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Open mike 21/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2021 - 248 comments
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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 …

248 comments on “Open mike 21/12/2021 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Zionism morphed into apartheid:

    The author is a prominent French newspaper editor and foreign correspondent who lived in Israel for 12 years, trained there to be a youth movement leader and even served in a paratroop brigade after being drafted.

    Cypel writes with the passion of the convert: someone who believes he has been betrayed by the faith in which he was raised. His father was also a journalist, the editor of France’s Yiddish-language daily, Unzer Wort, and the main leader of labor Zionism in France for a quarter of a century.

    Although the accusation of apartheid has gained much more currency in the last couple of years, it was almost 20 years ago when Cypel first heard the case for it. It came in an interview he conducted with Michael Ben-Yair, who was Israel’s attorney general in Yitzhak Rabin’s second government. Ben-Yair believed the essential tenet of Zionism had been violated. “The object of Zionist thinking was never the domination of another people,” he said.

    “We are committing crimes that fly in the face of international law and public morality. The moment a power establishes two different legal systems, one democratic and liberal, and the other repressive and cruel, that’s where apartheid starts … Where an army defends the property of the one and destroys that of the other … there is no other term to define the situation except apartheid.”

    His accusations carry particular power because of the nationality of his sources: nearly all are Israeli journalists, intellectuals and activists. But there is a paradox which Cypel mostly glides over: the provenance of all this criticism is also potent evidence of the continuing vitality of Israeli democracy. It would be impossible to write a book like this, relying almost entirely on the testimony of resident citizens and especially journalists, about Saudi Arabia, Egypt or even Jordan.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/dec/19/the-state-of-israel-vs-the-jews-review-sylvain-cypel

    Seems valid to me, his analogy to SA. State imposed separatism, oppression, two classes treated differently regardless of civil rights. Funny thing is, you can't call it racist: Israelis & Palestinians are both semitic…

    • The 2-state solution is dead. A new Israel/Palestine state should be created taking in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza concentration camp, in which all people have exactly the same rights.

      Don't hold your breath.

    • swordfish 1.2

      .

      Good to see increasing numbers of Zionist true-believers facing the reality of Israel's brutality … polls suggest attitudes are particularly transforming among younger members of the American Jewish community.

      But this assertion:

      Ben-Yair believed the essential tenet of Zionism had been violated. “The object of Zionist thinking was never the domination of another people,” he said.

      … is utter fantasy. While it's true that different ideological strands of Zionism existed in the early-mid 20C … the dominant one, eclipsing all others, was committed to the ethnic cleansing & domination of the indigenous Palestinian population right from the very start.

      And that’s exactly what Israel subsequently carried out – relentlessly from 1948 to today.

      • Gezza 1.2.1

        Unfortunately, that’s right – or that’s how I’ve come to see things in Israel/Palestine, anyway.

        Ultimately the PLO’s & Fatah’s complete ineffectiveness at countering the Zionist agenda & continual appropriation of Palestinian land has led to Hamas gaining control of Gaza & perhaps the West Bank – if elections were actual held.

        Hamas, even in its recently updated charter, is ultimately committed to expelling the Jews completely from Palestine/Israel, offering only a truce until such time as that can be accomplished. There’s nowhere else for them to go & nothing else that they can see to do but to semi-regularly attack Israelis in the now forlorn hope that the Arabs (or the world) will somehow do something to control the Zionists & the IDF.

        So it’s basically an unresolvable problem. I’m not sure the Israelis would even bother to listen now to the US if it did ever decide to withdraw support for the Israeli land-stealing programme. They’ve got such an iron grip on the place that no neighbouring Arab country dares attack them.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Gaia has thoughtfully provided a natural source of entertainment to ease the boredom of East Coasters:

    A mud volcano that burst to the surface on a farm near Gisborne threw large rocks 50 metres and is continuing to “bubble away”, 10 days after it erupted.

    Rock-dodging will keep them on their toes & improve their fitness too. All good.

    Gisborne District Council scientist Murry Cave​ said the mud volcano appeared on Monowai Station in the head of the Waimata Valley, about 25km north of Gisborne, about 7.45pm on December 10.

    “It was accompanied by a sound that the landowners initially thought was thunder,” Cave said. He said mud volcanoes were a natural but rare phenomenon in New Zealand, and Gisborne/Tairawhiti had quite a few. This latest one is about 2km from the last mud volcano eruption in the area, which occurred in December 2018.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/127336946/mud-volcano-erupting-on-gisborne-farm-threw-large-rocks-50-metres

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Rebalancing is the latest phase in the Chinese regime's synthesis of capitalism & communism:

    Now faced with the prospect of an economic hard landing, Beijing appears to be backing off the tough stance it took on the private sector. At their recent meeting, Chinese leaders praised the positive role that private capital plays in the economy — a stark shift of tone compared to how they were speaking a year ago.

    Many major banks have cut their growth forecasts to between 4.9% and 5.5%, which would be the slowest rate of growth since 1990 — a year when international sanctions following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre seriously curbed economic activity.

    The notoriously stable unemployment rate, released by the government every month, has stayed flat this year, only fluctuating between 4.9% and 5.5%. But repeated calls by the top leaders on various occasions to strengthen employment suggest there might be a bigger problem than the data shows. "I think employment is now a bigger sensitivity than GDP," said George Magnus, an associate at the China Centre at Oxford University and former chief economist for UBS.

    During a key economic meeting earlier this month, top leaders from the ruling Chinese Communist Party marked "stability" as their top priority for 2022. That's a huge pivot from last year's meeting, when "curbing the disorderly expansion of capital" ruled the day.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/19/economy/china-2022-economic-priorities-mic-intl-hnk/index.html

    • millsy 3.1

      I'm picking that the cries about 'human rights' and what is happening in Xinjiang will probably die down as a concequence.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Finally something substantial from the Nats' new leader:

    “I want to make sure there’s civility in our politics here in New Zealand. You just have to look around the western liberal democracies and see there’s a massive amount of divisiveness that’s taken place. Once you set that off, and it’s a course in motion, it’s not constructive for the country,’’ Luxon says. That means working with the Government when the situation allows for it.

    “There are moments where we’ll disagree very strongly, and oppose, but where it makes sense, and we can be constructive we should be open to it.’’ The passing of the Housing Supply Bill In Parliament last week is reflective of that.

    It was a bipartisan approach taken by National and Labour under then-leader Judith Collins and saw housing spokesperson and now deputy leader Nicola Willis work with Housing Minister Megan Woods to write legislation. “We know home ownership is important and we know we have a housing crisis. We know we need to build more houses in a long and enduring way and expand and densify our cities,’’ Luxon says.

    “Us stepping up to the plate and working in good faith with the Government is different, but very necessary.… We ended up with a good bill. People will criticise us for that, but fundamentally we’re either solving a housing crisis in this country or we’re not," he said. “To work in a bipartisan way is a good example of what could be possible."

    Asked if he respectes the Prime Minister, and indeed likes her, Luxon says, “I do’’. And it’s not just Labour being dished compliments; he says Climate Change Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw is “someone I really respect and have spent a lot of time with’’. He wants his climate change spokesperson Scott Simpson to have a close working relationship with Shaw and to work hard on a bipartisan approach. “The background is that I was very much about embracing net carbon zero.’’

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/chris-luxons-desire-to-work-more-with-the-government

    I appreciate Luxon giving us the opportunity to head into the holiday break on this positive note. The test of character for him will be next year when he realises most of his caucus assumed it was mere window-dressing & expect him to return to traditional Nat polarising. He'll have to resist that collective pull to become a great leader.

    • Tricledrown 4.1

      Well Labour beware a magnanimous National leader.

      Chris Bishop yesterday hurry up with booster roll out Labour.

      According to Danish figures the booster shot is 89% effective against Omricon.

      • Blazer 4.1.1

        Luxown7 learning the art of faking…sincerity.

        His voters in the 'leafy' burbs hate the bi-partisan higher density housing policy with a…passion.

      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.2

        Chris Luxon, gathering credibility and linking himself to an idea and personalities complete with the old divide and conquer with the resurrection of the Blue Greens idea?

        Softly softly catchee monkey? Shades of the wolf in sheep's clothing. He is trying to win the ladies vote back… a much more nuanced player.

        The "key" to the kingdom is the women's vote.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.2

      Hopefully he can follow through with this, I get the feeling it'd be popular with the voters

    • The 3-storey housing accord ended up being much watered-down, mostly because of objections from leafy suburbs that meant National supported amendments.

      There are now much stricter height rules, open space for recreation has to be provided, and (most importantly) local councils have the discretion not to apply the provisions where there are heritage issues.

      The media doesn't seem to have picked up on this, probably on purpose as it would give the impression that Nicola Willis was reneging on the deal.

      (But, as a woman said on RNZ yesterday, there is no protection for trees in the bill at all, even for 400 year old Kauri trees.)

    • gsays 4.4

      Not unreasonable as they are ideologically closely related.

    • observer 4.5

      He respects the PM, wants to be bi-partisan … what a nice chap.

      Yeah, nah. Anyone who's been paying attention will have noticed that Luxon clearly says different things to different audiences. In Morrinsville: "the government doesn't care about you". He reels off a list of things the government is doing wrong. Very popular with that audience.

      Safely back in Wellington, he's all for tackling climate change. Likes James Shaw. Wants to work on zero carbon. Which means going out and telling those farmers what they don't want to hear. He didn't tell them, of course.

      "Words are wind" … Game of Thrones.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Key began the same way.

    Soon deteriorated into snarkiness.

    • Jester 5.1

      Yep and he lasted over 8 years.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        Key's honeyed-words fooled New Zealanders at first.

        His example should have us on alert to Luxon using the same method.

        • Gezza 5.1.1.1

          Snarky is just how some people are. Dr Cullen could be snarky, & you’re certainly not averse to it.

          Sir John didn’t live up to a lot of his promises & I never liked or trusted him, but he & Sir William managed to get through the Christchurch & Kaikoura earthquakes & Pike River disasters & keep the country running without tanking the economy.

          When Peters won the 2017 election for Labour, Ardern & Robertson inherited a reasonable set of books, albeit with notable shortfalls in housing, roading & health/hospital spends.

          I don’t think Sir John would have handled Covid to date as well as Ardern has – by her consistently leading from the front, & I dunno whether Luxon would’ve either.

          I seem to recall Bridges, Muller & Collins all saying at some piint they wanted to work constructively with Labour where possible. Luxon has to do more than one comparatively small housing accord to convince me he’ll be significantly different in opposition than his predecessors – both Bridges & Collins barked at every passing car.

