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Open mike 19/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 19th, 2015 - 72 comments
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72 comments on “Open mike 19/06/2015”

  1. infused 1

    1st?

  2. Penny Bright 3

    BIG PHARMA will hate this UK development!

    Time for New Zealand to do the same?

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/16/chief-medical-officer-calls-review-after-statins-tamiflu-storm

    Chief medical officer calls for review after statins and Tamiflu storm
    Sally Davies writes to Academy of Medical Sciences in wake of negative press and public concern regarding the drugs

    Chief medical officer Sally Davies has expressed concerns over statins and Tamiflu. Photograph: Ken McKay/Rex

    Sarah Boseley Health editor

    Tuesday 16 June 2015 18.00 BST Last modified on Wednesday 17 June 2015 11.27 BST

    The chief medical officer, Sally Davies, has requested an expert review to shore up public confidence about the safety and effectiveness of medicines, in the wake of controversy around statins and Tamiflu.

    Davies wrote to ask the Academy of Medical Sciences if it would undertake the work. “I am very concerned about the lack of resolution of the statins and side-effects issues in both the medical and general press,” she said.

    “Coming on top of the debate about Tamiflu and the response to the ONS [Office for National Statistics] study on medication levels, there seems to be a view that doctors over-medicate, so it is difficult to trust them, and that clinical scientists are all beset by conflicts of interest from industry funding – and are therefore untrustworthy too. It cannot be in the interests of patients and the public’s health for this debate to continue as it is.”

    She had “reluctantly come to the conclusion that we do need an authoritative independent report looking at how society should judge the safety and efficacy of drugs as an intervention,” she said in her letter to the academy’s president, Sir John Tooke.

    There has been concern in some parts of the medical profession and the public about the widespread prescription of statins, which lower cholesterol. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended that anybody with a 10% risk of developing heart disease in the next 10 years should take them – guidance that led to a fierce public war of words between doctors over the interpretation of the evidence. Critics of statins say the benefits do not outweigh the potential harm of side-effects.

    Other scientists have been investigating the trials used to license the antiviral drug Tamiflu. The Cochrane collaboration, together with the British Medical Journal (BMJ), campaigned for years to get access to the detailed trial results and last year published their findings, saying that the drug did not reduce hospital admissions or the complications of a flu bout.

    The academy has appointed Sir Michael Rutter, a former vice-president and professor of developmental psychopathology at King’s College London to head the working group that meetson Wednesday to scope out the review.

    News of Davies’ move comes ahead of a BBC Radio 4 programme looking at questions over the efficacy of alteplase, a clot-busting drug given to patients within hours of a stroke. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority has set up a working group to look at the evidence from trials of the drug. Concern was originally raised by Roger Shinton, a stroke specialist, in a letter to the Lancet medical journal.

    The BMJ, which published the papers critical of both statins and Tamiflu, is campaigning against over-treatment of patients by their doctors. Its Too Much Medicine campaign is intended to draw attention to the potential for harm as well as the waste of resources involved in over-medicalisation.

    This article was amended on 17 June 2015. The original referred to the Royal Academy of Science instead of the Academy of Medical Sciences. This has been corrected .
    ———————————————————————-

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      THanks for this important update, Penny.

      As most of us already realise, big medicine is not about science, it is about big money.

    • Bill 3.2

      Am I correct in remembering that Tamiflu was pushed onto governments after being fast tracked (perhaps) courtesy of Dick Cheney who had financial dealings with the company?

      edit – Rumsfeld

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/04/27/725102/-Tamiflu-Rumsfeld-and-Cheney

      The real point of interest is the company in California who developed Tamiflu, Gilead Sciences, listed on the NASDAQ as (GILD). US Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, was Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences from 1997 until early 2001 when he became Defense Secretary.

      A as-yet-unconfirmed report is that Rumsfeld recently purchased additional stock in his former company, Gilead Sciences, worth $18 million, making him one of its largest if not the largest stock owners today.

    • Bill 3.3

      The following link gives a bit of an insight to the smoke, mirrors of drug trials. Worth the read. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/10/tamiflu-saga-drug-trials-big-pharma

      What has pissed me off for years is that the same bullshit regime that allows companies to cherry pick their own data to show efficacy also applies to psychotropic medicines (‘happy pills’). Unfortunately, the main critics – or the initial ‘whistleblower’ – hooked up with the scientologists to get info out there.

      Maybe the effect of the dismissive knee jerk reaction that is applied to their arguments will be less now?

