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Open mike 18/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 18th, 2022 - 236 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 …

236 comments on “Open mike 18/01/2022 ”

  1. I think the NZ government should declare a 5 year State of Emergency!

    It must be obvious to anyone with half a brain that BAU concerning the climate catastrophe will not be adequate. We face an existential threat and in the very near future, perhaps in only 3 or 4 years.

    A Government of National Emergency should be formed, a cross party coalition of all parties in the house. God knows, there must be some members of the Natz who are good at something. Even a use could be found for Seymour. Give this government ‘war-time’ powers.

    The borders must be closed; given a reasonable lead in time, say 6 months, all NZers who want to come home, should be encouraged to do so. After that – take your chances. Overseas travel must be suspended/terminated.

    Huge efforts should be made to make NZ as self-reliant as possible, and the people marshalled to that end. The tourism industry is dead; channel all the people in that industry into future-proofing this country as far as possible.

    Excess wealth should be confiscated and a UBI instituted to give everyone an equal stake in the success of a survival policy.

    The emphasis must be placed on producing here what has been imported, and cutting out the consumer crap. Vacant land within cities (and there are many such where I live in ChCh) should be turned into community gardens, so we eat well, even if we don’t have plastic napkins to eat it off.

    Omicron is only one of many ‘products’ from overseas we can do without. Sealing the border will stifle the spread of covid-19, and stop our landfills from overflowing.

    By declaring a state of emergency now the government will be pro-actively taking steps ‘in time’ to avert the catastrophe looming, not reacting too late in 3 or 4 years from now. It will also give the government the necessary powers to act quickly in response to any of the many climate emergencies in the next few years.

    One way/time or another, a state of emergency is coming.

    P.S. Of course I know there’s not a hope of any of the above happening, but it all, or most of it should.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.1

      Give this a name and it might catch on.

      Tony Veitchs Glorious 5 Year Plan sounds good I reckon

      • Ah, Pucky, take your head out of the sand and look around you. 1.5C is a temperature rise we cannot exceed and still live on this planet., and we're already on track for 2C.

        Climate change/catastrophe will impact the world in increasing ways in the next few years, and we, us poor humans, will be only reactive, too little, too late.

        Much better (though politically impossible) to front-foot any tragedy by being as prepared as we can, don't you think?

        And buying EVs will simply not be enough!

        So, what then?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Not a combination of communism and authoritarianism

          • kejo

            I think we,ll get to the stage where we are ready to try almost anything. [As long as its not practical. The powers that be are not those sort of people].

            • Puckish Rogue

              Communism never works, Socialism never works.

              • And Capitalism does, when BAU will lead us to climate catastrophe?

                Head . . . sand.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Capitalism certainly works better than Communism and Socialism, with Capitalism as your base you can then afford socialist policies

                  Best of both worlds

                  • aom

                    Unlike capitalism, communism and socialism have a history of lifting people out of poverty under the most dire of circumstances. Pity they are such an easy target for the capitalists who mercilessly unleash their dubiously acquired capital and resources to undermine countries. Of course, you will be too enamored with wealth for wealth's sake to realize that once upon a time, NZ was recognized as a socialist state. That was back when people were housed, clothed, fed and educated by utilizing the various resources of the country. That was before greed became a religion

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      This is fantastic stuff, keep going. wink

                    • Jimmy

                      "Unlike capitalism, communism and socialism have a history of lifting people out of poverty" that's funnier than anything Guy Williams has ever said. You should do stand up comedy.

                    • aom []

                      Says someone who is either illiterate or wilfully believes in fairy dust eh Jimmy.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Nonsense – socialism are your streets and public libraries – a society can stand quite a bit of that stuff. Education and health systems too.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Capitalism pays for Socialism

                    • KJT

                      Wrong way around.

                      Without State infrastructure, the rule of law, especially contract law, the protection of possessions, health and housing, and all the other "Socialist things" Capitalism wouldn't be workable.

                      Currently Capitalism is failing because capitalists have removed way more than their fair share of "other peoples, wealth production". Work!

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Capitalism pays for Socialism

                    Only until it corrupts the government – then it welshes on all its responsibilities.

              • mikesh

                Never say "never".

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well when it finally does let me know

                  • mikesh

                    Cuba seems pretty viable, and would be even more so, were it not for US and other Western nations’ hostility.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You want to live there be my guest.

                      Countries are allowed to trade with whoever they want, plenty of Communist and Socialist countries for Cuba to trade with.

                    • mikesh

                      Countries are allowed to trade with whoever they want, plenty of Communist and Socialist countries for Cuba to trade with

                      Just because Castro gave the corrupt, pro US, dictator, Batista, and his government the boot, that is no reason for vindictiveness on the part of the US.

    • Jenny how to get there 1.2

      Meantime, just like in the movie 'Don't Look Up' where they decided to mine the asteroid instead of deflecting it.

      New Zealand government invests $1.5 billion in financial support made available to Air New Zealand in mining the sky.

    • Blade 1.3

      ''Excess wealth should be confiscated and a UBI instituted to give everyone an equal stake in the success of a survival policy.''

      Not often you hear those sentiments stated so plainly. Nowadays the Left use weasel words and phrases to express such unpalatable truths.

