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Open mike 25/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 25th, 2020 - 124 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 …

124 comments on “Open mike 25/08/2020 ”

  1. OMG we live in very strange times!

    Here I am linking to a Fox News clip and suggesting that Donald Trump is right!


    (10 minutes long)

    What this illustrates is how fucked up the American health system is, how driven by the dollar, how politicised.

    I have been lambasted on here for promoting the videos of Chris Martensen, who months ago suggested HCQ + Ivermectin + zinc given early at the onset of covid-19 and before hospitalisation was the prophylactic which would have most beneficial effects.

    Time will tell, and I don’t expect apologies, but I do reserve the right to say: I told you so.

    • Andre 1.1

      You've been criticised for uncritically posting lengthy videos by Martenson, without doing even the simplest courtesy of a basic couple of sentences of why the video might be worth watching. As it turns out, Martenson does not appear to base his recommendations on sound science, but overhypes limited results from poorly designed studies. A brief look at Martenson's past stuff, from gold-bugging to doomie preparation, suggests he's a clickbait artist on the topics-du-jour rather than a credible expert with insight on a complex specialist topic.

      How about providing some links to actual studies backing up your implication that HCQ + ivermectin + zinc given early is beneficial?

      Your link to the Lyin' King's twitter account doesn't seem to go to anything like what you've described, and frankly, that you would suggest that any information coming through the Drumpf/Fox sewer line might possibly be taken at face value suggests an extreme deficit in the skepticism and information assessment department.

      But if it's about the latest miracle cure touted by Donnie Dumpsterfire, convalescent plasma treatment, here's a look at the actual numbers showing how even the relatively small improvements for something touted as article are in fact an overhype of the tiny improvements actually observed. Let alone the difficulties in obtaining useful quantities of the miracle substance.


      • Andre, did you hold your nose and actually watch the linked video?

        I've no time for Drumpf and I'm not suggesting he has any answers (no matter what the question) but there does seem to be a quickness to jump on HCQ as a prophylactic given early in the onset of covid – merely because trump in one of his meanderings promoted it.

        The Harvard professor cites case studies which show the effectiveness of HCQ – yet the profit-driven health system slams the drug and goes after other drugs which cost an arm and a leg.

        • Andre

          No I didn't watch the video because the evidence shows that statements from Trump are more likely to be false than true by a ratio of about two to one.

          Nor is your say-so reason to waste ten minutes watching a video, particularly given your history of posting lengthy misinformation videos from clickbait artists that don't have substance behind them.

          When it comes to HCQ, there is a large weight of evidence from the better-designed studies showing it has negligible beneficial effect, and is actually likely increase the risk of death due to HCQ's well-known side-effects on heart function.

          You have attempted to boost the apparent credibility of your post by saying "Harvard professor" but declined to provide a name nor any info about about the case studies to check out whether there's any substance to the study. It could be a Harvard professor of DrumpfDivinity citing case studies at Liberty University for all we know – and the track record of Trump, Fox, and the clickbait artists you post suggest it's really not worth wasting the time to watch the video to find out.

          If you want to provide actually useful info rather than likely amplifying misinformation and worsening the misinformation epidemic, post actual names and links to actual studies.

          edit: meanwhile a search for actual hydroxychloroquine evidence turns up a veritable cornucopia of articles such as:


          https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2020388 (looking at HCQ for prophylaxis)

          • No I didn't watch the video

            I rest my case.

            Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale (sorry, not Harvard)

            Try not to be so defensive Andre.

            • Andre

              Here are the first three hits from googling risch yale hydroxychloroquine study:

              First is a defensively toned memo from Yale defending Risch academic right to opine on topics outside his expertise:

              Dr. Harvey Risch is a distinguished cancer epidemiologist who has opined on the topic of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and COVID-19 out-patient therapy. He has written a review article in the American Journal of Epidemiology that cites evidence that he believes supports HCQ use for out-patient infection with SARS-CoV-2. Studies that indicate no effect or harmful effects, Dr. Risch believes, enrolled patients too sick to benefit from HCQ.

              Yale-affiliated physicians used HCQ early in the response to COVID-19, but it is only used rarely at present due to evidence that it is ineffective and potentially risky…


              Next is:

              Yale School of Public Health professor Harvey Risch has been a vocal supporter of the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, despite a lack of scientific evidence that it works.

              In a July 23 opinion piece in Newsweek, Risch argued for the use of hydroxychloroquine, in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, to treat high-risk COVID-19 patients without waiting for further testing on the effectiveness of the treatment. He published this piece after his May 27 paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology was widely criticized due to a lack of evidence from randomized trials. Both articles argued this combination of drugs can effectively prevent hospitalization for most symptomatic high-risk outpatients and that it is safe for short-term use early in the course of infection. This claim is now widely disputed.


              Third is:

              Risch points readers to his review — he is the only author — published in late May in the American Journal of Epidemiology that cites five studies in support of HCQ, particularly when used early in the course of COVID-19.

              None are randomized controlled trials. One is the heavily publicized and now discredited French study by Didier Raoult, MD, and colleagues in March that sparked initial hopes for HCQ. Two have no corresponding data or publications.