          You name it, if the govt did it, they complained about it. Even when their own policies were vague or incoherent. I at least expect more coherence from Luxon, but I still believe he’s just fronting for Sir John, who got a shock at how badly his party fell apart & who wants them to look after HIS top end of town.

          • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.1

            Nice wee personal criticism slip-in there, Gezza – you're so good at it!

            I'm puzzled as to why you call Key, "Sir John", but Luxon, "Luxon", Bridges, "Bridges" and "Collins, "Collins" – why is that?

            • Gezza 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Mainly to irritate or discombobulate those here who really loathe him. The bugger engineered himself & Sir William knighthoods. He’s therefor entitled under political convention & diplomatic protocol to be referred to as Sir John.

              I have no personal problems with using their titles. Knighthoods, in this country, when I look at some of the rsoles who’ve got them, mean nothing to me so I don’t use them with any awe or reverence.

              • Gezza

                (As a quick aside – Hon Winston Raymond Peters, PC, is entitled to use the honorofic for being a member of the Privy Council, which, because of rule changes back in Blighty, IIRC, no other current member of Parliament is entitled to, nor has been for some years. Few people are aware of this, it seems, although he’s never made a big thing of it, AFAIK.)

                • alwyn

                  The changes were made here actually. Both Clark and Key declined to make appointments to the Privy Council. People like Helen Clark, Jenny Shipley and Winston Peters retained the title as they had been appointed already.

                  In 2010 the Queen requested that the title be used for some senior politicians, although they were not in the Privy Council. It was decided that it would be reserved for The Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and the Chief Justice. They would not be members of the Privy Council.

                  You can believe it or not that the Queen did this unprompted. I would guess that I would be about 95% accurate if I predicted the view of any specific contributor to this blog on that matter.

                  https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/features-pre-2016/document/00NZPHomeNews201308271/the-honourable-and-the-right-honourable

                  • Gezza

                    Ah, ok. Thanks for that info and the correction, alwyn.

                    I see also that I should've correctly referred to Rt Hon Winston Raymond Peters, PC.

                    Wikipedia backs that up & notes:

                    “Although the Privy Council is primarily a British institution, officials from some other Commonwealth realms are also appointed. By 2000, the most notable instance was New Zealand, whose Prime Minister, senior politicians, Chief Justice and Court of Appeal Justices were traditionally appointed Privy Counsellors.

                    However, appointments of New Zealand members have since been discontinued. The Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Governor-General and the Chief Justice of New Zealand are still accorded the style Right Honourable, but without membership of the Council.

                    Until the late 20th century, the prime ministers and chief justices of Canada and Australia were also appointed privy counsellors. Canada also has its own Privy Council, the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada (see below).

                    Prime ministers of some other Commonwealth countries that retain the Queen as their sovereign continue to be sworn of the Council.”

            • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.1.1.2

              I took it as a nod to the wastrel John Durbeyfield from Tess of the D'Ubervilles – "Good night, Sir John," said the parson.

              • Dennis Frank

                Dunno if the younger generations are still capable of issuing literary references, Stuart. It was still the done thing when I was at college but the 1970s saw Americanism sweep through kiwi culture like a tide.

                Even today, whenever young people call me sir, I have to restrain myself from informing them that knighthood was never actually bestowed upon me by the patriarchy. It's entirely possible that a lifetime dedicated to subverting the patriarchy may have had something to do with that…

                • alwyn

                  I would seriously doubt that there is anyone alive who actually had a knighthood bestowed by the "patriarchy". After all every one since 1952 has been bestowed by the "matriarchy" in the shape of the Queen.

                  I'm sure you would have followed my example if one had been offered to you though Dennis. I am sure you would also refuse one because you think a peerage is the suitable recognition of your merit.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    smiley Don't be fooled by the token woman frontage!

                    Re Lange copying Rupert Murdoch in his refusenik stance, yeah I've agreed with the logic around aristocratic contamination since I was a kid. And the chances of the authorities recognising any merit I may happen to have are as zilch as they ever were…

                    • alwyn

                      I meant to put the same emoticon that you did ahead of the second paragraph. I wasn't seriously suggesting that you were that arrogant.

          • Blazer 5.1.1.1.2

            ' but he & Sir William managed to get through the Christchurch & Kaikoura earthquakes & Pike River disasters & keep the country running without tanking the economy.'

            I can never decipher what this actually means!

            Christchurch response was hardly an exemplar,going by the ongoing litigation.

            Why would the economy tank?

            These two knighhted hoods ran an economy reliant on mass immigration and ramping property prices.

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.2.1

              These two knighted hoods ran an economy reliant on mass immigration and ramping property prices.

              As did Helen Clark, as does Jacinda Ardern. Soon to be damed? Would achieve full bipartisan political symmetry, eh?

              However I suspect Helen would already have achieved damehood if she hadn't privately refused it. Did she do a Lange?

              • Patricia Bremner

                Dennis.. what "huge immigration" under Ardern?

                • Dennis Frank

                  You haven't noticed?? Google does give us evidence of a big reduction the past year – presumably due to the pandemic – but she maintained Key's level quite effectively through her prior term as PM.

                  migrant arrivals: 45,300 (± 600), down 72 percent. migrant departures: 40,500 (± 500), down 46 percent. annual net migration gain: 4,700 (± 700), down from 84,800 (± 20).12/08/2021

                  You can see a graph for the past 20 years here:
                  https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/international-migration-june-2021

              • alwyn

                Privately refused it? Privately? You have got to be joking. She was quite public about the matter. She also happily accepted an honour that ranked above the Sir, or Dame, level in the honours.

                She was just like Jim Bolger in that they both waved their Irish ancestry in the face of the English.

                • Dennis Frank

                  She was quite public about the matter.

                  That right? I never saw reportage of that. Couldn't see anything to that effect on her wiki either.

                  • alwyn

                    I suggest you have a look at this from 2000.

                    "I think it is just seeming increasingly quaint that we hang on to these trappings of another society."

                    "The cabinet's decision to drop "sirs" and "dames" brings the honours system fully into line with the recommendations of the advisory committee, chaired by former National minister Philip Burdon."

                    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/sirs-dames-get-clarks-new-order-of-the-boot/Z2ZXIP6WYBCQSIUDXLLRZ47KVI/

                    As well as this

                    "Former prime minister Helen Clark pressured her former minister Margaret Shields not to accept the title Dame."

                    "Miss Clark sent Mrs Shields a letter setting out why Labour had abolished the titles and saying she hoped she would not accept one."

                    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/clark-asked-dame-resist-taking-title

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Ah yes, you're right, it all comes back to me now. Didn't Key reverse what Helen's govt did? I vaguely recall that too. Actually, her elimination of the titles would have been one of the few things she did that I agreed with. Along with the change to the Employment Contracts Act allowing union representation back in. I've never been a union man but agree with the solidarity principle.

            • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.2.2

              "These two knighted hoods"

              You're good at that!

            • Gezza 5.1.1.1.2.3

              Why would the economy tank?

              Muldoon nearly did that. Or, more accurately, making the case that he did was how Roger Douglas got his neoliberal foot in the door & we all know where Labour took the economy & Kiwiland society thereafter. (Ruth Richardson carrying on where he left off.)

              These two knighhted hoods ( 😄 👍🏼 ) ran an economy reliant on mass immigration and ramping property prices.

              Until Covid arrived, that formula was still good for the Labour & NZF coalition, & don’t some economists here argue the economy’s still running on ramping property prices?

          • bwaghorn 5.1.1.1.3

            Navigated pike river you say!

            If covering it up a crime and letting the offenders getaway is navigating then yeah sure.

            • Gezza 5.1.1.1.3.1

              Government Departments ought to be in the dock for Cave Creek, Pike River, & Whakaari/White Island. In any other country, they would be. (The union didn’t do itself well with Pike River either.)

              For some reason NZ’s sloppy & deficient regulators always escape accountability. We even have the hypocrisy of Worksafe prosecuting the companies involved after the Whakaari eruption as a smokescreen for their inadequate regulation of the tours.

      • Bearded Git 5.1.2

        …by doing nothing in government.

  6. An article on Newsroom comparing similar sized countries to NZ for covid response.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/comparing-covid-how-new-zealand-stacks-up

    Broadly speaking, we should take great pride in the fact that our Government, working closely with experts in the health ministry, independent epidemiologists and modellers, has developed cautious policies that have protected us to an extraordinary degree against the worst ravages of Covid.

    And

    When Christopher Luxon, leader of the National Party, asserts that, in order to protect businesses against further losses, New Zealand should be emerging from social restrictions much faster than the Government is permitting, he is joining Bloomberg in valuing big business over the lives of people at risk of dying of Covid.

    Yes, I know we don’t have land borders as do many of the countries compared here, but the fact remains NZ has done bloody well, probably the best in the world.

    Incidentally, what a great source of independent and impartial news and comment Newsroom is!

    • gsays 6.1

      Nothing personal, what are the metrics for deciding how well 'we' have done?

      Is it just death rate?

      Infections?

      Are the people forced out of their vocation put on the scale?

      How are the divisions in families caused by the passport measured? Do they even matter, you know, collateral damage.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Everything's on the scale, but coffins and ventilators are pretty heavy items.

        • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.1.1

          Has the number of coffins and ventilators required fallen since the 22ndOctober when it was announced that the mandates and the job losses and the segregation were needed to keep the double vaccinated safe from the unvaccinated?

          And how has myself (and thousands of others) losing our income reduced the need for coffins and ventilators?

          I'd really like to know…because if the State is going to do this sort of shit they really need to have solid empirical evidence to justify it.

          And with Omicron giving the single digit salute to the Pfizer product the justifications for the discrimination and segregation are fast dissolving.

          Hands up who thinks the mandates and all the other 'papers please' shit will be revoked now the PTB realise the vaccines won't stop transmission of omicron?

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            What daily death toll do you think should be accepted to keep you, personally, in a job?

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.1

              There is no "acceptable" death toll.

              And there is also no medical or scientific rationale for firing teachers, healthcare workers, nurses and others from their jobs, or closing down the practices of health care providers because an injection was declined.

              Nor is there any medical or scientific rationale for banning children from swimming pools, public libraries, extracurricular activities or churches because an injection hasn't been administered.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                And there is also no medical or scientific rationale for firing teachers, healthcare workers, nurses and others from their jobs, or closing down the practices of health care providers because an injection was declined.

                That's an intriguing opinion – it's almost as if you're saying that there’s no medical or scientific rationale for mandating the vaccination of 'front-facing' healthcare and teaching staff.

