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Open mike 20/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2020 - 32 comments
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32 comments on “Open mike 20/12/2020 ”

  1. Ed 1

    I feel for the people of the U.K.

    As John Wight so succinctly states on his Twitter page

    ”There is a way to put an end to the death, economic destruction and misery that the coronavirus has brought us. Eliminate the virus. Its possible to eliminate the virus – learn the lessons from China, New Zealand, South Korea and others who have pursued a #ZeroCovid strategy. “

    Unfortunately, Johnson’s government and 40 years of free market fanaticism has meant the UK is more vulnerable to its effects.

    Firstly, the cult of the individual has meant people are less willing to act in solidarity with others.
    Secondly, the physical effects of neoliberalism has resulted in greater poverty, poorer health and more obesity, making more citizens vulnerable to worse effects from the virus.

    [Again, no link 🙁

    I made a genuine attempt to find the quote on Twitter or John Wright but nada.

    Have five days off to practice linking – Incognito]

    • Ad 1.1

      New Zealand is at least as individualistic as Britain, is on average poorer, is much more unequal as a society, and has a far weaker and unsophisticated state.

      We have won so far because geographical isolation gave us about a week of decision-making space to lock down hard. We had very narrow vectoral gateways that were easy to shut, and they held.

      And as NSW and Victoria shows, in the words of Han Solo, "Great kid, don't get cocky."

      • Jester 1.1.1

        Nice Star Wars quote Ad! Don't forget Han Solo also said "I have a bad feeling about this".

      • Bearded Git 1.1.2

        Britain is an island. It could have locked down and closed the borders but chose not to for economic and political reasons.

        • aj

          Britain is an island.

          Absolutely. Yes, many more gateways in. But proportionally many more resources to do so.

          You don't need to be an island (China). You need the will to do it.

        • Treetop

          Does Britain only becomes independent when they leave Brexit?

          If so closing the border would have been complicated.

          • Bearded Git

            I don't accept this Treetop. Where a pandemic is causing hundreds of thousands of deaths the UK government could have evoked special powers to protect the population.

            But Boris is no Jacinda-he listened to the money-men and left the borders open while supposedly attempting to control Covid with a chaotic and inconsistent rules that seemed to change every few days. Surprisingly this resulted in complete failure.

            The best example is the tracing system used in the UK. 22 billion pounds (!!) has been spent on this-it was a complete disaster; never worked.

            The latest Boris bollocks is the new super-infective Covid story-this is to cover for the latest u-turn on the stupid 5-day Christmas relaxation of Covid controls. According to the BBC last night this mutant (all viruses mutate) has been around since September so doubtless has long since spread around the world.

      • Ed 1.1.3

        Totally agree Ad with your summation.

      • AB 1.1.4

        "We have won so far because geographical isolation gave us about a week of decision-making space to lock down hard."

        The extra week was helpful – but much more important was being prepared to make that decision to lock-down hard. The Tory party would have been incapable of such a decision no matter how many extra weeks they were handed – and that was Ed's point. A National government here would have (most likely) been unable to make that decision. Scomo looked like he wasn't capable of that decision – but fortunately state premiers took it out of his hands. It took some guts to defy the belief of the most powerful sectors of society that they have an unfettered right to ongoing capital accumulation under all circumstances. Ardern had the guts and humanity to do it. However this remarkable effort at kicking business into line looks like it was just a one-off.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Yes AB, for a few glorious weeks the PM and Robbo did substantially put public health before private profit–which millions will likely regard with fondness for some time.

          But, the lockdowns were accompanied by all manner of “COVID Capitalism”–billions in high trust model bailouts to employers, and millions for second tier $490 pw beneficiaries–while the historical poor languished.

          If the PM cannot recover that approach, COVID will be back with bells on via unwise international bubbles, and her legacy will be “Blair Lite”, and unnecessarily miserable lives for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders.

          [Fixed typo in user handle]

      • RobbieWgtn 1.1.5

        "New Zealand … as Britain…is much more unequal as a society, …"

        Do you have any evidence for that assertion? Last time I saw reports on this NZ was almost identical with the UK (eg on Gini) and on some other measures less unequal than some Scandinavian countries.

