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Open mike 19/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 19th, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

60 comments on “Open mike 19/04/2010 ”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    So, what about that poll then? All over for Goff? Time for Jones to step up? Or what about Street?

    • Marty G 1.1

      yeah,funny how it’s so at odds with the Roy Morgan. Guess we’ll see what happens with the RM this Friday.

      Looking forward to your predictable spin on the wireless this morning, Matthew. Always good for a chuckle.

      genuine question – do they pay you and campbell anything or is it seen as a promotional opportunity for yourselves?

    • Nah Matthew

      The day the Labour Party starts taking advice from you is the day that we all give up.

      So how long do you give Smile and Wave? The activists amongst the right (all 5 of them) seem to be getting awfully frustrated with him.

    • lprent 1.3

      Hey Matt – talking head and spinster…

      I forgot to add the spinster into my comment talking about this yesterday. Even more predicable than a talking head.

    • I dreamed a dream 1.4

      Colmar Brunton has had National up to 57% and Labour down to 28%. The latest poll has National 54% and Labour 33%. So what? Now that National is not getting any higher than 53-54% for a while and Labour has been consolidating at 33-34% for a while means one thing — that National can only lose support and Labour gain support from here. Roy Morgan polls show a trend of National losing support and Labour gaining, and this Colmar Brunton confirms that. It’s not big swings yet, but steady erosion of National’s support is what is needed and happening now. It’s still a long way yet to Election 2011 and I think it’s all looking good for the left.

      And don’t overlook the fact that historically under MMP, Labour has governed with 39-40% of the vote. You only need about a small 6% increase for Labour — and that’s easily attainable.

      So, look at the trends — and that’s looking great for Labour.

      • Lew 1.4.1

        Ok. So assuming Labour gain this 6% you reckon they need entirely at National’s expense, how do they go about governing with a marginal Green party, and having alienated the māori party, against National on 47-48% — almost a clear majority on its own?

        The calculus you refer to held true before the last election, when Labour had reasonably strong possible allies. It doesn’t hold so true now that they’ve spent the term so far losing friends and alienating people. Having adopted a strategy of trying to marginalise the māori party, Labour needs to win big on its own in order to make something of the coming election. Either that, or it needs to set about mending those relationships. I don’t see either happening at present, and consequently I don’t see Labour being even remotely viable in 2011, based on their current track.

        I’d love to be wrong, but I’m incredulous that anyone would try to argue that being on the wrong end of a ~20 point margin with fewer minor-party support options is “looking great”.


        • Draco T Bastard

          Actually, I think part of the problem is the Greens. Their MoU with National would have put a few percent of people who would have voted for them off. My own political alignment is closer to the Greens than anyone else and yet I’m considering voting for Labour simply because of that MoU.

        • I dreamed a dream

          A bit of National’s current polling support is soft. That’s where Winston comes in. If he manages to get back in, and ACT is kept out, that dramatically makes it so much easier.

          Consider also that the 33% support is traditional leftish Labour support. A bit of the Labour centre support has drifted to National — that’s why their support has been inflated in recent times. Phil Goff and Annette King are a lot more acceptable to centre Labour supporters than Helen was, and so there’ll inevitably be some drifting back from National to Labour of the centre supporters.

          About mending fences, there’s nothing to worry about. Remember, this is politics — there’s no permanent enemies in politics. The Maori Party will go with whoever looks likely to govern. Relationships are always mended at Election time when necessary 🙂

          Finally, look at the UK Election now, poll numbers can change quite quickly come Election time.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.5

      The election can’t come quick enough? Don’t worry about Phil- these days voters can swing quickly given they have no real ideological allegiences.
      Matthew, you may be interested in explaining how Tory poster boy Cameron has dropped 10% support in the last two months now that the pressure has come on. Being the bland popularist nice guy works fine until some supercedes you ( as Clegg seems to have done). Time for him to come up with some economic policies (if he has any).

  2. Fisiani 2

    There are still 18 months to go to get Phil up from 8%. He won’t be dumped till Sept 2011. Don’t know who would put their hand up to be the sacrificial lamb. Probably some one with overriding ego and ambition such as Cunliffe or Robertson to add two more names to the mix..