      • weka 3.3.1

        I think it’s safe to say by now that the whole drug trials process is so seriously flawed with cherry picking data that all medications should be understood in that light (not that all research is flawed, but that it’s so prevalent that it’s hard to know if any given trial is valid or not). There are two things holding drug companies to account to an extent. Peer review (itself seriously flawed), and science journalists. That’s pretty weak when it comes to something so serious, and often it takes years or even decades before changes can be made.

        Statins are going to be the health scandal of our time. We’ve known for a long time that the effects claimed come from massaged data interpretation, but it’s only very recently that that’s breaking out into the mainstream. That coupled with the inaccurate fat is bad messaging (also based on bad science) from public health authorities means that huge numbers of people have been given poor to damaging advice about what they should be doing.

        The biggest thing I see is the doctors are god meme that still exists so prevalently in society. Even here on ts, which let’s face is full of hyper critical commenters, there is still a strong theme of medical science is all good except for a few mistakes now and then, and so we often fail to look in depth at the fact that the problems are systemic and widespread.

        (Psych meds should have been the scandal of our time. There’s a lot of good stuff in the anti-psychiatry and psych survivor movements, including from practicing psychiatrists, about the problems with psych med research and use that doesn’t rely on the Scientology stuff)

  3. AmaKiwi 4

    Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

    There has been a major reversal of fortunes overnight. It’s very bad for TPPA opponents.

    Obama now has a good chance of getting TPPA because of a vote in the House of Representatives last night.

    It is complicated to explain but the upshot is the decision for the critical fast track approval will now go to a House and Senate conference committee.

    For details I suggest you read comments in the on-line Washington Post, NY Times, or other USA news sources.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Obama’s not out of the woods yet.

    • Murray Simmonds 4.2

      Yes, over on “Stuff” (Quote)
      “The US House of Representatives on Thursday reversed course, approving “fast-track” legislation central to President Barack Obama’s trade deal with Pacific nations, including New Zealand, and sending it back to the Senate.

      The close vote in the House, which a week earlier rejected a related bill, kept alive Obama’s goal of bolstering US ties with Asia through the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the economic element of a foreign policy shift aimed in part at countering the rising influence of China.

      The House voted 218 to 208 to give Obama the fast-track authority to speed trade deals, including the TPP, to conclusion with reduced interference from Congress.

      The TPP would encompass 40 percent of the global economy.”

      The beginning of the end to NZ Sovereignty, as we move to bow down to the whims and wishes of the US. Multinationals.

      All under ther guise of “Free Trade”. What utter bullshit!

    • Tracey 4.3

      this is because of their add-on process. BUT also last time the fast track got reversed a number of opponents turned supporters had their coffers boosted immediately prior to the vote by donors to their individual re-election campaigns. 1.15m is all it took

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-30/how-little-it-cost-bribe-senates-fast-tracking-obamas-tpp-bill

  4. AmaKiwi 5

    Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

    There has been a major reversal of fortunes overnight. It’s very bad for TPPA opponents.

    Obama now has a good chance of getting TPPA because of a vote in the House of Representatives last night.

    It is complicated to explain but the upshot is the decision for the critical fast track approval will now go to a House and Senate conference committee.

    For details I suggest you read comments in the on-line Washington Post, NY Times, or other USA news sources.

    • saveNZ 5.1

      Thanks – do you have a link?

      Here are some articles about TPP from Guardian

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of ‘free trade’
      Mark Weisbrot
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/19/trans-pacific-partnership-corporate-usurp-congress

      UN calls for suspension of TTIP talks over fears of human rights abuses
      http://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/may/04/ttip-united-nations-human-right-secret-courts-multinationals

      Medicines forecast to cost taxpayers millions more in secret TPP trade deal
      http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/23/medicines-forecast-to-cost-taxpayers-millions-more-in-secret-tpp-trade-deal

      Mass spying: how the US stamps its supremacy on the Pacific region
      Antony Loewenstein
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/mass-spying-pacific-prism

      But hey, we can believe Mike Hosking, and Granny Herald, Nothing to see here… all good…. trust John Key…..

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        As it stands NZ should be fully withdrawing from the TPPA talks. Signing should not be an option as it will be bad for NZ.

        National, who seems to work for the benefit of corporations and especially US corporations and not NZ, will sign it as fast as they can. Thing is, I’m reasonably sure that Labour would as well.

        • saveNZ 5.1.1.1

          Yes, in a Nat Lite way, Labour seemed to have agreed destroying the health system is bad in the TPPA, (but not willing to stand completely against TPP in public)

          Sign their poll (better than nothing I guess – If anyone knows any better ones..)

