- Date published:
6:00 am, March 23rd, 2023 - 77 comments
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Step up to the mike …
The Russians are pulling T-54/55 series tanks from storage in a desperate attempt to make up losses in the Ukraine.
It is almost impossible to over-emphasise how much these largely unmodernised and ancient tanks will be death traps to their crews. The prototype T-54 was built in 1946 and it leans heavily on the T-44 for it's armour protection, layout and hull shape. The T-44 is tank designed in 1943. The production run started in earnest in 1948-49 and the last T-55 rolled off Soviet production lines 61 years ago in 1962!
It just boggles the imagination you'd put a trained crew in these tanks, so these are literally funeral pyres for anyone half trained dummy unlucky enough to be sent into action in one, not that Putin and his henchmen give a shit about the lives of their soldiers while they act out their little Soviet cosplay fantasy.
What makes you think they will put a trained crew in them.
The demise of the Russian attack on Ukraine has been predicted numerous times but they seem to keep going.
Not by me it hasn't. The fascist clique running Russia have (so far) experienced no public blowback to the horrendous casualties the Russian army is taking in the positional attrition battles over the winter. I can't see this lasting forever – Russia's manpower pool is actually limited, they had a birthrate collapse post-USSR and it hasn't recovered so with poor general health and ongoing very low fertility their ability for continual force generation from the available manpower pool of 18-55 year olds without impacting on the de-politicised urban middle classes is open to question.
The breaking out of these ancient tanks though indicate to me the Kremlin basically plans to continue this war forever. The Russians can only refurbish/manufacture about 7-10 tanks a month. Cranking up the refurbishment of a few hundred T-54/55 tanks is probably aimed at upping the number of tanks available to Russia forces for the upcoming summer battles. I just hope the dude in charge of the 100mm ammo reserves actually looked after them and didn't pocket the maintenance cash. Putin clearly still thinks he has time on his side.
No one outside of each army HQ knows the state of each army coming out of the winter. Has the Ukraine been able to constitute a well trained strategic reserve of mechanised forces suitable for an offensive? What state are the Russian reserves? If a Ukrainian offensive fails, could the Russians launch a summer offensive of their own? What would the failure of both sides to make much ground in summer fighting mean? Most likely the war carrying on into a third year.
That in turn means we need to remind ourselves this war has no clear end point. And that means the West needs to stop mucking around and start supplying Ukraine with the weapons that will give them the ability to carry the war to Russia and impose a political cost on Russia's ruling clique of waging an unending war in the sure knowledge the Onion domes of Red Square are safe from enemy missiles. St. Basil's Cathedral ablaze and destroyed by Ukrainian strikes would really hurt psychologically. So that means jets to gain air superiority – Mirage 2000 and F-16s – and longer range weapons to strike Russian infrastructure to impose a political cost on the Russian leadership. I hope in that case Churchill’s quote on weapons – in the first year nothing, in the second year a trickle, in the third all you could ever need – would apply to the supply of weapons to the Ukraine from the West’s newly built or re-opened arsenals.
This war is by no means over, and the more the Europeans prevaricate the more likely a slow slide into a more general confrontation between the authoritarian glee club of Putin and Xi and the liberal democracies becomes. And I am strongly of the view that a Russian victory in the Ukraine would actually make that showdown inevitable.
The Russians can only refurbish/manufacture about 7-10 tanks a month.
Should actually be a week.
I bow to your superior factual knowledge Sanc, but worry about the major escalation of the war you are proposing. I think this is a war Putin can't afford to lose.
My guess is that rather than the west spending the trillion dollars you are supporting there will instead be peace talks in 12 months time where the west and Putin will agree on the current boundaries where the largely Russian speaking parts of Ukraine stay in Russian hands.
A Pentagon spokesman says he's against ceasefire in Ukraine. What's matter with these people? the US military complex is evil. There's no other way to put it. How can any moral human be against a ceasefire.
All power to China, or any other country that can broker a peaceful solution to this slaughter. Blessed are the peacemakers.
