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Open mike 21/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, April 21st, 2020 - 193 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 …

193 comments on “Open mike 21/04/2020”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Simon Bridges ,Michael Woodhouse. Are being Total Dicks.Politicing While we are facing a National crisis.Stay at home and Stop being a Dick Simon.Michael Woodhouse Stop taking cheap shots  which haven't got any Scientific evidence or are pure lies.Outhouse claimed the 130 health workers infected were because of lack of PPE and proper safety in our hospitals.Fact Healthcare workers returning from overseas were infected passing  Covid onto other workers before our borders were closed.Outhouse is a lying little S*?t

    • peterh 1.1

      Most NZr are not silly ,should do a like  poll on Bridges  Woodhouse    Hoskings  not one of them would make 10%, My wife is from a blue family of 18, one of them put on facebook  blue is not my favorite colour, almost all the family including children clicked Like, the three of them are going to come out of this so very disliked

    • infused 1.2

      dont forget about some certain mp's shoving up billboards all around wellington and the hutt right before lockdown stating how labour have done such a good job with covid19.

      labour started politicising this long ago.

  2. Molly 2

    Reading this Herald article about bunkers available for the rich, brings to mind that this will be an infection of a different kind.

    (It also makes me smile with the recollection of Stark, Ben Elton's comic novel about the reality of the company in the Stark consortium escape spaceship for those who brought about the end of the world).

    • weka 2.1

      Really curious what kind of visa the dude at the start of that article has. And what will happen to him when it runs out.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Notably, New Zealand does offer an investor visa for about $6 million for three years.

    • weka 2.2

      Rising S Co. has planted about 10 private bunkers in New Zealand over the past several years. The average cost is $3 million for a shelter weighing about 150 tons, but it can easily go as high as $8 million with additional features like luxury bathrooms, game rooms, shooting ranges, gyms, theatres and surgical beds.

      Anyone know if the resource consents on those will be in the public domain? eg the one in Canterbury that can house 300 people.

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Quite possibly unconsented. If you're trying to hide from the zombie apocalypse, you wouldn't want the zombies to be able to just look up where you're hiding.

        • weka

          Did you just call council staff zombies? 😛

          I'm not sure they'd be talking to the media if they were unconsented.

      • Janet 2.2.2

        so ultimately for a "king" and his support staff . In other words,  self indulgence.  Is that really the the kind of person we need in NZ ?

    • infused 2.3

      you can actually build these pretty cheaply. I'd kinda love to do this if I ever built a house.

      Check this out, good watch 

  3. Ad 3

    There's now such a glut of oil that oil is selling for US$-30 a barrel.

    That's effectively paying those US producers to keep it in the ground – or find massive above-ground storage. 


    I'm sure it won't last but …

    That's a particularly weird moment.

    • lprent 3.1

      Thought it was more like negative 3 per barrel. Maybe a different benchmark.

      The one I read was the calculated benchmark price for crude oil delivered to some town in Ohio in June.

      They’re acutely short of oil storage space in the US. They’re rolling out old badges and storing oil in those because they have no tanks, and they’re starting to run out of those. Soon it will be cheaper to store oil in oil tankers parked offshore than it is to land it.

      Meanwhile Brent Crude is about to go under USD30 / Barrel.

    • KJT 3.2

      Watching the tanker charter rates.

      Huge demand for ships for temporary storage. Already cheaper to store it offshore.

      Oil futures have gone negative.

      Won't be investing in oil companies.


      • Gabby 3.2.1

        How long before it starts getting 'lost' at sea.

        • KJT

          Yep. Expect a few, "insurance jobs".

          Personally I was suspicious of two VLCC oil tankers, from the same company, that collided in clear weather years ago, when the charter rates fell through the floor.

          Seemed a bit too, coincidental. 😀

    • Cinny 3.4

      It's a bizarre time to be alive.

    • infused 3.5

      I trade oil, it's not oil. oil was at $22 last I checked. It was some weird measurement.

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    The Covid 19 is a very serious issue. 

    It will be a giggle in the rooms of Auckland ZB, Herald, Bridges, Paula, and the Kauri girl.

    There are a couple of other serious problems that ought to get attention, however.

    The major one is the ongoing violence of degraded dirty men who go about Killing and Violating their wives. They also force their evil on the children of the family. 

    The numbers attached to male violence are way way beyond the Current Coronova Virus.

    However, there is a further treachery in Aotearoa. It is carried out by the Land Lord.  The Land Lord makes the Virus look like a Xmas treat.

    We must get rid of all Violent Men – on long long, penalties. 

    We also, must come together and refuse to pay Taxes on Housing until the Government itself pays for Just and Fair Housing. 

    • Scumbag Andy 4.1

      As far as I can tell, all impetus to do anything has bounced off the heads of Jacinda et al. So many interesting alternatives on how to run things, all offered in vain.  Opportunity lost.  Although, was it really an opportunity if there was no intention to act?  For a long time our governments have been mediocre middle management of the status quo.  If reinfection rates begin again, there'll be no reason to do anything but stand by and console the bereaved – something Ardern is good at… "sympathising".  "A population winnowing virus", or something like that. Nothing to really need a change for. Apparently we can afford to lose thousands, and blame them for not protecting themselves.

      [lprent: Please try to stick to one handle, like the one you were using yesterday. I’ll let this one through. But be advised that shifting handles tends to be viewed by me as a pointer to a troll. I really don’t like trolls and I tend to express that strongly. Please read our policy and learn not to attract my moderating attention. ]

  5. Ovid 5

    Oil has reached a negative price as storage facilities run out of capacity. This is … weird. And for the moment it's not good for green alternatives.

    Also Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, Venezuela and other major producers must be nervous.

    • A 5.1

      I believe It is a leading indicator of a depression, not just caused by a massive consumption drop caused by Covid.

      Plant a garden – just because we live in NZ doesn't insulate us entirely from major currency issues. 


  6. Anne 6

    Here it is for the record when the nay-sayers and Trump blame the WHO when it happens:


    The worst is yet to come says the Director General of the WHO. 

    Hopefully we will be spared because of the brilliant management of the crisis thus far by the government and the health professional working in conjunction with on another.

  7. RedLogix 7

    There are just four nations in the world that look like they are going to crush the curve (excluding China who nobody trusts), New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea. This is a remarkable alignment for us.