          Any public action from Greens or anyone else against TPPA?

          http://campaign.labour.org.nz

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      The Muddled Case for Trade Agreements

      On the economic front, the trade agreements’ defenders tend to talk with both sides of their mouth. Reducing trade barriers is said to promote economic efficiency and specialization; but it is also supposed to increase exports and create jobs by increasing access to trade partners’ markets. The first of these is the conventional comparative-advantage argument for trade liberalization; the second is a mercantilist argument.

      The goals advanced by these arguments are mutually contradictory. From the standpoint of comparative advantage, gains from trade arise from imports; exports are what a country has to give up in order to afford them. These gains accrue to all countries, as long as trade expands in a balanced fashion. Trade agreements do not create jobs; they simply reallocate them across industries.

      In the mercantilist worldview, by contrast, exports are good and imports are bad. Countries that expand their net exports gain; all others lose. Trade agreements can create jobs, but only to the extent that they destroy jobs in other countries.

      Thing is, with productivity so high FTAs aren’t even translocating jobs and development. They’re destroying jobs in 1st world countries and pushing them and the development to the 3rd world.

  5. saveNZ 6

    Data-share may have saved life, Tolley says…

    Yep, the lowest of the low, apparently the cold damp house was not the problem for the death of the child, if the government could have spied on the family more, they MAY have saved her…

    Not sure what happened to those letters that were sent to government asking for help. Maybe a ‘letter’ is now like ‘social bonds’ – you need to waste tax payers money on spying on the family rather than actually responding to a letter asking for help or doing their job.

  6. AmaKiwi 7

    Some links regarding my TPPA comment above in addition to the Washington Post and NY Times.

    I am waiting for the Guardian to pick up the story. (The vote only happened 2 hours ago.)

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/bipartisan-rescue-bid-obamas-trade-agenda-31850003

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/house-tries-revive-obama-trade-agenda/

    • saveNZ 7.1

      Thanks – bad news indeed. Shows that traditional ‘party’ lines now are being destroyed by individuals within the party to an ideological neoliberal end. Happening everywhere, including Labour, which is why democracy and lobbyists are winning, seeking to recruit individuals across party lines to get legalisation through that is undemocratic. i.e.

      Because many Republicans do not support the TAA program, it will likely only pass with Democratic support. In an rare role reversal, Republicans are working with Mr. Obama to pass the trade deal over the objections of Democrats.

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1

        “traditional party lines”? In the US you have a choice of the bankers’ party or the Other bankers’ party. Yes some elected officials and members of both parties still hold sincerely to the principles and roots of those parties, but in practice the hierarchies have long been bought out.

        Obama is the perfect front face of that phenomenon.

        • Kevin 7.1.1.1

          I am sure there will be an increase in political donations prior to the next vote.

        • Amanda Atkinson 7.1.1.2

          what??? ….. and you want to turn the on money printing presses here in NZ and do a Kiwi version of Quantitative Easing. Idiot. The best way to give the dirty rotten scum banking industry more profit, is your (and Russell Norman’s) stupid idea, money printing. Adding digits to banks balance sheets with a computer entrys (today’s version of money printing) is how these banks are making billions, and their share prices are flying up. That money is not worth the paper it is not printed on, but there is still a price to pay for doing it, and who bears that cost? We do. The banking industry raping the world is not a left/right issue you complete fool. It is a money printing issue.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1

            The best way to give the dirty rotten scum banking industry more profit, is your (and Russell Norman’s) stupid idea, money printing.

            Ah, no. The private banks already create around 98% of money in circulation in NZ and they’re making a massive profit from it. Taking that ability off of the private banks will drop their massive down a notch or three.

            That money is not worth the paper it is not printed on, but there is still a price to pay for doing it, and who bears that cost? We do.

            Well, that’s the thing about having it so that only the government can create money – only the government benefits from its production. And it costs the country far less.

          • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1.2.2

            Amanda Atkinson: you have correctly identified the priority of the US ‘Quantitative Easing’ experiment – to pump money into the financial sector and to bubble up financial asset prices.

            This is of course the classic ‘feeding Wall St’ and ‘starving Main St’ approach to (upwards wealth distribution).

            NZ could do it better and do it differently – spend the money created in order to benefit ordinary people, benefit SMEs, while putting the fat cat financial sector on a strict diet.

        • AmaKiwi 7.1.1.3

          The USA has the best political system money can buy.

          We are trying to emulate them.