              I'm not defensive. I'm disgusted with your promotion of misinformation that you didn't even make a rudimentary attempt to fact-check. Or even have the courtesy to drop a few breadcrumbs as to the actual substantive content. Or even provide a clean link to the video you expect people to waste time watching. (Your twitter link went to the Twittertwat's general twitter cesspit, leaving your reader to try to figure out which turd you expected them to pick out)

              • Rosemary McDonald

                I'm not defensive. I'm disgusted with your promotion of misinformation

                Having been on the receiving end of your spew Andre, I am disgusted at your continuing propensity to declare any information or opinion which has not got The Establishment's tick of approval as "misinformation".

                You worship at the altar of mainstream and official, and seem blind to the fact that practically nothing we see, hear or read on the internet can be relied on unless supported by personal knowledge or experience…or the personal knowledge or experience of others we personally trust.

                Sometimes, Andre, what we are told is 'fact' simply does not add up and we have to do our own research and draw on our own knowledge.

                Case in point are the discussions you and I have had over the history of measles in the developed world,and the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine. I'm not going to provide you with links (again) as you will refuse to read or listen to anything that might challenge the comfortable position you cling to.

              • mauī

                Taking second information from Harvey's boss and some colleagues as gospel, all the while ignoring what Harvey is actually saying is pretty piss poor fact checking imo.

          • No I didn't watch the video

            I rest my case.

            Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale (sorry, not Harvard)

            Try not to be so defensive Andre.

        • mauī

          Thanks Tony, the proof is in the pudding as they say. Minnesota is the second state to revoke the ban and allow HCQ use as a treatment. You would think more states to follow…


          • logie97

            …the proof is in the pudding" as they say. Some might say. Others say

            "The proof of the pudding is in the eating…" but it seems to be passé now.

    • Incognito 1.2

      Before you start gloating, claim bragging rights, and elevate your YouTube hero to superhero status you may just want to read this balanced piece for a general audience that came out today:


      There’s still much we don’t know about this virus and anybody who claims they know (better or best) and they are right are taking a punt, at best, because to the best of knowledge, there is no conclusive evidence for many claims yet. Even a safe and effective vaccine may never eventuate despite enormous efforts (and investments). I think people will have to accept the limits of what is possible but many seem to have huge faith in science and technology to deal with if not solve all issues that are plaguing humankind, sooner or later. That includes CC, by the way.

  2. Rapunzel 2

    It's started already advertorials for those set to take advantage of Collins; clear intention, given the chance, & shows her limited capacity to do anything other than tender the virus out https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sponsored-stories/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503708&objectid=12358168

  3. I Feel Love 3

    That truly was an excellent episode of Sunday and word around the staffroom is we need more shows like that, because we here in NZ have no idea what it's really like during a pandemic.

  4. Hanswurst 4

    So there seems to be a concerted attempt building, whether by design or by accident, to present Jacinda Ardern as a bit lame and patronising. I agree to a reasonable extent; in manner, she's like John Key with slightly less mangling of the English language, and mercifully minus the doofus dickhead dimension. Having said that, I find it rather off-putting to see David Seymour homing on on her use of the word 'tricky' to describe COVID-19, followed by Luke Malpass at Stuff parroting the line, saying that she 'insists on calling [it] “tricky” as if it somehow deliberately sneaks in the back window […]'. Mr. Seymour, Mr. Malpass, 'tricky' is usually just a synonym for 'difficult'. Look it up, you pair of nitwits.

    • AB 4.1

      Malpass is either an idiot (a distinct possibility) or deliberately manufacturing trivial hits on Ardern. 'Tricky' is used all the time colloquially to describe something that is difficult to achieve, handle, or respond to in an effective way. As in 'a tricky problem', 'a tricky corner', 'a tricky situation', 'a tricky climb' etc. etc. In none of these examples does the use of 'tricky' attribute intent to something that is incapable of having intent.

      What's happening here is that Malpass doesn't like being reminded that the whole Covid response is immensely difficult. If everything is mixed, nuanced, problematic, evolving as it goes, etc, then simple-minded gotcha journalism is off the table – making it harder for him to shill for the Nats without appearing like a complete loon.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Thanks AB I didn't have a good feeling about Malpass from what I had read and then found that he had been set up as Political Editor made me wonder. He's a bit tricky I feel.

      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.2

        He is an imported neoliberal writer of financial articles and agenda setting news in Australia. Setting the agenda ?? Moved back here in John Key’s time. Nuff said!!

        • greywarshark

          Oh thanks. I thought he must be getting encouragement from somewhere to counter his unfortunate name Malpass. Mal in French is bad. Some surnames are discouraging.

    • Morrissey 4.2

      in manner, she's like John Key

      ???? angrysurprise sad

      Your reading of "manner" is most eccentric. Key never seemed bright or particularly pleasant. Ardern doesn't come across as oafish or malicious.

  5. tc 5

    Tricky is the adjective science seems to have given it. They were going with evil however inferring intent isn't allowed so ‘tricky’ it is.

    Seymour and science not in the same room, no surprises there.

    • Matiri 5.1

      Dr Chris Smith, superb communicator, virologist from Cambridge, and regular on Kim Hill RNZ – describes coronavirus as 'tricky'.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Yes Matiri isn't he good and I'm glad he pops along to Kim and she feeds him questions, of which there are more than he can answer. But promises to come back. You feel that you have heard a well-balanced informed background to the tricky Covid-19 behaviour.