      Thanks, Tony, for reminding me why I'm a Tory. Consistently stating the company line can make one forget why they are objecting to something in the first place.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.3.1

        Yes it is refreshing to hear someone clearly state their jealousy and envy

        • KJT

          Nothing to do with the fact that increasing unearned wealth and power, accumulating in few hands, and inequality of opportunity, destroy societies, as we can observe since the Romans, and probably before that.


          Don't right wingers have any original memes?

          You've been using that one for over a century.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Cliches are cliches because they are true.

            • Blazer

              No they are the default of those too lazy to be objective.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Not lazy.

                Efficient. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

                • Blazer

                  You think Capitalism is efficient.

                  Do you know what it is….how it works and where we can find it?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Here you go:




                    An economic system in which a country's businesses and industry are controlled and run for profit by private owners rather than by the government

                    • Blazer

                      That's very narrow and does not address the reality of peoples lives.

                      Unless you think private business making profits is all there is that is worthwhile.

                      Your link describes socialism as-

                      'a set of political and economic theories based on the belief that everyone has an equal right to a share of a country's wealth and that the government should own and control the main industries'(my bold)

                    • Puckish Rogue


                    • Blazer

                      and….try the …magic show!

                      The Federal Reserve released the names of the banks that had received $4.5 trillion” – that is trillion with a T – “in cumulative loans in the last quarter of 2019 under its emergency repo loan operations for a liquidity crisis that has yet to be credibly explained.”

                      Norton notes that among the large borrowers under the Fed’s repo loan facility in 2019 were JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup (it was their trading affiliates) and these were “three of the Wall Street banks that were at the center of the subprime and derivatives crisis in 2008 that brought down the U.S. economy.”

                      Norton then asks Hudson “why was the Fed giving trillions of dollars to these large Wall Street banks. And why was there a liquidity crisis? That’s unexplained. Why did the Fed refuse to release the names of these banks? And was there a financial crisis before COVID that the U.S. government later was able to blame on COVID, but it was actually a financial crisis in the making?”Wall St on Parade'

                      It's called a rigged game.

                      @$40 a second,it would take 792 years to spend a…$.trillion.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Thats the left wing, Democratic party for you

                    • Blazer

                      I see you have no idea of who was in power in the U.S in 2019.

                      Democrat or Republican is actually irrelevant when crony capitalism is the main act.

                    • Shades of George Orwell: 'four legs good, two legs bad.'

                      Sorry Phucky, you can't keep blaming the left (especially the American 'left'), for all the ills of the world.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      'Sorry Phucky, you can't keep blaming the left (especially the American 'left'), for all the ills of the world'

                      Considering that in the USA Hollywood, big tech, social media, msm, Wall Street are all left leaning then yes, yes I can and yes I will

                    • Sorry about the 'Phucky,' that was unworthy of me.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Don't worry about it, I'm a big boy.

                      I've been called worse things.

                    • Thanks. But, I imagine, you'd be the first to admit you can be an annoying little shit!

                    • mikesh

                      Capitalism:An economic system in which a country's businesses and industry are controlled and run for profit by private owners rather than by the government.

                      China's businesses and industries are largely "run for profit" by private owners these days. But as a certain Baron Rothschild once said, "If I can control the money system I care not who runs the government." The Chinese government controls China's money system, so I guess that's all it takes to be considered socialist.

                      Why can our government not nationalize our banks, then we too could be socialists.

                      On the whole, the Chinese economy seems to have been fairly successful in recent years.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      To Tony

                      I don't know what you're talking about

                    • Lol. Number 8 fits you to a T, Pucky.

                      Though, on reflection, No. 3 fits as well.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Pretty sure 8 and 3 apply to a lot of people on here laugh

            • KJT

              Keep telling yourself that.

              Mystery why those who haven't done well monetarily, still shill for the idle rich, however.

              That other cliche. "Turkey's voting for Christmas" springs to mind.

          • Blade

            How about ''Rich Pricks''?

        • Blazer

          When Bezos and Musk have more wealth than 40% of americans ….there is something rotten in the kingdom…of neo liberal…greed.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You can thank the Democrats for their lockdown policies for that, although its interesting Elon Musk is probably going to get people to Mars before Nasa does

        • Wrong, Pucky. I am decidedly middle class, mortgage free and owe not a penny to anyone. What have I got to be jealous or envious about?

          Let's talk about equity though. Let's talk about levelling the playing field so everyone has a chance to lead a good and fulfilling life in the possibly few years left to homo sapiens.

          Hence a UBI.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You can say what you like but you look at the wealthy and you think to yourself "if I'd chosen a different field of study that could have been me", "if I'd applied myself differently that could have been me", "I could have done that if I'd wanted to", "they don't do anything to earn that money", "they don't earn that money", "who wants to live like that anyway"

            • Yes, you're right, I occasionally had those aberrations of thought when I was young, but I'm not young anymore, and I can look at the glaring, obscene inequality in the world and be genuinely appalled!

              • Puckish Rogue

                Trust me on this.

                Let go of your envy and jealousy, it won't do you any good and it'll only make you appreciate less what you already have.

                The pie isn't finite, just because someone else is wealthy doesn't mean you, me or the person down the street can't be wealthy.

                If thats even a goal.

                • Blazer

                  Oh the aspirational con!