Why would any human with half a clue give the criminals and washing machine thieves the opportunity to consolidate gains, rest, regroup, and re-arm so that they can violate any agreement at the time of their choosing?
Soviet cosplay [whatever that is ] fantasy etc
Im mystified as to why the Russians would need tanks of any sort ?? obviously now that they are almost out of ammo for the umpteenth time any tank is obsolete anyway isnt it ?Prob they havnt any ammo for their rifles either which is why theyve had to rely so heavily on human wave attacks with shovels !!Gosh i reckon NATO forces will prob have to investigate using shovels also after this its bound to have loads of positive outcomes for the environment i feel quite excited perhaps we are being given another chance to address climate change !!!!
Maskirovka for domestic consumption.
I'm just waiting for the T34's & SU's (the WW2 era Artillery Assault Guns) to rock up now & when they do!
Then you know Tsar Poot's is in the shit big time, but in saying that he started this War with close to 14,000- 15,000 MBT's (Main Battle Tanks) and he's lost close to 4k atm to various means.
And thats before we even start talking about basic crew maintenance (that's if they are even doing them btw) to major servicing like barrel changes which is a complete bitch/ C*** with post WW2 Soviet/ Russian MBT's to power pack (engine) replacements & again not actually user friendly compared to Western MBT's.
You see a lot of people saying a T-54/55 is a win win for Russia, if it gets to be useful then wonderful, and even if it is quickly destroyed nothing has been lost since it is a 60-70 year old tank and the expensive missile that destroyed it is probably worth more money.
But that doesn''t account for the fact these tanks will need stripping, rebuilding and refurbishing, adding some sort of basic fire control, possibly reactive armour, filling with fuel and ammunition, and putting some trained humans inside who know something about a tank. That makes it more expensive than an ATGW.
Anyway, good luck getting large amounts of spare parts for these museum pieces. They will be mostly broken down somewhere in six weeks.
Also given most if not all of these Tanks, have stored outside with the absolute bare minimum of maintenance for starters.
Going to be fun times being these back up to some sort of operational status, feel sorry for the grease monkeys working on those rust buckets.
The Ukrainian's won't be needing DU Rounds, if the Russians deploy the 55's & 54's as the prac rds will to do the job anyway from the contract reports from the last Gulf war I've read.
One British Tank fired a Prac Rd at 55 or 54 front on & they found the power pack a 1km away from the Tank!
Probably still quite effective against unarmed civilian anti-occupation protesters in the Donbas. (Or even, if it comes to that, anti-war protesters in Russia).
Today around the country Te Whatu Ora is having "consultation" meetings with staff, consultation apparently according to central management means redundancy.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the biggest mistake this government has made has been centralization of the health system in the middle a pandemic.
Even the health minister says it'll take ten years to get it right so why do it at the height of a health crisis? Why add more pressure and uncertainty on the system?
Health planners , health support team, health it teams around the country today are freaking out about losing their jobs, IT staff are being told their jobs may be off-shored, that their sick leave will change and now only accumulate to 20 days instead of what their previous contracts said,
The amount of anonymous questions in our meetings is too hard to keep up.
Why would labour spend billions on a health restructure that adds no new support staff or health capacity and just empowers a bunch of management.
Instead of money to train or hire new anathestists so we can have more surgeries, more nurses and doctors, more gps, billions got spent on mergers and management.
Currently noone outside of Auckland and Wellington is getting a look in and a lot of staff are being threatened with their jobs being off-shored.
The pressure these reforms have put on staff that have endured a pandemic for three years is fucking disgusting.
NZ is going to lose a lot of good staff due to cost cutting.
When health workers from it to support staff to planners to nurses to doctors are screaming "shame on you" at the new management you've got a problem.
All the cheerleaders who have cheered on these major reforms in the midst of an ongoing pandemic must have private healthcare because if they were using public they'd be waiting six weeks for a gp appointment and years for a surgery.
The shamelessness of adding the pressure of job insecurity on workers who have spent three years in the insane pressure cooker that has been the health system during covid.
I hate neoliberalism but Ronald Reagan was right, the most terrifying words in the English language is "I'm from the government and I'm here to help"
Only politicians would be stupid enough to inflict this on health workers in a health crisis.