    • lprent 2.1

      Always amuses me that the right are the only people bothering to speculate. It seems to be the only area that they have any dreams in that are not concerned with profit (and the rules of acquisition).

      Unusually, some are even speculating outside the short-term into the medium-term (although they’d probably refer to it as the long-term). But not Fisiani – who is still definitely a short-term only thinker…

      • felix 2.1.1

        Lynn, I reckon it’s because everything they expected the NACTS to do (tax cuts and an end to the nanny state, mostly) has turned out to be a pack of lies.

        They want to make predictions about the NACTS (their govt) but it brings a nasty bitter taste to their mouths and the sting of rejection to their cheeks.

  3. Bored 3

    Loved reading yesterdays 2015 article and responses, I did not get involved as my views are pretty well set. Which brought me to watching the news and the Polls. Hmm, here we are in the calm at the eye of the hurricane, all hell about to be let loose. And we aspire to this crew of scheisters. Why wide eyed do we walk so calmly to their guillotine? It says more about the people than it does for their elected ones.

  4. Craig Glen Eden 4

    It should be remembered that Kiwis are being fed smile and wave slops from our media, nothing has change from the election campaign.
    We have past National Party candidates on morning breakfast making extreme right wing comments which then make Mr Smile and wave look quite mild and middle of the road, top it off with a bit of blokey back slapping and it all feels good.

    However in my opinion once Nationals policies start to bite and Kiwis feel the impact things will change. At the moment Key has promised big a bit like a TV weight loss program, delivered nothing (No weight loss) and people are starting to wonder how long will it take till I see a positive change. Its only time before people start going hey this is not working, I have bought a TV promo lie,now how do I get rid of this piece of exercise equipment, Hmmm Trademe anyone?

    • Bored 4.1

      Thanks Craig, that just about sums up the effects of good marketing, maybe we have got the habit of consumerism down pat, the promise of personal gratification a la Jenny Craig. Now how do we market us old fat ugly bastards doing things en masse (communally)?

  5. Just a thought that needs fleshing out but…

    …if the proposed tax cuts to top earners is meant to stimulate investment into job creation schemes. Does anyone think Key and English (as top earning beneficiaries) will use their windfall to personally create sustainable employment for someone or do you think they will use the extra dosh to invest in stocks/shares or whatever to increase their personal wealth ?

    I’m pickin the latter, but as leaders promoting the ‘trickle down’ theory, shouldn’t they be leading by example rather than siphoning off public money to subsidise their higher cost of living. It’s not like they need the helping hand of what is essentially ‘social welfare’ is it ?

    About time they put their money where their mouth is as opposed to expecting others to do it for them or taking money from other peoples mouths…i reckon

    • felix 5.1

      but but but Key donates a large amount of his salary to charity.

      (Although no-one can say how much or what charity or provide any info to suggest that this is at all true).

      • pollywog 5.1.1

        Key donates a large amount of his salary to charity.

        yeah i’ve heard that, so is it possible to trace the original source for that particular urban myth ?

        As we all know though, charity begins at home. Just ask Blinglish who set up his home as a ‘charity’ and got us via the state to donate to it. Maybe thats what Key means ?

        But if not creating real jobs, does anyone think they will create a scholarship ? Once again I can see Blinglish setting one up for his high achieving daughter to subsidise her further education while writing off some tax at the same time.

        Fair enough too if you think it is everyones duty to avoid paying as much tax as they can. I think if you can afford to pay more you should. It enriches your soul and brightens your ora 🙂

        • felix

          “is it possible to trace the original source for that particular urban myth ?”

          It stems from an offhand and typically vague remark from Key during the election campaign. He said if he became PM he would probably donate “a good part” of his salary to charity.

          This meaningless platitude has chinese-whispered through the wingnuts to the numbnuts and most of them now think that Key donates most – if not all – of his salary.

          It gets claimed here every couple of months but no-one has ever provided a shred of evidence that he donates anything at all.

        • prism

          Kia ora pollywog

  6. Adrian 6

    An long time Nat said to me last week “You know, I thought Key was the one, but he’s turned out to be pretty disappointing, there’s no sort of substance there “. The tide will turn against him, if not among the true blues, it will certainly amonst the waivers, even back to Winston.