                  You can't have rich people without a whole lot of poor people.

                  Most wealth stems from control of capital creation, privatisation of public assets,inheritance , insider information and some luck.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I hope that one day, for your sake, you can overcome your defeatist attitude.

                    • Blazer

                      I hope for your sake, one day you can see through the indoctrinated drivel you champion and recognise…reality.

                • Jimmy

                  Remember the other saying "If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialists".

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Theres always a money tree at the bottom of the garden

                  • Blazer

                    Another stupid saying.

                    'economics exists so that economists can have..a job.'-paraphrase J.Galbraith.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    In fairness, that saying is really about economists. It should really read,

                    "If socialists believed the arrant nonsense and Chicago school drivel that has never worked anywhere, our job, lying to the punters, would be so much easier."

                  • mikeshRemember the other saying "If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialists".

                    Remember the other saying "If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialists".

                    If capitalists understood economics they would no doubt be better capitalists, and then maybe capitalism would become a worthwhile system. But in the meantime it's better we (ahem) "put up with" socialism.

                • The pie isn't finite

                  Unfortunately, the pie is finite. You can't have infinite growth on a finite planet.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Thats why we need more people like Elon Musk (visionaries) and less like the nay sayers

                    • KJT

                      The guy who plans to escape to Mars.

                      Leaving his mess behind.

                    • weka

                      and creating a new mess wherever he goes.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Its human nature to travel, if he can unlock the stars then good on him

                    • In Vino

                      Unlock the stars??

                      A bit optimistic there, PR. Mars is only the nearest planet. It has already been wrecked from what we can tell, and there is no chance of 'unlocking the stars' based only on our precariously making it to Mars.

                      Please don't let your wild imagination run away with you again. We saw enough of that with Judith C…

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You are why we need people like Elon Musk

                      'The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step'

                    • In Vino

                      This journey will scarcely make the first step, and will get nowhere.


          • alwyn

            "What have I got to be jealous or envious about?".

            I don't know. Why are you?

          • Bearded Git

            The Right always make that pathetic "you are jealous" smear.

            • Stuart Munro

              We cannot expect them to do better – greed and ignorance can only take them so far.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Because its generally true, look at your average left wing spouting politician

        • mikesh

          "Jealosy and "envy" are merely states of mind. Practical necessities are different. These latter are what we are discussing here.

      • I'm proposing possible solutions to a crisis of existence, and, well, what are you proposing?

        Let's hear how the right will solve the looming climate catastrophe, apart from denying it exists.

        If you think that one or more 'states of emergency,' either local or ultimately national, aren't in our 'near' future, well, you haven't been paying attention.

        The richest people in the world doubled their wealth during the covid years – is that a solution to climate change?

        • Puckish Rogue

          'I'm proposing possible solutions to a crisis of existence, and, well, what are you proposing?'

          – I'm proposing we don't make the situation much, much worse

          'The richest people in the world doubled their wealth during the covid years – is that a solution to climate change?'

          – Ask the Democrats, they're the ones that implemented the policies.

          Probably a coincidence:



          • I'm proposing we don't make the situation much, much worse

            Ah, I see, BAU

            • Puckish Rogue


              Making something worse under the guise of 'at least doing something' isn't noble.

              • mikesh

                Making something worse under the guise of 'at least doing something' isn't noble.

                Worse for whom? You're saying that we should ensure that the 1% survive even if the rest of us don't.

                And nobility isn't really the point. Mostly you seem to be engaging in empty rhetoric.


                • Puckish Rogue

                  Communism and Socialism is worse for everybody (except the 1% it favours)

                  • Blazer

                    Capitalism is good at exploiting other peoples labour and aquiring public assets on the cheap.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Communism is really good at good at exploiting other peoples labour and aquiring public assets on the cheap and killing their own people.

                    • mikesh

                      Capitalism is good at exploiting other peoples labour and aquiring public assets on the cheap.

                      Capitalism relies on the proposition that the owners of capital should rule the economy. A pretty dubious proposition really. If workers ruled the economy they would no doubt put in place a socialist system. Under such a system suppliers of capital would be appropriately rewarded, but that reward would not be unlimited.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Capitalism relies on trade.

                      You have something (money) I want, I'm willing to trade my time (work) for money.

                      I have something you want (goods and services), I'm willing to trade my goods and services for your money.

                      Do I believe in unfettered capitalism, nope, needs to be rules like anything else to make a level playing field.

                    • mikesh

                      Capitalism relies on trade.

                      So does socialism.

                  • Blazer

                    Please stop punching yourself in the….face.laugh

              • Einstein's (I think) definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result.

                BAU isn't going to cut it anymore, Pucky. We need a more radical approach.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  'Einstein's (I think) definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result.'

                  So like Communism and Socialism then?

                  BAU, BAU, BAU, BAU!

                  • I've racked my brains but I can't think of one country where 'communism' in its pure form is practised (and don't tell me Venezuela, American sanctions have stuffed that country) or socialism for that matter.

                    But I can think of many many countries where capitalism has fucked economies and impoverished the vast majority of people.

                    Though ‘impoverishment’ is a relative term.

                    • Herodotus

                      So why then have lifespans increased and peoples standard of living increased ??

                      and you comment on no examples of pure communism or socialism yet only comment on restricted capitalism/socialism ??