  7. Puckish Rogue 8

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11467418

    Tell you what it’d be damn funny the reaction if this was ever seriously comtemplated

    • Charles 8.1

      Unfortuntely it’s a bit of vicious cycle. Oldies know damn well what they’ve done and what they’ve taught their kids to value, and it ain’t them. No way would they trust their kids to look out for them. You could have GenX or Y kill off their parents with poverty by following Morgan’s recipe, but millenials have no moral compass either. Effectively they’d be starting from scratch on their E.Q., spirituality, or whatever you want to call it, with no authoritative guidence or impetous to make any personal serious efforts. It’s a recipe for extended, avoidable, and unnecessary disaster in this post-modern age, where anything means whatever we like. Ethical voting relies on a collective moral awareness that NZ is going hard-out to wipe-out from living memory. The band of wealth would move once again to the centre, and age of extreme wealth would drop, with more older people living in poverty as Morgan’s The Party of Young took/stole/appropriated/re-applied/pre-invested their inheritance before the oldies died.

      It’s all the worst of the bastardised left-wing redistribution slogans the right like to propagate. You can’t improve the vote by restricting the vote, can’t teach morality by acting immorally, can’t teach someone kindness by attempting to beat them to death as an example of “not kindness” and then asking them to guess what kindness is and which they prefer. (In fact you can’t teach kindness, period, but trying rarely makes the outcome worse.)

      What would be easier, flawed, but less flawed? Extend the vote to younger people (15yo perhaps), political instruction in High Schools (difficult to avoid hi-jacking but try anyway) voting for prisoners, or anyone else currently excluded. If Morgan’s centralisation of the power to decide is the “solution”, then I say more views, not less, inclusion not exclusion, would be better.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1

        Not kids and not prisoners.

        • mac1 8.1.1.1

          “not prisoners”.

          I suppose in your cryptic way, Puckish Rogue, you are saying that prisoners should not be entitled to vote?

          Now why is that. Is that loss of civic privilege for doing a crime? Or for getting caught?

          Because if the proper punishment for having committed a crime includes loss of the vote, how many of us would be voting in 2017?

          “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and all that, my self-admitted roguish friend. 🙂

  8. David H 9

    The best comment by far on a Herald story ever. Talking about the drivel that replaced Campbell Live.

    “jo-anne
    “How do you get on Come Dine With Me NZ show?”

    Have half of your brain surgically removed, then phone Mediaworks.”

    Link? You all know where the Granny is.

  9. Great column from Dita de Boni on health and safety and Talley’s.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11467424

  10. Michael 11

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/16/bernie_sanders_new_hampshire_surge_vermont_senator_starts_to_close_the_gap.html

    Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has surged in the New Hampshire Democratic primary polls. Hillary Clinton now just has a 10 point lead on Sanders, despite having a 40-point lead before, and with Sanders taking no corporate funding.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7L9V7oGRv8 Good video.

  11. ianmac 12

    Pretty impressive is Bernie Sanders. With aspirations like his wouldn’t we be in a much better place. And his effort is without the millions poured into the campaigns of others. Mind you the system typically will lynch him before long.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      And Bernie has to beat the same pro-war, pro-Israel drum as the rest of them. The minimum concessions to stay politically alive.

      • T Chris 12.1.1

        The bloke is going to be about 80 at the end of his first term

        • b waghorn 12.1.1.1

          Don’t panic Chris he wants to make america a better place for all so he’s got no chance of winning

        • Clemgeopin 12.1.1.2

          All old people are not necessarily senile nor lacking in faculties.

          Just two examples for you;

          [1] Joan Rivers, Born: June 8, 1933. Gone.

          [2] David Murdock, Born: April 11, 1923. Still going.

          The Billionaire (ones penniless!) Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday!

          “I never have anything go wrong,” he said later. “Never have a backache. Never have a headache. Never have anything else.” This would make him a lucky man no matter his age. Because he is 87, it makes him an unusually robust specimen, which is what he must be if he is to defy the odds (and maybe even the gods) and live as long as he intends to. He wants to reach 125, and sees no reason he can’t, provided that he continues eating the way he has for the last quarter century: with a methodical, messianic correctness that he believes can, and will, ward off major disease and minor ailment alike.