  7. “You know, I thought Key was the one, but he’s turned out to be pretty disappointing, there’s no sort of substance there “

    I’m reminded of the proverbial boy in mans undies.

    • Ianmac 7.1

      Or the boy who stumbles onto a (world) stage, smiles and smiles and tries to find somewhere to put his hands, and struggles to find something meaningful to say.

      • BLiP 7.1.1

        . . . lets not forget the boy who stumbled off the stage at a Chinese New Year function, at least then there was a young Chaplin look about John Key; these days its more David Brent.

  8. prism 8

    What about paying politicians on a percentage of the movement in jobs and national earnings. If we have a drop as of now, we naturally have to make cut backs, and seeing that they are often the root cause of them, then its only right that they should get less in their pay packets. But even if they don’t cause the drop, it is essential that more frugality reigns at times of downturn, they are prescribing it for others, we would like equality of frugality please.

    We should also have a victim support approach with politicians making reparations for doing a rotten job if they could have done differently. Otherwise we just get political recidivism ad infinitum.

  9. vto 9

    Well after hiding in the bush for a couple weeks the first newspaper arrives at the doorstep with a piece by Nick Smith on why they had to zap Ecan.

    What a poorly written piece of drivel. Full of broad sweeping generalisations, repitition and half-baked facts.

    The man can’t even write a decent piece of opinion / justification on his recent actions.

    Drove the entire east coast yesterday. Southland will be the next troublesome spot. Did you know that water takes on the Mataura / Pomahaka catchments have increased 40-fold since the first North Island cows arrived about 15 years ago? Yes that’s right – 40-fold.

    Maybe it’s time to light up that old cry – if you can’t beat ’em join ’em.

    • just saying 9.1

      Yeah – it’s like a freeezing cold Waikato now.
      Ridiculous, unsustainable – and cruel to cows.

  10. prism 10

    Listening to discussion about the outcomes of the decision to not send Maori to play rugby in South Africa last century. I thought I recognised the voice, very similar to Winston’s delivery – it was Wayne Peters, his brother. The Peters family must have some good ideas about raising youngsters to have two such confident and fluent speakers in public life. I wonder about the rest of their siblings – whether they are all achievers in their chosen areas.

  11. prism 11

    This water thing – it’s like an ugly gold rush. They had rancher v farmer battles over water in the United States in the past. We could see multiple aggro here with more than just two farmers arguing over access. The idea of copying the irrigation of bare, parched land for food as we see in the USA may become a necessity to provide nutritious crops. Our ability to do this would be pre-empted if we give allocate all the water asset to increasingly aggressive and demanding dairy farmers.
    A farmer was saying recently how hard it is to protect himself against theft and butchering of his farm animals. The thieves cut the cables laid to his surveillance equipment. If there is added the fact that a farmer has rights over water for his place while others go without, I think there will be anger and resentment and that could lead to more than animal theft.

    • vto 11.1

      People close to us (irrigating dairy farmers no less) had their irrigation infratstructure sabotaged in the recent past. There is no doubt conflict will occur.

      Do you think the farmers of NZ know what had happenned in the Great Artesian Basin in Australia following massive irrigation? Why would they want to repeat such envirnmental annihilation here? Answer: quick income and capital value rises.

      Short term thinkers our farmers.

      People are always getting fired up about white collar business speculation and damage. I would suggest that NZ farmers are the most speculative of all. And NZ farmers have done more damage to NZ than anyone else (forget mining. in comparison farmers are the destruction experts).

      This is a reality.

  12. A farmer was saying recently how hard it is to protect himself against theft and butchering of his farm animals.

    Shit…has it got to that stage already ? Where poor people who can’t afford food are stealing from farmers ?


    I guess so…not a good look eh (especially if the farmers catch them.) There’ll be blood in the fields as well as the streets especially if a ‘matesy’ judicial decision in the farmers favour could see tensions escalate.

    East coasters are known for burning shit down if it doesnt sit well with the ‘local’ view on things

    • Lew 12.1

      Was reflecting on this at the local park/pond recently: you can tell we’re not in a properly brutal recession because there are still hundreds of ducks, fat and friendly enough that they’re easily catchable if you bring a few crusts of bread with you. When the ducks start disappearing, then you’ll know things are getting really bad — like Soviet-era bad.


