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Open mike 22/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 22nd, 2020 - 135 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

135 comments on “Open mike 22/08/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Has Chris Darby actually lost his mind?

    He wrote to the government proposing that they buy 50% of Ports of Auckland off them, to help with the Council's dire financial straits.

    He didn't tell the Mayor.

    He appears to have had a few conversations with a few Councillors.

    There appears to have been no Council report, or recommendation, or other advice from Council about it.

    Councillor Darby, please explain.

    • Gabby 1.1

      Does he want a finder's fee?

    • David mac 1.2

      Auckland: the sow with multiplying nipples for gorging piglets.

      Before selling the port I think we should be sitting lots of people down and asking them…

      "Do you think the value you bring to Aucklanders would attract a $200k salary in the private sector?"

      When in financial strife the first thing a shallow imagination turns to is 'What can we sell?'

      This Covid thing will linger. If we can stay free in NZ and testing improves… Older people feel the Covid threat more than most, older people Cruise and the Covid stigma around Sea Cruises will linger. NZ Pure.

      All of the Cruise line companies are desperate to set their floating assets free.

      Auckland Central retail needs a shot in the arm. Cruise liners queuing up could be just the trick.

      Ironclad, foolproof double-checked testing would need to be a rite of passage. Customers would be delighted to be subjected to such a comprehensive test regime. The 60+ crew are real keen to avoid the Wuhan Wheeze.

      Tourists tying up in downtown Auck would grease the path for directing sea bound freight to Whangarei and a fast rail link to those blossoming suburbs in outer West Auck, Kumeu etc. Give those new suburbians a job that starts next door.

  2. UncookedSelachimorpha 2

    Events at the Canterbury DHB are very worrying. Between the lines, looks like a case of the board running the place like a business (and a hopelessly struggling business due to chronic underfunding) while the executive try to maintain patient services.

    The solution is to just properly fund the thing and to reject the "austerity" model of public health that NZ has embraced.

    Costs way more in the long run than just providing good health care. I have direct personal experience with several cases where the cost to both the individual and society has been massively increased by rationing of healthcare. Has caused long periods of disability and eventually much more costly interventions – and certainly zero actual savings. And it seems everyone you talk to has similar stories.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1

      Are there any examples in NZ where adopting a business model to 'run' a public service has been at least a moderate success in the medium-to-long term? Such an approach in the NZ tertiary education sector has certaintly compromised the quality, if not the quantity of university 'product'.

      It must be easier for CEOs/boards, and cheaper for governments, to run public services as businesses – we get what we pay for.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1

        " It must be easier for CEOs/boards, and cheaper for governments, to run public services as businesses "

        Maybe – although harder for the public and more expensive for society I believe.

        But I think it has a lot more to do with evidence-free ideology – the proponents just think it must be the best or only way, because.

        • anker 2.1.1.1

          On a related manner, for my sins I listened to 5 minutes of Prof Gorman talking to Karen Haye on Radio NZ last night. Firstly I didn't think much of Karen's interviewing style. Questions with a negative assumption, that supported Gorman theory that our Covid response has been "egregious". Gorman wants to take the covid response out of the Govts hand and apparently the problem with the Govt and the Mof H has not been the strategies (which I assume will remain as contract tracing and quarantine) but the problem has been governance. He must have used this word 5 times in 5 minutes………he thinks our contract tracing services has performed extremely poorly. And his example went something like this "Karen if you and I had a car factory and we produced cars and the brakes didn't work and we were in a court of law it wouldn't be enough if we said, well we thought that the brakes were being made properly"……………….Hay didn't pull him up on this and any of his bullshit and it was bullshit.

          I say hand the covid response over to gorman and his mate Horne now! Its great to know when the next case slips through the border that Gorman will say "I am accountable! This is what good governance looks like". NZers will so appreciate that.

          I thought Gorman came across as an pompous arrogant arse

          • aj 2.1.1.1.1

            I listened to 5 minutes of Prof Gorman

            Was it only 5 minutes? it seemed like 10, but it was painful, yes he repeated the word governance every 30 seconds. I think he had a mini light-bulb moment towards the end, when he conceded that politicians were only good at …. governing! (I paraphrase) but it sounded like he almost destroyed his complete argument right there.

            Again in Stuff (no link sorry) there is and interesting graphic showing breakdown of the current MIQ hierarchy of management. It does look complicated but anyone with half a brain can see that it would be very difficult with any restructuring, not to still have the need for the myriad of parts at the bottom requiring a number of people working collectively near the top. To use his own car analogy, the wheels of the car don't go round without fuel (and fuel systems) electricity (and electrical systems) oil (and oil systems) coolant (and cooling systems) pistons, valves, bearings, gears, shock absorbers, etc etc etc

            And behind all this is Murray Horn whose ideological bent is ACT

            • anker 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Aj the interview was from memory 17 minutes, but 5 was all I could bare! Thanks for filling me in on how it panned out and yes I think it was about every 30 seconds he used the word governance!! Hilarious that he conceded in the end politicians are good at governing! What a dick………..and Horn is ACT eh? Well it all makes a lot of sense. Surprized old Gorman didn't start talking about Air bnbs Returnees isolating in air bnb scattered through out the land! What could possibly go wrong. I wonder if Act is trying to pick up the air bnb vote!