    The Koreans in particular are technically minded, have a top-notch health care system, they are culturally wired for fast responses, their first instinct isn't to lie about everything, and they believe in math. They have provided the world with the best and most holistic information about this virus. I've been treating their dataset as the gold standard. This is a country with it's act together; we need partners like them to keep our technology systems running.

    Taiwan is another nation in a similar position. While there is obvious political threats with the CCP poised to invade as soon as it thinks the world is not looking, the Taiwanese are an example of what China could and should have been if the CCP thugs were not running the mainland as a giant slave labour camp.

    Australia is also responding well and is a fabulous supplier of raw materials with the potential for almost total energy independence if it wants to go there. It's already talking about rebooting local manufacturing as part of it's recovery efforts. 

    Together with NZ's superb agricultural exports (and as I write this I'm conscious that sustainable and regenerative techniques should be a core element of a high quality strategy) these four nations could readily form a new regional alliance. All four have competent and compatible governance, all four have high trust societies, and all four bring specific unique attributes to the trade table.

    Yes the NZ economy has been hit hard by this event, but we are not on our own. We have some great strategic partners to reach out to who are highly compatible with us. Our relationship with China will remain significant, but no-one wants to be so dependent on them ever again.

    • Treetop 7.1

      The country which could have the worst outcome is Mexico. 1 in 7 have diabetes and 70 % are obese. Both are known to cause Covid-19 complications.

      1 in 1000 in 30 states in the US are infected with Covid-19.

      There are so many unknowns with the virus and this is making it difficult to manage the economy in real time. 

      Health workers have my respect the most, they are selfless and then essential workers.

    • Ad 7.2

      That's our new de facto trade agreement right there. 

    • greywarshark 7.3

      Thanks for the summary RedL.   It's an interesting overview – about South Korea etc.

    • greywarshark 7.4

      We have a high-trust society with Australia?    Like the kid who meets this guy who says come home with me and see my collection of Barbie dolls, train set, etchings.

      • RedLogix 7.4.1

        I think you've misread a tad … I wasn't referring so much to the trust relationship between these four countries, as within their own societies. 

        Yes NZ and Australia have some significant political difficulties that we should be looking to resolve, but in every other social and economic respect they are both relatively high trust societies compared to many other nations.

        But yes a reasonable point.

  8. Wayne 8

    Red Logix,

    I seem to read a lot here by various commenters about "sustainable and regenerative farming". The term is never explained, it is just used. I come from a farming background and have relatives who still farm, so I have a reasonable knowledge on current farming practises, with dairy and also sheep and beef. Not that I want to actually farm. After all I left the farming life.

    What is different about "sustainable and regenerative" farming to the current form of NZ farming. Is it basically the same, though with a few tweaks? Or is it intended to signal a radical change in NZ farming? I suspect the latter, given who uses these references. And if so, how do those advocating this see that farming should change.

    • Janet 8.1

      It is one of the many ways you can farm sustainably.

      Regenerative farming is a pastural side shoot of Permaculture.

      One of the NZ leaders in regenerative farming is 


    • RedLogix 8.2

      I'll probably be well advised to defer to people like weka and Paul G who've paid a lot more attention to this topic than I have for specific examples.

      Having said that, as a matter of strong principle, I believe agriculture is one of the primary responsibilities of government. Farmers themselves are constrained by the need to stay in business this month, this year. While many do take a long-term view of their soil management, it is government that needs to take a long-term view of the whole picture. In this NZ already does pretty well, we always have.

      But we do consistently fall short in some aspects; and in this there are more than a few alternative farmers who have consistently demonstrated that it's possible to farm productively with fewer inputs, less intensive stocking, better nutrient management, and improved animal welfare. 

      Personally I'm no fan of 'radical changes'. I don't think that's either achievable or even desirable to impose destabilising disruption. But if we took a more patient multi-decadal approach there are many 'tweaks' that we could implement, that as a whole would add up to something quite transformative over time.

    • KJT 8.3

      Very different to the current, short term, model of "high input" agriculture.

      Which relies on imported feed, fertiliser and depletion of soils and other resources, to make a short term gain.

      I come from farming families too. Many wouldn't have been impressed with the current industrial farming.

      There were some who took the view, "the only good tree is one that has been pruned to the ground" but most considered looking after the farm, soil and waterways, for the future, was part of farming. 

      A couple, in particular, were very proud that on their farms, they still had native stream life, unlike many other countries. 

      They would be horrified at the current, Federated Farmers, attitude.


    • Francesca 8.4

      Wayne you probably have zero interest,but watch Country Calendar on Sunday nights for a glimpse into seriously innovative and successful farming 

      It's awe inspiring 

      Don't know if you can get it 

      On Demand but last CC would tell you all you need to know …sustainable sheep faring

      The limitations are to be found in crippling bank mortgages,the biggest hindrance to better animal husbandry and farming practises

      • JanM 8.4.1

        Yes that Country Calendar episode was very impressive. Imagine the amazing benefits if that farming system was widely adopted!

      • KJT 8.4.2

        I've been following with my son,  he's been studying, farm management.

        Even incremental improvements, in things like crop, animal rotation, once a day instead of twice daily milking, natural fertilisers, and preventing nitrates being lost to waterways, can improve both the environment, and farm efficiency.


    • Blazer 8.5

      The last Country Calendar screened, showcased a King Country farmer walking the talk.

      You should be able to view it on TVNZ on demand.

      • Tricledrown 8.5.1

        Like wise the Canterbury Dairy farm and the Maniototo sheep farm. All high light that Traditional industrial farming is not as profitable ,sustainable nor is it kind to animals.

        [Another typo in your user handle. Please be more careful!]

    • Alice Tectonite 8.6


      The most recent episode of Country Calendar provides a reasonably accessible example. Blurb:

      Faced with falling profits, the owner of a big Central Otago station makes a radical move into regenerative agriculture and finds the profits soon flow.

      TVNZ OnDemand: Country Calendar 2020 e7 (should also be on YouTube in the next week of so)

      Points that I took from it:

      • Diverse pasture mix in including likes of sunflowers, loosens soil, better at retaining water. Variety good for stock health/condition. 
      • No ploughing, pasture flattened then resown. Less chance for soil erosion (wind/rain), provides mulch better at retaining moisture. 
      • Dung beetles distribute manure through top 50cm soil (less likely to be transported in runoff).
      • Savings on fert and pesticides (plus reduced environmental impact of same).