      • felix 12.1.1

        Well that’s ok then. As long as we keep comparing ourselves to the poorest, most brutal societies in the history of everything ever we’ll be fine. 🙂

        • Lew

          Heh, yeah. I reflected on that, too: the dissonance from those who insist on comparing our economic status to that of the wealthiest countries in the world and saying that we come up short, while arguing that things could be worse because our poorest are not as badly-off as the poorest of the third world.


        • Draco T Bastard


          I was born and grew up in Russia, and I traveled back to Russia repeatedly between the late 80s and mid-90s. This allowed me to gain a solid understanding of the dynamics of the collapse process as it unfolded there. By the mid-90s it was quite clear to me that the US was headed in the same general direction. But I couldn’t yet tell how long the process would take, so I sat back and watched.

  13. Living the Dream!! 13

    Matthew Hooten. Keep your long and sticky beak nose out of the management of other political parties.

  14. Ianmac 14

    VTO: “the first newspaper arrives at the doorstep with a piece by Nick Smith on why they had to zap Ecan.”
    I am still at a loss. Does the canning of Ecan mean that rights to water from Canterbury water, can be speeded and extended under the new controllers?
    I understood that the reason that water extraction for irrigation was stopped by Ecan was because they already reached the limit of sustainability.
    When there is a really serious drought in Canterbury, and there will be, what happens to dairy farms if there is no more water?

    • vto 14.1

      Ianmac, the canning doesn’t mean more water can be taken. But it is understood by most, given National’s post-election stated desire for more irrigation and water storage in Canterbury, that that will be the outcome.

      And yes the upper limits of water extraction have been reached in many areas. You only need to look at the rivers and their flows (or lack of) to see that.

      What will happen to dairy farms when there is no more water? I guess they will have to go back to what nature intended…

      Canterbury, environmentally, is doomed. Thanks farmers.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        Well, actually, it’s the farms that are doomed. I just hope that we don’t have to pay the farmers for their fuck up.

  15. prism 15

    Interesting item on vege stealing from Gisborne in link from pollywog. Makes me think of remembered business loss that Gisborne, and its workers, suffered. A tomato processing business initiative named Cedenco was doing good business and expanding yet ended up collapsed, all lost. This link to the Gisborne Herald will tell you more.

    It was sold to an Australian firm (or merrged). Ended up under a US firm. Story goes –
    “In 2006 it bought Circle Pacific, a Hawke’s Bay integrated vegetable producer, packer, processor and exporter operation. Later in 2006 it bought Hastings-based squash processing company Southmark Quality Foods. The two Hawke’s Bay businesses were later merged.
    In August 2008 Cedenco was in the news as senior executives of SK Foods became caught up in an American probe into corruption and bribery. In July 2009 SK Foods was sold out of bankruptcy and later that month announced it would close its retort factory in Gisborne.”
    Probably only some of those jobs were replaced by some new initiative, and vege stealing might follow from this. It perhaps ties in with this business lost to the area.

    Here in NZ we must invest in our own firms, stop them being swallowed up in bigger company’s machinations. There is short term capital gain when an entrepreneur sells out and then who knows what happens to the previously promising business. It is a continuing story – building up and selling out. The owner can’t be blamed, but we need to become more savvy and back our own good businesses to keep them going and find customers and keep the wealth we earn circulating (because we need to understand the economic term The Multiplier).
    In my old Baumol and Blinder it revises the theory and says that you only get twoand half further spends from each dollar spent not five as had been stated, but that still has significant effect in widening business opportunities and employment. We need to grow useful businesses and keep them and their returns in our hands. Unfortunately that idea has never percolated out into the comfortable middle class who have chosen to invest heavily with financial speculators who must have felt like well-fed mosquitoes in a nudist colony.

  16. Quoth the Raven 16

    To carry on the agricultural theme here. Rent Seeking Cotton Farmers of the World Unite!

    Take these U.S. cotton farmers. About 20,000 of them. The U.S. government provides these tillers of the American pastoral with a subsidy of about $3 billion a year.