  6. Anker 6
    • My new phrase around Covid is if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
    • This govt has done an outstanding job and the figures speak for themselves
    • Let Mof H and Govt mostly get on with it. They are leading a very strong health response which is best for the economy
    • each individual needs to work out what they can do for the covid response. Wear a mask, socially distance, stay home if your sick if at all possible , support local business, get out and see NZ, donate to a Foodbank, get a test if you are asked to do so. That is the job of each and every one of us, to whatever capacity we have to do it. And those of us that have more capacity need to step up.
    • For the arm chair critics eg the gotcha journos, the likes of Gorman Shut the fuck up
  7. Anker 7
    • My new phrase around Covid is if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
    • This govt has done an outstanding job and the figures speak for themselves
    • Let Mof H and Govt mostly get on with it. They are leading a very strong health response which is best for the economy
    • each individual needs to work out what they can do for the covid response. Wear a mask, socially distance, stay home if your sick, support local business, get out and see NZ, donate to a Foodbank, get a test if you are asked to do so. That is the job of each and every one of us, to whatever capacity we have to do it. And those of us that have more capacity need to step up.
    • For the arm chair critics eg the gotcha journos, the likes of Gorman Shut the fuck up
    • Alan 7.1

      so you know more than a Professor of Medicine, gee you must be clever

      • woodart 7.1.1

        as with smart comebacks, not all professors of medicine are without fault. a good professor of ANYTHING will say that they dont know enough, they are still learning.

      • anker 7.1.2

        I never said I knew more that a Professor in Medicine and certainly I know very little about medicine for divers and brain injury. These are the two areas Professor Gorman has his qualifications in.

        Professor Gorman seems to have held a number of positions in health funding, workforce development and health system design. He held these from around 2010 and it appears from his CV he is no longer used so much by the current govt.

        Given he had so much time and influence to sort the health system, if his criticisms are to be believed, he clearly failed to do so in when he was in a position to implement the changes.

        By his own admission in the Radio NZ interview, the govt are using the right strategies, contract tracing, quarantine, high testing rates…………..

        Right now is not the time for the health system to re-structure or to set up new agencies…………..We are in acute crisis mode. And despite any failings or inadequacies Mr Gorman sees, our health system which has been woefully underfunded is coping and adapting spectacularly well as seen by our Covid response and the statistics that don’t lie….. So no I have no time for Mr Gorman

      • greywarshark 7.1.3

        Hee hee cleverer than you Alan. When you feel the urge to write all you can say is yah-boo. Doh! And yet you are upset at the STFU! When you write you don’t say anything of any assistance in the toil and tribulations we are in. You are not using your great powers to help so why worry about it.

      • McFlock 7.1.4

        Literally all you have is an appeal to authority, when that authority disagrees with most of his peers.

  8. Best campaign ad of 2020, probably

  9. ianmac 9

    Really appreciate The Standard. Feeling of loss when it has a few hiccups, so thankyou Lprent for giving us this outlet.

  10. Andre 10

    Our misinformation crisis – how can we stop ourselves from falling for it and spreading it?

    Fact-checkers, they found, didn’t fall prey to the same missteps as other groups. When presented with the American College of Pediatricians task, for example, they almost immediately left the site and started opening new tabs to see what the wider web had to say about the organization. Wineburg has dubbed this lateral reading: if a person never leaves a site–as the professor failed to do–they are essentially wearing blinders. Fact-checkers not only zipped to additional sources, but also laid their references side by side, to better keep their bearings.

    In another test, the researchers asked subjects to assess the website MinimumWage.com. In a few minutes’ time, 100% of fact-checkers figured out that the site is backed by a PR firm that also represents the restaurant industry, a sector that generally opposes raising hourly pay. Only 60% of historians and 40% of Stanford students made the same discovery, often requiring a second prompt to find out who was behind the site.

    Another tactic fact-checkers used that others didn’t is what Wineburg calls “click restraint.” They would scan a whole page of search results–maybe even two–before choosing a path forward. “It’s the ability to stand back and get a sense of the overall territory in which you’ve landed,” he says, “rather than promiscuously clicking on the first thing.” This is important, because people or organizations with an agenda can game search results by packing their sites with keywords, so that those sites rise to the top and more objective assessments get buried.


    Videos seem to be particularly pernicious for misinformation, at least partly because of the extra obstacles in the way of fact-checking:


    More useful reading on different kinds of misinformation:


    • greywarshark 10.1

      Perhaps we should keep coming to The Standard and someone will raise a point about error as a rule, but not always. I have asked for help now and then and no-one replied so the blog is only partially useful at sorting into piles all the words and sentences that roll out endlessly.

  11. lprent 11

    The site still isn't right. But I've fixed most of the speed issue which appears to have been something triggering cache access issues at the database level. Mostly by taking out some of the obsessive protection that used the database as persistent storage and substituting other tools.

    I still haven't located the root cause which is kind of irritating. I'll look at that again this evening. There are much higher than usual general (ie non-site aware) attempts to crack into the site. But it is no more than about 5x the usual rate. It averaged at about 20 per minute. Didn't look like a denial of service attack.

    However I need to get back to paid employment (had to take a day off yesterday). So it will have do for the moment.

    • Anne 11.1

      There are much higher than usual general (ie non-site aware) attempts to crack into the site.

      Forgive me my technical illiteracy, but are they attempts to interfere with the ability of the site to continue providing a forum for political debate? Not so long ago one of our local experts warned it was inevitable there would be foreign political interference in the election – not unlike what has been experienced elsewhere.

    • lprent 11.2

      Ok, I have just seen the problem now that I am looking wider.

