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Open mike 19/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 19th, 2020 - 187 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 …

187 comments on “Open mike 19/07/2020 ”

  1. Just a comment on something that annoys me on the idiot box:

    Why do the reporters all repeat this BS about a 1 in 500 year event re the flooding in Northland.

    When it happens again next year and the year after will our memories be so short that we’ll again call it a 1 in 500 year event, as if that explains it all.

    Not once have I heard climate change given as an explanation! Intensity of climate events? Naw, just Nature behaving badly.

    Collectively we remain in denial about global warming – and the Natz have elected a leader who is a climate change denier!

    • Matiri 1.1

      Comes from NIWAs High Intensity Rainfall System – Councils use the same scientific terminology, engineers use it when designing bridges, culverts etc. Lots of climate change mentions on NIWAs website.

    • Kiwijoker 1.2

      We live in a designated zone that will be inundated by a 100 year flood. The water never came near us. Does this mean a 100 year flood will be worse than a 500 one? Is the Pope Catholic? If I don’t have breakfast will I be hungry by lunchtime?

      • Ben 1.2.1

        It simply means that your subcatchment did not receive the same amount of rain as other catchments. Flood models can also assume that culverts are blocked which may not have occurred downstream of your property.

    • Steve 1.3

      One in 500 or however many years is easier for people to understand than it being an event with an 0.2% chance of occurring in any given year which is a bit more abstract. Return periods whilst useful to describe are somewhat misleading in that regard and don't always help with understanding, alas they are the more common way to different between how common events are.

  2. The Chairman 2

    I'm posting the following clip for those that take an interest in international relations, specifically the relationship between the world's two powerhouses, China and the US.

    The local mainstream media don't seem to have comprehensive coverage of this.

    This is what I call America's pineapple lump moment and welcome your thoughts.

    Warning: this is hard hitting, has global implications, thus is not for the faint-hearted

    The days of American passivity and naivety are over. The awaking of the US by US National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien.

    • joe90 2.1

      Brown nosing his bosses.


      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        Interesting. Although it has little to do with all the info collated, the new stance being taken and the related action being implemented.

        • joe90

          the related action being implemented.

          And do what?

          The CCP is helmed by a gang of totalitarian thugs and we're joined at the wallet.

          How does the west go about curbing the CCP's most egregious goings on without endangering their own economic well being?



          • The Chairman

            Hit them (the CCP) personally and in the pocket as Trump is doing.

            Some are calling for the CCP to be designated a transnational criminal organization.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              NZ recently had an annual trade surplus with China of ~$7,000,000,000, so how might NZ hit the CCP in the pocket?

              "Since 2017, China has been New Zealand’s top trading partner, and from 2013 the second-largest trading partner."

              Maybe the new leader of the opposition National party could put her Chinese contacts to good use in charting a way forward.

              "Judith Collins interaction with Chinese Officials to help her husbands Chinese Company, Oravida, to gain more Chinese money"

              • The Chairman

                NZ recently had an annual trade surplus with China of ~$7,000,000,000, so how might NZ hit the CCP in the pocket?

                In light of developments NZ should be reevaluating its position and reliance on China. Clearly, we're not in the same league as the US, thus can't be expected to lead on this issue but no doubt we will be expected to play our part if the issue deepens and widens.

                On a side note, could you tell us how much of that trade surplus was returned to China in the form of profits from their NZ holdings selling goods to China?

                • Incognito

                  On a side note, could you tell us how much of that trade surplus was returned to China in the form of profits from their NZ holdings selling goods to China?

                  Oh, please shut up with your irrelevant questions. A warm thanks in advance.

                  • The Chairman

                    The relevance was the trade surplus touted. People often tout our trade surplus while overlooking that some of our most lucrative sectors are offshore owned or have high overseas investment, thus should look at our current account to see the wider picture.

                    • Incognito

                      Instead of asking questions, maybe it is time that you start giving us some answers, yes?

                      What are “some of our most lucrative sectors are offshore owned or have high overseas investment”? Don’t hold back in providing supporting information, preferably in the China context. Please don’t mention the Ozzie banks, thanks.

                      You do agree with the primary premise so at least we have established that.

                  • The Chairman

                    Exports to China

                    $17.3 billion
                    Top exports: dairy, wood products, meat

                    Imports from China

                    $13.3 billion

                    Top imports: machinery, clothing & apparel

                    Investment from China including Hong Kong into New Zealand reached NZ$10.6 billion in 2018. After Australia, China is New Zealand's second largest source country for foreign direct investment, representing almost 10% of our total FDI stock.

                    Chinese investment extends across a range of sectors including primary industries and forestry (30%), infrastructure, commercial development (20%), and manufacturing (15%). Chinese investors are the largest foreign investors in primary products exports, waste management, electrical whiteware, and tourism infrastructure.


                    China may exceed official estimates as investment transactions are often routed through Hong Kong or other countries, including Singapore, as well as other jurisdictions. Capturing the extent of this Chinese investment from so-called “immediate” sources is complex and is only partially captured in this report.


                    • The Chairman


                      We can rule out the Ozzie banks if you wish but that still leaves the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China and Rabobank all operating here.

                      There are foreign-owned water bottling plants. Insurance companies. Foreign owned forestry companies are NZ's biggest landowners.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  "…no doubt we will be expected to play our part if the issue deepens and widens." – no doubt, Chair, no doubt. And I wonder what part 'we' will be expected to play (and by who) if the issue doesn't deepen and widen.

                  Re your "side note" enquiry, no, I could not tell 'us' that off the top of my head, but I'd be interested (and frankly amazed) if you could ferret out that info for 'us'.

                  To what/who does NZ owe thanks for that largish annual trade surplus?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Thanks Chair – would you be willing and able to attempt a summary, i.e. to what extent are NZ's lucrative sectors 'China-owned', or was that not your real 'concern'?

                      The words "China" and "Chinese" aren't used in the URL page that you linked to, although the United States of America, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan and Hong Kong are mentioned.

                  • The Chairman

                    As highlighted above, investment from China is often routed through Hong Kong or other countries, including Singapore, as well as other jurisdictions.

                    Investment from China including Hong Kong into New Zealand reached NZ$10.6 billion in 2018.

                    Of that, 30% went into lucrative primary industries and forestry investment. 20% into lucrative infrastructure and commercial development and 15% into manufacturing.

                    Chinese investors are the largest foreign investors in primary products exports, waste management, electrical whiteware, and tourism infrastructure.

                    Of which, tourism infrastructure is unlikely to be so lucrative at this point in time.