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      'I've racked my brains but I can't think of one country where 'communism' in its pure form is practised '

                      Communism will finally work this time when we finally implement it properly, BAU, BAU, BAU, BAU!

                    • Blazer

                      @Herodotus…neither pure Communism or pure Capitalism exist.

                      Communist China is the pin up nation for standard of living improvement and increased lifespan,not to mention a real 'rockstar economy'.

                    • Herodotus []

                      Rockstar economy at what long term costs ?? I have read many examples of factory conditions that manufacture branded footware/clothing etc that would not be acceptable in 1st world countries, the increase in climate gases expelled, the plundering of our oceans to name a few. Sometimes we need to allow Father Time a little time to see the consequences. 😉

                    • Ad []

                      It's in pretty pure form in Russia, UK, US, and Kazakhstan. You can trace it one pipeline at a time.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Hi Blazer


                      'However, this success in bringing people out of abject poverty is not simply down to the government, he says.'

                      "Chinese people, by working extremely hard, lifted themselves out of poverty – in part because some of the stupidest economic policies ever created, by Chairman Mao, were abandoned in favour of versions of capitalism."

                  • Blazer

                    Your BBC link-

                    'however, by any measure China has made huge strides to lift millions out of the toughest standards of living over the last few decades.'

                    Regardless you will never get an objective assessment from Anglo-American media.

                    The biggest fear of Capitalism is people embracing successful socialism and if outright aggression fails,then sanctions are applied and targeted assassinations occur.

                    Capitalism relies on a select few creating Capital out of thin air and developing military capability to…enforce it.

                    40 million on foodstamps in the U.S.A…as for homelessness!

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Yes Blazer because:

                      "Chinese people, by working extremely hard, lifted themselves out of poverty – in part because some of the stupidest economic policies ever created, by Chairman Mao, were abandoned in favour of versions of capitalism."

                    • mikesh

                      I agree Mao's policies were pretty stupid, but perhaps we can learn from some of China's more recent policies, particularly with respect to banking.

    • Foreign waka 1.4

      I think that what you suggest is nothing short of a panicky. Even with all the effort NZ would try to stem global warming, 5 million people against the population of India and China …….? Sorry but that just makes me question what sort of idea is that? Not that we should not do anything but going into seclusion like a sect is just plain madness. If you really want to change things, start with giving effort and impetus against those who exploit people, modern slavery, mining of the African continent, deforestation of the South American Rainforest, cleaning up the sea from rubbish and debris that form whole islands. All of which influences climate. But to incarcerate 5 million people and expect from those who have worked and earned what they own to agree that their possessions are to be confiscated is truly authoritarian, in fact I would say an introduction to a police state mixed with sectarianism all rolled into one. Orwell's 1984:

      ‘ “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”’

      ‘ “The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”’


  2. Maurice 2

    All EVs are imported … with the boarders closed => no EVs anyway!

  3. Blazer 3

    Business with covid can't be so…bad…the service sector screaming to import workers in hospo and unskilled work.

    Employers ‘desperate’ as shortfall of 10,000 workers hits productivity and profits | Stuff.co.nz

    • Janice 3.1

      I would like to find out how many people these companies calling for imported staff have trained up locals for themselves, or is that not cost effective when you can get someone overseas to do the messy bits. I remember the old ARC (ARA?) had their own bus drivers school and trained their own drivers, many of which then went on to drive trucks for private companies

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.2

      Mostly a shortage of workers who are willing and able to work for the minimum wage. So actually a wages shortage, not a worker shortage.

      In my opinion, all imported workers should be paid a minimum of $35 / hour, so only if you can't find locals at this rate, are they allowed. Would prevent imported labour being used primarily to supress wages, which is the main function in NZ today.

      • Foreign waka 3.2.1

        This is s very good idea actually. It would mean an argument for foreign labor needs to be proven in fact. If this is about skills, than obviously NZ has a problem with training their own and if the skill needs to to be passed on than for any "import" of killed labor the employer has to get an apprentice on his/her side.

  4. weston 4

    Wierd scenes so theres a campaign on in the uk to punish the bbc for having a left wing bias amongst other things , eh ??wtf ? i was under the impression the bbc was actively engaged in defeating jeremy corban and bringing borris to power how on earth is that left wing ?

    • arkie 4.1

      Those on the right have a extremely laughable tendency to claim everything is left wing; our own PR demonstrated above:

      in the USA Hollywood, big tech, social media, msm, Wall Street are all left leaning

      Part of it is Truth-by-Repetition, and it’s has seemed to be pretty effective on some people.

  5. Peter 5

    Why I want to be rich: Reason #237:

    So I can spend millions taking the Government to court to prohibit all vaccinations to people. To protect them.

    I could opt myself out and my family out of having vaccinations, but hell, I want to opt everyone else out to protect them too. Call it a socialist tinge if you like.

    In between times I could go to my Freedom and Voice rallies and complain about the Government.

    One thing though, when I take the steps to do that I want my name to be out there, not suppressed like those in the current case before the courts. I want to be acknowledged for my genius knowing the accolades will flow. It's not that anyone would think that I'm a fuckwit with a used bottletop for a brain.