      Edit: snap with multiple commenters on CC episode, obviously took too long to write …

      • Wayne 8.6.1

        Thank you everyone for your comments. I will have a look at the Country Calendar episode.

    • bwaghorn 8.7

      Their was a reg a neg farmer on country calendar Sunday.  (Usually they replay it early the next weekend) ,doing some interesting stuff. 

      Of course he was one of those high energy clever people so for it to catch on the government would need to capture his learnings and bottle it for easy digestion of the the rest of us. 

  9. Kathryn Ryan sounding a bit frazzled on Nine to Noon today. Maybe its time they gave her a shorter slot somewhere else and tried a new face?

    • ScottGN 9.1

      Most likely frustration with the logistics of broadcasting under the lockdown. 
      But I agree it’s well past time Nine to Noon had a bit of a refresh.

      • Bearded Git 9.1.1

        Maybe co-presenters would give her a breather between intense interviews.

        Suggestions for the identity of a new co-presenter please.

        • ScottGN

          Alex Perrottet did a good job looking after Morning Report (or was it Checkpoint?) a while back.

          Karyn Hay might be a good unorthodox choice.

          Could Jesse Mulligan move to Nine to Noon? And still do his telly stuff (I never watch that).

          I like listening to Alison Ballance on Our Changing World.

          Colin Peacock? He’s certainly made Mediawatch unmissable.

          Mahinerangi Forbes would be awesome!

          • Bearded Git

            Not sure about Mulligan-he is fine where he is- but the rest are excellent options.

            Karyn Hay has been doing a great job at 10PM  I think that is her?

          • Gabby

            Jesse's better off where he can be the smartarse 6th former at the back that he is.

    • Treetop 9.2

      On Sunday last Sunday, Anthony Hill, the health and disability commissioner did not look or sound his vibrant self.

      It may of been the topic which was a serious one, (care during labour and maternity complications).

    • mauī 9.3

      We are in a hard left nationalist environment now. It beggars belief that a member of the neoliberal elite has held such a position for so long. A Galloway or Rachel Stewart type personality would provide the much needed journalistic rigour and intensity to reignite the show in my opinion.

    • greywarshark 9.4

      Cripes, Kathryn has so much knowledge in her head, can handle a wide range of expertise, has a pleasant manner, and maintains her interest and energy in the frustrating world we create – don't diss her for sounding frazzled as she broadcasts from her bathroom or wherever.   My feeling is that her questions become too long as she makes a short scenario around the problem or situation she is wanting to 'elucidate'.

      Now Lisa Owen at the end of the day has apparently been employed to sound frazzled, high pitched, fast talking and sounds like a middle-class female exasperated with the world, with an upward whine to much of her pronouncements.  What a turn-off.

      • Bearded Git 9.4.1

        Grey: Agree with you totally re Lisa Owen. A bit grating-she needs to take chill pill.

        I wasn't dissing Ryan….I just think that show can be stressful where a whole series of interviews are done in a row on important topics…..but we need a show that does all of those interviews. I don't think it is just because we are in lock-down. It started before this.

        My solution is two presenters….a bit more variation and a different character. Maybe a rotating second presenter.

        Ryan has sounded tired and has not been laughing/getting laughs from the Friday comedians.



        • greywarshark

          You're right Bearded Git I could imagine she is tired, you might be tempted to take a perk-up pill as artistic performers have often done.   She might like that idea of a rotating second presenter but I would be afraid they would put on Jim Mora or the like.    Someone who would be subtly, or not so, putting the self-satisfied, right wing approach which gives me such a pain I turn off, which negates the value of the public broadcaster to me.

          If someone else was put on they would need to be compatible and who knows what this cardboard Radionz management would choose?  Would we get a whole lot of amusing chatter?   A little bit of that is good, but soon there is a pall of death to an enjoyable and informative show with too much shallow hah hah aren't we smart stuff.  

    • Gabby 9.5

      If she'd shut up for 5 minutes she would last longer.

  10. Janet 10

    Matthew  Hooton was written about the bureaucratic  mandarins  hampering the government’s ability to move fast, especially at the moment  – he also suggested that some “aren't happy taking orders from 30-somethings of any gender.”


    I have been reading of this problem with the government’s departments for some time. If this is the case, once the Covid situation is under control I hope heads will roll and our fresh new government will have a fresh new team to work with.

    • Treetop 10.1

      Call it the school of hard knocks or the university of life. The world has changed so much and people cannot continue to carry on as if there is no pandemic. 

      Just look at what has happened with the price of oil. 

      In time the restraints which Covid-19 is causing, some solutions will be found. 

    • Peter ChCh 10.2

      Hi Janet. Any chance of summarizing that article a little more?

      I am very keen to learn more, but have cancelled my NZH subs to their online site some time ago.

      • Janet 10.2.1

        Have cut and pasted paragraphs … hope that helps. 

        “ had Monday's health information been more favourable – or Ardern wanted to take a risk – it was clear the bureaucracy simply wasn't ready for a move to level 3 this Wednesday night anyway.

        Like all prime ministers, Ardern relies on the same mediocre and incestuous Wellington bureaucracy that delivered her the KiwiBuild fiasco, worsening child poverty and last year's comedic Budget "hack".

        Ministry of Health boss Ashley Bloomfield has been praised for his handling of Covid-19. But, last year, even his ministry was responsible for the measles vaccine crisis, seemed unable to competently allocate the $1.9 billion in mental health funding from last year's budget, and has now been unable to tell a believable story on the availability of PPE to frontline health staff.

        Now – despite having over a month to get organised – his ministry has failed to implement the testing and tracking systems necessary for a move to level 3. Talk of a contact-tracing app remains just that. The Beehive even claims it had to push the health authorities to conduct the random population testing required to see how widespread asymptomatic and undiagnosed Covid-19 is in the community.

        Sexism among senior officials may explain some of Ardern's inability to achieve purchase over the bureaucracy, although the iron-hold Helen Clark had over Wellington suggests otherwise. Ageism is probably a bigger factor. Whatever their departmental "values statements", too many mandarins aren't happy taking orders from 30-somethings of any gender.