                    And then there are their banking investments and utilities. In 2008, Hong-Kong based Cheung Kong Infrastructure bought the Wellington Electricity Company. China is the largest foreign investor in New Zealand dairy sector. Haier owns Fisher Paykel Appliances, which once was one of New Zealand largest manufacturing companies.

                    The total amount invested coupled with the percentage breakdown of the sectors invested in gives some indication to what extent NZ's lucrative sectors are China-owned.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      According to the graphs in your link (@12:26 am), in 2019 the value of Australian investment in NZ was $129,000,000,000, followed by the U.K. at $71,003,000,000, and then the U.S.A at $48,689,000,000.

                      "The total amount invested coupled with the percentage breakdown of the sectors invested in gives some indication to what extent of NZ's lucrative sectors are China-owned."

                      So to what extent are NZ's lucrative sectors "China-owned"? “NZ$10.6 billion in 2018.” That’s pretty piddly compared to the big three. China is the most populous country in the world – I reckon they can do better.

                    • The Chairman

                      10% of our total FDI stock.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "National proposes to commit to doubling our two way trade with China from $30 billion to $60 billion over the next decade." – would that make NZ more or less dependent on China, do you reckon?

                      Discussion Document: The Economy – NZ National Party
                      "The page you were looking for was not found." – oh dear.

    • Byd0nz 2.2

      Even more reason to pull out of five eyes and crush the spy domes

      • Tricledrown 2.2.1

        We are with the slightly lesser of the two evils being neutral is not an option.

        We have to walk a tight rope between them.

        • The Chairman

          We have to walk a tight rope between them.

          Is that even going to be possible with the CCP's ambition to dominate?

      • The Chairman 2.2.2

        Even more reason to pull out of five eyes and crush the spy domes

        Why is that?

        • Byd0nz

          The US is the danger to planet, they dictate to all the 5 eyes partners taking away the independence of us all. The US rule with fear and bully tactics, they have aggressed in every corner of the globe with actual military attacks and interfere with the politics of their so called friends. China aggression, where have they bombed and destroyed another country like even we have, nowhere, we NZ is a bigger aggressor than China because Chaiman you and the like believe in letting the US dictate our foreign policy. Get a grip, grow some balls and pull out of Yankee aggressive spy domes.

          [Fixed typo in user name]

          • Incognito

            Before you jump to conclusions about some kind of control or censorship here on TS you may want to make sure you don’t make any typos in your user name and/or e-mail address because the system, which is a computer chip with an IQ of zero, will notice your error(s) and put your comment in Pre-Moderation until one of the Moderators has time to look into it and release it.

            Thank you so much for your understanding.

          • The Chairman

            The US is no saint and there are some within the US that support the big brother China model. However, as it stands the US is the lesser of the two evils.

            China may not have bombed anyone but they are building up an arsenal large enough to blow up everyone. Moreover, they are currently flexing their muscles and are on a war footing – see link.


            Then there is their cover up of the virus with them locking down locally but allowing residents to travel abroad.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              "China may not have bombed anyone but they are building up an arsenal large enough to blow up everyone."

              Do you reckon that it would be in China's interests to "blow up everyone"? During WWII Japan partially occupied China, and the U.S.A. dropped nuclear bombs on Japan. How times change.

              What purpose does fear-mongering against China serve? IMHO NZ faces more immediate concerns, such as the prospect of a National-led government opening our borders and flooding tertiary institutions with students from China and India. Now there's an investment!

    • Gabby 2.3

      Why do you call it America's pineapple lump moment?

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    John Avlon is a senior political analyst at CNN. He explores the climate of fear being created by woke social media lynch-mobs hunting freethinker leftists: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/17/opinions/harpers-letter-free-speech-bari-weiss-andrew-sullivan-avlon/index.html

    Less than two weeks after the Harper's letter published online, New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss released a searing resignation letter, in which she detailed what she called an increasingly "illiberal environment" at the paper. That same day, New York Magazine announced it was parting ways with columnist Andrew Sullivan. Their departures were greeted with a chorus of good riddance, reinforcing a creeping intolerance to heterodox views in the allegedly liberal media.

    These are not writers who have spilled ink defending President Donald Trump: both Weiss and Sullivan have repeatedly condemned the President as a threat to liberal democracy. But crucially they have also criticized the far-left identity politics they see rising in the wings.

    Weiss wrote extensively about anti-Semitism and Sullivan supported gay rights as an early advocate for marriage equality. But they have not let their identities predetermine all of their politics and they have been demonized because of these disagreements — not just by the usual hate parade of trolls, bots and strangers on Twitter, but from fellow journalists. According to Weiss' resignation letter, some newsroom colleagues apparently took to office message boards like Slack as well as public social media platforms with smears and bullying calls for her dismissal.

    And it's yet another case of leftists sociopaths copying rightist sociopaths:

    When I was covering the unhinged right-wing reaction to the early years of the Obama administration for my book Wingnuts, I saw the center-right being mercilessly purged from the GOP in what was gleefully known as RINO-hunting (shorthand for those considered Republicans in Name Only). As I wrote at the time, "Hunting for heretics pretends to be a principled fight for ideological purity, but behind that mask is an uglier impulse, an attempt to intimidate and insist on conformity."

    Yes, the christian model of rigidly-imposed orthodoxy persisted for so many centuries that liberal diversity still struggles to prevail against an internalised assumption that ideological purity is the standard to be enforced. Binary thinking remains the default of most mainstreamers. If you ain't good – in accord with their prescription – you're bad.

    • francesca 3.1

      We're having our own version of the Cultural Revolution

      Just as we're undergoing in the news media our version of Soviet Pravda, where manufactured external enemies are hyped to instill unity

      • SPC 3.1.1

        To those in NW China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and nations with recognised territorial rights in the South China Sea there is nothing manufactured about it.

        To those operating in the global market, being required to hand over tech to operate in the Chinese market (or allow buy up of your export industries), having your tech stolen then exported around the world from China, competing against Chinese companies who get essential resources/minerals via long term contract supply lines with cost below the world price there is nothing manufactured about it.

        To those watching how China acquires foreign bases via debt Sri Lanka Pakistan and Djibouti while aiding Iran militarily there is nothing manfuactured about it.

        Given breaking Oz and US into economically dependent satellites is part of their three circles ambition for the Pacific, which they have barely tried to hide, there is nothing manufactured about it.

        For mine it is going to be hilarious, when the West embraces Russia as part of containment of China, how many people are going to turn on a dime.