    • mikesh 5.1

      It's not that anyone would think that I'm a fuckwit with a used bottletop for a brain.

      Are you clairvoyant? How do you know what others might think? Nice metaphor though. Very appropriate.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.2

      Why I want to be rich: (but aren't likely to as I'm just too lazy to put the work in)

      So I can live in Central Otago (Bannockburn would be good, Lake Hawea on the water would suffice but Cromwell or Alexandra will have to do, Roxburgh at a pinch)

      So I don't have to go to work (ref: lazy)

      So I can drive around and see all the places I want to see

      So my home is modern, warm and comfortable

      Thats about it really…

      • Bearded Git 5.2.1

        About to take my boat for a sail on lake Wanaka Pukish….but I'm still a Corbynista through and through

        • Puckish Rogue

          Nobodies perfect wink

          • alwyn

            That is why John Eales, Australian Rugby player and oft-times captain from 1991 to 2001 was given the nickname of "Nobody".

            He certainly came as close as anyone has to deserving it.

        • Ad

          I'll wave from the frobt deck.

          • alwyn

            "the frobt deck"

            That'll be after the obligatory three hours of drinkies I suppose? We've all heard about the residents of Wanaka.

      • Ad 5.2.2

        Hawea is a hole other than January. Avoid.

        Bannockburn got make sure you've got an irrigation stream or other water right.

        Cromwell is surprisingly civil.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I like the location of Cromwell, its distance from other towns but I'd need to be on the water otherwise the attractiveness of Alex (on one of the hills looking down on people of course) is nudging it ahead for me

          Or Roxburgh if my financial plans don't work out quite as I expect…

          • alwyn

            "if my financial plans don't work out"

            Or Paremoremo if they work out like those of the Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption?

            No, perish the thought.

    • Foreign waka 5.3

      hmmmm…. some use their riches to get more and government is using the taxpayer money to facilitate….

  6. Following on from TS discussion on Omicron yesterday this blog really is excellent in describing the best response to Omicron in NZ.


    Among other things it supports delaying opening the border to non-MIQ travel and it supports urgently restricting the number of arrivals from countries suffering high Omicron outbreaks.

    This is very useful too.


  7. woodart 7

    goodo. why waste yr leave time here, when you can waste yr employers time eh?

    [RL: Banned until 29/1. A particularly stupid example of self-martyrdom.]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  8. Ad 8

    Why are commenters insisting on comparing Russia's invasion of Ukraine to China's threats against Taiwan?

    The Ukraise tension would disperse if:

    – Ukraine legislated that they will never be a member of NATO or the Russian defence treaty

    – Nordstrom II was accelerated to completion

    – Ukraine agreed to remove all nuclear missiles

    – Russia removed itself from Donbass

    Second part of the deal is:

    – NATO Withdraws it's new divisions from the Baltic states

    – Russia packs up and goes home.


    Big wide neutral buffer state that keeps the gas flowing.

    No comparison to China at all.

    • Ad 8.1

      And now Russia are moving divisions for joint exercises with Belarus on the Ukraine border.

      Bet Finland and Sweden beg to join NATO formally.

      Biden and Blunken better figure out a solid deal, better than the current offer.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        They have apparently asked – though Finland has a longstanding finangle whereby Russia leaves them alone if they don't join Nato – most of the reason countries want to join Nato in the first place is to not get invaded by Russia.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      All good points.

      The core driver of this issue lies in two parts; the strategic desire of the Russian state to expand it's borders to a configuration that they are capable of defending. From their perspective there is a great deal of military merit in this.

      The second core driver is the desire of these 'buffer' state such as Belarus and Ukraine to determine their own political and defense alliances. In my book this latter consideration plays the trump card. Like Taiwan the people, who probably understand the choices better than we do, have chosen to turn away from authoritarian dictatorships. A choice between Russia and the EU is not a hard decision.

      Long term the solution has to be to persuade the Russians that history does not have to repeat itself endlessly, and that they have far more to gain by becoming truly part of Europe as they always should have been. There is a great deal to like about the Russian people and culture, and their pariah status for over a century has been nothing but a tragedy for both sides.

      • Ad 8.2.1

        I'd certainly prefer well-priced petro diplomacy to this militarized bullshit.

        The key fund managers, petro-diplomats and ready-response Russian crew certainly managed the Kazakhstan intergenerational handover very neatly indeed.

        • RedLogix

          Well the Russians were highly motivated to get in and out of Kazahkstan as fast as possible – there is no way they could sustain active military engagement on three fronts simultaneously. (The third being the slow burner in Georgia)

          • Blazer

            Can't see any reason why they can't handle that and more.

            These areas of concern are on their own border.

            As for the U.S and its 800+ bases globally,they ferment tension in multiple spheres.

            • In Vino

              I remember very well that before and during the Russian Missiles in Cuba Crisis we here were NEVER informed that it was the USA which had provoked it all by planting nuclear warhead missiles in Turkey, right next to Russia, and it was admitted only some years later that the USA had got Russia to withdraw its missiles from Cuba by agreeing to withdraw its own missiles from Turkey.

              Gorbachev was given verbal guarantees that NATO would not expand Eastwards.

              Anything here that experts like RedLogix might be quietly not mentioning?