        The day the lockdown was announced, Ardern promised that the definition of "essential services" would be available by close of business so parents would know whether they should send their children to school the next day. Despite the Prime Minister signing off the list before the 6pm TV news, MBIE bureaucrats held up its release until closer to midnight.

        Inexplicably, no one in the bureaucracy was fired for making a fool of the Prime Minister in an emergency.

        Similarly, Ardern's announcement of the details of level 3 last Thursday was necessary to give organisations time to prepare, despite its negative effect on compliance.

        But important rules Ardern announced quickly turned out to be wrong or unimplementable.

        Similarly, Ardern's announcement of the details of level 3 last Thursday was necessary to give organisations time to prepare, despite its negative effect on compliance.

        But important rules Ardern announced quickly turned out to be wrong or unimplementable.


        In health, hospitals and other providers have not yet received promised information on what medical procedures will be allowed under level 3.

        There is no clarity on how the courts are meant to reopen under level 3.

        Other major sectors have only just received the rules for what level 3 means for their operations, with no time to digest them.

        Hunters haven't been told what rules were meant to start applying from Thursday morning.

        With such uncertainty, the country would have faced a fiasco had it moved to level 3 this week.

        The delay until next Tuesday allows the Prime Minister to demand the bureaucracy fix the confusion around level 3 it created. She must make clear to the most senior mandarins that jobs should be on the line if they do not.”


    • greywarshark 10.3

      Janet  I would like to see the politicians have some say in the choice of which officials would be employed that they need to work with.    The idea of apolitical pointyheads dedicated to doing good public service is a vision not realised in practicality.    There cannot be too much control by business either on government – I remember Maris O'Rourke in Education saying with the neolib set up that she had to wait till 11 pm to present her material to the Minister, as she was preceded by all the business lobbyists.

      So more balance.

      And here are some paras on serving in a government in transition to neolib from a piece by this very amazing woman who after years of hard yakka in Education has left much to thank her for.    She sets a standard for other civil servants in NZ.

      The Ministry started in 1989 and from the beginning was coping with substantial work pressures due to the speed of the reforms; an education system in flux where everything had changed at once; and the task of bringing together a number of disparate and separately organised activities into a coherent whole and creating a workable organization.  I found when I took up the job that I was running three different and difficult organizations with a demoralised, disillusioned and bitter staff largely opposed to the reforms.

      The complexity of all this was vastly under-estimated. Add to this mix an election coming up in 1990 and a new Minister of Education Phil Goff. I was responsible for implementing the most extensive administrative reforms ever to occur in NZ education and in the run up to the 1990 election this generated much negative energy and what appeared to be muddle and chaos. All this at a time when the Minister, the government and the party wanted positive energy and a smooth running system.  It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t possible. And there were certainly times when a little wrist-slitting looked attractive. Labour lost the 1990 election, we had a new government and I had a new Minister Dr Lockwood Smith for the next 5 years.

      I have always felt that success in a job is when no-one notices you have gone and the transition is smooth but the things you have implemented, the things you have DONE stay in place and last.

      So by 1995 I had been in Wellington for almost seven years and had vaguely begun to feel it was time to move and that message went into the cosmos. I was head-hunted by the World Bank to be their first Director of Education. As a farewell my three ex Ministers had their photo taken together on the stairs and presented it to me with an award for bravery and courage under fire plus a copy of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak.


    • Wayne 10.4

      I hope not. One of New Zealand's strengths is that we do not have a politically appointed public service.

      In fact I don't have to worry about this. There is simply no way that the PM, if she is re-elected, is going to overturn the basic systems of the public service. 

      Hooton, may well be right, that some civil servants don't find it so easy to work with young political leaders. That is not a systemic failure, it is simply part of the human condition. It exists in any organisation when the top leadership is quite a bit younger than their immediate subordinates. Over the years, I have seen a few examples of this, interestingly enough when I was much younger. But I have seen and experienced a lot more situations where youthful leadership drives energy and commitment from the wider team.

      In any event it looks to me that our public service are doing an excellent job. Sure there may be some hiccups, which is hardly surprising given the size of the challenge. Not everything is going to work perfectly, not everyone finds their job easy to do, not everyone is completely up to speed, not everyone is equally competent.

    • swordfish 10.5


      … he also suggested that some “aren't happy taking orders from 30-somethings of any gender

      Christ, I can't say I blame them. Who the hell wants to take orders from Spice Girls fans and nauseating Millenials excitedly calling out "Cowabunga, Dude !" to each other ???

      Hell on Earth.

  11. Tricledrown 11

    RNZ and others are working from home.

  12. pat 12

    "Japan's exports fell more than forecast in March, down almost -12% year-on-year when a -9% fall was expected and the February fall was only -1%. It is almost certain April exports will fall much harder."


    In an interconnected world what we do is only a small part of the equation…we can try to prop up sectors and open businesses asap but the fact remains demand has fallen off a cliff…and it isnt coming back anytime soon.

    • Tricledrown 12.1

      No different to the GFC.NZ will have sustain its economy by creating local demand.Until a vaccine is widely available.This is the time to fix homelessness by keeping the construction industry going building state houses and affordable houses. Infrastructure Transport bottlenecks. 

      • pat 12.1.1

        very different to the GFC…that was a trust problem…nobody knew who was going to be left holding the baby so everything stopped…once the govs basically guaranteed those loses everyone went back to BAU….this is not a trust (liquidity) crisis….demand has plummeted and the environmental conditions mean that it cant return to prior levels anytime soon….liquidity isnt the problem.

        Attempting to replace that global demand with national stimulus does not solve the problem when you need (not want) to import so much and almost guarantees a productivity loss

        • Tricledrown

          Pat so you have agreed with my argument but don't understand that trust has disappeared around the world already .whole industries have disappeared and will take 10 years to reestablish.So really the only option we have in the short term is to stimulate the local economy diversify as much as possible.The Financial fallout will be much higher than the GFC.But lessons learned will help countries who bailout mainstreet as opposed to Wall st will recover more quickly  .Even Boris Johnston said overnight the biggest mistake made in the GFC was giving trillions to the corporates and forgetting about the people on the street he said he Won't be making that mistake this time.While Trump is letting all the money flow to the corporates while delaying and denying mainstreet funding.On Top of all his other f/ups the US is going to have a much longer slower recovery.

