tougher ask for Labour too. It’s lost New Windsor and a bit of Blockhouse Bay and picked up all of the Waitakere Ranges out to the west coast beaches. 

      • Forget now 14.1.2

        The Elections NZ website doesn't have a listing for the Taieri electorate yet, and your link doesn't have a map. But from the description, it sounds like it is likely to go National. It's a good thing we have a (semi)proportional voting system!

        As an aside, I found it amusing that ENZ puts "democracy" in quote marks in its own definition. I am sure that it's not meant this way, but that reads like an admission that our system isn't truly democratic. What with: the 5% threshold, a minimum of 18 years at time of election voting age, and denial of voting rights to some prisoners (there was a recent change so those with less than 3 years remaining till release can vote wasn't there?).

        • ScottGN


          There’s a map on votenz. Though it is really hard to use. Looks like Dunedin South has shed all of Otago Peninsula, keeps South Dunedin and suburbs west of there. And picks up a big swathe of South Otago down to Balclutha and west towards Lawrence and over the Clutha River towards the Blue Mtns all off Clutha-Southland which is renamed Southland.

          • Forget now

            Urgh! The low resolution on that really hurts my eyes.

            From what I can tell; Taieri will go all the way down to the Clutha – that's farmland, a big crop of National voters. But low population density.

            More interesting to me was the boundary between Dunedin – which seems to have picked up not just the Peninsula, but all of Waverly and Musselburgh. Tainui and Tomahawk too?; Also there's a strange kink around King Edward st, that I'd have to see in finer detail to understand. Otherwise it seems they are keeping the railway as boundary line.

  12. Gabby 15

    Who is turd-in-humanish-form Hamish Price? Who benefitted from his fuckwitted political advice? Is he on a bottle of meths a day now? Does he screech at pigeons in the park?

    • observer 15.1

      He accused Jacinda Ardern of "holocaust denial". That isn't just an insult, it may be the worst thing anyone has said about a New Zealand PM. Truly vile.

    • Peter 15.2

      Turd-in-humanish-form? Good analogy. Something you might accidentally stand in if an errant dog walker isn't responsible and you have to scrape him off your shoe.

  13. Observer Tokoroa 16

    Rosemary is very Busy

    So it is difficult to give praise to the Chinese. They are not quite like we lazy Kiwis, with our long noses, and minds locked firmly in the past. Like when got ourselves Slaughted in Gallipoli for some obscure reason.

    One of the good things about the Chinese is that they actually do things, and many of them are staying in New Zealand. They are remarkably intelligent too.

    But I must not go into that.  It offends Kiwis.

    The Chinese, if you look at them with justice, are remarkably Peaceful.  Compare them over the past century to 100s of other Nations.  Or compare them to Aussie ratbags.

    Anyway, Duncan Garner and his female assistant, threw the Kiwi shit- house at the Chinese Ambassador this morning. He kept going and going and going. I was ashamed of  him.

    He is not very Intelligent ! Neither was she.


    • bill 16.1

      Not much of a one for stereotypes based on nationality, whether they be they negative or positive.

      But the rarely implied suggestion that xenophobia has become more or less woven into the fabric of NZ society is both noted and appreciated by this reader.

    • Gabby 16.2

      Doing things for the sake of it isn't necessarily the wise course.

  14. Andre 17

    A youngish Berner talks about things that AOC understands that Bernie and his campaign never got their heads around. It's a longish piece in interview format, but well worth the read.

    Look, the Democratic party is a coalition party with five partners: African-American groups, Latino groups, women’s groups, unions and progressive groups. If you’re only one of five factions, maybe one fourth of the party, you should only expect to win about one fourth or one fifth of the victories. You need to work with other groups in the coalition to achieve political success. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose, that’s how life works. Ocasio-Cortez has figured that out, but not all progressives have.


    • adam 17.1

      Still punching down I see. 

    • bill 17.2

      No mention in that snippet of the overarching corporate dominance and how that determines the make up and political expression of those "five partners"  – or is that teased out in the full piece?

