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Open mike 18/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 18th, 2022 - 51 comments
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51 comments on “Open mike 18/05/2022 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    The battle for Mariupol is over. The "second phase" of the war/special military operation, the battle for Odessa and Moldova, is about to begin.

    From RT:

    Will the Ukraine conflict spread into other parts of Europe?

    17 May, 2022 15:35 – RT, (formerly Russia Today)

    The breakaway Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR)….

    …the PMR is close to the southwest of Ukraine, bordering Odessa and Vinnitsa.

    The possibility of “defrosting” the Transnistria conflict has been discussed for a few years.

    ….Acting Commander of Russia’s Central Military District Major General Rustam Minnekayev announced that one of the goals of the second phase of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine would be securing access to Transnistria. This opinion was later supported by Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

    A Russian peacekeeping force is currently stationed in Transnistria….

    …..controlling the southern regions of Ukraine that Minnekayev mentioned would potentially enable Russia to reopen a logistics pathway for its peacekeepers.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/555541-military-operation-transnistria-ukraine/

    That's the battle plan anyway.

    But whether the Russian Federation Forces will actually be able to press ahead with their "second phase" may be in doubt as the Russian assault on Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine runs into the sand.
    Still the intention is clear with daily Russian missile attacks on Odessa, the usual 'softening up' before a full on assault.

    It is clear that Russia will not stop, until they are stopped. World War III, has begun.

    Whether this World War can be derailed or stopped will be up to the resolve of the Ukrainian people to continue fighting and not surrender until they have defeated the invasion and pushed the Russian Federation back to its border.
    If the Ukrainians can stop this war.
    To paraphrase the immortal words of the British Empire's war time leader Churchill.

    Never will so many have owed so much to so few.

    • Gosman 1.1

      There is little chance the Russians will attempt a full scale amphibious operation to try and capture Odessa considering they failed to even cross a river sccessfully. They are proving themselves incompetent but they aren't suicidal.

    • remo 1.2

      Aw c'mon!! Read what Putin says for goodness sake. And Lavrov. These are statesmen of quality. Listen to Ritter. This is a NATO CREATED WAR.

      N A T O are the bad guys.

      Ukraine isn't going to push Russia anywhere! Don't you get it ?! They're DONE. Gonzalo Lira reckons they're loosing 400 troops a day plus. Unsustainable losses.. Ukranazi using those poor Ukrainian boys as cannon fodder. And anyway, world war three began with the 911 False Flag…

      • lprent 1.2.1

        You do appear to be divorced from military reality. The effect of an invasion is mainly measured on taking and holding objectives.

        So far the Russian armed forces have mostly been falling back from the over-extended positions that they took in the first 14 days. They are no longer threatening Kyiv, are no longer in the position that allowed them bombard Kharkiv, and while they can do long range bombardments of Odessa thay aren’t a position to take the whole of Ukrainian Black sea coast.

        They haven’t destroyed the ability of the Ukrainian armed forces to resist. Their expenditures of soldiers, equipment, and ammunition appears to have been very high – at least from the view of reasonably respected military observers.

        Gonzalo Lira reckons they’re loosing 400 troops a day plus.

        Whoever this dickwad is, you haven’t supplied a link, nor what position they are to be able to judge military performance or casualty figures. I wonder what their estimates of the Russian casualty figures are, or if they’re counting civilians being executed by Russian troops.

        I presume you’re talking about this dipshit. The Redpill Grifter Who Became an Anti-Ukraine Propagandist (And the wacko tale of his supposed murder). A loud mouthed idiot who appears to had exactly zero military experience. His previous claim to fame appears to be that he is a hero to some incels.

        Perhaps you should look at some war bloggers with some experience. Unlike your dipshit fashionista, they’re pretty distinctive. I’ll even point you in the direction of some Russian ones. “Growing evidence of a military disaster on the Donets pierces a pro-Russian bubble.

        Making statements filled with silly slogans and made up words is just some juvenile wanking about something that they are too lazy to spend time to understand. It just sounds like an incel posing for their mates.