          • pat

            not sure how you get agreement with your claims from my reply…whether the lessons of the GFC will be learned is yet to be demonstrated and you completely miss the point about international v national economy.

  13. AB 13

    Ever felt just a tad concerned that the affluent liberals who lead nominally 'left' parties might be a bit out of touch with the lives of the 'common man'? Don't worry, relax, it's all fine – check out  Nancy Pelosi's fridge if you need more reassurance.

    • Andre 13.1

      As opposed to The Man with the Golden Shower Shitter. I'd guess it's less than 50:50 that he even knows where his fridge is or what it even looks like, let alone what's in it.

      • AB 13.1.1

        Totally – I'm going for the lesser of two fridges. 

        • Andre

          It's also kinda hard to argue that Pelosi is way out of touch with her constituents.

          California runs a jungle primary system when all the candidates from all the parties are tossed into one common pool, then the top two go on to fight it out one-on-one for the November general election. So it's quite common in California for the two candidates for any position in November to both be Dems.

          Pelosi won her primary with 74%, second was Buttar (D) with 13%, third was Dennis (R) 8%.

        • Tricledrown


      • Gabby 13.1.2


    • joe90 13.2

      Early days of a pandemic and the idiot-left mirrors the idiot-right.


  14. Muttonbird 14

    Hoskings changes decades old global terminology and claims there are 7 business days in a week. Someone should tell business that.

    But then this is yet another example of the slow erosion of the gains made for working families with the introduction of the 40 hour week.


    I don't imagine Hoskings himself believed what he was saying but he'd backed himself into a corner.

    • Andre 15.1

      MADA, Make America Diseased Again.

        • I Feel Love

          Those lines, quite heart breaking, what a pity there aren't protests against the obscene wealth discrepancy over there. 

          • alwyn

            I find it hard to see that people are really desperate when they are driving to the food bank in a late model automobile.

            • weka

              poverty blindness is a thing.

              • weka

                Let me spell it out. Lots of people under neoliberalism are asset rich, but are an inch away from not having the cash flow to buy groceries. This is why even in NZ in wealthy towns there are food banks. If a family's mortgage requires two incomes to service and one of the couple loses their job, they're screwed.

                It's also common knowledge that women and their kids take a drop in standard of living when a marriage ends.

                People in the US who have lost their jobs because of covid come from all classes.

                In all those scenarios people can own late model cars.

                Read the article because it's pretty clear what is going on here.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  I just got a flash back of an old commenter at this site called ' Randal' who used to berate the younger generations for their 'Hardly Davisons and flat screen TeeVees in the toilet' …

              • Wekasmiley   

                Hey Alwyn are you saying that lots of people drive to food banks in late model cars? Do me a favour. 

                Next you will be saying its fun to sleep on the streets covered by cardboard. 

            • Andre

              In large parts of the US, if you need a car to get to work it's fairly likely to be more cost effective to drive something that's only a decade or so old, rather than pay the continual repairs on something older.

              Then, when you lose that income from your job, keeping your car is still going to be a high priority. Because if you haven't got one, you won't be able to get back and forth to a new job.

              • alwyn

                I guess Will Rogers had it right then.

                "We are the first nation in the history of the world to go to the poor house in an automobile."

                Of course he also said, just as accurately.

                "I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

            • joe90

              Have you ever set out to walk anywhere in a major US city?




              • alwyn

                I very happily walked around Manhattan on a number of visits. Does New York count as a "major" city? To be fair I was only on the Island. It is quite big though. It is amazing on a first visit. It seems as if you see something you have heard of on every corner. Then you get a bit blase.

                I also walked a lot in Washington DC when I visited there. Only in DC though, not in the suburbs in the adjacent States.

                And around San Francisco, although I was rather careful about where I went there. It might be only one block from a nice neighborhood to somewhere a bit scary.

                It would still be pretty cold in Minneapolis at this time of year though I imagine.

            • I Feel Love

              Manhattan? You think every city in the states is like Manhattan? And Americans aren't particularly known for waiting for hours, sitting in their cars, for hand outs, it kinda goes against everything they stand for. Also I doubt most of those cars are paid for, like here, people get car loans, to look rich, then they go on blogs and harp about the poor. 

              • I Feel Love

                I see people struggling, lining up to get food and feel empathy, you see the same thing and make a snide comment and troll, it's quite revealing. 

  15. Carolyn_Nth 16

    As if there are not enough things to worry about these days – it is not a great time to have non-Covid health issues.  Bloomfield et al say do not stop seeking medical help for non-Covid issues.  But this is in a context when the health system is pre-occupied with Covid.

    It has taken me 4 GP consultations at full cost – 2 on the phone, 2 in-person – to narrow down possibilities for the white stuff on my tonsil.  In normal times it'd have probably taken 1 in-person consultation. I can afford it, others might not be able to.

    So, the GP who looked at my throat today says it's not strep throat.  It's either a stone (which is not a problem) or a growth (which is a problem). And she's referring me to a throat specialist.

    Another GP had taken a throat swab a couple of weeks ago. The lab refused to process it, cos too busy with Covid.  The GPs queried it, and now the lab has agreed to process it.  But now they can't find my original swab. So the GP took another swab today.

    So I probably have another few weeks to wait to find out if I have a problem or not.

    • weka 16.1

      that's not good. Fingers crossed they sort these issues out now going forward and put better systems in place.

      • Carolyn_Nth 16.1.1

        Thanks, weka.  It is a worry for me. 

        But I also wonder how many others are having difficulty getting appropriate medical attention for potentially serious, non-Covid conditions

        • weka

          I think it's an issue. Overseas reports suggest that less people are going to GPs and A and E for serious problems.


          • Carolyn_Nth

            Yes.  Very likely. 

            I had thought maybe the GPs thought I was worrying needlessly by keeping going back to them: first when the antibiotics didn't work, then to ask why I hadn't had the results for my throat swab.  The receptionist then booked me in for a phone consult with the young GP who did the swab.

            But, next thing, the older more-experienced  GP who had given me the antibiotics, phoned me, asked to see me in person, and cancelled the phone consult with the other GP.  I got the impression she thought I maybe just had a non-problematic stone, and thus, that I was worrying needlessly.