        The reason most Kiwi European ancestors came here in the first place was to escape the limitations of the feudal English class system & its associated atrocities ( in my ancestors case the Highland Clearances & the Irish Famine). On my visits to the UK over the years it didn't seem that much had changed in 200 years.

        • Incognito

          On my visits to the UK over the years it didn’t seem that much had changed in 200 years.

          You must be almost as old as Methuselah; how many Super Gold Cards do you have?

    • Treetop 1.2

      Covid has the potential to bring the health system of heavily infected countries to its knees. The main defence is a level 4 lockdown and this requires the cooperation of the citizens in that country.

      Unemployment is the second biggest problem and for the 1-10 who get long Covid (unwell after 3 months from being infected) the road ahead is a more uncertain one. The health system and housing is put under further strain.

      The more limited basic resources become, stress levels increase and for some finding enough to eat is going to preoccupy them on a daily basis.

      Even with vaccinations Covid is going to be an ongoing threat as seen with the latest highly infectious strain likely to have come from mink.

      2021 is going to require a shift in resources to have a functioning health system in heavily infected countries.

    • Incognito 1.3

      See my Moderation note @ 8:42 AM.

    • Ed 1.4

      I mentioned the link to John Wight.

      Not John Wright.

      Anyway, the decision has been made.

      Happy Christmas.


      [You’re correct that I have an agenda, which is to entice commenters here to use links when/where appropriate.

      Can you please tell us what personal problem you have with linking?

      As I mentioned, I cannot find that particular tweet, tweeter, or a reference to it, and I did make an effort and although I got the name of the tweeter wrong, the quoted text didn’t give me a result. How much time should I have to spend on finding a bloody tweet that you failed to link to?

      In addition, you made the same error in your e-mail address again 🙁

      You’re making working for Moderators here when we want to wind back and relax.

      Stop the nonsense and provide links when appropriate/required and you’ll disappear off my radar, it’s that simple.

      On the other hand, if you see an ‘agenda’, you will stick to your MO and turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      I will move you to Pre-Moderation to give you one more chance to provide a LINK.

      Take it or leave it and take your ‘agenda’ BS with you, thank you – Incognito]

      • Incognito 1.4.1

        See my Moderation note @ 11:08 AM.

        • Ed

          I think this is the link.

          John Wight (@JohnWight1) / Twitter

          I am finding it hard to link from my phone.
          From now onwards I shall link everything.
          I was not meaning to cause you aggravation.
          So sorry.

          • Incognito

            Thank you.

            Please try to sort out linking on your phone. FYI, I’m not on Twitter and I have troubles with that medium as well. It’s ok to ask for help and if it gets too technical, and the problem is on this site’s side, we call for the SYSOP 😉

            Have a good Christmas too.

            Let’s see if this works:

  2. Ad 2

    For those interested in a medium-long read on the geopolitical implications of the COVID19 epidemic, here's a good one from the EU's Policy Department for External Affairs (kind-of like the State Department).

    The first section assesses the geopolitical trends antedating the pandemic and measures its present and expected impact on them, while the second section lays out the space for action and change created by the disruption.

    In the third section, the interplay of trends and uncertainties is explored in three scenarios set in 2025:

    -Strategic Distancing;

    -Europe in Self-isolation; and

    -Lockdown World.


    Hopefully the Lowy Institute will do something similar for the Asia-Pacific realm.

    • Graeme 2.1

      Interesting read but somewhat overtaken by events, it was released in Sept 20 so predates the US election and the December Covid surge.

      The prospect of a new cold / somewhat warm war of democracies vs the rest (China + Russia, in that order) would be a rather precarious place in our part of the world.

      Will be good to see the December or March updates as much as an Asia / Pacific focused version, which I suspect could be rather dark reading. We are living in interesting times

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Agree – pretty hard moment for analysts to stay in front of this speed of social evolution. But it's a good source which will of course update.

  3. Cricklewood 3


    It seems astounding that we are using seasonal worker accommodation as emergency housing and that we are now kicking vulnerable families out to accommodate seasonal workers coming in to pick fruit.

    There is something very wrong in that equation…

    This is going to get very ugly very quickly… the damage from the housing shortage is going to be intergenerational. Its pretty clear kids need a stable home environment to do well at school etc. Keeping the landlord class happy is not a solution…

    A mass building programme is needed… not cheap money pumped into the market lifting price on an already constrained supply.