        As an ex-soldier, I prefer to look to people who know what they’re talking about. For instance this Russian military analyst. “Retired colonel speaks out on Russian TV“.

        The Kremlin still maintains that the Russian offensive is going according to plan.

        But on Monday night, studio guest Mikhail Khodarenok, a military analyst and retired colonel, painted a very different picture.

        He warned that “the situation [for Russia] will clearly get worse” as Ukraine receives additional military assistance from the West and that “the Ukrainian army can arm a million people”.

        Referring to Ukrainian soldiers, he noted: “The desire to defend their motherland very much exists. Ultimate victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of troops who are spilling blood for the ideas they are ready to fight for.

        “The biggest problem with [Russia’s] military and political situation,” he continued, “is that we are in total political isolation and the whole world is against us, even if we don’t want to admit it. We need to resolve this situation.

        “The situation cannot be considered normal when against us, there is a coalition of 42 countries and when our resources, military-political and military-technical, are limited.”

        The other guests in the studio were silent. Even the host, Olga Skabeyeva, normally fierce and vocal in her defence of the Kremlin, appeared oddly subdued.

        In many ways, it’s a case of “I told you so” from Khodarenok. Writing in Russia’s Independent Military Review back in February, before Moscow attacked Ukraine, the defence analyst had criticised “enthusiastic hawks and hasty cuckoos” for claiming that Russia would easily win a war against Ukraine.

        His conclusion back then: “An armed conflict with Ukraine is not in Russia’s national interests.”

        That is close to how I view the undeclared war against and invasion of Ukraine. It was a stupid idea even without the intervention of nations supporting the UN principles about the sovereignty of nations. It is now pretty much of an impossible situation for Russia unless they escalate to launching nuclear attacks on other sovereign nations. That wouldn’t go well for them either.

        • Jenny how to get there 1.2.1.1

          remo

          18 May 2022 at 9:07 pm

          Aw c'mon!! Read what Putin says for goodness sake. And Lavrov. These are statesmen of quality. Listen to Ritter. This is a NATO CREATED WAR.

          N A T O are the bad guys……

          …..world war three began with the 911 False Flag…

          An anonymous 911 truther, citing someone called 'Ritter'; as evidence, writes, that Segei Lavrov, is a stateman of quality?

          Hmmm

          Who is Ritter?
          Why no link to what Ritter says?

          What does the actual record show?

          Russia's Lavrov says Syria chemical weapons attack was 'staged'

          Lavrov cited "irrefutable data that [this] was yet another staged event and staging was done … by the special services of one of the countries at the forefront of the anti-Russia campaign."…

          https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/russia-s-lavrov-says-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-was-staged-n865686

          Lavrov insists Russia has not invaded Ukraine

      • joe90 1.2.2

        Ukraine isn't going to push Russia anywhere!

        lol

  2. weka 2

    New statue of Thatcher goes up and gets egged. Market forces provide an opening…

  3. Muttonbird 3

    Education agents warn that foreign students are not queuing up to return to New Zealand next year.

    They told RNZ this country's handling of the pandemic was not the drawcard the government had expected and recently-announced changes to post-study work rights would hit the Indian market especially hard.

    Dhingra said many courses that used to attract Indian and Chinese students no longer grant the right to work after graduation.

    Almost as if study in New Zealand was secondary to the right to work in New Zealand!

    Steve Joyce's rort finally brought to an end.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/05/education-agent-warn-foreign-students-not-queuing-up-for-new-zealand-return-next-year.html

    • roblogic 3.1

      +1 Good to see that Labour has closed some of the sneaky backdoors that National left open to pump up property and lower wages for the benefit of the wealthy and to keep the workers down.

    • AB 3.2

      Yep. I've said it before and I'll be a bore and repeat it: the majority of these foreign students whom I tried to help into permanent jobs after they had completed their NZ studies – already had degrees from their home countries that were superior to the various diplomas etc. they gained in NZ. My existing contempt for National plumbed new depths on discovering this. They are the 'free lunch for us, expensive crumbs for you' party.