                There are other opinions – individual thresholds for the acceptability of public health measures are at least as diverse as the measures themselves.

                Health system leaders on vaccine mandates [20 Dec 2021]
                The science is clear, but efforts to mandate vaccines at both the federal and the local levels have been met with pushback and legal challenges. In July of this year, the AMA, along with 55 other health care organizations and societies, issued a joint statement in support of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all health care and long-term care workers. The AMA stands with health system leaders who've been issuing mandates to help protect their workforce, their patients, and their communities.

                • Bill

                  I wonder what science the AMA based its assertion on? These bodies never seem to link to anything, preferring to run on "received wisdom".

                  I don't know if you've noticed that.

                  Or maybe I'm missing something and your good self would be kind enough to provide links to the "clear" science that justifies the mandates the AMA speak of in relation to their support of "health care leaders"?

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    In July of this year, the AMA, along with 55 other health care organizations and societies, issued a joint statement in support of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all health care and long-term care workers.

                    Not only the AMA, Bill, although you may not have noticed that wink

                    Or maybe I'm missing something and your good self would be kind enough to provide links to the "clear" science that justifies the mandates the AMA speak of in relation to their support of "health care leaders"?

                    Re the "science that justifies the mandates", try these excerpts from the start of the lengthy transcript of the linked discussion. Food for thought, I reckon – after all, there are at least two ‘sides’ to every 'story'.

                    In the case of vaccine mandates for healthcare staff, it seems almost certain that your good self will continue to assert that there is “no medical or scientific rationale” for those mandates, so maybe we can agree to disagree?

                    We started by asking each health system leader to explain their rationale for implementing a vaccine mandate. Dr. Anderson started us off, saying it wasn't that different than requiring employees to get a flu vaccine.

                    Dr. Anderson: When you see that there is an influenza vaccine requirement that is in place, you know that that is an organization that is focused on the culture of patient safety. We get those annual vaccines to primarily protect our patients, so that we don't introduce influenza to someone who's already susceptible to it and perhaps has other comorbidities that could make their medical condition worse. The second piece to that is we also want to ensure that we protect our staff members, because during flu season, or now during COVID season, we're dependent upon every single employee. So by providing these vaccines and requiring them, we're able to increase the presence of our staff and they feel safer about being able to work in this environment. And finally, our communities will come to us when they know that we've created this safe environment.

                    Dr. Hart: If you go back to the hospitalizations, many of those hospitalizations were in people who were unvaccinated. 90%, 85, 90% were unvaccinated people. So we had begun letting our staff know throughout the organization that when the government gives full approval for the vaccine, we are going to mandate this. We think it's the right thing to do. This is about a couple of things. This is about being the right thing to do for our staff, keeping them safe when they're here in the hospital and when they're in our clinics, taking care of people.

                    But it's also about providing a safe place for our patients to come. Nobody wants a patient to come in and actually get an illness or be infected coming in to see us. We also began having some patients who are asking the question, “Hey, is my staff that takes care of me here vaccinated?” So we began doing work early on in setting people up to really understand that we think this is the right thing to do from a safety, from a quality and from a community need, that it's going to be the right thing to do to mandate these vaccines.

                    Dr. Munkarah: First, it is living up to our mission and vision to make sure that we are the trusted partner in care for our community and that we are helping to improve the lives of our community. We looked at the data. We weighed the data. We looked at evidence. We looked at science and made sure that when we felt that the vaccines are effective and safe, and when we felt that just asking people to get the vaccines without mandating it, asked our staff to get vaccinated without the mandate, is not getting us to the numbers that provides enough immunity to serve the community and protect the community. This is where we made the decision to mandate.

                    • RedLogix

                      You might want to ponder why it is that if these vaccines are really so wonderful – why it is that there is any resistance to them among medical workers at all.

                      Or maybe after decades of being trained up to put 'informed consent' at the centre of their relationship with patients – that it's sudden erasure struck them as a tad disconcerting?

                    • Bill

                      Sure. I know it's not "just the AMA". That's why I used the plural "bodies" in my comment.

                      Those Doctors are offering up opinion and not referencing any science at all. Now sure, I get it's a transcript of a conversation, but my initial comment highlighted people and bodies running on "received wisdom" in lieu of science, and three Doctors repeating talking points isn't science.

                      Maybe that's good enough for those people who would accept the word of a (for them) recognised authority at face value.

                      If, as two of those Doctors assert, the m-RNA injection is just like the flu shot for carers of high risk individuals, how does that translate to mandating health care providers who are not caring for high risk individuals and what say they on the idea of giving last year's flu jab this year, or giving the flu jab from two years ago this year (which, all else being equal, would be the apples to apples comparison)?

                      edit: as for agreeing to disagree, that’s fine by me, except I’m still no further forward on what the “clear science” is that I don’t agree with you about.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      You might want to ponder why it is that if these vaccines are really so wonderful – why it is that there is any resistance to them among medical workers at all.RL @11:757 am

                      Or among any group – maybe it's the Parato principle at work wink

                      No one (that I know of) has claimed that these wonderful vaccines are perfect – after all, their efficacy depends on human immune systems. The low level of resistance to vaccine mandates among medical workers will be due to a range of factors – for example, ignorance is unlikely to be under-represented in the 'resister camp'.

                      edit: as for agreeing to disagree, that’s fine by me, except I’m still no further forward on what the “clear science” is that I don’t agree with you about.Bill @12:07 pm

                      Good Bill – you don't and I do agree with the consensus expert opinion that vaccine mandates are a valuable public health tool during pandemics. Maybe that expert opinion is nothing more than self-interested poppycock, and maybe when there is a bit more certainty about the trajectory of this pandemic (the worst in the last 100 years) then those madates will be eased – maybe. Personally I’d prefer the vaccine mandates to be maintained until the on-going pandemic is over, and I’m hopeful that as ‘our’ understanding of this novel virus improves, so will the efficacy of (new) vaccines.

                      Health and Care Worker Deaths during COVID-19
                      The Joint Statement calls for immediate and concrete action to protect health and care workers:

                      1. Strengthen data collection and reporting on infections, ill-health and deaths among health and care workers due to COVID-19;
                      2. Protect health and care workers during and beyond the current global COVID-19 pandemic; and
                      3. Accelerate the vaccination of all health and care workers in all countries.

                      Failure to take action undermines the physical, mental, and social well-being of those individuals we depend upon to manage the pandemic. Recognition and commemoration are not enough. It is our moral obligation to protect and invest in health and care workers. And we must move forward together.

              • McFlock

                Cases per day down to 10% or so what they were at the peak of allegedly unstoppable delta.

                I guess the "injection" had no part in that, nor the tracing app, nor the covid pass. It all would have just died out by itself, like covid did everywhere else in the world.

                People who don't want to do public health measures available now are free to adopt the measures available to us in April 2020 – which are basically the same as the public health measures available to the village of Eyam.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  People who don't want to do public health measures

                  Hmmm….there are public health measures that should be second nature for all of us, especially those of us who are managing the daily personal cares of people who are considered 'vulnerable'.

                  Washing hands. Coughing and sneezing into a tissue or an elbow or do it out side. Not hoiking and spitting unless into a tissue or toilet. Washing hands. Wear masks and decent medical gloves where appropriate. Washing hands. Containing coughs.

                  Then there's eating healthy foods…fruit and veg and the protein o your choice. Supplement with proven vitamins and minerals in times o stress.

                  But forcing a 'vaccine' that was nit designed to stop infection and transmission and has a small window of efficacy for preventing serious disease and has way too many serious side effects…?

                  Show the evidence that it is the jab that has caused the curve for the latest outbreak to fall. Because to me the curve looks remarkably similar to worldwide pre-'vaccine' outbreak curves.

                  • McFlock

                    I guess the unvaccinated aren't into washing their hands.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      I guess the unvaccinated aren't into washing their hands.

                      Being cryptic is all very well McFlock, but you have to give just a little bit of a clue as to what point it is that you're trying to convey.

                      Why don't you, in the interests of having a good faith discussion, simply say what you mean.

                    • weka

                      I didn't understand your point either McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      sorry, had to go do stuff.

                      I wasn't meaning to be cryptic.

                      If vaccines have only a small window of efficacy and there's no real evidence anything other than diet and washing your hands affects transmission or illness severity, why are the unvaccinated so massively overrepresented in case and hospitalisation stats? Is it because unvaccinated people don’t wash their hands?

                    • weka

                      ah, right. Yes. People who don't vaccinate are on a spectrum. Some of the ones I know are taking the other measures seriously.

                      Would be interesting to see though, how many unvaxxed people that end up on hospital do all the other right things. Or whether it's primarily unvaxxed people who don't believe in masks, distancing, stay at home etc.

                    • McFlock

                      Google scholar might be your friend in that. NZ results might be too small.

                      Beyond those with contraindications, one would expect almost perfect overlap between the people who choose to be unvaxxed and antimaskers who don't think handwashing would help. They're all supported by the same scientific methodologies and recommended by the same medical establishment, after all. But that would require the maintenance of logical consistency to defend illogical positions.

                    • weka

                      on that basis, there should be a complete overlap between those that believe science is god and also believe the unvaccinated people are a hive mine.There’s always a sense of schadenfruede when hyper-rationalists are irrational

                    • McFlock

                      Well, no. My comment is that it is irrational to believe in a specifically-described position A but disbelieve specifically-described position B when they are both tested and supported in the same way.

                      Yours is that one vague bit of linguistic shorthand should overlap with another piece of vague linguistic shorthand.

                      There's no particular reason to believe that those if any who hold "science is god" (whatever that means precisely) would also, to maintain logical consistency, regard antivaxxers as having hive-like thought processes (however one might precisely mean that term). It's quite possible for people to reach the same incorrect or inconsistent conclusion via completely different paths of deduction or assumption. Heck, there's an entire class of philosophical examples where people might reach correct conclusions based on incorrect deductions, yet still satisfy the "justified, true, belief" definition of knowledge.

                      But if someone believes there is strong evidence that handwashing helps control covid19 to a significant level but that there is no strong evidence for vaccines doing the same thing, that is an odd position to take given the amount of research into both.

                    • weka

                      But if someone believes there is strong evidence that handwashing helps control covid19 to a significant level but that there is no strong evidence for vaccines doing the same thing, that is an odd position to take given the amount of research into both.

                      You are assuming that this is the reason that all people who are unvaccinated (apart from those exempted by the MoH) think this. They don't.