          So that sore throat wasn’t just an irritant. It was a challenge to the whole gut-centered worldview on which his bid for extreme longevity rests. “I went back in my mind: what am I not eating enough of?” he told me. Definitely not fruits and vegetables: he crams as many as 20 of them, including pulverized banana peels and the ground-up rinds of oranges, into the smoothies he drinks two to three times a day, to keep his body brimming with fiber and vitamins. Probably not protein: he eats plenty of seafood, egg whites, beans and nuts to compensate for his avoidance of dairy, red meat and poultry, which are consigned to a list of forbidden foods that also includes alcohol, sugar and salt.

          “I couldn’t figure it out,” he said. So he made a frustrated peace with his malady, which was gone in 36 hours and, he stressed, not all that bad. ”

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/magazine/06murdock-t.html?_r=0
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_H._Murdock

  12. b waghorn 13

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/69423366/Mexico-bound-livestock-cared-for-in-shipment
    They really are very keen for us to believe its all above board .
    One thing that know one has mentioned is that all these animals will be slaughtered in the end as no farmer I’ve heard of has a retirement home for ewes past there useful breeding age.

    • T Chris 13.1

      Of course they will be slaughtered in the end.

      All sheep are

      • b waghorn 13.1.1

        Yes they are and as we stopped exporting because we can’t guarantee humane slaughter there is a gapping hole in the “they are being exported for breeding” line.

  13. adam 14

    As someone who is very much in favour of Medical Marijuana. This is very depressing to read.

    Actually, as has been said on here over and over. Money in politics is a very evil thing indeed.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/06/18/17469/political-profiteers-push-ohios-pot-vote

    • Charles 14.1

      Money is inherently destructive, period. Humanity has known it for thousands of years. Why no one has found a way to get rid of it is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the World.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1

        Humanity has known no such thing. The love of money, on the other hand…

  14. weka 15

    The Pencilsword cartoon about privilege has had 1.5 million reads* around the world. Cartoonist Toby Morris is being interviewed on RNZ Sunday Morning 9.40am

    http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/the-pencilsword-on-a-plate

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday

    *(gee, Fairfax).

  15. adam 17

    Then I think I really need to see if Clarke and Dawe can make the world more understandable. And wouldn’t you know it…

  16. adam 18

    Sorry more video’s. As kiwis we know the only terrorism we have had to deal with has come from the extreme right. Funny in the States it’s the same.

    Rightwing terrorist kill more americans, than Islamic terrorists. The real kicker – they both extremely right wing.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.1

      These kinds of people are highly influential in Ukraine at the moment but the western power elite have no issues with them because they are our kind of bastards. For the moment.

      • adam 18.1.1

        I’ve not added a lot of links here to that issue Colonial Rawshark. Mainly because they are gut wrenching – but if you want try looking up “following fascist killing in the Ukraine”. Be warned the video’s are way beyond disturbing.

        I’m no fan of Putin’s’ Russia, but that said, the extreme right wing scum from all over Europe are killing Russians in the Ukraine – For no other reason, than they are Russian. If we gave a rats we’d been sending our troops here to stop these scum bags rather than a Iraq. Just saying…

        • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.1

          Yep. Putin’s Russia is highly corrupt and poverty rates are skyrocketing (partly due to western attacks on the ruble causing inflation to jump). But I have to respect them because they are not going to let the western bankster/military industrial complex oligarchs push their country into becoming yet another vassal state.

          • te reo putake 18.1.1.1.1

            “But I have to respect them because they are not going to let the western bankster/military industrial complex oligarchs push their country into becoming yet another vassal state.”

            Huh? Russia is a mafia state bankrolled by bankster/mic oligarchs as well. With a sideline in crypto fascist expansionist border excursions. You shouldn’t be hating on Ukrainian fascists and lovin’ the Russian version, CV. It’s a bit odd.

            • adam 18.1.1.1.1.1

              te reo putake is right Colonial Rawshark – side a are complete filth, and side b are complete filth. I still have friends/acquaintances locked up in Russian prisons. Still no trial date – been almost a year now.

              It’s a loss, loss, I don’t know why there are people in the USA and Europe who want to go to war with Russia.

              It’s like some sort of irrational desire to fight the cold war again, is coming to the fore.

            • millsy 18.1.1.1.1.2

              “Russia is a mafia state bankrolled by bankster/mic oligarchs as well”

              The same could be said about nearly all the countries in the old eastern bloc. And dont forget you now have the Catholic/Orthodox churches running things again. Sucks to be a woman in Poland because Solidarity gave their uteruses to the Holy See.

    • millsy 18.2

      From the 1870’s to the 1960’s the US hosted probably the worlds biggest and most powerful terrorist organisaton – the Ku Klux Klan.