        • francesca

          I think the vilification of Russia has gone so far ,the West embracing Russia really would be turning on a dime.The West has done everything possible to strengthen links between Russia and China

          • SPC

            Sure, but that cuts both ways, don't ya think?

          • Tricledrown

            Russia has earned that on it's own.

            Trump is the enabler .

            Russia is making more money out of arms sales than ever.

            Like wise the US ithey are operating like a cartel creating instability to profit from the insecurity pushing up arms sales

          • Infused

            the new reports out show it was all bullshit. You can find it on rt.com

    • Muttonbird 3.2

      I had to read about Bari Weiss and found this critique of the newly and professionally cancelled right:

      The professionally cancelled pundit is a genre of primarily center-right contrarian who makes their living by deliberately provoking outrage online, and then claiming that the outrage directed at them is evidence of an intolerant left run amok…They’re beloved by white boomers, Romney Republicans and those who use the word “woke” derisively. Their work is meant to appeal to people uncomfortable with social forces that challenge the established hierarchy of power.


      From my perspective, left and liberal activism hasn't changed a bit. What is new is the centre-right's hurt response to it.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Probably some truth in that. The Guardian writer imposes leftist framing as required by the media owner, so we can't call it balanced & fair. Evasion of Chomsky, for instance. So I did my own reality check: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bari_Weiss

        Weiss wrote that consensus at the Times had become "that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else."

        Well, yeah. Media owners have been doing that since forever, eh? So she found the cultural environment too toxic to remain in. The supposed broadness of coverage signalled by the editorial staff was a chimera:

        In 2017, as part of an effort by The New York Times to broaden the ideological range of its opinion staff after the inauguration of President Trump, the paper hired Weiss as an op-ed staff editor and writer about culture and politics.

        Folks in contested media careers survive if they are robust & resilient. Social darwinism rules that ecosystem. Sensitive folk exposed as snowflakes ought to shift to safer places…

      • Gabby 3.2.2

        What's the world coming to when people call you an idiot just for saying idiotic things. So woke eh.

      • weka 3.2.3

        "From my perspective, left and liberal activism hasn't changed a bit."

        Social media changed everything. The ability to pile on or get people fired without due process are new.

        It's not just the centre-right being harmed.

        • McFlock

          New for the left, maybe. Tories have been blacklisting individual workers for decades if not centuries.

          • weka

            Elite power holders and the old boys network still exist. In addition we now have a completely new dynamic. It's not just aimed at centre right people of privilege, and it's gobsmacking that people think it won't be used against them.

            But yeah, maybe not quite as new as I was implying, for sure feminists have been doxxed and targeted by MRAs etc for quite some time. Still, the ante has been well and truly upped and if the left doesn't start talking seriously about its own authoritarian tendencies things will go badly when the shit hits the fan.

            One of the alarming aspects is the degree to which liberals and some on the left now believe that getting someone fired is a generally legit tactic. Even if the principles are being abandoned there, what do people think happens to people who get fired? They suddenly become liberals or compliant to whatever the prevailing ideology is? They don't end up with compounding resentment from poverty and stress?

            • McFlock

              Firstly, it doesn't overrule due process. Employers still have employment law to consider.

              Secondly, it's not that I don't think it won't be used against me or others on the left. But at least it is something that people other than the elites can use, aven against the elites if their behaviour is bad enough.

              Thirdly, despite what the elites like to say, it doesn't result in dismissal for trivialities. Otherwise they wouldn't have to misrepresent what people got fired for.

              Fourthly, columnists and others in the public eye are paid to generate income from their content. If their content results in a boycott, that's on them for not providing the goods their clients and bosses wanted. People who play edgelord risk cutting themselves.

              And if someone does lose their job over it, sure there's a low probability they'll learn from it. But even if they don't learn, they can then go looking for employers who find that sort of stuff to be desirable. If hosking can keep a job, there's an employer for any flavour of jerk. And if not, they probably didn't lose their job by advocating for a decent unemployment safety net, so irony, I guess.

    • Gabby 3.3

      If you ain't woke, you're liberal eh. Or is it the reversewiseways in praxis?

    • Morrissey 3.4

      Bari Weiss made her name hounding academics who dared to speak out against Israel's depradations in the Occupied Territories and Gaza. She is the quintessence of "cancel culture." I cannot believe, Dennis, that you or anyone else with an I.Q. above room temperature would cite her.

      Here's a serious analysis of her by a couple of real journalists….


  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Reaction against China seems a rising trend. Depicting it as mere Trumpism probably won't work much longer. https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/300060332/multiple-battlefronts-as-china-takes-on-the-world

    The same backdoor security threat posed by Chinese multinationals and their state-linked companies is driving the fear of Huawei and its role in the most important global technology in a generation – the 5G network that will connect most of our lives to the internet.

    Simon Lacey, the former vice-president of trade facilitation and market access for Huawei Technologies in China, is now a senior lecturer in international trade at the University of Adelaide. Last week he acknowledged Huawei's inherent contradiction.

    "In China, it had to demonstrate unwavering loyalty to the goals of the Communist Party leadership. Outside China, it had to argue that it had little or nothing to do with the Chinese state," he said in a piece first published in The Conversation.

    Looks like the shift from economic mutuality (as basis for neoliberal globalism) to geopolitical containment is now substantial. As long as it doesn't ascend into bipolar geopolitics (like the Cold War did), the trend is sensible.

    • Gabby 4.1

      Sounds a bit like a future former comrade colonel MP in praxis, eh.

    • Wayne 4.2


      That is certainly true. The US has a bipartisan approach on this and has done so for some years.

      China's actions in Hong Kong and its treatment of Uighurs is not helping China's position, particularly the latter. Camps for 1 million Uighurs are impossible for China to defend. It is an extreme policy that will have people thinking the absolute worst. The fact that China has done this seems extraordinary to me. Previous Chinese leaders would not have done this.

      If China wants to reduce the tension they are going to have to change their policies on some of these things.

      • Dennis Frank 4.2.1

        It's a statesmanship test for Xi. We don't know if there's any truth in their framing the detention camps as benign. One wonders how long till the UN attempts credibility by declaring intent to send in observers to talk to those interned without Chinese supervision. Even if Xi allowed it, there would have to be specialist teams included to detect/prevent electronic eavesdropping by the guards/regime.

        Even if a workable arrangement could be made, there remains the downside of UN tolerance. No point in adopting universal civil rights covenants if you then allow China to get away with a flimsy pretence at adherence!