                      And honestly, nearly two years in and there are still otherwise intelligent people still relatively clueless about why people choose not to be vaccinated… this is frankly really odd. It's not rocket engineering. It's social studies.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah, it's not social science. If somebody reckons the pandemic will die out if we wash our hands but don't take vaccines, that's a clear prediction that needs strong evidence.

                      If they're right, they've saved hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, and awards will rain upon them from around the globe.

                      But the effects on vaccine uptake? The crowd controller in me long ago recognised that the reasons people do stupid things are irrelevant. Identify it before it gets out of hand, and motivate them to do smart things. If they miss out when they insist on doing the stupid thing, that's their call. They'll have another chance tomorrow night.

                      Govt is doing ok getting uptake – better than many countries. Maybe there's someone in it examining the motivations of the last few %, just in case we need ~100% coverage. Maybe not. It's not my department, and I have no personal desire to gaze into that particular abyss.

                  • weka

                    But forcing a 'vaccine' that was nit designed to stop infection and transmission and has a small window of efficacy for preventing serious disease and has way too many serious side effects…?

                    We all believe what we believe at this point I guess, so fwiw,

                    • the vaccine programme is useful for:
                      • lessening chance of infection in individuals and communities
                      • lessening severity of infection and death
                      • lessening chance of long covid
                      • flattening the curve so the health system doesn't get overrun (and all the short, medium and long term impacts and effects of that).
                    • Original window of individual protection was 6 months, this may get shorter as new variants develop
                    • Hence the need for boosters
                    • Window for whole countries is longer because we don't all get double vaxxed on the same day
                    • New variants are more likely the more there is community transmission

                    I have little problem with individuals choosing to not vaccinate for various reasons. I have a problem with people advocating that we shouldn't be vaccinating the population.

                    I've seen no credible argument for how to achieve my list above without a vaccine programme alongside the other tools. There's a theory that the side effects of the vaccine will be worse at the population level than what would happen without the vaccine progamme. While I think that the side effects may well be worse than is currently popularly and medically believed, I don't see any evidence that this is true. It will be some time before we know (if we ever do).

                    Yes, we should be using diet and lifestyle adjuncts, but I can't see how the government could scale that up to the population in time to gain the same kind of protection that the vaccine programme has. We should be using those things along side.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      We all believe what we believe at this point I guess, so fwiw,

                      • the vaccine programme is useful for:
                        • lessening chance of infection in individuals and communities
                        • lessening severity of infection and death
                        • lessening chance of long covid
                        • flattening the curve so the health system doesn't get overrun (and all the short, medium and long term impacts and effects of that)

                      I don't do 'belief'…I do facts. "lessening" is simply not enough to justify the mandates and I think a lot of Kiwis know this. The Pfizer Product barely lessens infection and transmission of Delta and is largely ineffective against Omicron. My nephew's wife in France is triple jabbed and has just tested positive.

                      Sorry weka, the mandates, the no jab no job policy, the deliberate implementing of a two tier system in New Zealand cannot be justified from an infection prevention point of view. Saying that the unvaccinated are the sole source of infections is simply untrue, and if you and other supporters of these punitive measures can't see how this could easily morph into something seriously sinister then I give up on the so called "Left".

                    • weka

                      I don't do 'belief'…I do facts. "lessening" is simply not enough to justify the mandates and I think a lot of Kiwis know this.

                      That's a belief.

                      My nephew's wife in France is triple jabbed and has just tested positive.

                      That's anecdote. It's about what happened to one individual. It has nothing to do with public health at the population level.

                      And, as you've been told many, many times, the vaccine doesn't provide 100% protection but this doesn't mean the protection it does provide is useless or non-existent.

                      Sorry weka, the mandates, the no jab no job policy, the deliberate implementing of a two tier system in New Zealand cannot be justified from an infection prevention point of view.

                      I agree with this theoretically, but pragmatics makes me accept that Labour needed the mandates if they wanted to get a really high vax rate. I believed for a long time that mandates wouldn't be used, because our previous vax rates are so high. But working against this this time was time. We didn't have the time to take another 6 months to get the rates high enough.

                      I do think they had choices about how the various tools were used and am pretty dark about the two NZ thing. This is horrendous and I think it will harm Labour and probably the left as well. I also think that Labour can no longer be seen as a party supportive of workers (not that there weren't issues before, but this is another nail in that coffin). They could have been helping people find other work. Big problem there is it would run counter to the vax push. At the least they could have been neutral. Ardern's two NZ comment cements in their neolib position and will forever undermine the caring rhetoric.

                      Saying that the unvaccinated are the sole source of infections is simply untrue, and if you and other supporters of these punitive measures can't see how this could easily morph into something seriously sinister then I give up on the so called "Left".

                      I've not said that the unvaccinated are the sole source of infections, where did you get that from?

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      . While I think that the side effects may well be worse than is currently popularly and medically believed, I don't see any evidence that this is true. It will be some time before we know (if we ever do).

                      This is a conversation that should be had. There is evidence weka, that the mRNA vaccines are not safe…but as you say it may take a little while to unfold.

                      And the Ministry of Health must be aware of the growing evidence that the mRNA products increase the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in the under thirty year olds. The rate for the 12-18year olds is much higher than the rate for the 18-24 year olds…that's why they have reformulated the shot for the 5-12 age group. But they don't really know….and still they will force it on these youngsters.

                      Today I heard someone admit that healthy kids were not at risk from Covid, but the kids should be vaccinated to keep the old people safe. What kind of people risk their children to save the old?

                      A virus that kills a thousand people is a tragedy…a government programme that kills a hundred is a crime.

                    • weka

                      … that the mRNA vaccines are not safe…

                      All pharmaceutical drugs have unwanted effects. All. We're talking about to what extent. So when you say mRNA vaccines are not safe, I don't know what you are talking about.

                      And the Ministry of Health must be aware of the growing evidence that the mRNA products increase the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in the under thirty year olds. The rate for the 12-18year olds is much higher than the rate for the 18-24 year olds…that's why they have reformulated the shot for the 5-12 age group. But they don't really know….and still they will force it on these youngsters.

                      You're not just objecting to the vaccination of children though, right?

                      A virus that kills a thousand people is a tragedy…a government programme that kills a hundred is a crime.

                      A government that allows a virus to kill a thousand people is tragety and a crime.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      A government that allows a virus to kill a thousand people is tragety and a crime.

                      yes And with at least two thousand Australian lives lost to Covid, how many Aussie voters will find ScoMo's administration guilty?

                      Mind you, Australia's tragic 83 Covid deaths per million seems relatively low, until you compare it with plucky Team Kiwi (10 deaths per miilion).

        • gsays 6.1.1.2

          By saying that, you are using different words to say what Ardern and company have been saying for two years. It is also repeating the multi million dollar ad campaign's message that is on high rotate on every media platform.

          By asking the questions I asked I was trying to highlight the other side of the equation. Looking at other consequences of passports and mandates.

          I think you already know that and are just trying to shut down or shift the discussion..

          • McFlock 6.1.1.2.1

            For two years I've been worried a facility I'm involved with will go under, people losing jobs and dreams. Yeah, it's been tough.

            But it's nothing compared to watching the tragedies overseas.

            That equation will never have an "equals" sign. Always a "less than".

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Except for the self-righteous trumpeting from the grievance industry, anyone think anyone will really care tomorrow about the Waitangi Tribunals inevitable rubber stamp on whatever complaint de jour it is considering?

    I still don't get what the Maori Council thought it was going to achieve with its complaint, except perhaps for the chance to reprise the role of the ever-victim.

    • weka 7.1

      Highlighting the need for the government to honour the treaty I expect. It's not unreasonable for Māori to be fucked off that the government both refused to let them run the vaccination outreach in their own communities and then failed to do that itself.

      • joe90 7.1.1

        refused to let them run the vaccination outreach in their own communities

        Willful disingenuity is being nice.

        /

        https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-20-12-2021/#comment-1845559

      • Ad 7.1.2

        West Auckland's dominant vaccination effort was run by Maori health organisations and was entirely successful. Tamihere was consistently defeated by traditional provincial iwi stonewalling an urban Maori authority.

        • Nic the NZer 7.1.2.1

          It seems unresolved by the Waitangi tribunal decision today if, specifically Maori vaccination efforts should take political responsibility for how well that went, or should sweep that under a broader rug of the attitudes of the overall country to their part in the vaccination effort. This urban/traditional political split seems not to run along racial lines.

          Fortunately the lagging vaccination rates outside Auckland have been somewhat academic to this point anyway. Maybe John Tamihere should take some credit for that.

    • Tricledrown 7.2

      What are you talking about sanctimonious

      Can you point out the grievance.

    • Patricia Bremner 7.3

      No, it was to remind us all that the Treaty should be respected in all areas of life.

  8. Molly 8

    It's all good – women given permission to speak in Tasmania – in February 2022.

    Gender-critical Tasmanian women are given permission to speak – The Spectator Aus.

    This is how you try to do it:

    Jax Fox was elected to Hobart City Council with just over 600 votes and initially ran on a Green ticket. Fox then left the Greens just before the election.

    Councillor Fox tabled a three-part motion in chambers on Monday:

    First, to affirm the existing anti-discrimination legislation. Second, to review the Council’s policy on bookings of Council venues. Thirdly, to suspend any bookings the Council currently has on venues when the event ‘does or is likely to cause offense to a portion of the community’.

    No? How about?

    The contrast of Fox’s petite tattooed frame nervously texting through the meeting to that of the other council members, echoed the different style the activist brought to the chamber – especially as the other Council members began to highlight the problematic nature of banning people from public buildings for suspected ‘offensive’ speech.

    Seeing the motion was not being received favourably, Fox tried to clarify that ‘offensive’ was not the correct intention – the correct intention was more like ‘vilification’. This too was unworkable for the same reason. The motion was amended to a more general wording that proposed excluding people from council venues if they were likely to breach the Anti-Discrimination Act.

    Still lacking the support needed, Fox revealed that the entire intention of the motion was to stop one specific event – a forum for the Coalition of Biological Reality (CBR) planned in February 2022 at the Hobart City Hall.

    And if at first you don't succeed, try, try again:

    The council has now committed to a process of developing a policy for the use of council venues. In order to exclude groups like the Coalition for Biological Reality from council buildings, Fox and her allies will have to explicitly frame gender-critical views as ‘hate’.

    My tip is the process will be rushed and the consultation will be held late at night when working mothers are home in bed. Council chambers seem to be no place for intelligent debate around the rights of people whose bodies are organised around the production of large gametes, or the people we used to call ‘women’.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      From your linked article:

      The meeting itself is a perfect study in the way local councils, whose traditional business is rates and rubbish, are being corrupted in the name of social justice activism.