  4. RosieLee 4

    "Education agents"? "The Indian market"? "secondary to the right to work in New Zealand"? This makes me so angry. Way past time the rort was ended – and long may it stay ended. Dodgy courses, work rights, residency – then bring in their sisters and their cousins and their aunts etc etc.

    • Visubversa 4.1

      It was vastly more mechanised than that. A family would put up the $$$ to get Person A in on an investors visa. Person A would buy a couple of $2 Shops. Nephew B and Nephew C would come in to do the cheapest business course available and then work at the said $2 as staff while studying, and as managers when they graduated. They would do that for the time it took to get residency while Relatives D and E did the business courses ready to take over. Rinse and repeat.

  5. Belladonna 5

    I know it's Fran O'Sullivan (perhaps perceived as a RW journalist) writing in the Herald (not flavour of the month with some commentators here).

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/fran-osullivan-auckland-cbd-crime-gangs-more-police-action-presence-required/YBTLK34QLHZJFSASA2G5QCR7LA/?utm_source=pocket_mylist

    But this is important. I have several friends with apartments in the CBD – even the guys are reluctant to go out in the evenings on their own, while the women have been self-protecting for quite some time.

    I know of 2 teens (both uni students – and both 'Asian' appearing) who've been beaten up – ostensibly for their phones, but actually, it appears with a simply racist motivation. And this is not at 2 am – it's around 8 in the evening.

    Yes, the police come – after the event… if you're lucky. But actually they do nothing – the people are still on the streets, harassing, intimidating and assaulting.

    If there is a perception that the police are not in control of this (and there certainly is) there's a very strong temptation for vigilante justice. And we've just seen in the Burr trial – juries aren't going to convict the vigilantes.

    Right or wrong, there is a growing perception that Labour is soft on crime. And that the interventions they promised (reduce numbers in prison, etc.) have resulted in a crime wave.

    It may be (and probably is, to a certain extent) unfair – but it's a reality that Labour needs to deal with effectively over the next 18 months. Or this will be a significant election issue.

    • Anne 5.1

      Yes, it is not true this Govt. is soft on crime but their opponents are succeeding in convincing people otherwise. It is equally unfair they are pinning the blame on Poto Williams. Unfortunately Poto is not a good public communicator and on those grounds she is probably not the best person for the portfolio.

      Totally agree that if Labour does not deal with the perception then they are going to be trounced at the next election.

      I sometimes wonder if this is the reason some in the media are giving this current wave of ramraids and related crimes so much attention. By doing so, they know it will reflect badly on the Govt. which is what they dearly want to do.

    • Belladonna-there is no "perhaps" about it.

      • Belladonna 5.2.1

        However, that's no reason to disdain completely anything she happens to say.
        And, in this case, (supported by other articles and private information), she is right on the button that this is a significant issue.

    • Corey Humm 5.3

      If they don't get control of this pronto, Labour and the Greens are toast in Auckland central next year which is bad news for the greens cos they do horrifically in the suburbs, especially the poorer ones.

      Auckland central is finding out what poorer communities have been going through for years. Get terrorized by crims, if you're lucky they'll get arrested and if you're really lucky some community service at best and they'll be out terrorizing people within 24 hours.

      We don't evict dangerous Tennant's from state house and the woke left seem to have become defenders of gangs and gang violence giving them carte blanche to do whatever they want.

      Labour needs to get ahead on crime. Labour is a party for the working class, the working class work, they don't ram cars into peoples places of employment.

  6. RedLogix 6

    If the main barrier to climate action isn’t technological, but social and political, we need new tools for change.

    Given this is the primary assumption of the essay (and thus indisputably relevant) I would challenge the author to produce a clear case to support it. Can you show a clear pattern in human history where social change usually precedes and drives changes in technology – as contrasted to the converse case?