        In 1966 the UN passed two International Human Rights Covenants that are among the great achievements of humankind. The covenants were adopted in five equally binding languages, one of which was Chinese.

        The People's Republic of China (PRC) is generally assumed to have ratified one and signed (but not ratified) the other. In 1973, however, soon after the PRC began representing China in the UN, new Chinese-language versions of each mysteriously came into existence.

        These are the versions one is likely to find on the UN website, and they are what the Chinese government treats as the “covenants.” The authors of this article show that these contain substantial revisions from the covenants that had been passed by the UN 1966 and subsequently ratified by at least 164 countries.

        The revised versions are so different, in fact, that one could well question whether the PRC actually embraced either covenant. The covenants granted rights that the revisions would later withdraw, and in at least one case the revisions recognize a right that is absent in the covenants. Based on their comparative analysis of the various versions, the question arises as to whether China is a responsible actor in the international legal order and a reliable partner when it comes to entering into agreements with other countries or acceding to international treaties. Given that China comprises over one-fifth of humanity, it also brings into question whether the principles in the covenants can claim absolute validity and anything like universal acceptance.


        I appreciate that National in govt here has endeavoured to create a coalition of nations in support of UN reform – that seems worth bipartisan support here. I'm unaware of whether Winston has expressed such support. Will be interesting to see if SB provides follow-through.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        China doesn't want to reduce the tension – they're taking anything and everything that they can get their hands on and the rest of the world is letting them.

        • bwaghorn

          I've been waiting for collins to announce that its china that's going to build all this infrastructure they are planning..

          • Dennis Frank

            Normally these extravaganzas are announced with bells, whistles & hoopla. She seems not to grasp the essentials of political pr, eh? Coulda used a few dancing girls here & there – tv audiences love that.

            Didn't even call it a superhighway, for god's sake. That was so obviously essential! Media love buzzwords.

            Three tunnels was good – through huge ranges and under the harbour. Heroic stuff! As macho as you can get. But where was the number of bridges?? Everyone knows promising lots of bridges is essential for National winning. So I dunno. Bit of a mixed bag really.

          • gsays


            I have been awaiting another PPP, that Transmission Gully is going great….

  5. ScottGN 5

    One for the ‘Bill Rowling was an honourable man file’ Included in the cache of letters between Kerr and the sovereign at the time of the Dismissal is a lovely little snippet about the way Rowling managed to keep his distance from Kerr while he was on an official visit to Auckland.

    • Treetop 5.1

      Do you know the date of the Auckland 1975 dinner with Kerr and Rowling?

      There was a general election on 29 November 1975 in NZ and Rowling would not have wanted to become involved in an Australian scandal.

      Maybe Rowling was tipped off.

    • Anne 5.2

      I recall the 1975 hit job on Gough Whitlam and the consensus of opinion among Labour members and activists was one of shock and disgust. We may not have known the truth behind the sacking but everyone knew the CIA was deeply embedded – as indeed we now know they were in NZ too.

      It subsequently transpired the Yanks were building a huge electronic spy station somewhere in the depths of the wastelands and when Whitlam learned of its existence he said he was going to close it down. He had to go. Kerr was assigned the job of sacking him. How much the Rowling government knew is hard to say, but I imagine their response was the same as the rest of us – shock and disgust.

      Well, the chickens are coming home to roost now and I have not one ounce of sympathy for them. They have been asking for it for the past 60 years.

      • Treetop 5.2.1

        So back then when it came to political hit jobs the spooks were part of it???

        • Anne

          As far as Australia was concerned – yes.

          And the Aussie spooks were alive and well in NZ too.

          In 1992/3 a former ASIS spy, Wendi Holland outed herself and described her many 'adventures' in NZ in the late 1960s and early 1970s in an article published in the Australian Women's Weekly. She described a hit job she did on parliamentarians who were visiting an 'entertainment venue' somewhere in Wellington. She didn't name them but her job was to climb a tree and photograph them entering and leaving the building. All grist for the mill I expect if it ever became necessary to discredit them.

          My father knew her (no, not through the brothel) but he died in the 1980s so never knew she was a spy. There's another story there……

          • Treetop

            Back then (mid 70s) a politician's private life could ruin their political career were the opposition to use an incident against them even when no charge was laid.

      • greywarshark 5.2.2

        Those chickens are foul! Sorry couldn't resist the cliche.

        In part that headline at 5.1.1 is true, but we are aware of rather than “jealous of Australia’s growing wealth and power", and would appear irrational to Oz for not meekly following their wise decisions. As for having an inferiority complex, well we suffer from hubris a bit and would be better to be realists using the Baldrick phenomenon – 'having a cunning plan' – and be aware of our strengths and weaknesses.

        • Treetop

          Kerr could have passed info onto the CIA and this is why Kerr ended up retiring in Britain. Some sort of deal between Britain and the USA intelligence services.

          • ScottGN

            I think the main reason he moved to the UK was because he’d become so reviled in Australia. His actions and role in the Dismissal ruined him really.

  6. Reality 6

    Today's Stuff column on National's nest of vipers is worth a read. What a tangled web of distrust, back stabbing and deceit.

    • Peter 6.1

      There's so much there all right. I almost cried when I saw that Woodhouse suffered 'collateral damage.'

      Does that mean his party will ignore homeless people?

      • I Feel Love 6.1.1

        Saw Woodhouse in Dunedin on Fri, I figure he was here to check his emails.

        • Tricledrown

          The former impartial ref has been side lined because of dirty play red carded demoted to the reserve bench.After giving his team a hospital pass.

      • Adrian 6.2.1

        So she did manufacture the whole thing right back to the Bridges dumping ref the Ratfuckers in the story. She is still neck deep in Dirty Politics so who are the Ratfuckers and their pre-history would be revealing.

      • Bearded Git 6.2.2

        They have also done some work on Collins’ appearance-they are trying hard to soften her. The problem is what comes out of her mouth.

      • Treetop 6.2.3

        Some sort of maze. It should not be that hard to have a civilised caucus vote. When it came to Collin's 3rd attempt her selection was, vacancy needs to be filled immediately.

    • swordfish 6.3

      Some Highlights:

      Beware the Curse of Q+A

      As it was for Andrew Little, the beginning of Todd Muller’s end came about because of a Sunday morning talk show. Muller had decided to decline an invitation to appear on TVNZ’s Q+A. Days of damaging headlines and an onslaught of questions about the leak of confidential patient data by Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker had left the 51-year-old bruised and exhausted.