      • mikesh 8.2.2

        Long term the solution has to be to persuade the Russians that history does not have to repeat itself endlessly, and that they have far more to gain by becoming truly part of Europe as they always should have been.

        Putin, I think, would agree with that. I don't think he wants to conquer other states, (except the Ukraine, which seems eager to join NATO). Russia's stance has always seemed defensive.

        • RedLogix

          I don't think he wants to conquer other states,

          At the moment their borders lie on open plains they lack the manpower to defend. Last I looked the Ukrainian border is not all that far from Moscow so you can understand the Russian anxieties being provoked here. The Kremlin wants to expand it's military borders up to defendable geographic features like the Carpathian Mountains. So yes this does involve some conquering.

          Put simply the Ukrainian people don't want to be under Putin's thumb, and the only way they can ensure their own security is to become part of NATO – as do the Finns and Swedes.

          There really are only two sides to root for here – the authoritarian state or the democratic one. Neither are any kind of moral utopia but you get to pick one.

        • Stuart Munro

          I don't think he wants to conquer other states,

          Georgia and Chechnya might beg to differ.

    • joe90 8.3

      – Ukraine agreed to remove all nuclear missiles

      They did, in 1994, for assurances that Russia would refrain from threatening or using force against Ukraine’s territorial independence.


  9. Blade 9

    TV news last night, when covering child vaccinations, said there had only been a few hickups.

    Talkback told a different story – from people with appointments told to get in line and wait their turn…to chemist shops knowing nothing about childhood vaccinations.

    My, the difference between filtered news and raw news from the man in the street. Thanks talkback.

    When the hell is Mikey and Heather getting back? We need some decent commentary.

    • Blazer 9.1


      When the hell is Mikey and Heather getting back? We need some decent commentary.'

      that's really …blunt….blade.

      Mikey is off to Oz soon…and Heather Depressing-Allen is having a pregnant…pause.

      • Blade 9.1.1

        Whaaat? Are you angry because I used ''getting back'' instead of ''coming back?''

        You have had a hard day. Time to knock off and recharge your batteries.

        This will stir the cockles of you dark socialist heart. I have to admit it nearly had me standing to attention. Riveting stuff.

      • In Vino 9.1.2

        Blunt Blade – I think that the inference you should have made is that you have no idea of what 'decent commentary' is.

        A good call, to my mind.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    No reason, just because:

  11. observer 11

    If anyone is still in any doubt who the real fearmongers are …

    They spread lies on social media, and it's not for "freedom".

    Making up stories to scare the kids. No tactic is too low for the anti-vax mob.

  12. Koff 12

    74 deaths so far today in 3 Australian states. Daily case numbers, despite the imprecise accounting method, do seem to have peaked or flattened off, but hospitalisation pressure, ICU rates and deaths still increasing. Glad to know that the current outbreak here is so mild (sarc).

    • Ad 12.1

      How many fatal car crashes on the same day?

      • The Unliving 12.1.1

        From https://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/road_deaths_australia_monthly_bulletins (nifty Power BI dashboard here) it states that there have been 1127 road crash deaths in the last 12 months in Australia.

        So around 3/day.

        Edit: innumeracy corrected.

        • Koff

          1126*/365 = 3/day, so today's Covid deaths represented 25 times that figure. What would Australia's car crash rate (or anywhere for that matter) be like without mandatory speed limits, seat belts, roadworthiness/WOF checks etc. etc.?

          • Poission

            Comparative risk by age,suggests covid IFR are worse across all age groups then accidents or vehicle fatalities.


          • The Unliving

            Good spotting – corrected.

            Probably much worse, I would imagine. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_Australia_by_year we can see road fatalities peaked in 1970 with 3798, a rate of 30.4 fatalities/100,000 people and 80/100,000 cars. The fatality rate had dropped to 4.6/100,000 people by 2018.

          • mauī

            The car deaths rate is always going to be inflated if you count road fatalities as anyone who has died and received a positive test for driving their car in the previous 48 hours.

            • McFlock

              but then if someone did the analysis on them and figured out that, say, 95% of people who died within 48hours of driving a car did in fact die as the result of a vehicle crash, the numbers would barely be inflated at all.

              Lucky PHE did that work on covid 18 months ago. So no, covid death public health counts are not significantly inflated.

              • mauī

                Isn't that PHE document saying that a covid death is counted when the person had a positive covid test within a certain time frame?

                • McFlock

                  No, it's the PHE document comparing that methodology against a labour-intensive audit of individual death certificates, and finding that the sensitivity and specificity of the more efficient methodology is still in excess of 95% when that timeframe is at or under 28 days. Thus meaning that the "with not from" discussion was complete bollocks, and anyone who used it was out of their depth in the subject area.

                  Happy to be of assistance.

        • Ad


          I'm operating off a mobile.

          They're a long way from BAU.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      It's got a way to go to catch up to seasonal influenza then.

      A study using mathematical modelling estimated that there are more than 3000 deaths and more than 13,500 hospitalisations due to influenza per year among Australians aged >50 years.

      Again mild compared to what?

      I do realise COVID should not be ignored. Here in Brisbane it's all around us, and it's almost inevitable we're going to be exposed.

      Perhaps most concerning of all is that with the 'only the vaccines can save us' messaging taking precedence over everything – it seems a lot of basic early treatment and case management principles have not been properly conveyed to the public. Here's the experience of a health journalist who seems to have copped a nasty dose, although given the dates involved it was probably the Delta variant.