    I agree that social and political considerations can often impede change, or even bring about total collapse – and there are plenty of examples of this. But for all of recorded history the fundamental challenge facing all societies has been how to access and control a sufficiently stable and secure surplus source of energy and food in order to move beyond a hunter-gatherer subsistence life. Only when such a surplus exists are we able to concern ourselves with higher order issues such as transgender males cheating in female sports. (Notably most pre-industrial peasant societies daily life was so labour intensive that few even thought of exerting themselves for sport or recreation, much less have the spare time for it.)

    Note carefully – I am not ruling out social and political change as a necessary part of the total process. Indeed I have spent many years here hinting at exactly what I think those changes might look like. But it is my view that relegating the technological advances necessary to physically support such a society to will only ensure nothing changes.

    [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.]

    [I asked you politely to stay out of my posts for the rest of the month, and I linked to that again yesterday. Now I’m making it formal. – weka]

    • Populuxe1 6.1

      It does sound a bit like the sort of fluffy romantic feudalism that's never entirely clear on who is providing all the labour for utopia.

      • weka 6.1.1

        You can repost under the post if you like, we don’t have the capability to stop replies being moved to OM with comments

      • RedLogix 6.1.2

        Apologies for the abuse of moderation. This behaviour is shameful and is the reason why I asked Lynn some months back to remove my access to moderation – because I found it no longer tenable to be associated with this kind of behaviour.

        Usually you find out a great deal about someone when you give them a little bit of power.

    • weka 6.2

      Mod note

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        That is not moderation – it is a flat out abuse of power.

        You are obviously trying to ramp this up to the point where you can remove me like you have other male authors you do not like.

        And then pretend to be the victim.

  7. Peter 7

    The Disinformation Project has done its job about the Wellington protest.
    https://thedisinfoproject.org/resources/

    Various angles have been reported.
    "On March 2, during the police operation, almost every third person can be seen videoing on their phone, and likely live streaming. Video content of the protest was spread across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Zello and Telegram, all on public domains monitored by the researchers.

    Despite the volume of content, 73% of the disinformation identified on Facebook was created by only 12 people."

    "The Disinformation Project says people used Covid-19 disinformation like a 'trojan horse', initially discussing disinformation, but quietly pushing their own ideas that go larger than the pandemic.

    Covid-19 was never the only end goal of those sharing and producing disinformation over the past two years, they have strong ideas on what New Zealand should look like."(1news)

    https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/05/18/dozen-created-73-of-disinformation-during-parliament-protest/

    David Fisher, in the Herald:

    "The Disinformation Project report identified the protest movement's Chantelle Baker as a "super spreader" whose broadcasts over Facebook pulled greater engagement than mainstream media on key days in the protest.

    The report said Baker – she is not named in the report – generated the most and second-highest engagement among all public Facebook pages in New Zealand from March 1 through to March 3."

    It was Baker who broadcast demonstrably false claims Antifa were behind the fires and violence on March 3 when the protest was broken up. The same false claims were made about the invasion of the Capitol on January 6.

    Since the protest, Baker has taken up the cudgel for Putin's Russia over the war in Ukraine. Like others in the protest movement, she offers a counter-narrative to the mass graves and war-mongering reported by mainstream media."

    It seems strange that research into "disinformation," seeking to provide "information" doesn't provides the simple information like the names of the 12 people. The claim could be made that the names are irrelevant to research on what actually happened.

    The names of those who controlling the national narrative? Surely they are relevant, surely it is relevant to know who they are. And surely the individuals would be proud of the recognition

    (Paywalled)

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/analysis-false-information-is-so-out-of-hand-that-it-should-be-a-national-security-issue/YDHIKEGME34VLVVDJPDYSLZ3VE/.

    • dv 7.1

      The cost of the cleanups should be billed to the protesters.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        Not the protestors so much but their governing bodies. Eg. Voice of Freedom.

        Oh how I would love to see that lot receive a dirty great bill for the role they played in the affair. Especially after they crammed my letter box time after time with pamphlets full of lies and innuendo.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.2

      Fisher provides a link to The Disinformation Project webpage which allows those keen to access the full depth of this work to download this study, as well as their earlier efforts.