      I may well hang out with all the wrong people, but what I do find odd is that without exception everyone I know where this topic comes up in conversation with (and tbf that's not everyone) express their awareness of and contempt for this sjw activism.

      Whoever the people are who're driving this – they very much seem like a minority class of urban elites quite disconnected from the lives of ordinary people.

      • Molly 8.1.1

        I'm more aware of the institutional and government capture, regardless of political orientation. (In the UK, for example. Very few women MP's are speaking up about the impact on women and girl's rights.)

        The LGB Alliance hosted three who spoke of party failures to address concerns and support them abd those they represent. Joanna Cherry – QC SNP MP, Rosie Duffield – Labour MP Jackie Doyle-Price – Conservative MP.

      • Bill 8.1.2

        There were brown shirts and there are rainbow shirts…

        Some brown shirts are just brown shirts.

      • swordfish 8.1.3

        .

        Yep … it's been argued that around just 10-15% of the population could be described as core supporters of SJW objectives … with a somewhat broader group being vaguely sympathetic, but within clearly defined limits … the latter’s essential democratic liberalism contrasting sharply with the former’s autocratic illiberalism.

        Uppercase Critical Social Justice as a religious cult-like Identity Politics ideology practised by affluent Woke elites [& wannabe elites] … and lowercase social justice as traditionally pursued by the universalist Left [my longtime Labour Party activist Grandmother, for instance, always talked about social justice through the 1930s, 40s & 50s] … are, of course, two entirely different things.

        • RedLogix 8.1.3.1

          You may have encountered this explanation before. Curious to know what you make of it:

          • Blazer 8.1.3.1.1

            Never mind flip flops and cargo pants…the uber rich display their wealth by their luxury mansions,super yachts and connections.

            There are exceptions like Buffett,but not too many.

            Its has long been very bad form to make ostentatious displays of wealth unless you are a very successful rapper or….YTube…influencer.

            Ideological and woke smoke screens disguise more than they…signal.

          • swordfish 8.1.3.1.2

            .
            Yeah, I'm familiar with Rob Henderson & his concept of Luxury Beliefs … in fact I get his newsletter regularly in my email … it's a nifty & highly influential theory … I’d say there's certainly a sound basis to the argument that this ostentatious virtue-signalling & moral posturing, grounded in the remarkably crude worldview of ID Politics "confers status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class"…. the absurd romanticisation & infantilisation of Maori (eternally innocent, eternal victims, never aggressors, never self-interested) by the very Pakeha who disproportionately inherited the wealth from Colonisation is a good example [have a listen to Radio NZ any day of the week] … we're witnessing the systematic scapegoating of Poorer & Middle-income Non-Maori (esp if they're uncouth enough to have white skin) … although I think, more broadly, Wokedom in both its core activist guise & its Neoliberal Corporate guise involves greater complexity than that … as I’m sure you’d agree … & I think Henderson is happy to concede the limits of his theory.

            Something I'd like to write about at some point … once I've fully developed my ideas.

    • Blazer 8.2

      ' suspend any bookings the Council currently has on venues when the event ‘does or is likely to cause offense to a portion of the community’.

      cue soundtrack for 'Mission Impossible'.

      • Molly 8.2.1

        This is an important issue for people of any and all political persuasions to address and discuss. I'm surprised how little rational public discussion is happening on multiple topics, although there seems to be some breakthrough on TS regarding wider views on government Covid and vaccination programmes, and long-term scenarios due to persistence despite pushback.

        These fraught and contentious discussions are valuable just because they are happening. That's an achievement in itself.

    • Anker 8.3

      Unbelievable the gender critical views could be conceived of as hate speech. I am fearful this will be the case when the hate speech bill is passed.

      That would mean it would be regarded as hate to say you believe there are only two sexes and its not possible to change your sex……….

  9. Adrian 9

    I thought that the over 65 Maori rate of vaccine take-up pretty much mirrored the rest of the general over 65 population, the slow take up problems only occurred among the younger groups.
    The only thing that could have been better was wrestling the roll out monopoly off the DHBs and enabling the Maori health providers and others earlier. The new DHB system is well overdue, most of their computer systems as I understand it can’t talk to one another.

    • Nic the NZer 9.1

      Yes, the vaccine uptake was reasonably high among older Maori. The uptake is also not far off general for younger Maori but there are more younger Maori relative to their older population. There are still well more non-Maori unvaccinated over all.

    • Tricledrown 9.2

      Most of their computer systems are out of date.

      After decades of under investment.

    • Gezza 9.3

      The new DHB system is well overdue, most of their computer systems as I understand it can’t talk to one another.

      Given what happened when Waikato DHB’s IT systems were hacked into, taken offline, & they were held to ransom earlier this year, that actually turned out to be an advantage, Adrian?

      When & if they do manage to put together an integrated interoperable national DHB IT system one hopes that its IT management puts in the best security possible & thereafter rigorously works to keep all its security features right up to date across the entire national & local networks.

  10. observer 10

    Grant Robertson has written a reply to Ian Taylor's tantrum in the NZ Herald.

    I have no idea what he says, because Grant's words are behind the paywall, whereas Taylor's were laid bare for all to read and weep. And that sums up NZME, right there.

    • observer 10.1

      Twitter to the rescue.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        I like how Grant Robertson signs off his letter to the malcontented Sir Ian Taylor with, "take care".

      • Bearded Git 10.1.2

        Thanks for that Observer-good to see the level-headed response from Robertson. The article by Taylor was one long unjustified and self-serving whinge.

        Methinks Mr. Taylor likes the sound of his own voice too much these days.

    • alwyn 10.2

      Ask your Library whether they offer Pressreader. If they do you can get access to hundreds of papers and magazines from around the world, free, and usually, as in Wellington, via your computer at home. I have just been reading the Herald that way.

      As far as Grant's open (?) letter goes you are missing nothing. It is about how all the politicians work all day, every day, thinking only of the fact that they do nothing except slave away to protect New Zealand and that they never take any time off from their labours etc, etc, etc . Well that is a slight exaggeration but only very slight.

      In other words it was exactly what one would expect from him.

      edit. I see someone beat me to it.

      • observer 10.2.1

        Yes, I know Pressreader, but thanks for the tip anyway.

        It's not so much about my own reading (I'm usually happy to ignore NZME, I even had a free trial and it wasn't worth continuing). It's about the basic editorial policy. If they publish an opinion piece and a reply, then common sense says they are both paywalled or both not.

        As for the content, Grant was absolutely right to correct Taylor's false allegation about what Ardern said in Parliament (though an editor should have done the job first, before publishing the lie). Hansard proves Taylor was wrong, if anyone wants to check.

      • Ross 10.2.2

        Taylor said:

        The spin on all of this has been: "Look how many lives we have saved."

        A statistic that ignores the 45,000 women who have had their mammograms delayed, the cancelled/postponed health procedures that could ultimately cost people their lives, the overstretched resources in our hospitals where ICU nurses have to deal with multiple patients at the same time, the mental stress that comes with losing your business, your job, your future. The list goes on.

        No response from the Minister. Focusing on Covid-19 related deaths while ignoring preventable deaths elsewhere is an interesting approach. Lung cancer kills about 1800 people a year here.

        Pharmac planned to run a competitive tender for lung cancer immunotherapy drug funding earlier this year, after its cancer subcommittee recommended funding Keytruda last April.

        Pharmac says that was put on hold because “we don't yet fully know what impact Covid-19 will have on costs”. However, Pharmac pays fixed costs for drugs. It was also given a two-year budget boost to cover unexpected Covid-related expenses.

        Asked how the decision fits with Pharmac’s identification of lung cancer as one of five Māori health areas of focus, and its statement that it “considers inequitable outcomes for Māori unfair and unjust”, operations director Lisa Williams says it is considering funding two drugs for diabetes, which is also a Māori health priority.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/123278941/the-cancer-disgrace-noone-talks-about

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/127199678/funding-keytruda-for-melanoma-but-not-for-lung-cancer-is-racist-health-advocates-say

  11. Puckish Rogue 11

    Culture update time

    2016 was the tipping point of wokeism in entertainment. Ghostbusters 2016 was a very bad, unfunny movie yet the narrative was if you didn't like it then you must hate women.

    Disney stepped up and bought out Marvel and Lucasfilm and all you have to do is watch Disney Star Wars and Lucas Star Wars or the Marvel films and Disney Marvel (The Eternals) and compare the difference

    An even better comparison is the Marvel TV series (Daredevil in particular) vs the Disney TV series

    Dr Who, Star Trek, Star Wars has all been ruined by 'the message', JK Rowling trying to be cancelled, Gina Caranos failed cancellation

    However its not all bad.

    Ghostbusters Afterlife is a decent enough movie and not very woke, Dune has excellent reviews and, again, not woke and Venom 2 made good money (Sony not Marvel) so there are some companies out there that do want to make big money

    However its Spiderman No Way Home that has me most excited. A big budget, superhero movie that isn't all that woke.

    Is Spiderman the harbinger of change, will we look back to Spiderman in 2021 and say this is where it started to change?

    I hope so.

    Yes The Matrix 4 will be bad, The Lord Of The Rings TV series will be bad, the planned Predator sequel will be bad but I see the beginnings of a return to the movie companies wanting to make money

    So hang in there, it'll be bad for a few more years but there is light at the end of the tunnel

    • Blazer 11.1

      Alwyn,I say Alwyn,I've never seen a Spiderman movie….am I really missing out on…much?

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1

        The first two were pretty good, the rest not so much.

        But its not so much how good it is rather that its giving the audience what they want. Its giving fan service but as part of a decent story, its not woke and its a smashing success

        That means that movie companies can no longer blame covid for poor box offices, that if you give the people what they want with a decent storyline people will go to it.

        Get woke go broke isn't just a slogan, theres actual truth to it.

        That this experiment film companies are trying with releasing movies at theatres and on cable at the same time is not good business

        That appealing to the twitterverse is not good business

        That putting out solid productions, by people that know what they're doing, that treat the source material with respect, that celebrate not denigrate the viewer will bring in the money

        • Ad 11.1.1.1

          The latest Bond movie went fairly pc and fully made bank.

          • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.1

            It may be an exception to a well known rule:

            Here is a rollup list of American broadcasting mainstays that have hit new viewership lows in 2021 because woke politics increasingly seeped into the entertainment that audiences generally prefer to be apolitical.

            • Ad 11.1.1.1.1.1

              They are four interesting instances, but to me they are more instances of long term but accelerating institutional decay finally degrading audiences.