      There was no upside to another interrogation But his deputy, Nikki Kaye, saw it differently. Ignoring advice – and a last-minute intervention by party campaign chair Gerry Brownlee – Kaye decided to front up to the show Her appearance was – as one insider coarsely put it – “a s… show … Kaye’s interview broke the dam.

      The Power behind the Throne

      But while the party was thrown into turmoil, Muller’s resignation did draw a line under a chaotic 53 days within the Opposition Leader’s Office.

      Under Muller, MPs and candidates had become confused about a lack of direction on policy, and a persistent indecisiveness from what commentators have dubbed the “triangle” of leadership: Muller, Kaye and former justice minister Adams.

      Both women – former ministers in the John Key Government – were the leading torchbearers for Muller as the caucus began to lose confidence in Simon Bridges. According to sources, they championed his abilities to fellow MPs and eased his private doubts.

      If it was a triangle, it was inverted, with Muller constantly deferring to Kaye and Adams.

      Bridges loyalists say none of the criticism about Muller’s leadership style came as a surprise to them: one described Muller as “lazy” and said he was known as someone who “delegated everything”.

      High-energy and driven, Kaye has a reputation as being a demanding employer. Staff and MPs were working long into the evening, and late-night phone calls were common.

      Decisions – even on minor arrangements like travel – were often re-litigated.

      The leadership decided to turn away from the party’s much-hyped policy discussion documents, a body of work diligently prepared by MPs over the previous two years. “No-one could understand it,” one MP said. “It debilitated the whole team.”

      Policy never seemed to be finished, and insiders have claimed the caucus was frustrated by Adams changing details right up until the last minute.

      That was offered as an explanation for Muller’s shaky and unconfident delivery of National’s five-point economic plan in Christchurch earlier this month.

      All about Eve

      And there was some resentment about the influence held by first-term Wellington-based MP Nicola Willis, who wrote (Muller's) leadership acceptance speech. She was soon nicknamed “The Devil wears Prada.”

      Year of the Ratfuckers

      But frustrations mounted and some demoralised staff seriously considered quitting.

      Some MPs were also aggrieved – and the hierarchy became irritated by frequent leaks, especially when some information appeared to be incorrect.

      There was a certain degree of schadenfreude. Bridges' leadership had been dogged by poisonous leaks to journalists in the Press Gallery, especially in the final nine months as Muller’s campaign to be leader gathered pace.

      Bridges’ team suspected a band of three young staffers. The “smart arse” trio – as one source described them – became known as “The Ratf…..s,” a slang term used by Richard Nixon supporters to describe the dirty tricks they used against their opponents.

      They were believed to be behind a series of damaging leaks published on a blog site run by former TVNZ reporter Richard Harman.

      The Muller camp copped most of the blame, though the same group were also known to be close to Collins.

      The Ratf….s were also fingered for an embarrassing incident in May 2019, when an “emotional junior staffer” was blamed for deleting a controversial petition against a UN migration compact.

      It’s claimed the instruction to delete the post came from Muller’s people.

      As Bridges’ supporters had suspected Muller, “the Triangle” presumed Bridges was behind the disloyalty following their coup. Neither side had any evidence.


      Muller and Kaye decided to try to plug the leaks, with a stern warning to caucus. But it backfired.

      For some reason, Muller was unable to deliver the message at the meeting and it was left to Kaye. MPs, particularly the seasoned ones, did not appreciate the lecture from Kaye.

      … Few were impressed with her performance thus far. This began almost on day one when she incorrectly described finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith as “obviously Ngāti Porou.”

      “We were bleeding from our base,” one MP said. “They didn’t like the second-guessing and the indecisiveness. Right from her first balls-up, with Paul Goldsmith, they didn’t like that we were excusing the lack of ethnicity on the front bench.

      “Our supporters could see that he didn’t trust his gut, and it went from bad to worse.”

      Respect began to slide, and was further dented by the Walker/Boag affair. Initial anger at Walker’s actions was replaced by an unease at Muller’s performance. Sources have confirmed it was Southern Regional chair Rachel Bird – not Muller or Kaye – who had to talk Walker into stepping down.

      Anger Still Burns

      Muller is now taking some time off to recover. While there is sympathy for his ordeal, anger still lingers within some of the caucus.

      “They got rid of Simon for nothing but personal ambition. They took us to the worst polling we’ve ever had. And now our campaign funds are being eaten up replacing billboards.”

      Judith is Anointed

      Six months ago, Judith Collins was an unpalatable choice. Her support was so thin that she ruled out running against Muller in May.

      This time – her third attempt to secure the leadership – she held no doubts, although her husband David Wong-Tung was worried about the risk.

      Senior figures began calling to urge her to run … “I had a few phone calls from some very senior colleagues…people ringing who I never have thought … Before Tuesday’s vote, Key rang to offer support and English has also been in touch. That’s despite the Papakura MP dishing the dirt in her recently released memoir on how she was treated by both men in the previous National administration.

      • greywarshark 6.3.1

        Well that is a revelation Swordfish. I can't read all the 'stuff' in situ as I find I can't handle all the info that I need to know to get an overview and not be stuck in the mud. So that is very clear and informative from a trusted source!

      • Treetop 6.3.2

        National caucus is clinging to a life boat named Collins, which will leak.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.4

      This is actually a well-rounded, in-depth article. Stuff is doing some good work these days, well done!

  7. Reality 7

    Peter, they have history in ignoring homeless people until this phantom one in the hotel!

  8. joe90 8

    Someone's said it out loud.

    Saying it was better to be overly cautious at uncertain times like this, the nation’s introverts have called for social distancing rules to be maintained for at least another 2-3 years.

    “No-one likes being confined to their home by themselves with only a good book, a fridge full of food, a warm bed and a new Netflix series to get stuck into. But these are the sacrifices we have to make in order to kill this virus,” introvert Chloe Bradley said.


  9. swordfish 9

    Jacinda & Judith: Correct me if I'm wrong … but I'm pretty sure this is the first time in any Western Liberal Democracy that Identical Twin Sisters have led opposing Major Political Parties ?

  10. ianmac 10

    Q&A with Jack. Crikey Jack. You asked the right questions of Collins and she failed to control the interview. She could not answer questions about the costing of their Transport Project. Judith's smile became a grimace and her answers faltered and she lost her fluency.

    Watch Jack and Judy on Q&A.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/q-and-a/live from about 7 minutes

    • AB 10.1

      Like all right-wing populists, Judith manages to be simultaneously ridiculous and sinister.

    • Gabby 10.2

      Once Hamish HashisPrice and Bent Thomas finish 'analysing' it, she will have crushed it.