              • greywarshark

                Uncooked S
                I noticed a piece from an ex Treasury guy, Tony Burton, on the right hand feed last night and commented on it which I have pasted below.
                I think it refers to your comment at 2.1.1 pasted here:

                But I think it has a lot more to do with evidence-free ideology – the proponents just think it must be the best or only way, because. 2.1.1

                Yesterday I pasted this at 35 on OM 21/8 in my comment:

                ...When I was part of the government machine I was struck by how little understanding even those receiving the eye-watering fees to teach “Masters in Public Policy” have of the way government operates. (If you want an example, look up “policy cycle” in a textbook on government where you will find a hamster wheel schematic and text describing how, apparently, government is run by hamster bureaucrats scuttling round it.)…

                This is a one-eyed interpretation:- At its most extreme, a former Chief Executive of MSD commanded “no problems without solutions” so only problems that had already been solved could be presented to senior managers…

                …Ministers very rarely talk to people at the front line. Their decisions are largely informed by meetings with people at the upper end of the hierarchy who are equally ignorant of what is happening where services are delivered.

                https://democracyproject.nz/2020/08/21/tony-burton-govt-depts-debacle/
                This article can be republished under a Creative Commons CC BY-ND 4.0 license. Attributions should include a link to the Democracy Project. With Bryce Edwards involvement.
                .

                DTB was thinking along similar lines at 15.3 OM 21/8 when he put:

                "Climate change is proof that our economic system is uneconomic and, for the majority of people, that will be hard to swallow. For the economists and politicians its even harder as they've based their entire careers and life on it.

                As the saying goes: Its difficult to get a person to understand something when their job depends upon them not understanding it."

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Meanwhile the UK's outsourced contact-tracing is expensive and a disaster:

                Outsourcing firms miss 46% of Covid contacts in England's worst-hit areas

                Serco and Sitel paid £200m to test and trace, but reach just over half of infected people’s contacts in some regions

                ….Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the system was not “world-beating”, as the prime minister had said. “The biggest mistake was making it a commercially run thing. That was never going to work,”

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        It must be easier for CEOs/boards, and cheaper for governments, to run public services as businesses

        There's no must in there.

        The whole reasoning for the shift from public service management is because of the myth that business runs things better than the public service model. Research is coming out now that shows that there's much of a muchness between the two (still just humans after all) but for public services, such as hospitals, the public service model is better in that its more efficient and produces better outcomes.

      • McFlock 2.1.3

        A lot of the time, it's not so much that it's easier as that they have a conceptual block. I've seen a number of nonprofit clusterfucks in Dunedin over the years, and the fault is either enthusiasts who dream big but can't run a pissup in a brewery, or managers who think their job is to say "we can't afford it, wind up" rather than working out, well in advance, how we can afford it.

        Company directors who started it from the ground up because they love widgets, know everything about widgets, and have no interest in making anything other than widgets are the exception – their objective is to make widgets, the money is a bonus. They would be making widgets in their shed upon retirement.

        Generally, though, in business the company directors don't really care what the company produces, as long as it makes money. They might dominate an industry, but if that industry dies they'll just as happily move on to something else. Nintendo used to make playing cards, Western Union used to send telegrams (until surprisingly recently), and so on.

        So they cut underperforming units without realising what the units add to the body as a whole. They reward managers who waste resources by spending their time making petty savings on inventory – paperclips, towels, patient wifi. They ignore "friends of" groups that could raise tens of thousands of dollars if only someone told them about the financial difficulties before the winding-up meeting – or even told them about the winding-up meeting, at least. They don't ask the staff which managers are essential and which ones seem to have gained themselves a sinecure with no clear role. They hire consultants without bothering to ask the people they literally pay to know about that stuff.

        You get a corporate exec who cares about the organisation's role, they bring the skills and the will and they can be fucking brilliant. They'll restructure finances to cut costs (e.g. rather than friendly businesses charging a cut rate, the non-profit can pay full rate and the friendly business makes a tax-deductible donation, so it actually costs them less to essentially give stuff for free), leverage their knowledge of the local wealthies to reach into their pockets, make damned sure everyone's legally compliant so there's no GST or liability surprise, and so on. But many don't get the point that they're there to help the organisation do its thing, not get in the way.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The solution is to just properly fund the thing and to reject the "austerity" model of public health that NZ has embraced.

      And get rid of the board.

      Being voted onto a health board doesn't magically give people the necessary expertise to be in such a position and, really, its just more bureaucracy for no apparent gain.

      Costs way more in the long run than just providing good health care.

      Yep. Another example where cutting immediate running costs ends up costing far more due to the job not being done well enough in the first place.

      NZ does cheap and nasty (which it seemingly inherited from Britain) and then wonders why everything costs more.

    • McFlock 2.3

      Local boards are a way of helping services meet the needs of the local population, rather than Wellington. But they can also become handy scapegoats for problems (like underfunding) that are caused by Wellington.

      Boards also need to have significant representation from people who work in the organisation. If all the board members are accountants or lawyers with spare time, they run it like a business and harm the system. Their decisions might be right and proper, but they have an impulse to err on the side of winding services up, and have little knowledge or experience of maintaining connections with stakeholders within the community.

      There is a belief that governance is fundamentally interchangable – that a board of company directors can run an opera company or a rescue helicopter trust. They cannot. But a frew out-of-sector directors can add strength through diversity.

      I'm tending towards a rule of thirds: 1/3 industry practitioners (or employees for large organisations), 1/3 community stakeholders, 1/3 unrelated professionals.

      • greywarshark 2.3.1

        Sounds good balance Mcflock.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2

        I'm tending towards a rule of thirds: 1/3 industry practitioners (or employees for large organisations), 1/3 community stakeholders, 1/3 unrelated professionals.

        I think I'd prefer sevenths: 3/7 for industry practitioners (or employees for large organisations), 2/7 community stakeholders, 2/7 unrelated professionals.

        Just to give that little extra weighting to the industry practitioners.

        It may be worth going for: 3/7 for industry practitioners (or employees for large organisations), 3/7 community stakeholders, 1/7 unrelated professionals.