    And all was good. But then, the WTO had to get nosyI know, the nerve!because as part of a big bad trade agreement, the U.S. promised not to harm farmers elsewhere in the world, like in Brazil. … So anyway these cotton farmers in Brazil sued the U.S. for breaking its trade agreement. And they won.

    What would be the sensible thing to do here? Keep your trade agreement and end the subsidy to U.S. farmers, right? No, instead, the U.S. agreed to subsidize the Brazilian farmers. Yes, you read that correctly. Rent seeking has gone global.

    Obama’s America just keeps on getting more bizarre. Who said central planners aren’t rational?

    • prism 16.1

      Everything in the usa can’t be corrected by Obama. He looks more like a Don Quixote than recent others, and it might be that he can do some good.

      • Quoth the Raven 16.1.1

        He’s by and large doing the same old shit that his predecessors did. He may do some good, in fact he has done some good, but that’s so overwhelmingly outweighed by the harmful and deplorable things he’s done. Sooner or later you’re going to have to admit to what Obama is.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Obama is the product of a capitalist society run by the capitalists for the capitalists. Obama won’t change anything because he’s not in charge.

          • Quoth the Raven

            He does power to change many things. It’s just ignorant to deny that. He may not be “in charge” because in any society power is quite diffuse, but he certainly has an immense amount of power over the lives of others. He consciously and knowingly makes decisions that affect a great many people and those decisions are more often than not harmful to those people. I believe that he thinks what he does is right, but I think on that he is quite wrong. Dangerously wrong.

  17. bobo 17

    Double epic fail quote from John Key in herald below but MSM laps it up as usual.

    “The poor old cleaner that’s out there, working from midnight to six in the morning, or eight in the morning, working their socks off to get paid the minimum wage is actually paying taxes to go to the students, that’s fine as long as the students actually taking the process seriously.”

    Taxpayers paid the “overwhelming majority” of the cost of sending a student to university and the students did not understand that, he told TVNZ’s Breakfast.

    He first criticizes students for disrespecting tax payers when his generation had it fully funded by the tax payers of the war generation , the students of the 60s,70s pissed around at uni much more than this generation by any means who part fund their education.. Then he uses a poor worker on the minimum wage that he wants to keep at that level and hurt them with gst increases and he has the audacity to use them as an example of students sponging off taxpayers? Nice one Key ! The whole National undermine and cut strategy is working a treat.

    examples in the last week..
    Goldcard , undermine that pensioners are ripping off system by lending out their card to tourists…(from a rumour ) restrict then cut, help Winnie get re-elected.
    Student Loans, softening up ready for cuts, fee increases , students are ripping off system by using loans for non-loan purposes, as I remember they tried to paint most students with that back in the 90s.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Jonkey will say anything to give the rich another tax cut.

      • bobo 17.1.1

        It reminds me of using that girl for Waitangi day a few years back then dumping her as soon as he got his soundbite on tv , he’ll use the poor when it suits his argument to attack another segment of the population, classic divide and rule.

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    Re Goldman Sachs: two links.

    The first covers a lot of ground mostly tactical stuff, and profiles the Sec Com guy that’s leading the charge. The author knows the way the Securities Commission guy operates through this:


    I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped Eddie Antar and other members of his family mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered during the 1980’s. I committed my crimes, simply because I could.

    If it weren’t for the efforts of the FBI, SEC, Postal Inspector’s Office, US Attorney’s Office, and class action plaintiff’s lawyers who investigated, prosecuted, and sued me, I would still be the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie today.

    I do not own Goldman Sachs securities short or long. However, it did scam Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Balter about Crazy Eddie’s financial reports during my criminal days as the CFO of the company.

    My research on Goldman Sachs is a freebie for securities regulators and the public in order to help me get into heaven, though I doubt that I will ever get there anyway. I personally believe that some people at Goldman Sachs may end up joining me in hell.

    The second isn’t specifically about Goldman Sachs.