      Their latest publication (and the topic of this and other mainstream media articles about the anti vaccine mandate protest) makes full use of the words "misinformation" and "disinformation", helpfully provides definitions of the same, but gives the barest minimum of examples where the protestors and so-called disinformation peddlers actually deployed such tactics.

      Such references as there are are mostly from mainstream media articles which themselves are woefully scant on detail and actual links to where such and such outrageous claims were made. If mis and dis information are the enemies of democracy, they need to be properly and clearly identified so we can recognize them when they sneak into our view. And take appropriate protective measures.

      The product of the Disinformation Project, "The murmuration of information disorders: Aotearoa New Zealand’s mis- and disinformation ecologies and the Parliament Protest , unfortunately fails completely to address any of the issues that drove the vast majority of the protestors and their supporters to make a stand.

      To wit…vaccine mandates and the resultant deliberate creation of a two tier society in New Zealand. Vaccine adverse effects and the automatic dismissal and minimisation of injuries, the messaging from the Ministry of Health that even a serious reaction to the Pfizer Product will be unlikely to qualify one for an exemption to another shot to get a Vaccine Pass or keep one's job and valid concerns that the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer Product is largely untested and has been rushed into use without the proper cautions and oversights one would expect of what in effect has been a worldwide drug trial.

      None of these issues are raised in this paper. A pity…because it would have been reassuring to have these experts show us that all of these concerns can be scientifically proven to be false and unfounded.

      I wonder what the purpose of such studies are. All protests attract extremist and sometimes violent elements, but focusing solely on this very small club further alienates those who formed the bulk of the activist group.

      "… vast majority of those opposed to [Covid-19] mitigation programmes are overwhelmingly peaceful and are driven by a diverse set of ideological frameworks and personal grievances,”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/128067269/intelligence-agencies-warned-of-risk-of-violent-antiauthority-protest-over-covid19-measures-in-november

      The headline of this article is a case in point…they could have written…"Intelligence agencies find vast majority of protestors are overwhelmingly peaceful, but a small group not so much…" but I suppose that would have given almost legitimacy to the bulk of the protest.

      I personally think that the specific concerns of the 'vast majority of the protestors' are being ignored by the dedicated academics at The Disinformation Project because if they make note of them, list them, reference the origins of these concerns they'd have to debunk them all…and prove them to be baseless.

      And that they cannot do.

      So they focus on the arseholes…and drive the rest of us even further into the margins.

      • Sacha 7.2.1

        That team of academic specialists have been clear all along that the organised disinformation efforts they document are broader than any single topic – the prime stirrers just jump to whatever is the latest. Covid public health measures are just the latest. The amount of imported tosh about Trump and other foreign fixations is also no surprise to them.

        And listing examples spreads the disinformation. So they do not. Nor do they need to prove that the earth is not flat.

        • Nic the NZer 7.2.1.1

          Woah, woah, woah, slow down there. I was watching some lectures by Leonard Susskind on classical mechanics and he doesn't even give a definition of a scalar, supposedly its just like a number or something. Also his definition of a vector is its a symbol with an arrow or bar over it, unless its left out when it might be written just like a scalar. Then were supposed to assume that a particle (which can be as large as a planet) is well defined in terms of its centre of mass, like its some law of nature or something, so I don't think we want to be assuming the earth is round just yet.

          PS did you know about Isaac Newtons contribution to all this. Don't know if we want to take to much of our understanding from just the one arsehole.

        • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.1.2

          Not mentioning any of the very valid concerns of the majority of the protestors (as listed) serves what purpose? These brave academics, in doing what the government also did and ignoring all of the protestors issues (rather than the measured very few extremists) have further alienated much of that majority who had reasonable grounds to be very concerned about sweeping and punitive mandates based on flimsy evidence of product efficacy and safety.