      One of the SSD drives in the array for The Standard has been locked into a very very long SMART data scan – it is currently at 140% of the expected time. It is running at 49C (its partner is at 29C).

      Failing it from the array so the spare kicks in.

      Yep, and the really problematic issue is fixed. saving comments and updating them is now fast again.

      I really don’t tend to view SSDs as being a possible problem. I just lean in the SMART monitoring I’ll add some notifier diagnostics to scan them over-running tests and getting too hot.

    • " I still haven't located the root cause…"

      This is a catastrophe….more testing please.

  12. greywarshark 12

    The chickns have come home to roost in Auckland. The delays of putting in decent public transport in Auckland that began in Mayor Robbie's* time 1959 on have now led to problems about Covid-19 spread, as well as making it difficult for just ordinary citizens to get to work and have some time for having a life.

    According to Auckland Regional Public Health, the trip took two and a half hours. The reason for this was because "there was very bad traffic congestion that morning as people were heading home before the midday lockdown," the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) said.

    They said the two people sat on the bus for an hour at Symonds Street.

    According to Auckland Transport's website, the trip from Stop 7162 to Stop 8200 can be walked in 11 minutes. By bus, albeit with no traffic, it takes 3 minutes.

    On Google Maps, from one stop to the other, it is 750 metres.



    About his rail ideas: Robinson's main focus during his second period as mayor was his advocacy for rapid transit system for Auckland. Robinson's proposal for a bus-rail rapid transit plan was "to provide fast, modern electrified railways through the main traffic corridors of the region". The proposal had passenger trains every three minutes running from an underground subway terminal in the city centre with above ground tracks leading to Howick, Auckland Airport and a tunnel to the North Shore. The scheme was heavily criticized for its cost (an estimated $273 million in 1973) and both the ARA chairman Tom Pearce and most of its members opposed the scheme. The Third Labour Government reneged on an election pledge to pay for the scheme and the rapid rail proposal disappeared. Retrospectively, Robinson's idea to implement rapid rail was seen as a possible long-term solution to Auckland's subsequent transportation difficulties. The phrase; "If we'd only listened to Robbie…" has become common speech in Auckland whenever the city's transport system is debated.

    • Just Is 12.1


      I remember the rhetoric at the time, even the media put the boot in.

      I seem to remember it was his last term as mayor.

      In the last 50 yrs Robinson was the only person that I can recall that "Had a Vision for the Future of Auckland and NZ",

      NZ has suffered from a Visionary" deficit ever since.

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        It seems to me that the struggle to get important work carried out for the overall good of a community is a harder goal than to climb Mt Everest. We love Sir Edmund Hillary for doing something quite notable but unnecessary.

        We fail to catch the importance of pushing through a future-looking transport system for a growing, major city like Auckland. And Dove-Myer was also prominent in preventing the city's sewage and meat offcuts from manufacturing being dumped out at sea untreated. Apparently he was a feisty man with a big ego, quite interesting reading about him. But he was a thinker; if they had left the tunnel to North Shore out and gone with the rest, they would have been winners instead of losers as they are now.

        Let's hope they don't end up like Los Angeles (City of Angels).

        “There’s simply not enough places for these people to go, there’s obviously a lot of mental health and addiction problems.
        “A lot of people flood to California because of the weather and I think the problem has just overwhelmed the system here.
        “And I think the city of dreams really has turned into the city of nightmares at the moment.”
        It is a city-wide problem, she says.

        “Friends of mine that live I Santa Monica only four blocks from the beach say they can’t take their children to the local park because the homeless situation is so bad that there are people passed out in the park doing drugs, there are syringes everywhere…

        “It’s a big city problem across America and I think it’s a socio-economic problem that the rich are getting richer, certainly under Trump, and the poor are getting poorer.
        “There’s a great sense of social injustice here at the moment.”
        Homeless encampments are legal in Los Angeles and have blossomed as the city’s chronic housing shortage worsens.


        And this is the next step of the epidemic likely to cross our borders carrying all the shit that comes out the actions of the wealthy and malignant in the USA to foul our country's wellbeing, only managed by being the opposite to them in their feckless drive for capital accretion and power.


        Wealthy Americans looking for a safe haven in a turbulent Covid-19 world are flocking to invest in New Zealand – and move their businesses here.
        The number of investor visa applications has soared since the coronavirus outbreak, and the government agency working to attract overseas money says New Zealand's successful public health strategy is behind the ten-fold surge in interest.

        • woodart

          and you can bet that those wealthy americans will hide in gated communities here, if they get the chance.

          • greywarshark

            I've read that some people in Queenstown are having trouble with the Lords of Creation who have homes with helipads attached that they have wangled on the basis of serving them for arriving and departing. But they have visitors and are restless and on the go so the very loud noise of a helicopter next door can be heard numerous times a week.

            When I hear one here it is usually the rescue one going across to land at the hospital set-down spot. They are doing God's work so to speak, and I can put up with that, in fact I find it comforting that we have this service for the needy. There are often trampers who fall, get caught in bad weather, a windy road out of town, Golden Bay and distant communities – so that's different from the wealthy and their taking ways.

  13. Andre 13

    If you're prone to COVID panic, don't read further.

    Covid reinfection of a healthy 33 year old has been confirmed by the genome of his second infection being different to the genome of his first, with the spike proteins being different between the two strains. The good news, for him anyway, was that the second infection was asymptomatic.