              The Olympics, the Oscars, Bachelorette, and Baseball represent, in order:

              • nationalism and sports people don't play,
              • media that audiences increasingly don't watch,
              • marriage structures that developed nations don't want, and
              • a sport primarily of older, white males in the United States.

              I don't think is a specific outbreak of "woke" that's caused any of that.

              That's why I used the Bond example: its audiences certainly skew older, but it has managed to revive itself sufficiently within gender and relationship-soft tropes to hold and dominate its opening months in the big screen market.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The issue I have is taking something popular, taking something everyone knows (We're talking nearly 60 years of Bond movies) and changing it for 'modern' audiences

                Why?

                If you want to start a new franchise because you don't like the values or portrayals of other franchises good on you, start it up and we'll see how it goes

                Except that the Bond series wouldn't be as popular and wouldn't have survived nearly 60 years if it had started out like No Time To Die

                Dr Who wouldn't have lasted 50 odd years if they'd started like the present doctor (not because shes a woman but because of poor stories)

                Star Trek wouldn't be around today if they'd started like the series today

                Star Wars wouldn't be the cultural touchstone it is today if it had started with the type of movies we're getting today

                Stop ruining franchises and make your own franchises except they can't, they can't create they can only destroy

                • Ad

                  You're suffering from a bad case of nostalgia, that's all.

                  Pointing to an origin and saying it wouldn't work now is pretty futile.

                  With the arrival of Netflicks and other video libraries, newness just isn't what it used to be. We can relive cultural history any way we want.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I suffer from liking good quality entertainment that has passed the test of time.

                    Aliens, Predator, Terminator 2, Mad Max Fury Road, all fantastic movies, all in my top ten action movies of all time.

                    Three with a strong female lead and one with a diverse cast.

                    You can make good, entertaining franchise movies that are popular and respected that can also be diverse

                    You just need some imagination and talent and thats lacking nowadays

                    • Ad

                      Some things can be improved. The Dune remake was better. As was the Bladerunner last year. Power of the Dog is the best western we've seen in a long while yet it's all gay and stuff.

                      To me the decade we're in is very similar to when colour television came in and puled against radio and film: digital platforms have siphoned off creative minds and demanding perceiver audiences into new platforms.

                      For us old bastards, well, we'll always have Paris.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I'm looking forward to seeing the new Dune however thats because its not woke, if it was woke I wouldn't be watching it

                      Having said that it'll have to do a lot to top this scene:

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      If you haven't seen this documentary it is well worth it. Greatest film never finished if you believe the hype.

                      Jodorowsky's Dune - Alfalfa Studio

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodorowsky%27s_Dune

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Sounds like a blast, 10 hours of it at least.

                      Interesting how they turned up on Alien.

              • Molly

                When I was growing up, events had a captive audience. Only one tv channel, (then two, then three) meant that everyone watched the same event/episode/news at the same time or missed out. No video recordings, and only the occasional repeat.

                The audience is no longer corralled in one space at one time, and we have multiple options on how, when and what to view.

                Of course there has been a erosion of previously universal offerings, as people search out and find options that meet their own individual interests at their own pace.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1.2

            It did not make bank.

            It may have even lost money, we'll never know how much it lost because of magical studio financing

            It probably lost because it was sitting on the shelf for so long so the interest on the loans kept going up:

            https://variety.com/2020/film/news/no-time-to-die-james-bond-mgm-streaming-sale-1234819582/

            'Delaying “No Time to Die” until April 2021, as MGM ultimately opted to do, meant that the studio had to reportedly carry an additional $1 million in interest charges per month. '

            It also had to have extensive reshoots because of how bad the test screenings were, allegedly: https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/1252797/James-Bond-delay-reshoots-No-Time-To-Die-test-screening-reactions-Daniel-Craig

            Reshoots for product placement:

            https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/1389062/No-Time-To-Die-reshoots-James-Bond-product-placements-Daniel-Craig

            So No Time To Die may have even lost money but even if it made a small profit I'm pretty sure studios don't go out and spend hundreds of millions to make a small amount

            Make no mistake that the wokeness coming out of No Time To Die meant they left money on the table, by the reports coming out before the movie and by extensive reshoots

            See if you can spot the difference between the first trailer:

            and the second:

            • Ad 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Variety's sources are a bunch of bitchy old queens.

              No Big Tent film is making profit on theatres alone these days. Bond will close-to break even in theatres, but it's key to profitability is Premium Video On Demand. That's where they are making their money.

              ‘No Time to Die’ Losing MGM $100 Million? Studio Says It’s Untrue | IndieWire

              After that is the ongoing Library sales, which just adds good things.

              Bond is better than ever.

              • Puckish Rogue

                'No Big Tent film is making profit on theatres alone these days.'

                Assuming you mean in these days of covid?

                You might want to check this out:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venom:_Let_There_Be_Carnage

                Superhero movie made by Sony, even if you double the reported budget (for advertising costs) it still made over 200 million

                Also theres this:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_No_Way_Home#Theatrical

                (Again made by Sony) Its already made a profit after one weeks release and before its put on cable

                The reason tent pole movies aren't making money these days is simply because the tent pole movies aren't very good

                Don't believe what the Hollywood spin is putting out

                • Ad

                  You've well lost your point that being "woke" is leading to a decline in box office. Yes agree though that COVID has accelerated the decline of the movie theatre.

                  Also, two bad movies making money doesn't support your line or argument either.

                  There are both trashy movies and good movies making money, without a "woke" correlation.

                  You could make a better argument that reactionary trivia and class with high production values continues to make massive amounts of money: Downton Abbey and The Crown being key exponents.

        • Molly 11.1.1.2

          Franchises are ultimately products, and the product owner sometimes doesn't care about the quality as long as they are paid for the use of the product.

          "…That putting out solid productions, by people that know what they're doing, that treat the source material with respect, that celebrate not denigrate the viewer will bring in the money."

          Short-term view, but one replicated often in business, and unfortunately not limited to the entertainment business. Whoever the advisors are will probably have more impact on the product than the creative team.

      • alwyn 11.1.2

        @Blazer.

        How would I know? I wasn't the one commenting was I?

      • swordfish 11.1.3

        Blazer, I say Blazer !, you're mixing up Puckers & Alwyn again.

    • observer 11.2

      It always makes me laugh when people get outraged, because things that are completely made up, get made up.

      "Wookies aren't gay: fact!!111!!" say the ranters. Um, they're not gay because they're not real. Nobody's ever seen their reproductive organs. Poor Chewbacca.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1

        Its called canon, its important for a reason:

        • observer 11.2.1.1

          As discussed yesterday, YouTube videos with no description of source and content never get my clicks.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1.1.1

            You brought up canon, I said canons important and I linked to a published author explaining why canon matter

            You don't want to watch it then its your loss

        • weka 11.2.1.2

          canon matters. The problem is not that many people want to watch 1960s/70s Star Trek. A few years ago I tried to fill in the gaps in the Trek Universe and timeline by watching some of the shows I hadn't seen. I grew up on Kirk/Spock, TNG, and Voyager. I tried to watch Enterprise and just couldn't stand how boring the characterisation was. Like it was still stuck in previous generations. Mostly the centering of blokeness and the cookie cutter American story telling.

          I'll take Picard or even Disco any day. More diverse characters (that's not actually a bad thing), character development that isn't a rehash, and actual story telling. Contrary to Scottish dude, I like story arcs over whole series and prefer them to stand alone series.

          ST the original series sets up a lot of the canon, but that doesn't mean it can't be updated or expanded. What are the bits that are non canonical that are bothering you?

          I haven't watched any of the LotR franchise, because I love what Tolkien did, and I don't want Jackson's version of the stories in my head. So I understand the general principle. But do we really want Kirk to be model for ST is now?

          • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1.2.1

            Change up from The Critical Drinker (Hes on my Patreon list), time for Nerdrotics take.

            Former comic book owner (ex con), hes got some takes on this:

          • Dennis Frank 11.2.1.2.2

            I recall watching the first ST in the 1960s. I'd already read hundreds of sf books by then so it seemed rather hokey. However after a few weeks I could see the scriptwriters & producers were making a genuine effort to boldly go where the sf writers had already been, so I gave them credit for an attempt at authenticity. Think I was 16 so the NZBC must've been prompt buying the series in.

            The Brits with Dr Who were earlier & more credible in bringing sf to the screen. Saw it first late in 1964, genuinely scary!

      • alwyn 11.2.2

        "Nobody's ever seen their reproductive organs. Poor Chewbacca."

        Well that is possibly the case. However the person who has the real claim to be Chewbacca, and played the part in every film from 1977 until 2015, was apparently married so he might beg to differ. He was probably the only person outside the NBA to have found it an advantage to be over seven feet tall.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Mayhew

        • Puckish Rogue 11.2.2.1

          According to the Star Wars Holiday Special (first apperance of Boba Fett!) Chewbacca has a father, wife and son

          Not sure if its considered canon though…

          • McFlock 11.2.2.1.1

            Didn't they all wear clothes, though, while Chewie wandered the galaxy wearing nothing but a leather bandolier? Dunno about butch vs naturist, but Chewbacca sure ain't conventional lol

    • weka 11.3

      how can we tell the difference between 'I didn't like the film' and 'the woke broke my favourite toys'?

      I'm not saying you have no point here, it's just unclear what you don't like about that set of films.

      Which Star Trek didn't you enjoy? I just rewatched Picard, thought it was overall good despite the usual American tendencies to make things nice and sometimes into platitudes.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.3.1

        Weka you're entitled to your own opinion and I'd never tell you to not enjoy something you like simply because I don't like it

        I'd also rather place my John Thomas in the hands of a lunatic with a pair of scissors then watch the Picard series:

        (Theres some swearing in the review but I’m guessing you’re old enough to handle it)

        • weka 11.3.1.1

          you still haven't said what is wrong with the films though. I'd actually like to know.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.3.1.1.1

            Short version: they're not Star Trek. They use the Star Trek names but thats it.

            Heres more detailed, and witty, analysis of a couple of the movies:

            and

            • McFlock 11.3.1.1.1.1

              I've seen a few Picard episodes – much better than the new movies. Discovery is pretty interesting. Not quite old school sci fi, but they definitely play with ethics and character motivations. Also had a nice way of moving back into a more chaotic era like ToS rather than space diplomacy like TNG.

              My problem with the new ST movies is twofold: they completely remove the organisational/"military" elements of the original and turn it into "plucky group of young adventurers learn to work together and save the day" action crap, and they have the "insert playstation game sequence here" sequences – "flee the big monster while avoiding obstacles", or "travel ship to ship while avoiding debris". But those bloody sequences are in every action movie these days, back at least to LoTR.