          And Vaccine Passes, and ensuing exclusion of unvaccinated 12 year olds from sports, and surf life saving and public swimming pools, what are we to make of that? Young people, under the age of thirty, have always been at very minimal risk from any of the Covid variants, and it is unconscionable to demand that they be coerced into taking an experimental product with no long term safety data…presumably to protect Nana. Did anyone ask Nana if she was happy risking the moko's health to save her?

          I know no Nana that selfish.

          • Sacha 7.2.1.2.1

            In it's research, The Disinformation Project says the attention given to these 12 accounts is how a protest that wasn't vaccine mandate specific also ended up at the Parliament occupation.

            "Those leading producers came into the Covid-19 protest with pre-existing values about what it means to be a New Zealander and who's allowed to be a New Zealander. During the protest, even though it was about Covid, they brought these goals.

            "When people have a strong grievance, they are pushed into seeing an in and out group" says [Kate] Hannah.

            The Disinformation Project says people used Covid-19 disinformation like a 'trojan horse', initially discussing disinformation, but quietly pushing their own ideas that go larger than the pandemic.

            "Covid-19 was never the only end goal of those sharing and producing disinformation over the past two years, they have strong ideas on what New Zealand should look like.

            https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/05/18/dozen-created-73-of-disinformation-during-parliament-protest/

          • Anne 7.2.1.2.2

            Valid concerns of the majority of protestors?

            The protestors’ concerns were not valid because they were not based on fact but rather on misinformation and worse still… disinformation.

            Young people, under the age of thirty, have always been at very minimal risk from any of the Covid variants,…

            But their nanas and grandpas are at maximum risk. So you're saying… "who cares if the young people pass it on to their grandparents".

            …and it is unconscionable to demand that they be coerced into taking an experimental product with no long term safety data…presumably to protect Nana. Did anyone ask Nana if she was happy risking the moko's health to save her?

            It is NOT experimental and you know it. The Covid vaccines were subject to the strictest of testing regimes – in the same way vaccines over many decades have been tested. That they were able to achieve this in a shorter period of time is testament to the scientists and technicians around the world who worked 24/7 for months on end, and they should be celebrated for their efforts not demonised.

            Btw, those "brave academics" are not employed to argue the toss over the individual issues (such as they are) that were involved. Their job is to provide a synopsis of the most likely outcome following the actions and beliefs of a small minority of the population who are willfully refusing to accept the facts and wallow instead in fictitious conspiracies and simplistic rhetoric.

          • Incognito 7.2.1.2.3

            … who had reasonable grounds to be very concerned about sweeping and punitive mandates based on flimsy evidence of product efficacy and safety.

            There have been a few genuine and legitimate concerns about the mandates but vaccine efficacy and safety have so far not given good reasons to pull it. As new data came in the authorities have acted responsibly and carefully & cautiously weighing the pros & cons of the mass vaccination programme.

            The Pfizer vaccine stopped being experimental when it was approved for use. The lack of long-term safety data was not a sufficient reason to wait when people were dropping like flies in parts of the world – remember Lombardy in Italy? The vaccine still is in wide use, isn’t it?

            With the earlier variants transmission of the virus was more effectively inhibited by vaccination, which was one argument to vaccinate younger people too and introduce public health measures such as the Vaccine Pass. In any case, a 12-year old not being to go for a swim is not the same as an employee potentially losing their job. And I have experienced quite a few instances of ‘code brown’ in public swimming pools.

            Anyway, for most Kiwis the mandates don’t apply anymore. Whether this may be a good thing you can judge by the daily updates – today, we passed more than 1,000 deaths in NZ.

      • Peter 7.2.2

        " … fails completely to address any of the issues that drove the vast majority of the protestors and their supporters to make a stand."

        They have identified the phenomenon. Maybe someone else will take up the cause of addressing what drove the protestors.

      • Incognito 7.2.3

        The Disinformation Project (TDP) studies misinformation and disinformation in NZ. It does not study and therefore cannot comment on public health measures such as mandates or vaccine safety data as these are completely different issues. As the report by TDP shows the Parliament occupation wasn’t even about concerns over these issues, valid or not. You seem to be searching and hoping for a general and over-arching justification and legitimisation of the occupation when there’s no such thing to be found.