      • I Feel Love 10.2.1

        Ain't that the truth Gabby, I know we all partisan to some extent but those 2 are just delusional, who they think they kidding?

    • Just Is 10.3

      I thought the Winston interview was quite interesting, when asked about the Tally's donations and the fact that "cameras on fishing boats still hasn't occurred" nearly 3 years on, Winstons response was that the cameras weren't the problem, it was the collection, storage and analysis of the infomation/pictures that was holding up the process, how convenient.

      Winston was his usual combative self.

      • Gabby 10.3.1

        Mind you, it's bloody hard to collect, store and analyse pictures you haven't got cameras to take in the 1st place.

        • Just Is

          A question Jake Tane should have asked.

          NZFs slow responce to this issue has been noted, I imagine the 10s of thousands of dollars that Talleys donates to the party has no bearing on the lethargy to enforce the installation of cameras.

      • dv 10.3.2

        OK, why can't the camera upload the pics to the cloud via satellite?

    • ScottGN 10.4

      So the main takeaways from that interview are that nothing’s going to happen for a decade at least. She said cyclists and pedestrians would have to wait 13 years to get a designated harbour crossing, namely a surplus lane on the old harbour bridge. In the meantime they can pop their cycles on a ferry. The other thing is that she doesn’t have a clue how much anything is going to cost or where the money will come from. So much for using infrastructure spending to rescue the economy from Covid.

    • I Feel Love 10.5

      I guess Collins can be forgiven for not knowing how much building a road costs, she struggled with the price of a block of cheese.

  11. JeffB 11

    Jack had her on the ropes and she looked ridiculous….. quite different to the patsy interview with Tova yesterday.

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      Jack's questioning caused Collins to look and sound unsure and unconvincing, however, when Winston came on, Jack floundered. Winston is infuriatingly capable.

    • Treetop 11.2

      Tova was gushing more than Collin's yesterday on the Nation.

      As a side issue the two British campaigners on the Nation are about to relaunch Peter's.

  12. Peter 12

    Newspapers are carrying the usual election hoardings being taken down stories. National ones. (I wonder if Paul Goldsmith has been talked to about it.)

    Funny to see the word 'dickheads' in the headlines and Chris Bishop being quoted.

  13. Hopeful 13

    Trainwreck interview for Collins on Q&A this morning. Panic at being pressed by Tame for on-point response palpable.

  14. greywarshark 14

    To all commenters trying to be active and wise and keep up one's head on the run up to the election.


    Those who feel the breath of sadness
    Sit down next to me
    Those who find they're touched by madness
    Sit down next to me
    Those who find themselves ridiculous
    Sit down next to me
    Love, in fear, in hate, in tears


    Oh sit down
    Sit down next to me
    Sit down, down, down, down, down
    In sympathy

  15. joe90 15


  16. Muttonbird 16

    Farrar watch:

    David appears to be having trouble with some of his followers trying to spread rumours about "some MPs personal lives and/or their families".

    I think I know the rumour his followers are spreading. Good on David for trying to do the right thing but it really does ram home the nastiest of the right wing crowd, his crowd. I wonder if David ever reflects on that fact…

  17. observer 17

    Good for grabbing headlines – and a promise already broken, in advance:

    "the National Party unveiled new policy stating that anyone entering New Zealand from October 3 would be charged a $3000 fee per adult for their managed isolation if National wins the election."

    Obviously this will be popular, but it is also a lie. National cannot do anything from October 3. We will still be waiting for a new government to be sworn in.

    Meanwhile, I understand the actual government is considering a similar move at Cabinet tomorrow. In either case, we can expect legal challenges.

    Summary: National are doing this today, simply so they can say next week "We announced it first, government followed."

    • SPC 17.1

      Sure this is the government's intent?

      National would like to build up pressure at the border by suggesting a future cost to get in, but why would the government want that?

      National wants maximum numbers and risk at the border (local spread fits in with their tourism, migrants/cheap labour and students) approach.

      The government response should be no cost stays unless one has gone overseas for a holiday since lockdown. To the charge respond saying those overseas know how to vote if they oppose it. And to resident population guarantee a controlled inflow of returnees based on maintaining Level 1.

    • RedBaronCV 17.2

      As the government is investigating the charging option – I wonder if the position paper has been leaked to her and if it recommends something like this amount? So the "policy" is based on what labour will actually decide and Judith will milk it in some way. With more airlines looking to fly here charging must be moving up the list. Still $3000 feels hefty = $200 per day ( in which case looks like they need to renegotiate the hotel charges.)

    • Just Is 17.3

      Observer, the policy released this morning for charges to returnees is exactly the same policy the Premiere of NSW Berisjeklian unvaled last Thursday, exactly the same.

      Collins the con

    • Incognito 17.4

      Excellent policy! Law-abiding ordinary citizens who come back home get slapped with a compulsory fine fee of $3,000. Do they get a discount if they test negative and a surcharge if positive? What happens if they don’t pay? Why not bail them to a suitable private address as they do with not-so-law-abiding citizens? Oh wait …

    • observer 17.5

      And this is why it was announced today:

      Megan Woods responds.

      Regardless of party, there will be legal questions down the track. But the election timetable is shorter than the courts' timetable. Politicians aren't too worried now about what the Supreme Court decides in 2021.

      • Graeme 17.5.1

        Did Collins just get played like a fiddle

        • observer

          I wouldn't say that exactly. She knew what was coming (it's been discussed for weeks) and went for a quick headline first.

          The difference between the parties is that a government can introduce legislation, whereas an opposition can only propose it if elected (hence the October date from National, even though that is impossible, as stated above). Ball is in Labour's court now … but they should be careful, populism isn't a great basis for workable law.

          • Muttonbird

            She knew what was coming (it's been discussed for weeks) and went for a quick headline first.

            That was Bridges' strategy during Covid. Worked out well for him…

          • Graeme

            Collins may have got a quick cheap headline but she's had any attack possibilities neutralised by grabbing that headline. Tad impulsive and gave the government an opportunity to show they had it under control. More expected her to be saying there should have been charges months ago.

            Agree regarding populism as a poor basis for lawmaking but there's charges for quarantine in import circumstances. Don't think entry is being denied, rather being made conditional.

  18. Robert Guyton 18

    "With the self-implosion of the untested Todd Muller, the departure of many other top MPs, and the non-possibility of picking Simon Bridges again, she was the best of a bunch of bad options."


    • Just Is 18.1

      "she was the best of a bunch of bad options."

      Bottom of the barrel stuff..