    • weka 13.1

      Yep. Still too soon to be making definitive plans about the future and what NZ should be doing with the borders and so on. There's more to learn here about the virus, immunity, transmission before we get to rearranging society again.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        And this. South Korea was an early success at controlling Covid-19 and then had a huge outbreak with a religion at its core. I had thought South Koreans religious but well-balanced, now its becoming twisted and political. Their psychology is not too different from what has arisen all over the world, looking for conspiracies and malign agents connected with Covid-19, but it appears so passionate that the country is spiralling out of control.


        The latest outbreak of coronavirus cases centred around a right-wing Presbyterian church has spread to all 17 provinces throughout the country for the first time….

        The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has admitted that about 20 percent of all new cases are of unknown origin – despite the country's efficient contact tracing system which can track down around 1000 potentially infected patients in an hour.

        South Korea's fight against Covid-19 began in February after an outbreak at a Christian cult called the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city of Daegu, about 200km south of Seoul. Within weeks, the outbreak was under control…

        The majority of new cases are all close to the heavily populated capital city which is home to more than 10 million people.

        And one of the biggest concerns is that many of the far-right worshippers who are potentially infected believe the virus was planted as part of a conspiracy to close it down. Many are refusing to be contacted, let alone tested.

        And there is also one other major risk factor. Infected members of the Shincheonji church were mostly young – in their 20s. But the current outbreak is affecting a much older age group.

        Members of the Sarang Jeil Church, which roughly translates as "Love Comes First", are right-wing conservatives and maintain that President Moon Jae-in is a communist and a puppet of China and North Korea.

        Before the coronavirus outbreak, they would gather in their hundreds in the centre of Seoul each Saturday loudly rallying and marching past the Blue House to denounce the South Korean leader.

        This is really frightening. If the South Korean government tries to have a total lockdown which appears to be the only way to stop spread, these people could riot in another one of their protests aimed at bringing down the government. They refuse to believe in the facts of the virus and its spread, and if they were in charge would probably impose BAU by force, yet the report is that the hospitals are nearly at capacity. Who can break through this web of lies and hysteria that all South Koreans respect and will pay attention to?

        • Stuart Munro

          South Korea is somewhat used to dealing with mass protests – and they are mostly very well-behaved. They never run out of police because the police claim a proportion of the two-year military service all Korean men must do – if they need another 100 000 they only need to make a few phone calls. The protest culture, which is a Confucian tradition, really took hold under Chun do Hwan, who was somewhat in the Duterte mould, and police under his leadership killed several thousand protestors. It's not like that these days, and the church cannot muster a large crowd in Korean terms.

          they would gather in their hundreds

          By Korean standards that makes them look as lonely as Billy TK's meagre handful of supporters.

          • greywarshark

            Well that all sounds very calming, which is good for me. But still the spread and the lack of contact tracing that they can do is going to be a worry.

            Perhaps they can all go into their church and close the doors and be together and safe from the government forces. But they must care for their sick with the equipment that will be available on request, food delivered in raw state so they can't blame deaths on poisoning.

            Perhaps they will come to their senses as people fall sick while under their care. No evil eye to blame it on.

            • Stuart Munro

              One of my former students just told me there's a weird group in Korea now that may be deliberately spreading Covid – the rationale is apparently that "we have to share the pain with our ally (United States)". It may be a troll cell behind it, but it's the kind of trouble no country needs.

  14. joe90 14


    On Monday, the Democratic super PAC American Bridge released a new ad to run during the Republican convention — starring President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who minced no words in blasting his former boss.

    “For more than a decade, I was President Trump’s right-hand man, fixer, and confidante,” said Cohen, who went to prison over the scheme to make hush payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf. “I was complicit in helping conceal the real Donald Trump. I was part of creating an illusion.”

  15. ScottGN 15

    Replying to greywarshark @ 12. (for the last 6 months or so I’ve only been able to use the reply function on my iPhone not the iPad I normally use, but now can’t even use iPhone?).

    Ironically the reason the cases sat for an hour on the bus on Symonds St is because there was an almighty traffic jam in that area of Symonds St, New North Road, Mt Eden Road and Newton Road after a Covid testing station was set up in a small ex-used car yard on New North Road. It was chaos every day until they moved the testing station to the Eden Park car park. All the bus services routed through that area eventually had to be detoured.

    Notwithstanding that I fully agree that Auckland’s cheapskate approach to public transport and planning generally is a growing disaster.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      That's awful Scott GN. I think authorities need a knowledgeable outsider who just watches and listens to all the plans re Covid 19 in each area, and steps in before all go away from the meeting room and asks the pertinent questions as to how effective they'll be in that spot, because of this, and this and this? 'I want us to look at these points now, before anything is done and explain to me how these problems can be overcome.'

      Someone who has a reinforced spine, and can assert themselves and has knowledge of planning and people, would be useful to spot such things as traffic congestion.

  16. Morrissey 16

    The bogus anti-Semitism report that sank Jeremy Corbyn

    by ASA WINSTANLEY, The Electronic Intifada, 24 August 2020

    The road to Jeremy Corbyn’s political downfall began at Oxford University Labour Club in February 2016. A rogue inquiry by a Labour staffer with close ties to the Israeli embassy included fabricated allegations of anti-Semitism.

    It destroyed the lives of several pro-Corbyn students sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. It also triggered Labour’s “anti-Semitism crisis” in earnest. The manufactured crisis continues today, even with Corbyn now marginalized. After an internal Labour disciplinary investigation, some of the accused were cleared of anti-Semitism the following year.