    • Jester 3.1

      Talking of house prices, how about a one million dollar home in Otara.

      South Auckland's face is changing as house prices skyrocket | Stuff.co.nz

    • WeTheBleeple 3.2

      Will they learn anything from the enormous expense of dealing with the fallout of mistreating people in state care?

      More generations of righteously angry dysfunctional adults. Billions more for the taxpayer to shell out. So long as the landholders make a killing today, right? Figures to tout to the press. Look at our GDP! (but do not look in the gutter there, where your fellow citizens now live).

      • Treetop 3.2.1

        Many lives with potential being limited due to being callously treated. The outcome is clear due to being harmed and reharmed by not being listened to and having to fight government agencies for neglect and criminal acts occurring.

        This was done to children at the hands of the state.

      • Phillip ure 3.2.2

        I am getting kinda pissed about the failures of the media usual suspects to hold ard-robs' feet to the fire..

        ..for her/their failures to do anything about the fires raging around us..

        ..and if they do touch fleetingly on the subjects ..they seem happy to accept any old cloth ard-rob throw @ them.

        ('we already gave them $25' ..and other such dissembling bullshit/whines..

        the art of the challenging follow-up question..

        ..seems to be on some sort of long leave…

        is conspicuous by its' absence..

        • Treetop

          I stopped my MP the other day on a road near by to his electoral office and told him how frustrated with ACC I was and that the government need to pull the act apart for mental injury and to rewrite it. Gave me 10 mins of his time. It will take time to work through was his response. I then told him that my gut bleeds with GAVE and that I need to avoid stress. I asked him if he was aware of a correlation between autoimmune conditions and PTSD? I have grown very impatient with the system and I feel as though nothing will change for me unless I review in the district court.

          I will not give in to a system which has treated me so appallingly. Shame that my energy is being used up on fighting for my rights. I keep hitting a brick wall because of how ACC are not dealing with all of the components and separate incidents.

  4. Ad 4

    If that Chinese collected fishing fleet comes Australia's way, it will certainly come the way of the Pacific islands which we protect – so our navy is going to have its work cut out for it.


    • Pat 4.1

      Very Malthusian

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        Maybe a touch of Vladil Lysenko.

        Lysenko served as a captain in that country's fishing fleet for 17 years and then in the merchant marine. In this book as much argument as memoir he accuses the U.S.S.R. of depleting the oceans of the world by overfishing; having by now ruined many of its own territorial waters, he charges, the Soviet fleet is turning to other areas. The nations involved, asserts Lysenko, must face down the Soviets before their fishing grounds, too, are destroyed.

    • Scud 4.2

      This should concern all NZ’ers, at the prospect of the Chinese Fishing Fleet establishing a base in PNG. But given silence of the NZG & political party’s during the election of the activities of the Chinese in& around Galápagos Islands and it intrusions in NZ’s EEZ Nth- Nth East of the Kermadec Islands was quite deafening. This only the thin edge of China’s attempt to destroy the fishing grounds of Sth PAC, Tasman Sea & the Southern Ocean through their shameful practice of unreported, unlicensed & over catching all fish species it pillage

      I must add the Chinese Fishing Fleet also escorted by it’s Coastguard Ships which are just as big as the RNZN ANZAC’s & would be able to out Gun the RNZN OPV’s. The sensor fit on those ships are similar to what our ANZAC’s have. The new SOPV with an option for a 2nd one is now must be a Priority for this NZG or else the NZG will lose control, access and it’s ability to enforce the rules to open sea fishing. As the Chinese don’t give a shit because all Liberal Democracies are all talk & no action and what I mean by that not prepared to give the order to use lethal deadly
      force even when they are in the right.

      With the effects of CC we are nolonger living in a “Benign Strategic Environment” & in fact I don’t believe we were never in such a an environment because the world see’s NZ as the gateway to the Southern Ocean. It only going to get worst with the effects of CC for the under resourced, undermanned NZDF in our region to the Nth, West, east and South especially the Southern Ocean including the Antarctic itself.

      This is a good read from the NZ Army’s KEA Learning Centre.

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