      • Koff 12.2.1

        74 deaths in a single day is equivalent to 27,000 deaths from Covid-19 a year (365 x 74). That's 9 times the influenza rate you just quoted. There is no way of knowing what the current fatality rate would have been without vaccination at all, but probably a lot higher.

        • Fireblade

          All this influenza and car crash fear porn has to stop.

        • RedLogix

          But as you point out in your own comment, NSW Omicron case numbers have already peaked and the serious illness and deaths will likely do much the same in a week or two. It's extremely unlikely that NSW will continue to have 70+ deaths per day for the rest of this year.

          Indeed it's not unreasonable to think Omicron will wind up an endemic illness that is comparable to seasonal influenza.

          On that basis will the vaccine passports and travel restrictions make any sense?

  13. GreenBus 13

    In my view these anti-vax protesters are the true "Deplorables". Far worse than the Gangs and lower down the picking order than a drunk pissing in a doorway at lunchtime. Far worse.

    Scarring mum and the kids? Just absolute cowards and oxygen thieves.

    We've had these scum in New Plymouth as well, a few months back. I wish I was there

    at the time so I could make them pay for deplorable behaviour. Scumbags.

    • Ad 13.1

      Also NZ citizens who have broken no law.

      You replicate the same bile as any beneficiary basher.

      • GreenBus 13.1.1

        No Ad that is bullshit. These idiots are intimidating people, scaring kids and refusing to leave vaccination vans (NP) and getting aggressive. That's assault and should be dealt with by Police and or public involvement as necessary.

        • RedLogix

          I wish I was there at the time so I could make them pay for deplorable behaviour.

          Right there – the madness of mobs. Out in the open and condoned by a large fraction of the population.

          Two years ago we were 'all in this together'. Now you want to actively make some of your fellow citizens who have done you no harm whatsoever, to 'pay' in order to satisfy your sadistic urges.

          Time to snap out of the trance Greenbus – before you do something you will be eternally shamed for.

          • pat

            The madness of mobs?…. its what humans do, sometimes it detrimental others its beneficial.

            I guess it depends on whether you are within or without.

            Oddly enough your comment made me reflect on democracy….that other madness of mobs.

            • RedLogix

              Democracy is about voting to hold our political institutions to account. Mob violence is something quite different. I would post an example pic of each if I thought it would help people spot the difference.

              • pat

                Violence?….we have a group protesting, some individuals behaving badly and a majority complying….sounds like another day at the office.

                But I guess you could portray it as something else if it didnt support your view of how the world should be.

                Within, without.

    • Foreign waka 13.2

      Worse than gangs? Really? Why not move next door to gang members, it must be a lot less dangerous than moving next to an unvaccinated person.

      Please note:

      Vaccinated people are NOT immunised in a similar fashion like being inoculated with the MMR vaccine but if infected with COVID-19 the sickness is very much controllable without hospitalization. A vaccinated person can however pass on the virus.

      Unvaccinated people on the other hand can get infected by anyone, their sickness displays in the form of anything from asymptomatic to intensive care unit need.

      So, the unvaccinated person is therefore the one in real danger not the vaccinated one.

      The Pfizer vaccine has not yet been fully approved by the FDA or any other organization. In fact studies are under way for some time now and include the vaccinated.



      This is not to say that the vaccine is not effective, only that we have to look at all facts. We certainly need to avoid to get in a state of irrational panic and just do away with human rights and the democratic right to decide ones own fate. It is not unlawful to forgo being vaccinated.

      • observer 13.2.1

        Unvaccinated is not a synonym for anti-vax protesters, whose behaviour is the subject here.

        See the link in #11 above.

        There are many more examples, alas.



        • Anne

          How low can you go:


          Spreading rumours of children collapsing at a North Shore vaccination venue. And the ex RNZ presenter, Liz Gunn is one of them.

          • felix

            One of "them"

          • higherstandard

            There were a number of kids that fainted at the said venue yesterday – this is hardly surprising.

            Stinking hot weather, plus injection, plus young kids, plus queues is a recipe for fainting regardless of the vaccination – I'm surprised there wasn't more.

        • Foreign waka

          I hope this war of words will soon stop. Statements like these that gangs are far less dangerous then old ladies with placard are just plain wrong. Its like the witch hunt of the 16th century, an enemy has been created and now we hunt it down! No mercy. Is NZ really so unsophisticated that different views and expressions cannot be accepted? Gangs who peddling drugs, someone is shot we hear at least once a week and children are still murdered in record numbers. Priorities?

          True, that old lady should not approach the car but honestly, if that would have been a gang member the danger would have been infinitely greater.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You're not wrong

          • observer

            an enemy has been created and now we hunt it down

            And yet you cannot give any examples of "hunting down" because nobody is going out looking for those witches.

            Whereas the anti-vaxers know exactly where to "hunt down" their witches. The vaccination centres.

            Leave people alone. Why can't the protesters do that? Who is stopping them from behaving like reasonable human beings?

            • RedLogix

              Who is stopping them from behaving like reasonable human beings?

              Maybe if the govt had not unreasonably imposed coercive vaccine mandates?