Am hearing from my nursing friends just how upsetting and disruptive this process is.
They're not worried about their jobs – hey, we can't even fill the nursing rosters we have; but they are concerned about conditions, and about the massive disruption to the support systems which enable them to do their jobs.
And, pointing out that management is so inward-focused on the organizational change, that they are losing focus on the sharp end (actual bodies in the hospitals to do the work).
100% agree Corey.
Did you know positions reasonably high in Health NZ include a wayfinder and a storyteller……seriously.
Will find the link if requested.
The future's in all of our hands now.
It is often stated that we live in a meritocracy and that education provides the step up to higher renumeration, Stuff has an couple of articles that have found 10 careers, classified as 'skilled' that barely exceed the minimum wage:
It is long past time that we relieved ourself of the belief that our society rewards 'merit' or hard work.
I was very surprised, for a short while, then recalled reading years ago that NZ was a low wage economy. That was all very well in a sort of way when wages/costs were in stasis. At the moment we are low wage/salaries in a high rate inflation mode. I realise much of the inflation is imported but can't help feeling that some govt intervention of some sort is needed in:
To break down monopolies
Here's hoping for the budget.
I can't help feeling that with the National lite mode we seem to be in plus not 'frightening the horses' that these aspects may not be addressed in the Budget.
You forgot rent. That's the bottom line.
[typo fixed in user name]
Remember that the employer must cover ACC levies, a month's leave plus statutory hols, and employer Kiwisaver contribution. Having a government accident and liability insurance system is incredibly valuable, but we don't see it in our pay packets.
Low waged jobs are all the people who do the real work for our society and most of it useful…….
St John ambulance staff have been at odds with their management for years around pay, shift work rates and understaffing. Another organisation, like the Volunteer fire service, with a moribund administration that is not prepared to listen to its people.
"I am nothing and nobody" she says. "All I want to do is get on with my gardening".
Then she courts public attention by spreading wild conspiracy theories and defaming/slandering high placed individuals who did nothing to her except ignore her crackpot claims:
Liz Gunn & gardening is about as believable as Winston Peters saying he is happy to be the MP for Tauranga, when he had his political ambitions tucked safely away in his pocket, for the moment.
Seem to recall Nicola Willis saying recently, when the increased minimum wage was announced, that National preferred "modest" minimum wage increases. As did Bill English some years ago when he boasted about NZ being a low wage country. That of course never included the wealthy National backers that Paula Bennett befriends, just those doing all the many essential jobs in the community. Likewise Adrian Orr a while ago opining NZ needed 50,000 to lose their jobs to help inflation. Having no understanding of economics or what should or shouldn't be done to curb inflation, it still seems a very callous thing to say.
I remember it differently. Orr said he "would be forced to cause a shallow recession, which could cost up to 50000 jobs unless we curbed our spending." He sounded sad to me. This is part of the "throw away generations who must have new phones and fast fashion, plus larger homes and a car each."
Sadly IT is undergoing "re-organisation" that the Public Service suffered under National. I think that was why Robertson wanted the "insurance Scheme", as after the study on the Future of Work, he saw a huge impact coming, caused by AI.
These people are not callous, more caught in a converging tide of World and Weather events.imo
The heading speaks for itself. but interesting to know children is motel and sleeping in cars arent counted in the stats.
owever, how the sharpened cost of living has hit the nation’s poorest families has yet to be measured, nor are the effects on children living in emergency housing or in cars, who are not interviewed as part of the household survey.
There is so much to unpick in Christopher Luxon's education announcement today.
In an overall sense the most stunning (and overlooked) aspect, is that a party so recently in power, for nine whole years, considers there needs to be a major rewrite of the country's education curriculum.
In any normal sense in the development and evolution of a nation's school curriculum, by now we should be in the full throes, into the guts of the churning of the success of their nine years. Instead? Lamentation about the limitations of our kids.
The Year 13s who left school last year, apparently not equipped for the world, had the first eight years of their schooling under the John Key and Bill English ministries.