              Star Trek ToS had an entire episode about the nature of defending oneself against computer-based evidence and it turned out that one guy's promotion stream had been destroyed because of a single adverse report years before. Good luck turning that into a console action sequence.

              Star wars has those sequences, too, but it's super-soft scifi. It's a jaunt, and always has been. Why does Vader's cape billow in space? How can an asteroid field be so damned close together for billions of years without collisions turning it into dust? Why doesn't the Empire believe in safety rails? Compared to that, sequences like "shoot the cable, now shoot the turrets, now there are TIE fighters, shoot them!" are just part of the ride.

              Mandalorian was bloody good, though.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The Mandalorian was decent but far too much emphasis on Grogu

                • McFlock

                  But as a series-length macguffin goes, Grogu was more interesting than e.g. a "jade monkey" or "the documents".

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    He was but damned if disney didn't run that cash cow into the ground

                    • McFlock

                      To me, the period which never existed was the prequels and the re-edits. Talk about screwing with canon.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      The prequels weren't the best but they were still Star Wars (Jar Jar Binks aside) but I think the problem was that Marcia Lucas wasn't involved in the editing process

                      Oh and the dialogue was not very good either

                    • McFlock

                      So much repeated exposition. Bad dialogue – dull bad. Inconsistent with the previous movies – Leia being able to remember her mother. No chemistry between romantic leads. Random "you be a general" weirdness.

                      All of it can be redone into something more interesting (my favourite being "jarjar the secret sith") but then they would be good movies, not shite.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      As Harrison ford said, may or may not have been joking: "George, you can type this shit, but you can't say it"

                    • McFlock

                      Pfft. The English and Scottish actors sure could. Except Prowse vs Jones, of course – the outtakes with Prowse's original dialogue are pretty funny.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Imagine if this was slipped into A New Hope:

                    • McFlock

                      Wow.
                      And instead we got greedo shooting first and Han standing on Jabba's tail.

                      But that was pretty damned good – even opening the doors to distract the storm troopers so the plucky adventurers can escape with the tracking device on the Falcon – but does Kenobi sense that plot and have the same plan, with the idea that Luke will destroy the death star rather than it destroying the rebel base? Noice.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      He might have had force vision so maybe could see it but to me it was more likely that he knew Luke was strong with the force, was a very good pilot (like his father) and that he was training to become a force ghost so he probably knew he'd be able to help Luke accomplish the task

                      Also for shits and giggles:

                    • McFlock

                      Fair and accurate observations both, lol

              • Stuart Munro

                Mandalorian was bloody good, though.

                Until he took his helmet off.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Probably in his contract, after all whats the point in being in a popular show if no one sees your face…

                • McFlock

                  At least that was part of a full character arc, rather than Stallone wanting to play judge dredd sans helmet.

                  Discovering his clan was the hard-core edge of mandalorian discipline regarding face covering, then swapping helmets for cover – and then having to remove it to maintain that cover, all leading to a permissable – if extreme – measure of respect and feeling for the little green one at the end.

                  Not like "we paid a lot for this actor, show the audience who we have".

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I'm a big Dredd fan and, for me, Dredd was the best comic to movie adaptation I've ever seen

                    They got the characterization right, the choice of actors was spot on, it really looked like a three prog series come to life

                    So of course it bombed

    • Molly 11.4

      "2016 was the tipping point of wokeism in entertainment. Ghostbusters 2016 was a very bad, unfunny movie yet the narrative was if you didn't like it then you must hate women."

      Some people might have made that accusation – it doesn't mean it was accurate or universally shared. I rewatched the original, which I had loved when it originally came out, and the humour no longer appealed. Tastes differ, and change.

      "JK Rowling trying to be cancelled, "

      – the one example I've seen repeated on the topic of a black actress playing Hermione, is a sentence regarding "Hermione's white face…" as proof that she is caucasian. As many a light-skinned person of colour can tell you, that's an inaccurate conclusion. (Also, that's ignoring the typical meaning of saying 'You've gone all white", when there is a significant of blood loss under the skin, regardless of skin colour, as a recognition of distress.)

      As for Dumbledore possibly being gay, that is not relevant to any storylines – true or not. Not everyone wears their sexuality on their robe sleeves. So, either one could be canon, for the canon purists.

      People have different tastes, and different requirements regarding the level of "suspension of disbelief" they are willing to accommodate in order to enjoy the experience.

      Anyone watching alongside kids – who enthusiastically enjoy kid's programmes – vicariously experience joy through their company – not the quality of the material.

      We all approach programmes with different experiences, tastes, expectations and humour.

      We should expect different levels of satisfaction, without the need to label them right or otherwise.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.4.1

        Are movies better today or better 20 years ago?

        Think of your favourite movie and/or tv series and ask if they would/could be made today and if they could be how much would they be changed

        Want to win an Oscar:

        https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/9/9/21429083/oscars-best-picture-rules-diversity-inclusion

        Remember when best picture winners at the Oscars used to be popular as well, look at the latest best picture winners and go backwards and see if theres any correlation:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Picture#2020s

        Movies are not getting better, they're getting worse.

        • swordfish 11.4.1.1

          I think you'll find most film roles are best filled by Pregnant Men of Colour.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.4.1.1.1

            I think you'll find that by mentioning 'men' you disenfranchise our asexual and gender non-specific allies

            • swordfish 11.4.1.1.1.1

              .

              That's precisely what I find .. & I feel personally traumatised by it … running to a safe space as we speak … videos of fluffy dogs, large bowls of marshmallows to ease the pain.

        • Molly 11.4.1.2

          It's an entertainment industry. As such, it has considerations other than the primary one of providing entertainment. When you think about how the industry runs, with stables of writers, and changes of directors and producers it's actually an achievement to get coherence in storylines and canon for the most part.

          I think there are some vehicles that have more oversight and input in from the same quality players and they are the better for it.

          "Think of your favourite movie and/or tv series and ask if they would/could be made today and if they could be how much would they be changed."

          Different times, different players in the industry and the audience. Also, we lost the communal experience of everyone watching the same programmes at the same time. That started with the advent of videos, and has become even more pronounced with internet access.

          However, the same access allows us to retrospectively visit movies and programmes that we enjoyed in the past. Also, to share those we still find of worth, with our younger friends and family.

          Found and shared the BBC 1972 kid's programme 'Escape into Night', based on the book Marianne Dreams – with the kids when they were younger. They asked – this is a kid's show? and went searching for other programmes that had contributed to their mother's apparent deviant personality. I would guess that many kids watching TV in the 70's will have a vague memory of a story with a boy trapped in a house, surrounded by stones with eyes…

          My current favourite series, a panacea for current times, while still being a thoughtful observation on people and place is The Detectorists. The quality is assured by Mackenzie Crook both writing and directing. (First two seasons on Netflix, but all episodes can be found on dailymotion)

          Current crop of main industry output is limited by profitability concerns, but with the access to technology the ability of independents to produced, publish and distribute their own content has never been better.

          As an audience, we have a vast amount of selections we can make, if we choose to look, and support those we enjoy.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.4.1.2.1

            ' boy trapped in a house, surrounded by stones with eyes…'

            Sounds intriguing

            I'm not against new stuff, I'm not against woke stuff being created, For example Steven Universe is something I won't be watching but someone created it and theres a market for it so good on them, they didn't have to take an existing franchise (with an existing fanbase) and change it (Masters of the Universe…)

            The issue I have is that by and large woke isn't popular and it isn't popular because they put the identity before the storyline (see Y the Last Man)

            So because woke isn't popular and doesn't sell new franchises they instead of trying to come up with something new and imaginative they insert it into other, popular, franchises

            Terminator, Ghostbusters, Men In Black, Star Wars, Dr Who, Birds of Prey the list goes on

            The new Indiana Jones movie is looking woke as hell, the new Predator movie as well and I have no hopes for The Matrix 4

            • Molly 11.4.1.2.1.1

              "Terminator, Ghostbusters, Men In Black, Star Wars, Dr Who, Birds of Prey the list goes on.

              The new Indiana Jones movie is looking woke as hell, the new Predator movie as well and I have no hopes for The Matrix 4."

              I'm not disagreeing with you about the loss of canon and continuity, but the issue should not be solely dismissed with references to 'woke'. (Which is one of those newly coined words that means a vast array of different things to different people.

              When you get down to the basics, it is the owners of the product – who bought not because they were necessarily fans, but because they could get returns from ownership – making decisions to squeeze as much short-term profits as they can. Which is a common business strategy.

              The business model itself – interrupts ongoing attention to canon – and will often succeed at disrupting altogether if the franchise goes on for long enough. Which I agree, is a bugger.

              But I also think that some tired franchises are rescued from oblivion by a refresh. There's just no guarantee which will succeed and which won't.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I have no issues with refreshes or remakes (sometimes you just want to watch Scarface) but you must respect the source material and you must respect the fans

                • Molly

                  You would hope that would be the case. But it reminds me of people selling their historical family homes, and being dismayed when it is knocked over. Private property means that owners can do what they like, even if it doesn't make sense.

                  I don't know how to offset that reality.

                • Stuart Munro

                  The Drinker addresses a lot of the woke issues problems in his piece on Arcane. It's not that diversity and like issues cannot exist in successful stories, but substituting them for story makes a film like the old Christian morality plays – as tedious as the Te Deum.

                  Fans of The Expanse will appreciate Shohreh Aghdashloo too.

            • Molly 11.4.1.2.1.2

              "'boy trapped in a house, surrounded by stones with eyes'

              Sounds intriguing."

              Gets better. The stones get closer and closer to the house.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Don't leave me in suspense, whats the name of the series?

                • Molly

                  Posted the Youtube link above, Escape into Night.

                  (Now, remember it's of its time and budget. And that I am of an age when I remember lining up outside The Civic on Queen Street to see the new movie – Star Wars. The generation that still found a NZ audience for grown men pretending to be public schoolboys to present kids programmes, Ready to Roll and Dougal and the Magic Roundabout.)

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I was four when my mum took me to see Star Wars, its one of my most enduring and positive memories of my mum

                    She passed away a few years back but I think about that day (well its more like remembering the feelings) every now and then

                    • Molly

                      That emotional component alongside the rational dissection gives life and meaning to many of our experiences. I love the uniqueness of shared experiences, and thanks for sharing your own re Star Wars.