    It’s an interesting question. If there is a “free market” of labor for CEOs, then you’d think there would be a lot of competition for the jobs. And a lot of people competing for the positions would drive down the pay. All UnitedHealth’s stockholders would have to do to avoid paying more than $1 billion to McGuire is to find somebody to do the same CEO job for half a billion. And all they’d have to do to save even more is find somebody to do the job for a mere $100 million. Or maybe even somebody who’d work the necessary sixty-hour weeks for only $1 million.

    So why is executive pay so high?

    I’ve examined this with both my psychotherapist hat on and my amateur economist hat on, and only one rational answer presents itself: CEOs in America make as much money as they do because there really is a shortage of people with their skill set. Such a serious shortage that some companies have to pay as much as $1 million a week or a day to have somebody successfully do the job.

    But what part of being a CEO could be so difficult– so impossible for mere mortals– that it would mean that there are only a few hundred individuals in the United States capable of performing it?

    In my humble opinion, it’s the sociopath part.

    CEOs of community-based businesses are typically responsive to their communities and decent people. But the CEOs of the world largest corporations daily make decisions that destroy the lives of many other human beings. Only about 1 to 3 percent of us are sociopaths– people who don’t have normal human feelings and can easily go to sleep at night after having done horrific things. And of that 1 to 3 percent of sociopaths, there’s probably only a fraction of a percent with a college education. And of that tiny fraction there’s any even tinier fraction that understands how business works, particularly within any specific industry

  19. graham 19

    just a note about canterbury
    less than 5% of the water in our rivers is used for irrigation
    the central plans plan was to build a storage dam .store high flows release when you have low flows pretty much what alot of towns use to supply drinking water .
    the new irrigation scheme in north canterbury involves the same concept
    as was the dam at ophiur in south canterbury

    • Ianmac 19.1

      Graham: Sounds simple. Save the high water for dry times. Are there any draw backs to this such as loss of land to create a dam?
      If only 5% of Canterbury water is used, then why has the water table dropped far enough to cause a polluted water take for Christchurch?
      (20 years ago the water bores bubbled to the surface. Now they have to be pumped from 10+ metres.)
      Will a new scheme affect the recreational use of the rivers, in particular salmon fishing/breeding?
      Under the new regime will they bypass the science and go ahead so that water can be supplied to dairy farmers?
      If the catchment scheme you write about is such a simple solution why has it not happened before now?
      Do you think that Canterbury people should be concerned that a democratic body has been usurped?
      I am not from Canterbury but I need answers.

  20. Fabregas4 20

    One of Keys worst but most revealing comments ever made today regarding the part central cock up.

    He said that there were a lot of differing views and this was making it hard to get anything done – he went on to sat “this is why we need the supercity”.

    Read: “these bloody ratepayers want a say how their rates and taxes are spent and what they want isn’t what I want – lets set something up that means I don’t need to ask them!”

  21. graham 21

    to inmac
    the most polluted lake in canterbury and it has nothing to do with farmers(lake foyseth)
    christchurchs water is not polluted in fact it is untrearted because is is so clean (it comes from deep wells)
    water dosent just bubble up to the surface in the plains considering it is one large shingle fan it dosent work like that
    the buggest influence on the water levels is how much snow we get at winter some years are worse than others
    i lost my power for 21 days a few years back because of the snow
    dams have been built more are planed
    the central plains has been stonwalled by ecan for years thats why they have to go
    farmers want store high flows and release low flows everybody wins
    i personaly built 2 lakes on my farm (total area 12 hectares or 120000 sqm)
    this ment that instead of irrigating 80 hectares by borderdike produceing $2000 hectare i now irrigate 260 hectares produceing $9000 hectare
    do you get it now i removed 12 hectares from my farm but total gross income has gone from 400k to 2400k plus i employ 3 extra people
    thanks is the word i am looking for

  22. graham 22

    a another good example is the river by my farm one day went from 1cu ( 1000ls) to 290cu(290000ls) in 24 hours that happens in canterbury if you get a eastley storm
    like wise norwesters can see the rakia increas by 1500cu(1500000ls)
    because of the braided river systems and fall of the plains we dont get much flooding

  23. graham 23

    if you were from canterbury you would understand the level of contempt that we have for ecan
    the only people who are bitching are the sort who complain because it is national
    the lefts version of whaleoils etc
    if national had done nothing that would have moaned about do nothing key

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