        Especially considering that some of the community stakeholders could also be part of the group of unrelated professionals.

        • McFlock 2.3.2.1

          I wasn't really parsing the exact fractions.

          Basically, if we look at a health board I'd expect "a chunk" to be doctors or other people who work directly for that board, another "chunk" being stakeholders like patient advocacy groups or primary healthcare. The remaining "chunk" can be lawyers and accountants, because they'll be better placed to see if the CEO is hoodwinking with the accounts – not fraud, just polishing the occasional turd.

          A small theatre might conflate stakeholders and employees, but the result still needs to be that a hefty chunk of people on the board have practical experience in that industry (including the fact it tends to run from grant to grant and one bad or good show can dramatically change outlook).

          A couple of token staff reps in a board of twelve is largely ineffectual. Having nobody who can read a set of accounts, knows the difference between operating expenditure and capital expenditure, and knows basic business law (especially conflicts of interest) is likewise asking for trouble.

  3. ScottGN 3

    “Biden Barn Burner”

    Even the Drudge Report thought he did OK

  4. ianmac 4

    The great Steven Joyce has a column in the Herald. Don't bother reading it. It is full of dodgy assumptions and dodgy lies. Scraping the barrel he is and offers no credible insight. Another failed old MP. (I can read Premium thanks to my son's workplace connection.)

    • anker 4.1

      Thanks for sparring us Ianmac. And thanks whoever gave the headsup yesterday that a link posted contained an article from Peter Dunne. Sometimes there is only so much crap you can read or listen to. Speaking of which I have just posted about listening to 5 minutes of Prof Gorman last night. So that is my contribution to filtering to save others from having to listen.

      I can't help but wonder/hope that with Covid NZders start to get a little more critical and see through the bullshit. So whenever the media or whoever talk about the shambles that is our Covid response people can think well hold on a minute….UK has just borrowed something like 3 trillion pounds. 200+ cases in Victoria and everyday a tragic number of deaths………are we really that bad??????? this is why I think Trumps statements actually help us.

      • woodart 4.1.1

        yes, trump spewing nonsense about NZ can only help the current gov . nats are associated with trump, and are trying to flick him off, but like snot on glass, he still leaves a trail.

    • ScottGN 4.2

      I don’t usually bother but I read Armstrong’s column on TVNZ online. He spent the whole column describing the ways that Judith is a train bearing down on a hapless Jacinda only to say in his summation that Jacinda’s current stratospheric polling means she’ll do fine on Election Day and the real casualties will be ACT, NZFirst and the Greens. It was a total crock of shit.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        It was a total crock of shit.

        That is almost always true for those who put forward their beliefs and desires as fact which, unfortunately, seems to include nearly every reporter in the country.

    • Morrissey 4.3

      Why would anything written by Joyce be characterized as "Premium"? No wonder the Gerald is going down the tubes.

  5. aj 5

    An in-depth article on Stuff (no link sorry) about the Covid Card which is being trialled. A weakness that is not talked about, is that it won't help in cases of picking up the virus from surfaces. A person could touch a surface and leave virus on it and then move on. Minutes later half a dozen people could touch the same surface but their cards, or the original person's card, will never register with each other.

    I'm still a fan of this card, but this article does reveal some of the concerns associated with it. For example it appears all the cards need to be around the same height above the ground to register with each other??

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Interesting stuff on Radio nz from the UK based virologist.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018760655/virologist-dr-chris-smith-latest-covid-19-science

      Consultant clinical virologist Dr Chris Smith of Cambridge University and The Naked Scientists returns to digest emerging Covid-related science and research. This week, a new study suggests that children are an important vector for the virus, what sounds like some encouraging news about post-infection immunity, and could herd immunity really work when just 20 percent of a population test positive?

      Skin cells could be a vector for the virus, possibly floating like aerosols. Russian announcement that their immunity producing vaccines will last for two years. Dr Chris Smith says that cannot be stated as a fact, as the virus has only been worked on for 8+ months. Proper trials need to be carried out over two years to verify the situation.

    • Muttonbird 5.2

      Lanyards are annoying. People won't wear them.

      • aj 5.2.1

        Lanyards are annoying. People won't wear them.

        Agreed, in fact the article suggested they need to be outside clothing. If it won't work from your pocket/wallet I can't see it being a goer. The article did discuss social acceptance.

      • Graeme 5.2.2

        Also a health and safety issue in a lot of occupations.

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    Just in case you have missed it..the DNC has quite literally told ( I am talking in political optics here ) the growing progressive wing of that party to fuck off! we are not your party and you have no place within it.

    So sure Biden is marginally better than the walking talking disaster that is Trump, but let's just be honest with ourselves here…he is nothing more than a talking head for the same old US hegemonic exceptionalist neocon's along with wall st and US corporate interests that POTUS always represent at the expense of the rest of the world…and their own citizens….Yep Biden and the DNC is just as happy to let the planet burn as Trump and the RNC are and make no mistake about that…

    DNC’s Flip-Flop on Fossil Fuel Subsidies Follows Deep Ties the Industry

    "The DNC quietly removed language from the party platform yesterday that endorsed an end to fossil fuel subsidies, after voting two years ago to allow itself to accept fossil fuel PAC contributions."

    https://readsludge.com/2020/08/18/dncs-flip-flop-on-fossil-fuel-subsidies-follows-deep-ties-the-industry/

    • The Al1en 6.1

      Where a broken clock is still correct twice a day, a broken record is just cracked and pointless.

      Oh, and…

      Sen. Bernie Sanders Worked With Biden To Potentially Create The “Most Progressive Agenda Since FDR

      Bernie Sanders – Mobilizing Progressives for Biden | The Daily Social Distancing Show

      • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1

        Not really much point in us debating, if you can't see that the Biden administration will be just another Republican lite corporate/wall st/military and prison industrial complex circle jerk just like that shill Obama's was, despite all the actual evidence staring you in the fucking face then whats the point?…none.