    • Ad 17.3

      That's one experienced operator for a 27 year old guy with his own stats business.

      Like a quant version of Hooten, or Nate Silver with actual commitment and experience.

      Great interview.

    • mauī 17.4

      You could probably get a job at the Clinton News Network or any other elite propaganda troll farm.

  15. joe90 18

    The Economist on excess mortality as a measure of the true toll of the Covid19 crisis.

    New perspective on the alleged under counting of fatalities in China and Iran, too.


    So far, Italy’s national statistical bureau has published figures of deaths from all causes for only 1,450 of the country’s 7,900 municipalities, covering the period until March 28th. We have analysed a sample of these areas, including Bergamo, that contain 6.7m of the 10m residents in Lombardy, a region that has suffered nearly half the country’s official fatalities. By March 28th, the excess deaths in this sample had reached more than 9,000 in the previous five weeks, covering the entire period of the outbreak. At that point, the official covid-19 tally was 4,000. This suggests that the true toll was about 120% higher.


    Spain has experienced a similar epidemic, with its official death toll approaching 19,000 on April 15th, according to data from hospitals. Like Italy, the country’s overall mortality data imply that the actual number is higher, although the extent of the undercounting is less severe. Spain’s national epidemiology centre is publishing regular figures for deaths from all causes in each region. By March 31st, these showed that there had been 13,000 excess fatalities nationwide that month, covering the entire period of the outbreak. The official covid-19 tally at that point was 8,000. This suggests that the true toll was about 60% higher.


    So far, the number of official covid-19 deaths in the Netherlands has shown a much flatter trajectory than in other western European countries. On April 15th the tally stood at 3,100. However, this is because the national institute for public health, which publishes the daily figures, includes only people who have tested positive for the virus and died in hospital (often with a delay). By April 5th, the latest date for which the national statistical bureau has published data about deaths from all causes, there had been 4,000 excess deaths during the previous four weeks, covering the entire period of the outbreak. The official covid-19 tally at that point was 1,700. This suggests that the true toll was about 140% higher.




  16. joe90 19


  17. ianmac 20


    "This morning on Twitter, Gayford said: "Spare a thought today for anyone suffering a form of cognitive dissonance causing dismay that the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff is empty because the fence at the top is working."

    How true is that for the naysayers?

  18. adam 22

    A bit of marxist analysis of where the economy is at. I know the liberals don't want to hear how much their vaunted economic model stuffed up – but three times this century already.  It is the time we looked for a more robust and equatable system.

    It's the first 20 min of video, other stuff after that. 


    • Ad 22.1

      How much of this really applies to us  – or to Australia – or indeed to China? Or India. Those surely are our relevant economic poles for the next decade.

      I get that the 'nationalization of the credit system" applies to the US Federal Reserve actions. But does that apply to a Reserve Bank reaction like ours? Or the RBA?

      I would be more interested to hear economists talk about mixed economies like ours with states that have vastly expanded in reaction to successive crises. Particularly small economies. And on top of that, whether some of those mixed small economies will do better or worse from the grealy differing economic impacts of the virus.

      I also find it really strange that as a marxist with some grounding in economic history he doesn't cite the Marxists who went through the Depression and World War 2 and came out with the really nuance versions of Marxism appropriate to the new cultural contexts – the Frankfurt Marxists like Adorno and Habermas. 

      He would be interesting if he could turn Marxism to the Post-Covid context that we find ourselves in, or to countries other than the United States.

      • pat 22.1.1

        the credit system is overseen by the RBNZ (and RBA) but operated by the trading banks….and the real problem is the attached financial derivatives that have been progressively bolted on to that system and now overwhelms it…the banks are now caught in a trap of their own making….unfortunately we are caught with them.

        Given the expected collapse in asset values and employment there is probably no better time to rid ourselves of that burden…along with the political influencers that benefit from it. 

        • Ad

          What do you predict will be the next thing that will occur to the Australasian banking system?

          • pat

            prediction is a mugs game, especially when the players are using a stacked deck….and why specifically Australian Banks?