            • felix

              "And yet you cannot give any examples of "hunting down" because nobody is going out looking for those witches."

              But in this very thread, a couple of comments above yours:

              "I wish I was there at the time so I could make them pay for deplorable behaviour."

            • Foreign waka

              I think if you read some of these contributions you get the gist of it. It is prevalent not just in NZ but world wide. So disturbing that humanity has mentally not moved and learned over the decades. How often do we have to repeat this cycle.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.3

      'Far worse than the Gangs and lower down the picking order than a drunk pissing in a doorway at lunchtime. Far worse.'

      If you think they're worse then you've had a pretty good life

  14. arkie 14

    17 January was Martin Luther King Jr Day. It's a timely reminder to some about the radical words of MLK:

    We have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor – both black and white, both here and abroad.

    The Three Evils of Society, 1967

    Further reading in this Intercept article from 2016.

    • swordfish 14.1


      And the deeply reductionist Critical Race Theory was a very conscious repudiation of King's liberal-democratic / universalist / colour-blind philosophy.

      MLK championed poorer Whites … bloated, upper-middle Wokedom viciously scapegoats them.

      • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1

        MLK Jr would be cancelled if he were around today

      • joe90 14.1.2

        / universalist / colour-blind philosophy.

        The notion that King didn't want special treatment for Black people or that he didn't want the history of systemic racism taught in the US is absurd.

        The white liberal must affirm that absolute justice for the Negro simply means, in the Aristotelian sense, that the Negro must have “his due.” There is nothing abstract about this. It is as concrete as having a good job, a good education, a decent house and a share of power. It is, however, important to understand that giving a man his due may often mean giving him special treatment. I am aware of the fact that this has been a troublesome concept for many liberals, since it conflicts with their traditional ideal of equal opportunity and equal treatment of people according to their individual merits. But this is a day which demands new thinking and the reevaluation of old concepts. A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him, in order to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis.

        Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

      • arkie 14.1.3

        On the contrary, MLK was no liberal, he was a socialist, with strong words for the liberal establishment then and today.

        First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season."

        Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963

        The ideas of the man have been so sanitised that the FBI called him 'the most dangerous man in America' and today:

  15. rod 15

    I want a job like Pucky, he spends much of the day every at day The Standard, He must have a great right wing boss to let him get away with it. cheeky

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      I'm a government worker and I never, and I mean never, post on here at work.

      Its always from home or on my phone (which I dislike using for posting so I limit that as much as I can)

      • observer 15.1.1

        Having checked the data from the vaccine tracker, I can confirm that PR's comment is mostly true.

      • rod 15.1.2

        So Pucky don't you go to work every day?wink

        • Puckish Rogue

          12 hours shifts mean we have a lot more time off plus management are always on your case about having too much annual leave so they want you to take leave

          With a little planning 24hours used can get you nine days off in a row (48 can give you 13 days) but usually 24hours should get you something like 6-7 days off

          I'm back to work on Monday and I'll bet I'll have another email about taking some more time off plus I've got two stat days that're over a year old so they'll have to be used

          Good times

          • McFlock

            fucking hated long shifts back in the day.

            But one former colleague did take a three month holiday from work and jiggled it around the rosters, time off in leiu, and stat hols so that they only used a few weeks actual leave, lol

            • Puckish Rogue

              When you work for the government you've got to make it work for you.

              The good thing for your friend is when they came back to work they would have had approximately a weeks worth of holiday pay banked up

              Good times smiley

  16. Anker 16
    • Puckish Rogue, good on you. You are doing a hands on mightily important job. I hope you are well remunerated for it
  17. Blade 17

    Good to see a commentator who understands what's happening in Aotearoa. Along with Michael Bassett, these lefties are on the ball.


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    $118.4 million for advisory services to support farmers, foresters, growers and whenua Māori owners to accelerate sustainable land use changes and lift productivity  $40 million to help transformation in the forestry, wood processing, food and beverage and fisheries sectors  $31.6 million to help maintain and lift animal welfare practices across Aotearoa New Zealand A total food and ...
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  • More support for first home buyers and renters
    House price caps for First Home Grants increased in many parts of the country House price caps for First Home Loans removed entirely Kāinga Whenua Loan cap will also be increased from $200,000 to $500,000 The Affordable Housing Fund to initially provide support for not-for-profit rental providers Significant additional ...
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  • Budget lifts up to 14,000 children out of poverty
    Child Support rules to be reformed lifting an estimated 6,000 to 14,000 children out of poverty Support for immediate and essential dental care lifted from $300 to $1,000 per year Increased income levels for hardship assistance to extend eligibility Budget 2022 takes further action to reduce child poverty and ...
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  • A booster for RNA research and development
    More support for RNA research through to pilot manufacturing RNA technology platform to be created to facilitate engagement between research and industry partners Researchers and businesses working in the rapidly developing field of RNA technology will benefit from a new research and development platform, funded in Budget 2022. “RNA ...
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  • Unleashing business potential across NZ
    A new Business Growth Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow Fully funding the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to unleash regional economic development opportunities Tourism Innovation Programme to promote sustainable recovery Eight Industry Transformation Plans progressed to work with industries, workers and iwi to transition ...
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  • Securing the wellbeing of Pacific communities
    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
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  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
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  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
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