"Evidence shows children’s abilities are often underestimated," says Luxon. Evidence shows the abilities of the public are often overestimated too. Those are the fertile fields Luxon is ploughing.
"Five hours a week on major curriculum areas?" It should be eight hours on language related areas, five on mathematics and from memory four? hours on Science and Social studies. Then we have Health and Safety, Physical Education, Music and singing, Arts and Assemblies etc. Just to name a few other areas.
Their "Back to Basics" did not work, and he has no understanding of an integrated curriculum, and if he thinks a parcel of teaching points will overcome a move from written comprehension to visual learning, he is truly out of his depth.
It sounds rather like a "teach to the test" method to me.
Further, National ignore the effects of covid… it is never mentioned.
Will he bore the ten year old with a fourteen year reading ability, and destroy the growing confidence of a struggling twelve year old with the reading ability of nine years with this 'Test"?
Children are not little mugs waiting for the big jug.
Simple people offer simplistic solutions to complex problems, often through lack of acumen in that area. imo
You would have an argument if the current system was doing wonderfully well. But that is obviously completely broken given our slide down the world education rankings, and the fact our universities are complaining about lthe iteracy standards of incoming students.
Perhaps it would help if principals stopped complaining about it being racist to expect good literacy in students.
Given all that, how could National’s plan be worse than what we are currently achieving in terms of educational outcomes?
"Perhaps it would help if principals stopped complaining about it being racist to expect good literacy in students."
Here's another similar response. In 2020, Briar Lipson produced a study that blamed the 'child led' teaching approach in NZ for falling educational standards. I'm not taking sides in that debate, other than to highlight one of the responses, which was "…prescriptive "Eurocentric" teaching practices risk ignoring the needs of indigenous communities."
Thanks for posting Liberty Bell.
"Completely broken" is hyperbole. At best, there are a couple of obvious truisms highlighted by Luxon's prattling about education:
Beyond that – meh. There are many external influences that teachers can't control – like the fact that the most important groundwork on literacy and numeracy occurs before kids get to school. The most significant advances may therefore lie in ending poverty and giving parents more time with kids. Then there's the decline of a reading culture through electronic media – but that's a long story that dates back to the arrival of tv in the 1960's. When we examine the comparator countries to determine the source of their superiority, we should look just as keenly at what happens in the social and economic spaces as we do at what happens inside the classroom.
"The current system", has been wracked by covid. Like all National you ignore those 3 years of disruption.
"You would have an argument if the current system was doing wonderfully well." TSmith. If simplifying the syllabus was an answer then most teachers can do that now by selecting from a range of options in the Syllabus.
Some silly people think that teaching is a simple task of having a list of teaching objectives and teach each day from that list. The USA is notorious for their textbook teaching. Each day is pre set. And it is so boring for the kids.
Absolutely! 3 Rs for 3 hours a day doesn't strike me as the way forward, but hey, let's go back to the old methods…
Yep. The basics have been neglected for decades in the interests of a variety of failed experiments, driven by educational ideologues. Get back to basics, and our system will recover.
You share one thing with your namesake – you are both cracked.
lol I haven't written a document in the workplace in twenty years and encouraged both my sons to learn to type at school which has held them in very good stead.
Have no idea what use handwriting is in a modern world? That "R" which doesn't even start with R is pretty fucked.
Standards (milestones) were well used to assess kids in the 50's and 60's – it's how you ended up with slow classes and things like Taranaki maths and kids who couldn't read the alphabet or tie their shoelaces when they started school put into Lake Alice – never mind that they couldn't read the alphabet cause their parents were illiterate or tie their shoelaces cause the pair they managed to scrounge up for the first day of school was the first pair they had ever owned. Labelling kids a failure at an early age just keeps them there.
Anyone who has sat on a BOT in a low decile school knows the kids they are getting from poverty stricken areas don't have the same knowledge and skills as those from well off areas and that you have to play catch-up. Measure school performance from improvement at entry to leaving and you can see a whole different measure of success. Bring back needed classes such as wood-work and metal-work into schools for those who are kinaesthetic rather than academic – hardly any schools teach these subjects any more. It is left to polytechs to teach these skills at a later age.