        The vast majority of occupiers may have been peaceful, at least initially, but they gave some legitimacy and (moral) support, in their numbers, to the rotten core and the Trojan Horse they stalked into the occupation. The Dirty Dozen were responsible for generating much of the mis- and disinformation interactions but they could not personally have generated the hundreds of thousands of interactions online each day.

        If the mis- and disinformation had remained confined to a small minority of 12 or so so-called ‘protest figureheads’ it would not have been the issue that it is and never attracted the attention (or as much attention?) from intelligence agencies or academic researchers such as TDP.

        Of course, you couldn’t let the opportunity go by and not spread your own idiosyncratic mis- and disinformation again here on TS.

        Vaccine adverse and injuries were not automatically dismissal and minimised. That’s blatantly untrue aka BS.

        The MoH was never going to give people false hope or promise them that they were likely to get an exemption as this would be counterintuitive to having the mandates, which was explained by Dr Ashley Bloomfield during one of the press conferences. Very few people would qualify for an exemption and with this inbuilt high threshold a fair number of applications were granted with over 80% of applications by healthcare workers approved.

        The mRNA technology has been around for decades and was obviously mature enough and ready for application in Covid-19 vaccines and not just in the Pfizer one. The Pfizer vaccine was properly tested in clinical trials and approvals were granted through the usual official regulatory channels without taking any shortcuts that could have compromised safety – safety has been monitored more closely than any other vaccine ever before. For this reason, the Pfizer vaccine is still widely in use across the world even though its effectivity against the more recent variants is not as high as against the original wild type virus.

        • Anne 7.2.3.1

          Thanks for your commentary @ 7.2.3 Incognito.

          Peter, myself and Sacha have commented on aspects of Rosemary's most recent claims, but it has now been pulled together by your well informed and detailed analysis.

  8. MickeyBoyle 8

    With several polls now showing declining support for Labour. What do you think is the best strategy to win re-election. I personally believe that inflation will reach double digits by christmas and the cost of living crisis will continue to corrode support for the government.

    With this in mind, would it not be best to go to the polls early, whilst you are still in reasonable shape politically? Can anyone actually see things getting better between now and late next year which would see a bump in support for the government?

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      On what grounds would they call a snap election, because they might lose the scheduled one?

      Voters would hate that, I think.

      • Belladonna 8.1.1

        Agree that voters tend to punish parties who call snap elections for evidently political purposes (1984 springs to mind).

        Realistically, any early election plan is going to be fought against by the lower-ranked party list MPs currently in parliament. They know that, even if Labour or, more-likely, a Green-Labour-TPM coalition, snatch a win – the list will be drastically reduced, and they're out of parliament (and out of a job).

        I'd say, right now, that Labour are going to hang on, and hope that things turn around in the next 18 months.

      • MickeyBoyle 8.1.2

        On the grounds that I cannot see much good things ahead for them. Just floating an idea out there. If people can honestly see support improving for the government, then fair enough, wait until next year.

        But I personally cannot see much good news on the horizon. If anything we will be in hell of a lot more pain over the next twelve months when inflation, cost of living and mortgage rates trend up.

    • gypsy 8.2

      There will be no snap election, unless some extreme and unforeseen event warrants it. Labour will have to ride this out, but it won't be easy, particularly with the PM's own popularity currently in decline.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Some of us have been saying this for the best part of a decade. It ultimately represents a kind of materialistic religion that manifests as an outward moralising activism, rather than any inward direct, contemplative spirituality.

      As many have noted – it permits it's adherents the outrageous liberty of claiming virtue without ever requiring them to do the personal work necessary to earn it.

  9. weston 10

    Well even if they are neo natzi's i hope they get a good rest an a hot bath etc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpKJdX0DIzQ
    good on them for surendering be nice to think their kids could have fathers .

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