            Turned out, I think the older GP didn't want to say on the phone she was concerned that it might be a growth.  In the car park, in full PPE, after she'd checked my throat, said it could be a growth or a stone, and said she was referring me to a throat specialist another car pulled up.  The GP looked around and said it wasn't a very private space for this conversation.

            She also seemed keen for my swab to be analysed.  So, it was a bit of a shock, but it does show it's worth keeping on insisting on consultations & info about non-Covid concerns.

            • weka

              sounds like someone reviewed your situation, which is a good thing. They all seemed swamped that week or so around lockdown, but I'm guessing they've got more time now to be paying attention.

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Yes.  That's very likely.

                Also around the beginning and first couple of weeks of lock down, GPs were being instructed to do phone and video consultations as much as possible. People really didn't have much of an idea of how widespread C-19 might be in NZ communities.

                And also part of the situation where our public health system has been allowed to atrophy over the last few decades.

  16. Chris T 17

    No interviews from Winston today.

    Wonder why.

  17. Carolyn_Nth 18

    RNZ Reports:

    While the testing and tracing capacity had been built up "exceptionally well", Prof Baker told Morning Report it was still not quite there yet.

    "The wider question we need to come back to when the dust is settled is why did New Zealand allow its public health infrastructure to get to such a poor point? And we had so many warnings of this … a lot of us were saying for a long time that we were not ready for a pandemic. It's a very tough way to learn.

    Labour and National are responsible for decades of under-funding of our public health system.

    I hope the Ardern government follow through on claims they will work to rebuild the system, once the pandemic has been dealt with.

    • alwyn 18.1

      I'm afraid the question that needs to be answered is why did the Government do nothing to prepare for this between the end of January and the middle of March? Why did they not buy PPE then instead of finally putting money into it in the middle of April?

      They just sat there.

      [Simple task for you: shows us that you’re not lying this time, thanks – Incognito]

      • McFlock 18.1.1

        I don't believe you.

        • alwyn

          I am hurt, truly hurt, that you would say such a thing. Mind you if you don't believe that you would be right.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 18.1.2

        If Alwyn's 'considered' opinion @18.1 passed the sniff test, then I'd be surprised that the opposition National party didn't hold the Government to account re PPE supply, in a timely fashion (“end of January and the middle of March“). Maybe the opposition National party just sat there?

        From his reply @ it's clear that Alwyn was lying – no surprises there.

        It would have been so easy to be truthful.
        Thus spake President Trump this week on the very day he surpassed the milestone of uttering 18,000 falsehoods during his presidency, as tallied by the Post’s Fact Checker.

      • Incognito 18.1.3

        See my Moderation note @ 2:19 PM.

      • alwyn 18.1.4

        "Simple task for you"

        Before I start this "simple task" would you please tell me what you would regard as satisfactory evidence?  It is, of course, generally accepted that it is almost impossible to demonstrate that something does not, and never has, existed. In this case I really don't think that the Government are going to give me access to all the accounts of the Health Department and you will possibly claim that because there might be a purchase of a mask hidden away somewhere I haven't proved my point.

        So, before I take this task of Sisyphus on what evidence will you accept? 

        [When I said “simple task”, I meant it, not a “task of Sisyphus”. You know how it works here: when you make a statement(s) of fact, you need to (be able to) back it up with evidence for it to be judged a fact and not merely some made up shit that sounds good to you but is nevertheless made up BS and/or anti-Government propaganda. In this case, for example, you could link to a statement by the Director General of Health, the Minister of Health, or the Prime Minister showing that everything you said @ 18.1 is factually true and correct. To avoid wasting more time on you than is necessary and to stop your troll-like diversions, I have put you in Pre-Moderation to intercept your comments until you comply with this repeated Moderation request and complete your simple task or until I move you to the Blacklist – Incognito]

        • Carolyn_Nth


          I'm afraid the question that needs to be answered is why did the Government do nothing to prepare for this between the end of January and the middle of March? Why did they not buy PPE then instead of finally putting money into it in the middle of April?

          They just sat there.

          Not very hard to show some evidence that the government did NOT "just sit there"

          On 23 January, there is a report that the government had started rolling out their pandemic response plan.

          On 25 February, Ministry of health is reported as saying that they had already begun planning for a possible spread of the pandemic to NZ.  This includes preparing to have the necessary protective medical equipment.

          On 27 Feb, it's reported the Ministry of Health is assessing how much PPE they have in DHBs and how much they need to order from overseas.

          Doesn't look like just sitting there.  No wonder you don't want to look for the evidence.

          It does look like a health system that was not aywhere near prepared for a pandemic when the news of it broke.

          • McFlock

            Cheers for that.

            Mind you, imagine having the task (be it paid employment or self-anointed holy quest) of trying to sow enough alarm and despondency about the this government's covid response so that people should vote tory.

            The NZ response broke the chart (damn can’t embed pic properly).

            • weka

            • weka

              Quite. Being a fuckwit about the pandemic is quite the position.

              I'd be very surprised if alwyn lasts much longer let alone until the election campaign proper. We're now into that time of the election cycle when it's just easier to ban until after the election.

              • Stunned Mullet

                I must admit to noticing a distinct lack of tolerance on this site for any opinion that is questioning of the ministry response, preparedness or plans for non Covid related care during and as we exit Level 4 lockdown.

                • weka

                  Really? You haven't seen Rosemary, myself and others talking about PPE?

                  People don't get modded for criticising the govt or the MoH. People get modded for astroturfing and trolling, and then creating work for the mods. Longstanding patterns of behaviour where the mods have to spend time repeating themselves tends to fuck us off because we all have better things to do with our time. This is what alwyn's problem is.

                  • Stunned mullet

                    I did see Rosemary's comments and the number of people pooh poohing, you were certainly one of the notable exceptions prepared to discuss her concerns. 

                    • weka

                      Carolyn's been putting up solid information and analysis too.

                      I think there's an unsaid agreement that in a time of crisis one doesn't want to undermine confidence in the ability of authorities to manage what we are going through. That's different from not critiquing at all or having no tolerance for critique. In the post I put up last week criticising the MoH on the PPE issue, the comments were evenhanded debate across a range of opinions, quite a bit of disagreement, from memory none of the bullshit that alwyn just did here.