                      I'll add the rare treat of visiting Auckland's one and only MacDonald's for a burger afterwards. I know my mother took all five of us to the movie and the Queen Street MacDonald's afterwards. Surely not as enjoyable for her, as it was for us.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I guess thats why I don't want these franchises ruined, ruin the franchise and you ruin someones memories

                      Like I say create what you want but respect the fanbase and respect the source material

                    • Molly

                      "I guess thats why I don't want these franchises ruined, ruin the franchise and you ruin someones memories"

                      That's a very real possibility.

                      I hope your own in this case, are resilient enough to ignore the bad that follows the good.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I watched The Force Awakens, I gritted my teeth through The Last Jedi but I couldn't watch The Rise Of Skywalker

                    • In Vino

                      Yet you had a pash for Judith Collins??

                    • Puckish Rogue []

                      What can I say, the heart wants what the heart wants

          • swordfish 11.4.1.2.2

            .

            Yep … never forgot it … stones with eyes slowly closing in on the boy inside … very claustrophobic / very creepy … given the relatively low budget & limited plotline, it was surprisingly effective … produced in 1972 but my memory tells me it probably wasn't broadcast here until the mid-70s. Have a feeling I was at Intermediate … so 1976 or 77.

            (you'll remember that we often got things fairly late in the day … Coro St being the most notorious … 5 years behind Blighty … I remember in 1977 with Punk all the rage, we were still watching early 70s Coro … episodes where Annie & Jack Walker's adopted daughter Lucille arrived at the Rovers with her long-haired bearded hippie friends in a Gypsy caravan pulled by draught horses … Coro desperately trying to be relevant to the Haight Ashbury generation … all very disconcerting on a cultural level).

            And, fairly typical of Brit TV at the time, the actors in these sort of 70s kid’s series tended to be horrendously upper-middle / stage school in their accents & mannerisms. The early 60s turn to the northern kitchen-sink working class just a distant memory … only revived again with the early 80s groundbreaking first series of Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

            • Molly 11.4.1.2.2.1

              My kids were surprised at the sheer level of creepiness and suspense from such simple sets and production. Compared to what was on offer on present day television for them, it was a world apart.

              Mid-70's would be about right for me in terms of viewing age.

              I remember the scribbles on the page, and the resultant cages on the stones. The sense of overwhelming unnamed menace kept me watching.

              (Needless to say, being introduced at a later stage to Harold and the Purple Crayon gave a sense of 'been there, done that… and never will forget it.")

              I’m glad we have access to many of these old programmes via the internet. Many are worth the revisit, though others have aged badly.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Not just the 70s, Gremlins and Indian Jones and The Temple of Doom ended up creating the PG-13 rating smiley

    • Anker 11.5

      Where is the light at the end of the tunnel PR?

      • Puckish Rogue 11.5.1

        Ghostbusters Afterlife, Dune, Venom 2 and Spiderman No Way Home is showing the studios that if you produce decent content, keep the wokeness to a minimum, don't insult the fans (see Cowboy Bebop) and have respect for the source material you'll more than likely make money

        The pushback against woke started with Gina Carano saying no to being cancelled, it continued with comedians (especially Dave Chappelle) and now its starting to make its way into studio decisions

        It won't be over anytime soon but at least its starting to look like maybe some creatives will stop listening to chuckleheads on twitter and go back to making entertaining movies again

        • Molly 11.5.1.1

          Chappelle has emphatically retained his ownership, and cconsequently his independence. As you no doubt know, turning down a substantial amount of money to continue what he considered necessary for his craft.

          Gina Carano seems to be in a slightly different situation, and is part of a creative vehicle that has included her, rather than relies on her. The attempt at silencing is the same, but the leverage she has is much less than Chappelle.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.5.1.1.1

            Hes got that fuck you money thats for sure and that allows you to speak your mind (see JK Rowling) and not have to worry where your next pay checks coming from

            Whats interesting with Gina is that, as you say, she has no leverage and yet she told Disney to take a hike because they wanted her to do a 'struggle session' and that she didnt do anything wrong

            So heres a woman who can legit kick arse, stands up for herself, stands up to Disney, stands up to social media and is unmistakeably a woman (and what a woman she is)

            Shes exactly what you'd create if you were coming up with a template for the 'stunning and brave, empowered and independent woman' beloved of Hollywood and yet social media and Hollywood tried to cancel her

            Makes you think

    • Craig H 11.6

      I didn't mind the 2016 Ghostbusters movie personally. It wasn't as good as the original, but not many movies are.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.6.1

        If you liked it then thats great. I didn't care for the endless improv, the way all men were portrayed, the cheap gags, the waste of talent

        Compare Ghostbusters 2016 to Spy 2015 and you'll see how good Melissa McCarthy can be

        • Craig H 11.6.1.1

          The original Ghostbusters was stacked with improv, particularly by Bill Murray, but that's a tough line to walk and a tough act to follow.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    An ambitious US taxpayer became world's richest man earlier this year: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59732935

    Musk responded to Senator Warren's tweet, saying he would be paying "more taxes than any American in history this year… I will pay over $11bn… Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts his wealth at $243bn

    Last week, Mr Musk was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

    Uh-oh, got that wrong. Should've been Taxpayer of the Year.

    • I want to see the detail behind the 11 billion and I want to see his tax records for the last 10 years

    • Maurice 12.2

      $243 BILLION ….. so confiscate $242 Billion and he would still be a Billionaire.

      There is an opourtunity there for some Socialist Democratic Government!

  13. Ad 13

    Shoutout to Minister Robertson for a dignified defence of government COVID actions against the criticism from Sir Ian Taylor, concluding:

    "I have reflected often over the last two years on what matters the most when we are faced with a global pandemic that is killing millions across the globe. And I can just cope with the enormous stress of this situation by knowing that we have done everything we can to keep New Zealanders alive. That is the basic duty of Government, and we have not wavered for one moment from that.

    Take care,
    Grant"

    Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Deputy PM Grant Robertson responds to Sir Ian Taylor – NZ Herald

    Grant Robertson, you are my favourite Minister in this government and I hope you hang around.

    (With apologies Observer I see you’ve covered this earlier)

    • observer 13.1

      Actually it's worth another mention because NZME has now removed the paywall. I'm guessing they got a lot of complaints. Good.

      I love the barbed restraint in this line from Grant:

      "I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you did not see or hear what she actually said."

      That's a former MFAT diplomat speaking. Translation: "pants on fire".

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Robertson's complaint of being unthanked by the ungrateful will not be much use under the inevitable Omicron national Red level.

        Omicron is Labour under 35% and falling.

        And little they can do about it.

        • Louis 13.1.1.1

          Robertson's rebuttal wasn't about "being unthanked by the ungrateful" it was about Ian Taylor getting it wrong and lying about it. Robertson just put out the facts and the rest of your comment is just wishful thinking. I'm sure there are a number of people that were hopeful that Covid19/Delta would be Labour's undoing and that would therefore catapult National back into the seat of power, but it didn't happen.

  14. Rosemary McDonald 14

    Omicron "raging" through France atm, and 'it's more important than ever to get vaccinated…

    My nephew and his wife (a nurse at a vaccination clinic) attended a family funeral in Paris the other day. She is triple vaxxed and has tested positive. My nephew is double vaxxed and is awaiting test results and is coughing and spluttering. They are from the south of France and now have to get themselves and two toddlers home. Needless to say my nephew's mother is not happy…how many times has she told them that being vaccinated does not mean you can carry on as normal.

    Here's hoping it is Omicron.

    • Molly 14.1

      Hope they all come through this without any serious and/or long-term effects.

      My sister in Australia caught Covid, along with her daughter and grand-daughter in August. She received a transfusion for some of the symptoms, but recovered at home, though she still seems fatigued. She had had a previous viral infection, so had been taking supplements to boost her immune system, and considers them to have been beneficial.

  15. observer 15

    This is going to be fun.

    Simon Power new CEO at TVNZ

    One of the more reasonable Nats. The grumbles will probably come from the right more than the left ("woke TVNZ! sellout! liberal meeja!").

    • Ad 15.1

      It makes Simon Power the odds-on to run the new integrated TVNZ-RNZ entity they will start next year. He'll be reminded of his old proposed cartel legislation.

      Why wasn't there someone from Labour interested who had an inkling about broadcasting?

      I wouldn't mind if Willie Jackson chucked in his lightweight portfolios and went for the integrated job.

  16. swordfish 16

    So booster interval reduced to 4 months.

    • Craig H 16.1

      And 5-11 vaccination rollout begins 17 January. Self-isolation for NZ citizens/residents arriving from Australia pushed back to end of February.

  17. I'll try again.

    26 new cases, no new omicron in MIQ.

    Eat that, Natz and Actiods.

  18. Molly 19

    Preliminary but inconclusive comparison between Denmark – which mostly aspirates during vaccination – to Norway – that doesn't.

    Denmark

    Total vaccinated with mRNA vaccine = 4,304,710

    Total myocarditis + pericarditis = 129 (0.003%)

    One case in 33,369

    Norway

    Total vaccinated with mRNA vaccine = 3.765.354

    Total myocarditis + pericarditis = 274 (0.0073%)

    One case in 13,743

    A reminder to all NZers that they can request aspiration when receiving the vaccine, and expect to have that request honoured.

    Is there a need to aspirate before giving the COVID vaccine?

    We are aware that occasionally consumers are requesting that the vaccinators aspirate the needle [pull back slightly to check for any minor blood vessels] prior to administration of the COVID vaccine. While this is currently not best practice and may be more uncomfortable for the patient, there is no danger associated with accommodating the consumer's requests. In the unlikely event that you did see any blood in the syringe after doing this, we would recommend revaccinating with a new syringe and needle. – The Immunisation Advisory Centre

    • swordfish 19.1

      Being something of a John Campbell follower since early Feb 2020 … I requested aspiration for my first jab … but she had no idea what it was, not a trained nurse … so didn't bother mentioning with the 2nd … mitigated by the fact that she was an unusually gorgeous woman and, despite the mask, remembered me when I had the 2nd jab … so it all turned out well in the end.

      • Molly 19.1.1

        You have an individual view of vaccination satisfaction, swordfish. laugh

        I hope the official change in intervals gets your parents immediate access to their boosters.

  19. observer 20

    National have just put out a statement saying they're really sorry they keep getting it wrong, that they should not be taken seriously and are frankly as relieved as the rest of us that they are not in government now.

    “We acknowledge that in the difficult circumstances presented by Omicron, a short delay in ending MIQ to allow as many people to be boosted as possible is necessary, but we should not underestimate the suffering this will cause for many Kiwis offshore.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2112/S00171/national-welcomes-booster-changes.htm

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