        I wouldn't hold it against anyone who voted Biden in the US, but to actually think he and the DNC will be progressive is just plain delusion..he and the DNC are nothing more than pro choice republicans, that is just a fact, and will probably prove to be even more hawkish in foreign policy than Trump.

        Trump…Obama's legacy..who knows what Biden's will be?

      • Morrissey 6.1.2

        Are there two comedians less funny than Colbert and Noah in the entire United States? Roseanne Barr, possibly.

        • lprent 6.1.2.1

          I’d agree that they are often unfunny. But they specialise more in dark satire than simple humour. More Jonathon Swift satirising the pompous dimwits of his day than a Benny Hill play things for laughs.

          I realise that distinction, that is perfectly obvious to me, may escape you. I tend to view your thinking as tending toward very straight line direct thinking than nuanced. But if you observe what they do closely, they tend towards using barbed similes – designed more to elicit a feeling of horror than those to elicit laughs.

          Personally I find actual comedians rather boring and predictable. However I do like these two.

          • Morrissey 6.1.2.1.1

            Trevor Noah is a deep and thoughtful commentator? When did that remarkable transformation occur?

            By “dark satire”, do you mean Noah’s and Colbert’s three and a half years of grim but nutty fantasy about those dastardly Russian masterminds who have seized control of America?

            • lprent 6.1.2.1.1.1

              I wouldn’t call Russian intelligence masterminds.

              It has been pretty damn obvious to anyone who is technically competent on the net. They have a tendency to be rather blatant about it. Approximately a fifth of the volume or hack attempts on this site come from Russian networks – some of which have very interesting network patterns. While US networks are our largest load of hack attempts. Most of them come from a relatively small group of dodgy server farms that anyone can rent for a dime or pretty obvious botnet captured machines.

              It has been interesting over the years watching what some of the offshore hacks do after they fall into one of my honey traps (I set them up for Slater and co about 2013). About 8-10% aren’t commercial patterns (ie not spammers or obvious botnets) which I suspect is a lot higher than most non-political sites. Anyway if I want to drop the server loads, I usually just turn off access to bingbots, then I turn off access to the whole of easter Europe, and then exclude about 50 US server farms

              However in this case Colbert and Noah were just repeating the reports of every security company or intelligence agency who looked the the raw data. The most recent was the bipartisan Senate report looking at pervasive Russian intelligence contacts with the Trump campaign – that look deliberate on both sides.

              But basically I’d have to say that you’re a raving naive fool to think that there wasn’t a strong intelligence inspired influencer campaign in the 2016 election to get exactly the chaotic administration that Trump provides. It was less crude reprise of what has been happening in Russian border states for decades now.

              I’m not particularly worried about it. The online tactic only really works for a short time. There was a limited real affect – probably actually less electoral effect than the daft electoral college system provided. And it warned every other state that they have to watch for it again (it was a very common pattern back in the 20th as well). The network system operators are now aware of it as well. They tend to being somewhat more abrupt about dealing with it.

              Which is the long form of saying that I think, with what I consider is good reason, that you’re often rather deluded. However that is a personal opinion and doesn’t get fed into the moderator lprent role – who is more concerned with online behaviour.

              BTW:

              Trevor Noah is a deep and thoughtful commentator?

              I couldn’t possibly agree with that – apart from anything else because I didn’t say it. I said that they were satirists.

              Bad idea to try to put words into my mouth or anyone else. That is bad behaviour to lie about what someone else said.

              • Macro

                It has been pretty damn obvious to anyone who is technically competent on the net. They have a tendency to be rather blatant about it. Approximately a fifth of the volume or hack attempts on this site come from Russian networks

                Interestingly the small site I have also has a good number of "visitors" from Russia, including Leningrad.

                The recently released Bi-Partisan Senate Intelligence Report into Russian interference in the 2016 election is highly damning (all 996 pages of it). It goes much further than the Mueller Report.

                • Manafort hired and worked closely with Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the committee definitively calls a "Russian intelligence officer" that served as a liaison between him and Deripaska.
                • On numerous occasions, Manafort sought to pass sensitive internal polling data and campaign strategy to Kilimnik. The committee was unable to determine why or what Kilimnik did with that information, in part due to the pair's use of encrypted messaging apps.
                • The committee did, however, obtain "some information" suggesting Kilimnik "may have been connected" to Russia's hacking and leaking of Democratic emails. The section detailing these findings is largely redacted.
                • lprent

                  It goes much further than the Mueller Report.

                  They weren’t restricted to a criminal proprietorial standard – so they were able to say what their balance of probability said what actually happened.

                  Fortunately on this site, I’m not restricted to even that standard. I operate on any possible threat rather than probable. The constraining factor is resources (especially my time).

              • Sacha

                I’d have to say that you’re a raving naive fool to think that there wasn’t a strong intelligence inspired influencer campaign in the 2016 election

                Accurate.

    • Andre 6.2

      Adrian, off-topic but I'm genuinely curious: which party do you support for the election here 8 weeks from now?

      • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1

        Thanks for asking, well I can't vote Labour here because they have given us the twin insults in the John Key loving Anna Lorke in Tukituki and if I registered in Napier, Stuart Nash who is probably ruing that he didn't drift to what is obviously his natural home in the National Party, because he would probably be leader of that party now.

        So maybe Green/Green for what it's worth, which is fuck all…pity they didn't have the balls to elect Sue Bradford when they had the chance, someone who has the strength of character to really fight (and I mean really fight) for the working classes and disenfranchised of this country. and not just talk about it like everyone else in NZ politics today.