                • Incognito

                  I think you make a fair point that tolerance levels here are lower than usual; mine certainly are, as you undoubtedly have noticed. I think this is not too hard to understand. So, if you want to criticise you may have to watch the way you do this more than usual. You may also have to present more solid support for your reckons. Small words matter as they can substantially change the message. Please keep in mind that challenging your critique, even when valid, is not the same as fawning of the Government or the PM. My tolerance for these sorts of stupid simple-minded comebacks is near-zero.

          • alwyn

            Your final link was that the Department was assessing the situation.

            That is fine. However after that date I never saw anything about whether they did get any more gear. Then we had report after report that said there was plenty of gear, from the DOH and complaints that we can't get any from the front line.

            After that we had some individuals, and I haven't checked the names, but I think Mowbray, Morgan and Tindall were involved who were buying and importing the gear. At about mid March there were stories from importers that the Government was desperately trying to get some supplies but that nothing was available.

            Now, a few days ago we had a Press Release that there was going to be a couple of hundred million available to buy it.

            However I never saw anything until mid March then that they were actually buying the damn stuff. Looking at it? Yes. Buying it? Nothing for a long time.

        • alwyn

          I started gathering the links to justify my statements, thinking that you might at least consider them. Statements like "We didn't order any supplies at all" from the Minister weren't there. Surprise, surprise. On the other hand there was nothing until mid-March that they were going to put any money into getting any PPE.

          However I collected –

          The evidence, in repeated stories, that in spite of the claims by the DOH about all their stuff in stock, people on the front line couldn't get the items.

          Then the reports by people who supply this stuff in New Zealand of the sudden heavy demand from the Government to import gowns by air but the orders couldn't be met. These were completely new orders and Government interest.This was just after the lock-down.

          Then the statements by Robertson, repeated somewhat later by Clark that they were going to put a lot of money into buying the PPE goods. A couple of hundred million in fact. This was after the lock-down of course, and was the first time they had ever mentioned buying any.

          Then I thought about what was likely to happen from some moderator or other who had said that

          "I'd be very surprised if alwyn lasts much longer let alone until the election campaign proper. We're now into that time of the election cycle when it's just easier to ban until after the election."


          And then I remembered being banned for a couple of months by the aforesaid moderator for saying that Shaw was out of the country on Census day. My evidence was rejected because it was a newspaper story from, if I remember accurately, the day before the Census saying Shaw would be up in the Islands with the PM on Census day. This was in the future tense and therefore not evidence at all apparently so I was banned.

          Then I thought about how many people still post here who actually discuss interesting things in a rational manner. There are still 3 or 4 but that is all. There used to be posts by people like Colonial Viper, or Puckish Rogue or best of all Lanthanide. All gone and hardly anyone except for the KDS sufferers left.

          So I have decided, stuff it. Why go to any trouble knowing I will shortly be banned again because I might say something truthful about the Green Party and their coming demise and be banned instantly. There isn't enough here worth reading any more.

          I'm off. I'm afraid I can't say "Thanks for all the fish"

          • Incognito

            @ Alwyn,

            Thank you for the response, which I released from Pre-Moderation as you can tell; I thought you’d given up and it seems you have indeed.

            I will respond to it later, for the record.

          • Incognito

            For the record:

            If you make factual statements here then you need to be able to back them up. If you cannot find anything to support your statements with then they were most likely just your opinions.

            We don’t mind opinions at all, as long as they don’t masquerade as ‘facts’.

            This rule is as old as the site, I believe [see what I did there?].

            The reason why that Moderator mused that you might not last here is your pattern behaviour. It is not personal, but it is highly likely that it does become self-fulfilling if you believe it is. Moderation takes time and these are stressful times so Moderators do look for ways to avoid the extra burden of having to deal with recidivist behaviour.

            Relitigating (past) Moderation is never going to help anybody; you only dig in and a deeper hole.

            This is nothing new either.

            The irony is that if you want to discuss things in a rational manner you need to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction. The three commenters whom you mentioned all have (considerable) history here. Just like you, they have chosen self-exile from the site quite a few years ago. Only one is currently serving a long ban because he dug in, just like you, and when offered a way out, he didn’t accept!? Yet, oddly enough, he’s still trying to send comments to the site!?

            The fact you hold these three commenters in such high regard is quite telling. Even more telling is that you brandish with broad brush everybody else here as “KDS sufferers”. I could easily list quite a few regular commenters who would not fit that brand at all. I think it shows your prejudice towards this site and the people who comment here.

            There’s nothing rational about cutting your nose off despite your face. I know this all too well because I’m somewhat of an expert in this.

            Lastly, it is well known that you feel some (…) antipathy towards the Greens. This is not a bannable offence at all! However, the truth-threshold is higher than for more general topics and the tolerance for BS is correspondingly lower. If you want to criticise the Green Party then the onus is on you to make it correct and compelling yet you inevitably fail in this regard. I assume this is because you don’t distinguish clearly enough between fact and fiction and because of your demonstrable anti-Green bias.

            In summary, if you accuse us of banning you, please know why and what you were banned for and be honest about it. Please don’t make up lame excuses that we cannot handle the truth about the Green Party, for example. It is not becoming of a mature adult who claims to want a rational and civil discussion here.

            For the record: you have chosen to leave the site of your own accord.

            Stay safe and well, Alwyn.

      • Muttonbird 18.1.5

        I was going to warn you that comment would attract attention.

        But then I didn't.

        Good luck…

        • alwyn

          I always liked the quote about "luck" from golfer Gary Player. He said that people always told him how "lucky" he was in playing out of a bunker and getting close to the hole.

          His response was that he found that the more he practiced the luckier he was.

          • Muttonbird

            You certainly do get a lot of practice responding to moderation notes. Am unsure why you're not better at avoiding them.

            • alwyn

              I think that the views I express may differ from many others on this site.

              That is only my impression of course. I could easily be wrong and they are really in the main stream of remarks here.

              C'est la vie.

              • McFlock

                Throwing shade at the mods, now? Implying that you take up so much moderator time because of your differing views?

          • In Vino

            'practised' alwyn. You will get it right with more practice.

            I like your persistence..