  17. Draco T Bastard 19

    So there’s been this tragic shooting in the US by a white supremacist and what do Fox News presenter do?

    Fox News contributor Alveda King, a conservative activist with the group Priests for Life, appeared on “Fox & Friends” this morning, where she linked the shooting to abortion rights: “You kill babies in the womb, kill people in their beds, shoot people on the streets so now you go into the church when people are praying.”

  18. Ad 20

    Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council just got their reclamation consents completely overturned. See NZHerald.

    Winner: Urban Auckland, and all their supporters.

    And now the question: how much force will be brought to bear by Council Mayor and politicians to the Executive branch not to appeal?

    This story will have quite some legs.

  19. Morrissey 21

    After Three Years, the Injustice Handed out to Assange Must End
    by JOHN PILGER, 18 June 2015
    The Assange case amplifies many truths, and one is the growing, global totalitarianism of Washington, regardless of who is elected president.

    On June 19, Julian Assange, founder and editor of WikiLeaks has been a refugee in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for three years. The key issue in his extraordinary incarceration is justice.

    He has been charged with no crime.

    The first Swedish prosecutor dismissed the misconduct allegations regarding two women in Stockholm in 2010. The second Swedish prosecutor’s actions were and are demonstrably political. Until recently, she refused to come to London to interview Assange – then she said she was coming; then she cancelled her appointment. It is a farce, but one with grim consequences for Assange should he dare step outside the Ecuadorean embassy. The U.S. criminal investigation against him and WikiLeaks – for the “crime” of exercising a right enshrined in the U.S. constitution, to tell unpalatable truths – is “unprecedented in scale and nature”, according to U.S. documents. For this, he faces much of a lifetime in the hellhole of a U.S. supermax should he leave the protection of Ecuador in London.

    The Swedish allegations are no more than a sideshow to this – the SMS messages between the women involved, read by lawyers, alone would exonerate him. They refer to the accusations as “made up” by the police. In the police report one of the women says she was “railroaded” by the Swedish police. What a disgrace this is for Sweden’s justice system.

    Julian Assange is a refugee under international law and he should be given right of passage by the British government out of the UK, to Ecuador. The nonsense about him “jumping bail” is just that – nonsense. If his extradition case went through the British courts today, the European Arrest Warrant would be thrown out and he would be a free man. So what is the British government trying to prove by its absurd police cordon around an embassy whose refuge Assange has no intention of giving up? Why don’t they let him go? Why is a man charged with no crime having to spend three years in one room, without light, in the heart of London?

    The Assange case amplifies many truths, and one is the growing, global totalitarianism of Washington, regardless of who is elected president.

    I am often asked if I think Assange has been “forgotten.” It’s my experience that countless people all over the world, especially in Australia, his homeland, understand perfectly well the injustice being meted out to Julian Assange. They credit him and WikiLeaks with having performed an epic public service by informing millions about what the powerful plan for them behind their backs, the lies governments and their vested interests tell, the violence they initiate. The powerful and the corrupt loathe this, because it is true democracy in action.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/After-Three-Years-the-Injustice-Handed-out-to-Assange-Must-End-20150618-0026.html

    • Free the Rapey One! Je suis Rapey! I’m Sparapacus! I’d go on, but, well, bored now …

      • Morrissey 21.1.1

        Okay, that’s your rant over. Now would you like to read the article?

        • te reo putake 21.1.1.1

          Got about halfway through, Moz, but the rape apologist stuff made me want to chuck, so I stopped. I’m old enough to remember when John ‘Jon’ Pilger was a vocal supporter of women’s empowerment. Shame that he seems to have lost that commitment these days.

          • Morrissey 21.1.1.1.1

            Your abuse of Pilger is almost as darkly comical as your abuse of his friend and compatriot Assange.

            Have you ever thought of joining the ACT Party?

  20. The lost sheep 22

    Gee, even the good citizens of Leftist icon Denmark have shifted to Center Right?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/19/denmark-swings-right-centre-left-coalition-faces-defeat

    The defeat for the centre left in Denmark marks a further setback for Social Democrats in Europe, who have had a miserable time in recent years, losing elections in the UK and Germany while facing disastrous poll ratings in France and Sweden. Sweden’s Social Democrats are now the only labour party to hold power in Scandinavia, a historical bastion of social democracy.

  21. logie97 23

    Saw a headline on the Herald website this afternoon “JK resigns” and opened the link enthusiastically.
    Was sorry to read that it was that JK.
    The ex All Black great resigned on principle.
    Now, if only the other JK had principles …

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