        • greywarshark 6.2.1.1

          Sue Bradford used a lot of her capital getting the no-smacking bill through which does not appear to have reduced violence one iota. If she was a practical woman she would have been getting anti-bullying workshops for kids into schools, showing how kids can feel strong and good about themselves, and maybe turn bullys away with a quip and a raised eyebrow.

          Yes she is good, but like many left progressives, goes for hoping people will turn to the good side, just because they should. We all need to change, and it takes a mental effort and someone demonstrating and upskilling us, not just feelgood preachiness.

          • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1.1.1

            I have meet her and can tell you she is a practical woman and she knows what drives the human condition better than most, she has actually lived a real life outside politics unlike nearly every single high ranking politician in NZ on both sides.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.1.1.2

            "Sue Bradford used a lot of her capital getting the no-smacking bill through which does not appear to have reduced violence one iota."

            Maybe Bradford was playing a longer, aspirational game with a generational payoff – if fewer children are thrashed by their parents, then when those children (in the fullness of time) become parents maybe they will be a little less likely (on average) to thrash their own children. We can but hope.

            I was pleased when the bill was passed (in 2007), and that it withstood various protests, petitions and even a referendumb ["Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"] to get it overturned. Whatever its faults, the message of the legislation is clear, and good IMHO.

        • Andre 6.2.1.2

          Thanks.

          I'm relieved you might be able to vote for grouping that can make enough internal compromises to attract a coalition of somewhere around 6% of the vote. I wasn't sure anyone electable would be able to live up to your standards.

          • Hanswurst 6.2.1.2.1

            I often think there is a bit of a disconnect between what the smug, holier-than-though pragmatic centre-left thinks of many vocally more radical lefties, and what the latter are actually like. I think there are quite a few people who argue passionately for more left-leaning philosophies and policies, pronouncing the centrist options to be confused, insincere and weak, but still quietly vote for them as the lesser evil when the choice comes around. On the other hand, many centre-left pragmatists profess theoretical support for more left-leaning ideas, while waxing eloquent about the qualities of 'electable' centrists, and smugly lecturing radicals about the nature of politics in a broad democratic electorate, as though everybody didn't know already. The fact, though, as far as I'm concerned, is that if the radical left were to quieten its rhetoric down to that brand of 'sensible' strategic thinking, the centre would end up considerably to the right very quickly.

            So it's forgivable to vote for electable candidates, and even express respect for them at times, so long as you don't gush about it as though it were some kind of virtue.

        • Ad 6.2.1.3

          I went to a couple of those Green leadership contests.

          Bradford was so easy to respect. I too wish she'd got it. But that's a fair time ago now.

          • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.3.1

            As did I, Ad. Metiria and Sue both presented themselves very well, though at that stage, Sue appeared to be resigned to the likely outcome. She's a very strong and big-hearted woman and achieved a great deal for us all. Speaking one to one with Sue was a real eye-opener for me; she's a very "human" human, as distinct from her portrayal by the media of the time. Metiria, I liked very much also. She was as feisty as Sue but somehow suited the Party's needs more at the time. I found her various television interviews, especially those done by MaoriTV, to be remarkable vehicles for her wit and intelligence. Her downfall, or rather take-down, was awful, unpleasant and must have shaken her to the core. Both women deserve our highest respect, imo.

          • solkta 6.2.1.3.2

            I am glad that she didn't get it. While i respect her achievements and incredible drive her mind is very much closed. I don't think she would have been able to bring the party along with her as a cohesive group.

            • greywarshark 6.2.1.3.2.1

              I'm interested in outcomes, not just whether the politician involved is a sterling character. Hopefully waiting for possibly results in the next generation is what got us into the mess we in NZ are at present. Kindness coupled with practicality finds the most effective way to deal with the problem before it festers any further. We are all now dealing with neolib NZ that has ignored problems, not even cared, preferring to dismiss those with them as losers. Not satisfactory from our various governments.

    • Dennis Frank 6.3

      The DNC quietly removed language from the party platform yesterday that endorsed an end to fossil fuel subsidies, after voting two years ago to allow itself to accept fossil fuel PAC contributions.

      The dark side of the Dems. US voters must decide which shit tastes best. Will they lap up that shovelled by the Dems? Looks like that from the Reps is more unpalatable.

    • AB 6.4

      Adrian – you can set as many litmus tests as you like, but nobody is interested in dipping the test paper in the 'solution'. And they will just get angry at you for asking that they do.

      Brianna Joy Gray writes in the article I have linked to: "if we accept the binary that your vote is either unconditional or pledged to Trump, it removes our ability to affirm the values which will remain important long after the election is over."

      • Adrian Thornton 6.4.1

        Thanks, yes I have read that one, maybe a few commenters on this site would benefit from reading it as well…

      • Andre 6.4.2

        There's different kinds of litmus tests.

        There are bottom line standards that if someone goes below them, it should be disqualifying. For instance, personal criminal corruption or credible rape accusations. The Grab'em'fuhrer has multiple accusations open against him. If Tara Reade had a backstory that suggested she was credible rather than a proven serial fabulist, I would have real trouble with Biden. At the time of Bill Clinton's elections, Broaddrick's accusations weren't public and indeed her public stance was she didn't have anything to accuse Clinton of doing. And neither Biden nor Clinton have had any credible accusations of criminal personal corruption.

        Then there are litmus tests where multiple tests are set at extremely high levels, and the slightest falling short of any one of them is considered disqualifying. Those prone to setting these kinds of litmus tests set many bars at levels that are impractically high, such that any candidate that might clear all of them to the satisfaction of the test setter becomes unelectable to the majority of the electorate that don't share the exact same extreme views on the exact same set of priorities.