            Yours in selective pedantry

            • alwyn

              Sorry but it is a valid alternative spelling and is the one used in the country where he said it. He was in the USA at the time.


              • McFlock

                But it wasn't a direct quote from written material. The spelling was your own.

                • In Vino

                  McFlock is right, alwyn. A direct quote should be given in quotation marks.

                  And NZ's official language is British English, not US English.

                  How dare you debase our language, alwyn!!

                  Yours in righteous pedantry

                  • McFlock

                    A wee while ago I had a debate with a colleague about whether it should be "clinical practise" as oppoosed to "clinical practice". It took some time, and involved colleague pointing to scholarly articles referring to clinical practise as "clinical practice", and me asking about how one would distinguish between the clinical practice at which the clinical practise was being practised and the clinical practise practised at the clinical practice even if only in a practice of the practise at the practice.

                    Last time they make me write rather than count, I hope. 👿

                    • In Vino

                      Lovely!  The whole thing is easily settled if one substitutes the word 'advise' for 'practise' and 'advice' for 'practice'.

                      No problem with advice and advise, because we pronounce them differently.

                      But practise and practice  (owing to stupid English spelling non-system) are pronounced the same,  hence the massive error-rate, which annoys us true pedants.

                      P.S.  It should be 'clinically practise' and 'clinical practice'. No other options available.

                    • Incognito []

                      Licence and license, I always get it wrong. Is there a simple rule?

                    • McFlock

                      The trick I learned in school was "ice is a thing you slip on".

                      Interesting re: "clinically practise". The entire thing still confuses me a bit, but that makes sense.

                    • In Vino

                      Practise, license, etc – switch the word to 'advise/advice' in that sentence, and you will instinctively pronounce the right choice.

                      -se = verb.            -ce = noun

                    • Anne

                      The best thing to do is to take turn about. That way one can be reasonably sure of a 50% right – 50% wrong scenario no matter what word is in contention. 😎

    • RedBaronCV 18.2

      There are even bigger questions behind this though. Maybe others can help? Had bits of the health service needed for this epidemic been effectively privatised draining money away from  essential government maintained services and making it more difficult to ramp up quickly because there needs to be contract renegotiations?

      Healthline which has been quite a part of the response seems to be a multi year (8? 9? years) costing $257? million for the basics over these years. I struggle with who is actually running this and if money is being drained into supersized salaries for some and profits as well? Anybody know anything?

  18. Ad 19

    Trump is about to suspend all immigration into the United States. 

    OMG this is the neo-right moment writ large.

  19. Fireblade 20

    Kangaroo on the deserted streets of Adelaide.

  20. Peter chch 21

    Kim Jong Un on his deathbed?

    If true, another huge variable in the worlds future. For all his sins, I guess there is stability, albeit based on evil, in NK. If true, and he passes away and the old order collapses,  could be a refugee crisis for China.


    • RedLogix 21.1

      Interesting. It would have enormous consequences if there were to be a collapse of the Nth Korean regime. The dissolution of strong man regimes is rarely peaceful, and it could entail sustained cooperation between the Chinese, Sth Korean and American armed services to manage the humanitarian and refugee fallout alone. 

      A fast moving crisis in Nth Korea could determine the power balance in East Asia for decades. If you look at just the 20th century, East/West Germany, North/South Yemen, North/South Vietnam it was predicted that these divided nations would be very likely to ever recombine … yet all three did during events that lasted just weeks, not even months.

      Big Fat Caveat. No-one really knows what is happening in the hermit kingdom, which makes early reports like this highly conditional. If true however, the timing would be appalling ….

    • aom 21.2

      Since the story is seemingly not based on hard evidence, there is not much point in getting too excited.

  21. Cinny 22

    You Clap For Me Now heart

    So, it’s finally happened,
    That thing you were afraid of,
    Something’s come from overseas,
    And taken your jobs,
    Made it unsafe to walk the streets,
    Kept you trapped in your home.

    A dirty disease,
    Your proud nation, gone.
    But not me. Or me.
    Or me. Or me.

    No, you clap for me now.

    You cheer as I toil,
    Bringing food to your family,
    Bringing food from your soil.

    Propping up your hospitals,
    Not some foreign invader.
    Delivery driver. Teacher. Life saver.

    Don’t say ‘go home’,
    Don’t say ‘not here’,
    You know how it feels for home to be a prison,
    You know how it feels to live in fear.

    So you clap for me now.

    All this love you are bringing,
    But don’t forget when it’s no longer quiet,
    Don’t forget when you can no longer hear the birds singing,
    Or see clear waters, that I crossed for you,
    To make lives filled with peace,
    And bring peace to your life too.

    Come all you Gretas,
    You Malalas,
    You immigrants,
    See what we have learned.

    It only takes the smallest thing,
    To change the world.

  22. joe90 23

    It never rains but it pours.

    The world’s largest investment banks have provided more than $700bn of financing for the fossil fuel companies most aggressively expanding in new coal, oil and gas projects since the Paris climate change agreement, figures show.

    The financing has been led by the Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase, which has provided $75bn (£61bn) to companies expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration, according to the analysis.

    The New York bank is one of 33 powerful financial institutions to have provided an estimated total of $1.9tn to the fossil fuel sector between 2016 and 2018.

    The data shows the most aggressively expanding coal-mining operations, oil and gas companies, fracking firms and pipeline companies have received $713.3bn in loans, equity issuances and debt underwriting services from 2016 to mid-2019.


  23. Cinny 24

    That's GOLD 🙂

  24. Muttonbird 25

    Cinny, I think you had replied to that tiktok I posted. 

    Sorry, I took it down. It came from facebook and you never can tell how far they have their tentacles into your private IT settings.

    Funny though. @kyscottt if you want to find it.

    • Cinny 25.1

      Thanks MB for the tiktok addy 🙂  Miss 15 looked it up on her phone, she loved it 🙂

      She said…. 'mum this girl is drunk, what is she on about….' 

      'listen carefully darling do you recognise that voice?'

      'omg mummmmm it's trump'

      'yes, and this is what he is like in his daily pressers too'


  25. Fireblade 26

    Ireland's Covid-19 numbers are frightening.

    They currently have 15,652 cases, 687 deaths and 77 recovered. The population of Ireland is only 4.9 million.


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  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
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    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
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    2 weeks ago
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
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