    But by that time the damage had been done.

    After a four-year investigation, The Electronic Intifada has obtained the full Rubin report, which has never been published.

    Michael Rubin, who wrote it, was chair of the right-wing group Labour Students. But the “inquiry” was his own initiative and had not been mandated by either Labour’s leader or its ruling National Executive Committee. Rubin was also collaborating with Shai Masot, an Israeli “diplomat” who would be kicked out of the UK the following year.

    Soon after writing the report, Rubin was hired by Labour Friends of Israel, a group which secretly coordinates with the Israeli embassy in London.

    Masot was caught in undercover footage recruiting to the Israeli front group.

    Read more…


    • greywarshark 16.1

      I found this yesterday in a promo for The Telegraph and found it very instructive about nice people in the UK and the lengths they will go to maintain their nice lives, and the rationalisation they use for being tricky.

      …Every week, when I sit down to write my Wednesday column in The Telegraph, concerns like those are at the forefront of my mind. I see my job as speaking up for the silent majority, for men and women who lack a voice in a world where, if you don’t subscribe to fashionable left-wing causes, you’re called “inappropriate” or “something-phobic”.

      People like us have been made to feel like a beleaguered minority. But who gave the Conservatives a whacking majority at the general election and protected our country from the lunatic extremism of Jeremy Corbyn? We did.

      I’m proud that readers email to say it’s a huge relief to know that they’re not alone. I rejoice that Telegraph subscribers call the paper a “haven” for those who don’t get offended by views other than their own. Whenever possible, I try to see the funny side. Let’s face it, with the coronabeast laying waste to life as we know it, people are incredibly grateful for a laugh. Allison Pearson, Telegraph Columnist

      People like this are irritated at changes including the constant nitpicking of word sensitivity at the moment and regard it as OTT. But they don't see that their own behaviour is similar on the other side of the see-saw.

    • Ad 16.2

      Jeremy Corbyn. Wikipedia narrates him us as the Hilary Clinton of UK politics.

      Take a sure thing, fuck it up, blame everyone else.

      Just wait for the book no one will read.

      Whereas in the real world, Keir Starmer is leading Labour already close to even pegging with the Conservatives already; Conservative 40%, Labour 38%:


      • Morrissey 16.2.1

        Sturmer, the King of Nothing, can't get more support than Boris Johnson, even though Johnson is possibly the most obnoxious and incompetent British prime minister in history. He and his cronies have expelled anyone with a moral compass from the Labour Party—people like Asa Winstanley, who wrote this article, and Michael Rosen, and without a doubt would have drummed out Sir Gerald Kaufman if he was still alive….

  17. AB 17

    "It is the nature of human existence that shared sacrifice is the glue that binds disparate individuals and groups into a unified and thus powerful entity."

    "Profound disunity is characterized by the recognition that favored elites make no sacrifices, and this injustice consumes the bonds of civil unity."

    The best thing I have read today.

  18. Sabine 18

    fuck this. seriously fuck this bullshit, and someone please go to Winz and start weeding some of these drones out and send them to the unemployment queue, also Government (Labour/Green/NZFirst) do fucking better.


    The $3000 per week money maker

    Most people know the Emergency Accommodation scheme put people in motels and hotels at market rates of over $120 per night for every room rented.

    What they don't know is from 2018 – within this current term of government – the Ministry of Social Development extended this scheme to include private homes.

    The catch is that MSD continued to pay the same motel room rates to landlords for every room in the house they would rent.

    A three-bedroom house rented out at a "hotel" rate of up to $150 per room per night could bring in $3000 per week in areas of the country where median rent for those was $550. The rent was capped at the $3000 mark.

    MSD did not visit the properties to check if they met basic living standards.

    Once a provider joined the Emergency Housing scheme through providing a motel or hotel, it could then rent out extra rooms or houses into the scheme – and the status of those would not be checked.

    Mangere East Family Services social worker Alastair Russell said the houses MSD paid penthouse apartment rates for were often "marginal to uninhabitable".

    He was well aware of the scheme because a large number of properties in South Auckland were tied up in it.

    "Houses without stoves and ovens [and] houses that were essentially building sites with debris scattered both in and outside the house.

    "You're talking planks of wood with nails sticking out of them. Broken glass. And families with kids that had to go into those houses.

    "No one was going in there and checking the places out."

    Landlords knew, agent claims

    It seems to have happened with the full knowledge of the ministry.

    someone said something the other day that 'we know have well being as a priority a new social contract with the government', reading this article it occurs to me that some have a social contract with the government and it makes them very very rich while those that are too poor to be of importance to anyone (unless its an election year) can go live in a dump paid for by the tax payer 3000$ per pop.

    But we can't increase unemployment and social benefits to the level of the wage subsidy casue we don't have the money, right? We seem to have the money, for landlords, real estate agents and winz drones who probably did well on kick backs. But hey, surely this is all a great misunderstanding, someone mis spoke, and someone mis appropriated funds and and and and.

    • greywarshark 18.1

      Pigeon-holes? People with children thrust into some sort of covered dwelling or room. Is that how it is with MSD? No wonder they need guards on their offices. When people get distraught enough with no end in sight to their condition, they can feel they have nothing to lose!

      Can we get our smug backsides off our seats as seen in twitter Hellhole, 'Oh I'm at the beach, on my balcony, on my lifestyle block, walking along this nature reserve'. It was sickening after the first laugh at giving the finger to Trump or some overblown liar about how bad NZ is. For some it bloody well is bad and we shouldn't forget that.