      • Ad 6.4.3

        The arguments in Current Affairs were all hashed out in the Democratic Primaries. They aren't relevant now. Unless you are part of the anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, or Outsider marginals.

        There is absolutely nothing for the far left in the Biden-Harris ticket.

        Biden = MidLeft Dem Corporate. Also one of the least wealthy in the Senate. He's in the middle of the Democratic party for left-leaning.

        Harris = Authoritarian Dem Corporate. Fractionally more left leaning on voting record.

        They have zero to offer the anti-authoritarian left at all.

        They have zero to offer the anti-corporate left at all.

        They have zero to offer the Outsider left at all.

        Those groups vote Green or or Socialist or not at all.

        • Wayne 6.4.3.1

          But they have everything to offer against Trump.

          The US is not a socialist country. Moderate Democrats, in the mould of FDR is about as left as the US wants to go. Though obviously there is 10% of the electorate who would go further left. But 90% who don’t.

          In that sense there are parallels with NZ. Only 5 to 10% of the country want to go left as the Greens, maybe a few percent more. It is indicative of the NZ mid point that the PM says she would not support a CGT while she is PM. I imagine she will have a 36% top tax rate for this election for incomes over $100 or 120k. Middle NZ will be fine with that.

          • Morrissey 6.4.3.1.1

            The US is not a socialist country.

            ???????!!!???

            You either have no knowledge of the long and honorable history of U.S. unionism and civil rights struggle, or you are a former National Party cabinet minister habituated to writing dishonest and misleading messages.

            Moderate Democrats, in the mould of FDR is about as left as the US wants to go.

            ???? You are deliberately, I think, misrepresenting the thoroughly discredited DNC as reflecting the wishes and policy preferences of American voters.

            • Wayne 6.4.3.1.1.1

              What is your view about where the PM fits on the political spectrum, which, after all, is of immediate relevance to us New Zealanders?

              I have given my assessment about where she fits. What is yours?

              • Morrissey

                As acknowledged by most New Zealanders, in particular the hundreds of thousands who are abandoning your party right now, Jacinda Ardern is an extremely competent centrist politician.

                I was personally very worried to learn she had worked for that arch criminal Tony Blair AFTER he had been one of the main conspirators in the destruction of Iraq, and I have been extremely disappointed that she allowed the Army and your political cronies to thwart Afghan victims of the N.Z. Army from appearing in our court during the Burnham inquiry. But in spite of those very grave reservations, I think she's done a fine job of holding this country together; the contrast with the treacherous behaviour of your colleagues is instructive.

              • What is your assessment of Judith Collins Wayne? Where does she fit on your spectrum?

          • Ad 6.4.3.1.2

            The extreme left have done their job already. By supporting Sanders, and in turn by Sanders and team working on policy formation with Biden, the extreme left have pushed the policy platform as far as it's going to go.

            I don't think they'll stay at home rather than vote.

            In fact it's more likely that some of the Republicans will stay home and not vote.

          • millsy 6.4.3.1.3

            Christ Wayne, you need to get out more beyond the cocktail set.

            Levels of public ownership in the USA is very extensive, having been built up over more than a century, add to that, the level of direct consumer and worker ownership as well.

            Let's start with the following link:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State-owned_enterprises_of_the_United_States

            And of course, the TVA, the greatest SOE of them all.

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

            Even socialist nations like Egypt under Nasser copied and pasted the TVA for their public works projects.

            The US Army Corps of Engineers, owns 30% of the hydro dams in the USA:

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

            Etc.

        • AB 6.4.3.2

          Such a welter of meaningless categories ('far left' , 'mid-left', 'authoritarian left'…) it is impossible to construct a response to it – other than note the overall inclination towards control and exclusion.

          Barring accidents Biden will win -lets hope for a landslide and control of both houses as well. Some good things will follow and in time a lot of disappointment too. Pain and suffering will continue, and great wealth will continue to accumulate – both of these in the accustomed places.

          • Ad 6.4.3.2.1

            Do a little search of "Joe Biden Political Compass"

            The taxonomies stabilise after the first 30 or so.

    • Gabby 6.5

      AOC has made a fatal mistake in not selling out to at least one corrupt corporation. Her corrupt 'peers' will have nothing to do with her.

      • Ad 6.5.1

        AOC is fully integrated into Democratic politics and into the Presidential campaign.

        AOC is being groomed and guided upwards very well. All in the timing.

        If the NZ Greens can both groom her for power and protect her from over-exposure, Chloe Swarbrick could be our equivalent of AOC.

    • McFlock 6.6

      "Literally"? I don't think that word means what you think it means .

  7. NZJester 7

    Look like one of the rights attack vectors of speculation that the Government putting people into lock-down increased suicide rates is just another one of their may unscrupulous lies trying to win by hitting below the belt while the ref is not looking.

    Suicide commentary unhelpful to Queenstown, mental health experts say. By Tim Brown

    Speculation about the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the suicide rate is causing more harm than good, those in the mental health sector say.

    The link between Covid-19 and higher suicide numbers first reared its head during the nationwide level 4 lockdown earlier this year.

    Provisional figures from the Chief Coroner, released yesterday, show the opposite is in fact true with year-on-year suicide numbers down as well as a marked drop during the months of the lockdown.

    However, the link has been drawn again since Auckland re-entered level 3 and the country moved to level 2.

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/suicide-commentary-unhelpful-to-queenstown-mental-health-experts-say/ar-BB18eSJV?li=BBqdg4K

    ACT Party leader David Seymour for instance is quoted in the article as defending himself about what he said in Parliament with the words "You have to go by facts and not speculation," while it turns out from what the figures show that what he was saying was only speculation, and could possibly be harmful to.