            • Ad

              Because they dominate our banking and mortgage system.

              • pat

                Indeed they do….we best hope the RBA has the inclination and resources to nationalise  them if needed…as we should also hope with the RBNZ.

  19. Incognito 23

    Some insight into immune response, vaccines, and antibodies.

    We've never made a successful vaccine for a coronavirus before. This is why it's so difficult


  20. David Mac 24

    There is little being said about asymptimatic…spelling? cases. Those that distribute the virus with every touch, everyone unaware.

    I think this may be the barb in the hook.

    I also think the argument for us staying hard to the course makes fabulous sense.

    If this muck lingers around the world and we can irradicate it in NZ entirely we will become global darlings, our lamb, milk and heavily screened at the border holidays will become premium products all over the world.

    Lock it down for 4 more weeks, eradicate the mongrel in our island nation and set NZ's Huckleberry trajectory for the next century.

    • Stunned Mullet 24.1

      Not wishing to be a killjoy but why if we become free of this virus will our primary produce be in any greater demand than it is at present ?

      It is not as if there is a defined risk from primary produce in those countries affected by  coronavirus and as far as I know ?

      • David Mac 24.1.1

        If most of the world struggles to be rid of this virus and there is none here we will attract international exposure because of this.

        The can of food grown on an Italian farm may pose no less or more risk than a can from NZ. 

        If his Grandad Luigi died from the virus, I can see Antonio reaching for the Watties can on his Milano supermarket shelf and paying a bit more.

        • Forget now

          I am not saying you are wrong, but; cynical much?

          Also; asymptomatic, without symptoms. If you can spell symptom, just put on an a- prefix and -atic suffix.

          • David Mac

            Cynical or realist? Most people in Italy are going to know a person that died in the last 30 days.

            Are you sure you're concerned about what is important? Assymtabloodymatic You know what I mean, We communicated accurately.

            • Forget now

              You were the one who asked what the spelling of asymptomatic was. I will remember not to offer any help to you in the future. 

              • In Vino

                David Mac – you are utterly stupid if you think that any European will eat our Watties Baked Beans. Many years ago I gave a sample to my French lady-friend. She spat it out, and said, "Berk!  C'est sucré!"  (Yuk!  It's had sugar added!)  She was quite right. Europeans generally have good taste, and will not relish our bad English-inherited sugar-added rubbish. The only baked beans I now like here are Delmaine's no-sugar-added Baked beans with garlic and olive oil added instead.

                I think you are dreaming about virus-free food. I thought most people knew that the Covid19 virus infects us through nose and eyes, unless we manage to breathe it through mouth to nose…  If we take the virus through our mouth with food, it goes to the stomach where it is killed by digestive juices – no chance of infection.

                And I sympathise with Forget Now:  You mis-spelt asymptomatic and put a (spelling?) admission afterwards.  When Forget Now explains it to you, you insult him/her for it.  Not admirable.


    • Drowsy M. Kram 24.2

      yes  'Covid-19-free' produce for the world, at least until the next one.

    • Incognito 24.3

      We can bottle just about anything and sell it overseas for a premium price as 100% Pure COVID-Free. Medical tourism could become the new market with packages including 14 days quarantine in a hotel of your choice.

    • alwyn 24.4

      And do you seriously think we can stop people coming to New Zealand from possibly being infected? Suppose that a rigorous quarantine period of 20 days was enough.

      I give you a couple of scenarios.

      Australian PM comes to hold talks with New Zealand Government. Do we lock him (or her) up for 20 days in solitary confinement before the talks can start?

      Our PM goes to New York for a meeting of the General Assembly. When she (or he) returns will we lock them up in solitary confinement for 20 days?

      If not why not?


      • David Mac 24.4.1

        We get all people stepping over our border tested. Lab at the airport. Result back in 20 mins. Get off the plane swab, by the time customs are cleared, results back.

        You're a smart guy Alwyn, it's a shame your mental capacity is wasted on why things can't be done.