      I mention a difficulty that I think is common, and that is authority will say that some remedial program won't fix the problem, so it's no good. That is such a copout to say nothing can be done till it is the perfect solution. "Oh we can't waste money here if more has to be spent later." We are not prepared to divide the problem into sections, start with the worst difficulty, and work up to bigger and better outcomes. Put everything on a graph from axes of 0 so as things improve they'll show up, why not measure that way.

      So get up you bums and open your minds, every meeting has to result in a beneficial outcome for people who really need it, and receive enough of your budget to succeed, and be properly monitored with encouragement and support to achieve what is wanted by the recipients.

    • Patricia Bremner 18.2

      Sabine, So lazy or overworked people in MSD let greedy landlords and their agents rort the system of the Government trying to find shelter for people. This has come to light, and yet you paint this as a failure by this Government, when you know the rot is endemic, and will take time to overcome, as so many are gaining.

      You threw my "social contract comment" back in my face inferring I am one of those who is making $3000 a week!! I realise you mispoke in anger and frustration. I was talking about covid, you have taken that out of context.

      This is housing situation is upsetting and not good enough. Who else have you sent a complaint to? Megan Woods? or just us?
      PS I could have ignored that remark, but it is not fair.

      • Rosemary McDonald 18.2.1

        This government is committed to the Middle. Always was. Always will be. Case in point the pathetically embarrassing launch of Kiwibuild.

        Channeling Savage…shame.

        Should have hit the ground running housing the homeless.

        Should have implemented the recommendations of the Welfare Experts Advisory Group.

        Should have listened to those at the front line rather than the bureaucrats from the various Ministries.

        • greywarshark

          Patricia you are right. How do we stop the rot

          We must not forget the power of the officials who implement the policy passed but in THEIR OWN way, or do they. There is mention of National gaining power in 1961 and it going to their heads. Do politicians have control or do they face some humiliating discussion with the head of the State Services Commission after they have got nowhere with their head of department?

          I have been looking at some columns from Chris Trotter in past years. He said this in 2016 at the time Trump and Farage were looking very pleased with themselves.


          The Last Laugh: As Plato predicted, more than 2,000 years ago, a democratic citizenry that loses faith in its own efficacy will voluntarily entrust its destiny to the first demagogue who learns to speak its language of despair. In 2016, this annus horribilis, those demagogues’ names were Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.

          These from May 2017.

          Not Just At The Gates – Within The Walls! Dr J.C. Beaglehole, writing in 1961, recorded with considerable disdain: “The naïve, the almost childish brutality, with which the chiefs of the National Party fell upon power may seem quite surprising, until one remembers how famished for power they were, and with what an innocency of experience they faced the world about them ….. [Their] insensitiveness to administrative delicacies was quite appalling.”



          Our path to the future is blocked by the past.

          And The Truth Shall Set You Free: Moving beyond the thirty-year-old neoliberal order in New Zealand can only be achieved by confronting and disproving its explanations and excuses for the inequality, poverty and powerlessness it perpetuates.

          New Labour or Coalition government – what will confront them?

          The simple answer is: The Past. A government elected on the strength of public misgivings about rampant homelessness and the lack of affordable housing; out-of-control immigration; and a despoiled natural environment; will be presented with thirty-year-old government machinery designed specifically to make effective state intervention as difficult as possible.

          Any attempt to deploy this machinery in pursuit of social and economic objectives for which it was not designed is highly likely to end in failure – and, quite possibly, disaster. Arrayed against a government in which only a handful of ministers possess Cabinet experience will be a bristling phalanx of public servants, National Party appointees, corporate and special interest lobbyists and public relations firms – all of whom have a vested interest in preserving the status quo…

          When, after staggering into their minister’s offices under the weight of multiple reports, studies and surveys, the representatives of Treasury, MFAT, MBIE and MPI advise the new progressive government that its programme will wreck the economy and/or bankrupt the nation, how will Labour, NZ First and the Greens respond? Will they be able to offer their own stack of reports, studies and surveys in rebuttal?

      • Sabine 18.2.2

        I am throwing nothing back in your face, i just called it up because we need a social contract. A real contract that covers all of us all the time and not just some of us some of the time.

        I am not speaking in anger nor frustration, but i am tired of the misery that we cause by not holding our government accountable and the price of that is paid by those that have the least to give or to loose. I have never ever even mentioned covid, You did. I am constantly talking about unemployment, homelessness and the lack of the government in regards to these issue.

        Do i believe that the wage subsidy is / was not enough. I do. Do i think the government did an adequit job re Covid given the circumstances, yes, have i ever said open the borders or relax quarantine? No i never did and you would be hard pressed to find anything in regards to this. The problem is that currently every critisism by us vs Labour is shut down literally with words of 'shut up, national is worse and do you want us all to die". Talk about a nice way of telling people to shut up and just vote. 🙂 Ain't happening.

        As for complaining, i spoke to the person who hopes to get elected in my area, lol, not talking policy, don't you think we did well, is this not enough, I leave comments of FB pages and i give money as far as i can to the community where i live which btw has a huge homeless problem, a huge over crowding problem and a huge poverty problem and it will only get worse with raising unemployment and no jobs to apply for. So no i don't see any reason to really talk to labour nor the greens nor nzfirst, as non of them listen when it comes to these issues. Shut up and vote, lest National wins.