      I'll give them 30% under Collins, only because there's lots of loyal supporters out there who are not only deaf, but appear to be blind as well, and not all of them are, very Old

  19. Robert Guyton 19

    But only just…

    "There are many figures you can compare Collins to: Margaret Thatcher if you like her, David Cunliffe if you don’t. What she is much closer to is Don Brash: A leader extremely keen to differentiate his party from the Government, and not afraid to tap into third rail issues like race to do so.

    The electorate rejected Brash,"

    • I Feel Love 19.1

      Wasn't Brownlee Brashs deputy leader too?

      • observer 19.1.1

        Yes he was. Need to get out the record books to see if anyone has ever been a deputy leader, then returned to the same job five leaders later.

      • Sacha 19.1.2

        After Nuck Smith had a brief meltdown in the role of Deputy, yes.

  20. ianmac 20

    Noticed that Economic Recovery is not really part of the rhetoric recently. Roads, Leadership, Vision but in the coming months?

  21. PaddyOT 21

    I am a follower of The Standard but my login no longer works. However , I am spitting tacks atm and would like to express my ire over the piss poor, superficial 'menu' being delivered by media for these elections.

    One of the most important speeches of our time has been delivered yesterday on Nelson Mandela Day by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres . It's message is universal yet incredibly pertinent to NZ as we approach new elections and make choices for our long term future.

    The true NORMAL issues now are not being addressed in the archaic " oh we'll fix a road with billions," promises. It is laughable that in global survival even of New Zealanders, kiwis think a road will save them. It is not Covid19 that is the issue, it's role has only opened the curtains on our deliberate blinkered view. Nor is the problem, the bait being used to instil fear , of an " economic crisis" that are ours and the world's ills ! An "Economic Crisis" has been the norm for decades, not just a new phenomenon; a misnomer used as a catchphrase because the wealthy see lost profit and want the old ways back .. "while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts, while others are clinging to the drifting debris.” We all are responsible for this, because we vote for it !
    Millions and millions of people will continue to perish at our own hands in the near future; and not because of climate change either. Entrenched inequality and neocapitilism, the vices, greed and hatred and the impacts that these have bred, ARE the issues underlying all the world's ills. No! Ms Tapsell standing for National, " the East Coast needs footpaths " . Really ?
    There is a myriad of ways that emanate from this accepted inequality that detrimentally affects each of us right here, not just over there… somewhere. But hey, a few seconds given for a condescending pat on the head for standing in Maori seats and a nod to beneficaries that they are safe, solves everything does it not? Only 26 individuals of a population of 8 billion people own half the globes' wealth ! Read that as, ' we'll pander to you silly lot with promises for your vote , then exploit you to pay for it.'

    Why has NZ media ignored the analysis and the implications of Guttere's message to the world? Why are the most critical questions, crucial to all our daily lives and future, not being asked of our politiciations by journalists? Instead media , are increasingly treating its audience as an unintelligent species on which it foists more and more trite, inward looking so called news? Where lies the responsibility of NZ media in the quest for urgent change?

    “We belong to each other”, Gutteres said. “We stand together, or we fall apart”. The world, he concluded, is at breaking point, and it is time for leaders to decide which path to follow.


    Thanks The Standard members.

    • Grafton Gully 21.1

      Thought experiment – you personally have (take or are given) an equitable share of the "globes wealth". What would you do that you are not currently doing about "the vices greed and hatreds underlying the world's ills " ?

  22. Fireblade 22

    Face masks to be mandatory in Melbourne as Victoria records 363 new Covid-19 cases today.


    • Fireblade 22.1

      New Covid-19 cases reported in Victoria last week.

      Mon 13 July: 168
      Tue 14 July: 257
      Wed 15 July: 224
      Thu 16 July: 302
      Fri 17 July: 415
      Sat 18 July: 188
      Sun 19 July: 343

      Victoria currently has 2,837 active cases, 130 in hospital, 28 in ICU.


      • Just Is 22.1.1

        Total number of cases has gone from 7000 cases to 10500 over 4 wks, it will take months of strict lockdown to get the numbers back down.

        This is the Economic pain that NZ was able to offset through strict conditions and a loyal team of 5 million

  23. Muttonbird 23

    A vote for New Zealand First is a vote for National.

    • Treetop 23.1

      Do you really think that?

      Peters would know how bad the rot is in the National caucus and I do not think he is up for being in a snake pit.

      Peters is trying to take National's votes.

      • Muttonbird 23.1.1

        Maybe you're right. But one of the main planks of his campaign is going to be how much the government he's just been in didn't get done. Catnip to centrists I suppose, but everyone else just rolls their eyes.

        • The Al1en

          I think it will backfire on him. It sounds like a clarion call to the left to mobilise and boot his crotchety pale blue arse out of parliament for good, once and for all.

          As ever, if you want to have a progressive, left of centre government in NZ, you have to party vote labour or green.

          • I Feel Love

            That's my take too, he's like Grandpa Simpson now, yelling at clouds.

          • millsy

            The whole "right to believe in God" thing was the final thing that has turned me away from him.

            Time for Winston to retire.

    • Just Is 23.2

      After todays interview on Q & A, I was disappointed in Peters, he didn't point out all achievements of the "Coalition" Govt for which he is a part of.

      Instead, he grand standed all NZFs achievements, the PGF being the big one, handing out public money.

      I don't recall the PGF being a NZF policy, I maybe wrong.

      So much for Coalition Partners

      Collins says she won't work with NZF

      With NZF polling at 1.8%, perhaps the punters aren't convinced they've got the goods and NZF are over represented in Coalition decisions.

      Never write them off, but many supporters may be wary after signing up to a Centre/Left Coalition

  24. joe90 24

    Because GOP Senators junior staffers think black people all look the same.

    Like many of their colleagues, GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Dan Sullivan of Alaska posted tributes to Rep. John Lewis on Saturday and included photos of themselves with the civil rights icon who died Friday. Rubio even made the image his Twitter profile picture.

    There was just one problem. The photos they each posted were of Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died in October.

    "It was an honor to know & be blessed with the opportunity to serve in Congress with John Lewis a genuine & historic American hero," Rubio tweeted with the photo of himself and Cumming


  25. joe90 25


  26. Muttonbird 26

    20 people have died in Australia as a result of softening their Covid-19 policy.

    Australia had won but then threw it away because of some bizarre idea that the economy is more important than health.

    I fully believe deaths in NZ would be in the hundreds and climbing right now if we followed what Australia did. We have a colder climate, and very overcrowded and poor quality housing in a lot of low income areas.