        • bill

          Tests produce results in 20 min or so do they? Didn't know that.

          • David Mac

            I don't know much about the test regime Bill but I suspect it's a process that is being internationally honed by the hour. 

          • Forget now

            No! No. NONONO… Do not do this!

            Tests are reliant on detecting RNA, which is time sensitive to infection incidence and incubation period. Also even if the sample is adequately harvested and prepared, there is a significant risk of a false negative. 

            At what point the viral shedding remains infectious is still hotly debated in the scientific community. As this reply to a comment to a previous study last week (just happens to be in an open tab – there are links to the previous pieces) indicates:


            • David Mac

              Yup, tests as they are today. We need to be preparing for tomorrow, that's where our fortune lies.

              I don't think spotting the tiniest of traces of this virus in someone is a science quantum leap. Once we can do that, test them at home before they step on the plane with their domestic system and once here, they undergo the $250 test they paid for in their ticket.

              Your Chicken Little concern is based on testing as it stands. Can you not imagine improvements? Look for solutions, not roadblocks.

              The world is focused on how bad everything is, it aches with opportunity.

              • McFlock

                In case you didn't hear, Theranos was a bust.

                I'd also be wary of basing our safety on tests conducted overseas.

                Look, if you know of this realtime covid detection technology being realistically in the works and deliverable in the next few years, fine, maybe, if it passes muster. But until then it's not "chicken little" to point out that you're dreaming.


              • Forget now

                I don't need to catch any virus DM, you already sicken me.

                • David Mac

                  …ah choo, sorry.

                  • Forget now

                    [Just catching up with your commenting style. Chill it. This is not a testosterone competition – MS]

                    • David Mac

                      You need to lighten up sport, I mean you no malice

                    • Forget now []

                      Comment deleted.

                      Still not sorry.

                    • Forget now

                      [This is supposed to be a reply to MS’ moderation comment two slots above]

                      Okay, I have left this till the morning, on the basis of; less said, soonest mended. Also didn't take my night's codeine to make sure my thoughts aren't muzzy (though my tooth is really starting to ache again and there's no chance of getting back to sleep, so I might be slightly on edge).I see there is a new OM up, so hopefully only the moderators will be paying any notice to this thread now. Really don't want to be doing this…

                      Please tell me that I am not seeing what I think I am seeing here! That's just horrible. I want to be able to read Mickey Savage's posts or comments without feeling like this. In fact the entire site feels a bit tainted to me if so. I don't know if I will be commenting here again if I don't get an explanation. I'd like to convince myself that it's just coincidence, but that seems improbable.

                    • Forget now

                      Hello? Anyone there? Hellooo?

                    • Forget now

                      Okay then. I will put the comment I have just finished typing up on today's OM. Would have preferred to have handled this quietly.

                    • Incognito []

                      This comment is for anybody who reads it and wonders what on Earth happened here.

                      I am disappointed the way this has escalated and spiralled out of control 🙁

                      When I feel ‘agitated’, I usually walk away from it for a good while, which is not always never easy.

                      The written word can be very powerful but also very confusing and easily lead to ‘misunderstandings’.

                      At the end of the day, it pays to stop digging altogether (i.e. in & out), even when you think you’re 100% in the right, and heed Moderator notes.

              • bill

                We need to be preparing for tomorrow, that's where our fortune lies.

                Deep stuff. 😉

              • Gabby

                Cool. Let's wait and see.

          • joe90

            Didn’t know that.

            With the best people.

            (but not really)


            edit: great minds, McFlock

      • bill 24.4.2

        I'd say that's exactly what should be done. But then, I don't believe in this whole "betters" shit that would have supposedly 'important' people treated differently to anyone else.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 24.4.3

        The Covid-19 pandemic is a 'signal' that we should do things differently. Zoom's great.

        • McFlock

          Zoom's wearing pretty damned thin for me now, I must confess.

          But if we do get covid-free, we'll be going to them rather than them coming to us. And at least isolation if not "quarantine" upon return.