    • Gabby 7.1

      Implication seem to be that while the overall numbers are down, Queenstown may not be. 'Unhelpful' isn't 'untrue'.

    • greywarshark 7.2

      Something I noticed by its absence was no mention of the actual figure of how many suicides there were in Queenstown for the year being talked about. There is still an element of keeping the unattractive fact out of the public gaze. This might alert others to what difficulties Queenstown has been causing for working people in finding affordable housing.

    • weka 7.3

      That has to be an abuse of parliamentary privilege.

      • Wayne 7.3.1

        How is it an abuse of parliamentary privilege? The statements/speech raised legitimate questions about the cause of suicide. The media have a number of rules about how to discuss suicide and Seymour stayed within those guidelines.

        It is not legitimate to shut down the debate of a very real and deep problem in the way those critical of Seymour were trying to do.

        For instance when the farming sector has a finance or drought streak, farmer suicides increase. The farming community is very much aware of that and tries to provide more empathetic support than was historically was the case.

        • weka 7.3.1.1

          is there any evidence that there were seven suicides in Queenstown in that fortnight?

          • Graeme 7.3.1.1.1

            It seems a bit odd, certainly no rumours around my part of town that people are suiciding left, right and centre.

            And adult suicide is more a peak of the cycle thing here, usually from people working too much, chefs and business owners working 100+ hours a week and it all going to shit.

            Insurance jobs are more the bottom of the cycle thing.

            A couple of our local actoids tried starting a suicide meme during the April lockdown but got shut down pretty quickly for spinning shit.

        • millsy 7.3.1.2

          Would be interesting to see how many people committed suicide after your lot had ACC throw them off their long term claim rolls and onto the benefit system, loosing between $200 and $300 a week, and their houses as a concequence. All so "line goes up".

          Or the young mother of 6 who killed herself in about 2016 or 17 after WINZ told her they werent going to pay for any more motel accomodation, leaving her parents to bring up the kids, who ended up having to stay in motel rooms, after being evicted from their state house on trumped up meth charges.

          But I dont see you, your lot, or your supporters giving a shit about that, as long as your retirement nest eggs dont get taxed.

          • I Feel Love 7.3.1.2.1

            Thank you millsy!!! But clearly those suicides don’t matter to Seymour, Wayne et al … the deserving suicides vs the underserving suicides?

        • anker 7.3.1.3

          Seymour was politicing with the suicide stats that weren't actual stats.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Not just any test, an Immigration NZ approved test:

    Those coming from more far-flung parts of the world will have to find labs Immigration NZ has vetted and approved, or their test results might not be accepted.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/08/coronavirus-national-wants-kiwis-overseas-to-find-immigration-nz-approved-testing-labs-before-coming-home.html

    National’s National Border Force is going to be busy.

    • Gabby 8.1

      Now would it be more profitable to go overseas to inspect and approve, or to auction off approvals?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      The bribes will flow and water the poor, benighted, rich bludgers who have lost so much income due to the closing of the border.

      Yeah, just another plan by National to get their funders hands into the publics till because you can guarantee that it will all be contracted out to the private sector. Another great recipe to increase corruption by National.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Gordon McDowell (who has spent over a decade documenting the next generation nuclear renaissance) has new clip of an Alberta panel discussion on nuclear energy and it's role in climate change from a completely non-technical perspective.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySqaLbYBB_c

  10. The CDHB Board is stacked with National Party stooges including a current candidate and the Gough family member.I see this as being political mischief. As an employee I have nothing but admiration for David Meates who has been very willing to be involved in solving some of the problems of the Mental Health sector. For Sue Nightingale to decribe the Board / Executive relationship as toxic and adverserial is interesting, she is a Psychiatrist with all the interpersonal skills required and thats her diagnosis.

    • Treetop 10.1

      A commissioner to oversee a manager for the board and a manager for the executive need to be appointed and answerable to the health minister through the commissioner because of the implosion. Matters should not have got to the stage they have got to.

  11. greywarshark 11

    What do Israelis and Jews everywhere have to say about this? Is the answer to be more what-about-ism and you-did-it-first and look-what-you-did we are just doing the same? And we must protect ourselves by showing us as ready to attack as vicious hornets do? Are they allowed to smite everyone by their religion? Did the Holocaust mean that they will be for ever cursed by that happening and the revenge response that they apparently have bred in their young people and embedded in compulsory army duty where they are taught hostility and can use violence and deadly force when they can make some excuse?

    In the early hours of 7 August, Israeli Occupation force, in a night raid and home invasions in Jenin, shot and killed Dalia Samudi in her Jabariyat neighbourhood home. She received several bullet wounds in the chest while trying to close a window against Israeli Army tear gas; the soldiers even opened fire on the ambulance that arrived to take her to hospital. Dalia was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at hospital and the 23-year-old woman’s new-born child is now motherless. The local Red Crescent Director, Mahmoud al-Sa’adi, confirmed to the Wafa News Agency that the ambulance, scarred with bullets, had been fired on by Israeli soldiers as it arrived to evacuate her.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/08/22/shameful-deathly-silence/

  12. aj 12

    The only failure I can see in the New Zealand Covid repsonse is that the 1pm update is never punctual. 1:09 and waiting.

    Edit: I apologise. “regular written updates at approximately 1 pm daily”

    • Treetop 12.1

      Even when the daily update is given it is a guessing game. There is no precision with Covid. Were the number even zero in the community I would still be looking over my shoulder at times.

    • Sacha 12.2

      weekend.