    You can't mess with this virus and I think what our Labour-led government* has done is world-beating and should be promoted at every opportunity during the election campaign.

    *Apart from Peters who, while the rest of government was doing the mahi, spent lockdown on holiday.

    • Just Is 26.1

      "You can't mess with this virus and I think what our Labour-led government* has done is world-beating and should be promoted at every opportunity during the election campaign."

      Yes, we should all be very proud of our collective efforts under the Guidance of some incredible Leadership and direction allat all levels of Govt.

      Did we make some mistakes, yep, but we identified them and eliminated them as they arose, that's what real management looks like.

      • Graeme 26.1.1

        Did we make some mistakes, yep, but we identified them and eliminated them as they arose, that's what real management looks like.

        You couldn't have said that any better.

        • Robert Guyton

          Graeme – have you read this from Bryan Cadogan? Gives Walker and his ilk a not-so-subtle serve (I think).

          "OPINION: Comments and derogatory innuendo around New Zealanders returning home, coupled with incessant nitpicking around incidents occurring at our isolation units, is starting to get on my wick.

          Our daughter’s job of four years in China has just been vaporised and her visa expiry date is ticking like a time bomb. Like so many people her life has been unexpectedly upheaved and the danger of becoming stateless is a real prospect.

          However the difficulties of getting out of China now pale in comparison with the logistical nightmare of getting into New Zealand – thanks to the micro snivelling campaign that has now forced authorities to place restraints on numbers entering the country.

          Meanwhile her old man is on the other side of the world feeling an overwhelming urge to tell a few self-proclaimed experts on the matter to shut the beep up and let us have a chance to bring our kids home."


          • Graeme

            I've got a lot of respect for both the Cadogan bros. Both or either would be a significant asset to either major party.

            There was this in our local yesterday, looks like the lodge has had enough of party plonkas in Clutha Southland and want a 'mature' MP

            As the local electorate National Party prepares to select a replacement, Boult says ‘‘unless it’s somebody who happens to come from our district, it will take quite a long time to get their head round the issues we face’’.

            ‘‘While our [Southland] seat has always been regarded as a safe National seat, I’m also
            aware the Labour Party has put up a strong candidate [Queenstown-raised Jon Mitchell] this time as well, so it will be interesting.’’

            Veteran former local National MP, cabinet minister and two-time Queenstown mayor, Warren Cooper, 87, says ‘‘we don’t need someone that has to learn on the job, we need someone that’s an operator from here on in, once the selection is made’’.

            A lot of papering over the cracks in that piece too, Walker was challenged for re-selection by the electorate executive, evidently led by Queenstown branch over honesty issues.

            Can see Jon Mitchell doing very well at this end of the electorate, people know him and Boult's endorsement is widespread. Usually the Labour candidate has nothing in common with this end of the electorate. Will be interesting to see how he does down your end, but talking disaster management is pretty much talking farming, to a good farmer.

    • The Chairman 26.2

      Australia's second wave stems from hotel quarantine mismanagement.

    • Koff 26.3

      I agree with you about NZ's approach, but your points about 'Australia' do have to be qualified. Each state and territory has taken a different tack and there seems to be little that can be concluded about the difference between Labor led governments and Coalition (Tory) ones. WA, Tasmania, the NT, South Australia and Queensland have all done as well as NZ, even if they didn't actually set out to eliminate the virus. There was and still is some confusion about what the federal government's intentions were or are, but basically most states have just done what they thought was right anyway.

      The problem was Victoria's reliance on using low paid badly trained security workers at quarantine hotels. The virus leaked out (just as it could have done in Auckland before everything was tightened up) and now the state is in the mess it is in and the virus has spread to NSW where elimination had almost been achieved. This virus is very nasty and very contagious, so constant vigilance is going to be needed and that applies to NZ too.

      • Muttonbird 26.3.1

        The precise point I'm trying to make is that Australia didn't have a common goal and that 'each state and territory has taken a different tack.

        Australia didn’t take it seriously enough.

        That is another factor in pandemic response which I'm sure will be examined – the advantages one-state countries have when developing and executing policy under pressure.

  27. greywarshark 27

    I think highly of our Royal Family but not much of the preoccupation of very common-ers in the media and their readers who are magnetised to the glamour or the wealth and fancy surroundings. RadioNZ has something on somebody Sussex who is adding to the brouhaha of Harry and Meghan’s attempt to have a life of their own – Ata marie to them.


    It's been a tough time for the British royal family of late, with Prince Andrew laying low in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, Prince Harry stepping down as a senior member of the Royal Family, and a new study showing the royals are pretty much useless at raising money for charity…

    Author and foreign correspondent Christina Lamb joined her on a recent trip to South Sudan.

    While the journalist was not normally a royal correspondent, she said she joined Sophie on the trip as they were both interested in the issue of sexual violence in war….

    "I said to her, you know I can't talk to you about what you're talking about justice for sexual abuse and sexual violence when your brother in law Prince Andrew is being accused of being friends with a paedophile and has in fact been accused by one of the young women of having forcibly slept with her when she was underage."

    She was met with silence and told she was unable to answer the question – which Lamb expected, but felt the question still needed to be asked.

    After returning to the UK from South Sudan, Lamb went on to visit the grand estate of Bagshot Park, where Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward reside in Surrey.

    She observed that the running costs of the residence must be enormous – and also noted a contrast with the location they had previously visited.

    The wording starts off being disparaging about the
    Royals. And the story seems to echo the MeToo meme about the wrongs dealt to women; there is mention of a girl who has just been raped, it’s a rather cheap and nasty way to gain footage by going further than just calling for improvement, but exploiting the wrongs to both women and men under this grey-black amoral code under neolib and low regulation. It is right to keep on about the bad treatment of females, but moral outrages tend to spotlight one matter and bypass other equally important ones.

    The female journalist puts herself forward as being the arbiter of the Royals commenting critically on their housing and its cost, and like a speech from the Bench, faulting the amoral behaviour of Prince Andrew as if the Sussex Royal is responsible for all. It seems to me that the nouveau riche in a neolib society that measures everything by money and conformist status, have decided that they are as good as the Royals and are prepared to undermine and white-ant the system that privileges themselves, on their own personal whim and uninspired reflection.

    It's archived under life and society | aid and development but it's aimed at the middle and upper class choice of which part of society and aid is currently 'the thing'. At least Princess Diana went after mines hand grenades personal bombs etc. – not at all fashionable, and unfavourably diminishing the profits of many wealthy amoral men and women.

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