Even when the private sector get involved it is still hard work.
I know that I am not the only one who has thought about the possibilities of getting secondary school students using some of these timbers. Perhaps what others have not done is take it the next step and try to promote the use of these timbers with a school wood working competition. Well, we have in Middle Districts, and it has been both a rewarding and also a very frustrating process.
"I haven't written a document in the workplace in twenty years and encouraged both my sons to learn to type at school which has held them in very good stead."
I have a severely dyslexic child, who was failed by the school system, and who has prospered only through our ability to afford private tuition. He would agree wholeheartedly with you…his handwriting is illegible, but he learned to use a key board, and the tuition got his spelling to a point where spell checkers could do their job.
"Bring back needed classes such as wood-work and metal-work into schools for those who are kinaesthetic rather than academic – hardly any schools teach these subjects any more. "
And these 'trades' offer career opportunities and far higher earning capacity than when I was young.
Noting that schools have long failed dyslexic children. My brother-in-law who is dyslexic could not read and write when he left school. My sister patiently taught him 40 years ago.
Standards and milestones taught him he was a failure. These days there are kids with AFS, many more with English as a second language, electricity poverty meaning they can't do homework in winter with no lighting, a lack of stability due to insufficient state housing meaning they are moving from house to house and school to school continuously through the year.
Even things National did last time like cutting community education classes meant that schools lost budget money, $70,000 in our schools case, and many adults lost the chance for second chance education.
No money to help needy students but plenty to bail out a private school.
According to Wanganui Collegiate's annual report for the year ending March 31, 2013, the college had more than $3 million in freehold land and, in addition, the college grounds were valued at $1.7m.
The school's foundation owns three commercial properties in Wanganui, two of which have rateable values of just under $1m, while the third property, a car park on the corner of Victoria Ave and Glasgow St had a rateable value of $4.75m.
Dealing with a dyslexic child is challenging. For us things have worked out, and we have a creative, hardworking child. Others are often not so fortunate.
Auckland Council deems itself uniquely exceptional:
All the more reason Auckland needs it’s electorate MPs to step up:
My admittedly imperfect understanding is that a casting vote should be cast for the status quo, so therefore Mayor Brown should have voted to retain membership of LGNZ.
Can anyone enlighten on this as voting for the status quo would have allowed further debate and a further vote that might have produced a majority decision, one way or the other.
"My admittedly imperfect understanding is that a casting vote should be cast for the status quo"
That is the protocol but Brown obviously considers himself to be above that.
More likely Brown is too ignorant to know protocol.
Brown is most certainly not ignorant. He is doing what he was elected to do, and that's give the city a shake up. More power to him, it certainly needed it.
A supercity "shake up"? Brown's thick shakedown continues – bit of a drongo?
drongo NOUN "
Haven't seen that side of him yet
And yet Mayor Brown sees drongos everywhere
Ah, THOSE drongo's. Having watched the way some people in the media have lost their minds over Brown beating Efeso, I'm with the mayor.
Yep, Mayor Brown's all over the place – room for improvement imho.
He's certainly a 'gift' to headline writers
"Yep, Mayor Brown's all over the place – room for improvement imho."
I wouldn't believe anything LGNZ say. They took money from the government to not oppose 3waters, and sold councils out. I listened to two of them grovelling at the GB meeting yesterday. Glad to see the back of them.
"He's certainly a 'gift' to 'memorable headlines' departments "
Nah. They dislike him only because he beat out their darling, and because he's not Labour.
Brown’s still a gift though to the venal left wing headline writers, who are only quoting him after all. Reckon he’s got a few more in him yet.
But it’s good that the current leader of the supercity council is thick-skinned grown-up who doesn’t hold grudges.
Libertybelle, would you believe the reporter who wrote, "The LGNZ annual conference and excellence awards were held in Hamilton in 2013, followed by Nelson in 2014, then Rotorua, Dunedin, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington.
It was postponed in 2020 but picked up again the following year in Blenheim, and then Palmerston North."