  13. Just Is 13

    Something I just stumbled on, evedently in Australia, you can't leave the country, you are required to apply for an Exemption, the exemtions are listed here

    https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia

  14. Cinny 14

    #NZHellhole could well be the funniest trend I've ever read on twitter. Kudos NZ and suck on that trump !!!

    https://twitter.com/search?q=NZHellhole&f=live

  15. PaddyOT 15

    National party rebranding as the
    " Chicken Little" party when a little mistake of a conspiracy turns NZ into a hellhole.
    https://youtu.be/NO04VXBIS0M

  16. aj 16

    Six cases and four in the cluster,

    Ashley is the bestest buster.

    Two more cases without a link,

    I think, I think, I think, that is stink.

    By tomorrow we will find,

    If these are tied or we are in a bind.

  17. Grafton Gully 17

    Donald Trump's mother Mary Anne MacLeod was six years old and old enough to remember the Iolaire Disaster.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-46522918

    She raised him and his siblings in the USA, away from the grieving. He became a believer in the teachings of Norman Vincent Peale.

    "Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are."

    https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/norman-vincent-peale-quotes

  18. joe90 18

    'Murica

  19. Cinny 19

    Another well written and researched opinion piece by Mr Glen Johnson via Al Jazeera.

    Coronavirus and conspiratorial dog-whistles return to New Zealand

    Amid a new outbreak, New Zealand's opposition is once again trying to leverage misinformation for political gain.

    on Tuesday, Brownlee reiterated his claims, again engaging in scaremongering and conspiracy-baiting in the hope of drawing a tiny number of fringe voters to his party.

    There is something deeply unappealing about a grasping politician who puts the personal pursuit of power above public wellbeing.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/coronavirus-conspiratorial-dog-whistles-return-zealand-200820113656292.html

  20. aj 20

    Uncertain reporting

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2020/03/coronavirus-how-new-zealand-s-self-isolation-rules-compare-to-other-countries.html

    This story written today 22nd Aug…

    Earlier on Saturday, NZ Post chief operating officer Mark Stewart said 70 NZ Post workers are having to self-isolate as a precautionary measure, after two of their colleagues tested positive for Covid-19.

    "A worker at the company’s Auckland parcel processing centre in Highbrook tested positive in mid-August and a second was diagnosed on Wednesday……Seventy people who work the day shift at the centre have been stood down on full pay, NZ Post chief operating officer Mark Stewart said…..“Following advice from health officials late last night our 70 people on the processing day shift are now in self-isolation until Saturday 29 August,” Stewart said.

    But self isolation is for 14 days, 'late last night' must mean 15th August? unless their stand-down is only 7 days?

    Towards the end of the article..

    New Zealand’s 102-day streak without cases of community transmission was broken last Tuesday, when a family of four from south Auckland tested positive for Covid-19.

    So.. written today, and 'last Tuesday ' was the 18th Aug. But the 102 day streak was broken a week earlier than that.

    This is could be just sloppy writing and no editorial oversight, but is confusing and possibly misleading to the time-line of events it is reporting on. Why am I never surprised…

  21. Pawan 21

    The conspirators need to be countered with the facts

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Perhaps you should understand that commenters need to get themselves educated about quoting and linking. Deleted what looked to be a dump of a whole CNN page complete with all of the side links. Assuming this is a person rather than dumb arse bot, I have removed it. Short quotes and a link please. We’re not disinterested in idiots violating copyrights. Maintaining auto moderation until we see a comment that doesn’t reek of stupid behaviour.]

  22. PaddyOT 22

    @ aj at 16. Reply button on posts not responding.

    Now Natz and media cannot go to bed
    Up all night making shit theories instead

    Malpass censoring until the truth is dead
    Hosking talking with the voices in his head

    GB scratches nut cos he can't get the thread.
    While Eyebrows and Reti are rewriting the BIOMED

    We'll say its Blomfield that did this new spread
    "Let us bang that up their snotholes," Seymour said.

    "Yeah let's do it, 'cos Chucky doll's got the cred! "
    And we'll all have a group hug before this BS# is fed

    Hello, hello is that, Heather, Hooten or rnz ?
    " Evidence?" " F#k that says GB, don't need a shred !"

  23. aj 23

    Pretty much sums it up…

    smiley

  24. PaddyOT 24

    Here's one man for Hosking to interview on ' How one literally creates a new f#k up at the border.'

    "A business owner in managed isolation says he stopped eating for eight days to see if authorities would notice."
    Peeved at not been given exceptional privilege he decides to try an experiment and concludes, ” I was right, no one has noticed.”

    Despite the daily health care given Tony Everitt is a man on a mission to prove he has….?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12358727

  25. Koff 25

    Siouxie Wiles, the biochemist who has contributed a lot of easy to understand material throughout the pandemic so far, has written another useful and cogent article in the Spinoff on how to improve the Covid response, including an analysis of National's proposals. Worth a read.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/23-08-2020/siouxsie-wiles-what-does-a-robust-covid-response-look-like-for-new-zealand/

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  • Government assisting local responses to heavy rainfall and high wind
    Acting Minister of Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says Central Government is monitoring the severe weather across the country, and is ready to provide further support to those affected if necessary. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this latest event, particularly communities on the West Coast and ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Ardern chairs APEC Leaders’ meeting on COVID-19
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  • Boost for Pacific regional business
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  • PM Ardern call with President Biden
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  • Renewed partnership creates jobs for New Zealand youth
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  • New code sets clear expectations for learner safety and wellbeing in tertiary education
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  • First TAB New Zealand Board appointments announced
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  • Northland Maori Pathways initiative introduced
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  • Extended Essential Skills visas being rolled out
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  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from Victoria to New Zealand
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  • Hydrogen arrangement signed with Singapore
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  • Hydrogen agreement signed with Singapore
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  • Speech to LGNZ Conference
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    2 weeks ago