          An interesting idea might be a slight tweak to hotels/conference facilities. The normal layout is to have the hotel rooms in a lump, a restaurant, and an adaptable conference section that can be split up for multiple small events or one big one with breakout rooms. Might be more useful to have function rooms on every floor and suites that can be switched to breakout rooms depending on the booking. The function rooms can then act as that floor's restaurant/ lounge during covid lockdowns.

          Idea being a cohort get off a flight, go into the same floor, have a bit more to stare at than the walls of one room and can interact with each other, and if there are no cases/positive tests then they can all be on their way.


          • Incognito

            Zoom should come with inbuilt nose-trimmer and compulsory media training.

      • Gabby 24.4.4

        Yes, and yes. 

  21. joe90 25

    Cats being cats.

    • Macro 25.1

      Apparently they also took in a round of golf at the local golf course. Good luck in getting them to pay green fees though.

  22. ScottGN 26

    I loved that. Apparently the grass was wet from rain so they just lay about on the road.

  23. ScottGN 27

    Anyone seen Tova lately?

    I don’t have a telly so I don’t watch the 6 pm bulletins but I check online about 7 pm to see what the networks have run with. Haven’t seen anything from Tova on newshub for about a week now. 

    • I Feel Love 27.1

      kShe got slammed about a week ago on Twitter for her tweet about a mother not going to her fathers funeral because Jacinda is a meany, people were rightly chastising her for using the death of someone to attack the Govt, making money out of others misery, so to speak. I'll try find a link. 

  24. joe90 28

    Bit late for any continuity of government.


    But behind the scenes, JTF-NCR is responsible for what the military calls "homeland defense": what to do in the face of an armed attack on the United States, everything from guarding Washington's skies to preparing for the civil unrest that could occur if a nuclear weapon were detonated in the capital. But most immediate, JTF-NCR is charged with facilitating continuity of government, particularly moving civil and military leaders to secret locations were the order given to evacuate the city.

    Ever since National Guards started to activate countrywide, Pentagon officials have insisted that men and women in uniform are not conducting secret missions and that they will not administer or enforce "stay at home" quarantines. The Pentagon has also rejected reports, including articles in Newsweek, about martial law or other extreme contingency plans, arguing that the Guard remains under strict control of state governors, while federal troops support civil agencies like FEMA.

    And yet the activation of Joint Task Force National Capital Region, including almost 10,000 uniformed personnel to carry out its special orders, contradicts those assurances. JTF-NCR is not only real and operating, reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense for some of its mission, but some of its units are already on 24/7 alert, specially sequestered on military bases and kept out of coronavirus support duties to ensure their readiness.



  25. David Mac 29

    Just caught a report that states that 60% of the fit young sailors aboard the USS Roosevelt that tested positive are A sympto hoosey handle.

    Show no symptoms, feel great, no idea their breath could kill their Grandad.

    I can't get away from thinking that this is the sting in the tail.

    Vaccine or an easy way to test everyone on an ongoing basis. eg: A toothpaste that changes colour on 19 exposure.

  26. joe90 30

    A relative tells me that the industrial supply company he works for was stripped of masks, too.


    As the coronavirus took hold in Wuhan earlier this year, staff from the Chinese government-backed global property giant Greenland Group were instructed to put their normal work on hold and source bulk supplies of essential medical items to ship back to China.

    A whistleblower from the company has told the Herald it was a worldwide Greenland effort – and the Sydney office was no different, sourcing bulk supplies of surgical masks, thermometers, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitisers, gloves and Panadol for shipping.

    The company even posted its efforts of packing pallets in the company’s Sydney headquarters on social media.


    • David Mac 30.1

      True to form for the CCP but Australian based minions hoovering up every bit of PPE just prior to the inevitable arrival of the virus in Oz and shipping it back to China?

      I would be comfortable reuniting those folk with where their hearts lay. I'd charter a flight and invoice the Chinese Embassy.

      I'm not sure the CCP represent the will of the 14000000 anymore. 

  27. joe90 31

    Fuck these people so deeply stupid.




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