So, the reporter points out how Mayor Brown got it wrong. The justification for Mayor Brown's dislike of LGNZ being the boozy partying is not therefore tenable.
Note the assertion that Mayor Brown had already in the Far North withdrawn them from LGNZ in 2008, so his dislike still predates his incorrect allegation.
Mayor Brown is not coming out well from all this and typifying his critics as you do does not address the facts of the case.
"But it’s good that the current leader of the supercity council is thick-skinned grown-up who doesn’t hold grudges."
There main problem with that cunning plan was that Brown would have to stand in line!
Maybe supercity mayor Wayne ‘Austerity‘ Brown's moves to cut funding to local Citizens Advice Bureau offices and public libraries is part of a closet lefty's cunning plan – time will tell.
My understanding is that a casting vote being cast for the status quo is 'protocol', but no more. In this case Brown has been openly supporting AC leaving LGNZ, so it would have been very unusual for him to have voted otherwise.
I'd like to see more informed comment on the status of protocol in general; and then, as to how the principles outlined in Wikipedia on casting votes applies in the Auckland Council's case.
If Brown was not able to legitimately exercise his vote in this way, he would not have been allowed to. I was at the Governing Body meeting for part of yesterday, and they have people who site alongside the mayor and who arbitrate on those things.
I have not said he was being illegitimate. But we now learn he has made false allegations, basing his flouting of strong protocols on false premises.
The only thing that article shows is that LGNZ don't like what he said. I've known plenty of people who have attended LGNZ conferences and attest to them being piss ups. AC is better off without them.
The reporter made the comment detailing where LGNZ conferences were held. The Bay of Islands was not one of them. How can that have anything to do with LGNZ likes or dislikes.
The question is whether Mayor Brown was wrong about the venue. The reporter says he was. Quote- "The LGNZ annual conference and excellence awards were held in Hamilton in 2013, followed by Nelson in 2014, then Rotorua, Dunedin, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington. It was postponed in 2020 but picked up again the following year in Blenheim, and then Palmerston North."
The journalist has repeated LGNZ spin. As I said, these conferences are well known as being junkets. LGNZ sold out councils by cosying up to the government on 3 Waters. I watched two of them on Thursday try to justify their existence at the GB. They can take their gravy train somewhere else.
Are you able to give evidence that the reporter has it wrong? That the LGNZ chair statement that there has been no conference in the Bay of islands since last century is wrong? Have you noticed that there has been no confirmation of Mayor Brown's claim?
I have two sources, one of which is a journalist. You have just your allegations of LGNZ spin and jounalistic connivance.
"Are you able to give evidence that the reporter has it wrong? "
None whatsoever. I'm really not interested in whether Brown got the venue right or wrong. The events are junkets, and LGNZ is a farce.
Hi Mac1. To clarify (because actually truth does matter and my last comment was far too flippant), if Brown got the facts right but the venue wrong, I really don't care. If he made shit up, then I do care, because it makes him no better than those journo's constantly trying to run a hit on him.
Thanks. We agree that truth matters. I hope that the truth will become evident.
When I stood for politics, decades ago now, the best advice I learnt from a media guru was "Never lie. You will be found out."
"Never lie. You will be found out."
I think my mother told me something similar.
The same essence of morality applies be it in our personal lives or in our public lives. My fear is that we keep pushing forward people into public life who have no care for that morality and the world as a consequence descends into that chaos that Yeats spoke of a hundred years ago in "The Second Coming".
My sense of history tells me that every generation had its challenges but these current challenges seem harder to overcome- but we shall, some day, won’t we?
"but we shall, some day, won’t we?"
I hope so, I really do.
"Mayor Brown is not coming out well from all this and typifying his critics as you do does not address the facts of the case."
From what I'm hearing from Aucklanders, Mayor Brown is coming out very well on this.
Don’t worry fam- Bad boy Brown and Mike Lee got you! Auckland’s finest at the wheel.
AC isn't the first council to quite LGNZ and it won't be the last. LGNZ sold local councils out over 3Waters. As an Aucklander, I say good riddance.