        So yes, i did took your 'applies to covid only' social contract comment and i applied it to our homeless and jobless. And if that is what upsets you then i can't help you there, because this article again just showed the truth, that in this country some are in it knee deep and others are not, some have a social contract and others don't. And the very poor in this country seem to be disregarded by all parties. We are not all in this together.

    • Pat 18.3

      Incompetence (MSD) meets corruption (REI)

      • greywarshark 18.3.1

        MSD isn't that incompetent, they are lacking something vital that should be searched for in their CVs at the time of getting the job, but perhaps the agency that does the human resources work doesn't bother with anything except the right ed and previous employers. That's how a serial fraudster got through recently. Does the department concerned claim the money back:? I believe they get quite a dosh per person. Anyone know what and how it is calculated?

      • Sabine 18.3.2

        this is not incompetence it is no one in charge giving a shit. That would be the bosses of the kinder gentler still full of bullshit Winz. Carmel Sepuloni is her name and last i checked she was the minister of social development and if you read the article all the way to the end you will see that she is 'waiting to be briefed and can not answer questions'.

        • Pat

          Had read the article in full (twice) hours before you posted the link…and incompetence it surely is

    • weka 18.4

      I've only read the first third of that so far, and I feel sick.

      • Sabine 18.4.1

        read everything about it, and then maybe understand where i am coming from when i lament the utter failure of the current government (Labour/NZFIRST/Green – and no any one person in particular) in regards to unemployment, social welfare starvation rates and housing. And i am being charitable calling it 'failure'.

        • weka

          pretty sure we disagree on strategy not on political views of what is happening.

          • Sabine

            honestly i can't see the strategy here, all i see is 'nothing was done, nothing at all'.

            • weka

              that's right, you can't see strategy.

              • Sabine

                if three thousand dollar a week is a strategy to house someone in unsanitary hovels without any security then that is not a strategy, but feel free to educate me about the strategy that i am missing. As i said above, please read all the way to the end where it states that the Minister of social development refuses to answer questions as to the strategy of this particular program.

                Please weka, enlighten me. Cause i have been syaing this already under National, where this 'emergency programme' started under Paula Benefit.

                The government changed nothing. did nothing, and is now being called out for having done nothing and chances are wasted millions to enrich a handful of in my book criminal land lords and real estate agents.

                But i am happy to read your explanation of the strategy that i am missing.

                Unless utter failure and disperagement of people going to winz for help is the strategy, then yes i must admit i totally did not see that.

                • weka

                  funny that you think this is about Labour's strategy rather than yours or mine or the left's. I've been talking about strategy around this for years. Like I said, you don't get it.

  19. Muttonbird 19

    Is the National Party feeding questions to Mike Hosking for his interviews with the Prime Minister?

  20. greywarshark 20

    Just to change the conversation, a cool wind blowing through the groves. Eddie Izzard and others having a discussion Europe and UK. Boris was a Daily Telegraph columnist and found Thatcher as the genesis of Eddie's career as a comedian.

    I think Boris says he is a socialist about 5 mins in. I don't think he spends the time when he is not speaking, listening to the others, but thinking up what he wants to put over next.

    From our archives. 1997 debate. Do we hate the French? What is the UK's place in Europe? Hosted by Jeremy Paxman, with Boris Johnson, comedian Eddie Izzard and Labour MEP Carole Tongue. More Newsnight archives here

  21. logie97 21

    Various media channels have sought the views of business leaders in Auckland to what the affects of extending Level 3 'til Sunday will be. And Chamber of Commerce Barnett appeared to be reading from a prepared-script-of-anticipation. Also spokespeople for the hospitality industry, in unison, have said that it is going to be catastrophic and that there will be massive permanent closures as a result.

    I hope the media channels will seek these same people out again in a fortnight or so to get their assessments and to check if their predictions were anywhere even close.

    • Macro 21.1

      I hope the media channels will seek these same people out again in a fortnight or so to get their assessments and to check if their predictions were anywhere even close.

      I wouldn't hold my breath.

  22. greywarshark 22


    Media Release 10 August 2020
    New Zealand’s total fertility rate has reached an all-time low, with an average of 1.71 children per woman in New Zealand, well below population replacement level….

    Report author Lindsay Mitchell says, “In the past, government policy could positively affect the size of families. The Universal Family Benefit strongly influenced peak fertility in 1961 when women had an average of 4.3 children. But as females have become better educated and increased their work force participation, more have chosen to have fewer or no children. Economic pressures like student debt and insecure employment play a role. And now they face additional pressure from environmentalists. Meanwhile, policy interventions appear less and less effective.”..

    “Without population replacement or growth, economies decline. A nation’s strength lies in its young: their energy, innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship.

    The new blood drives the exchange of ideas and experimentation. If these attributes aren’t home-grown, they have to be imported. At an individual level, single person households are the fastest growing household type in New Zealand. Increasingly people face old-age with few or no family supports.”

    It doesn't take Lindsay Mitchell long to extrapolate opinions from fact. Now environmentalists are causing additional pressures on family numbers. And a nation relying on its young – it shows how far Mitchell is from reality. The PtB are quite happily importing the people it wants, making it difficult for parents especially mothers alone to bring up their children to utilise their, e, i, rt and ent. It's more efficient and valuable to the economy, to teach other people's children for a fee than to ensure good education for well-rounded minds of young NZ. And the future is not with people at the helm, it is as servants to machines and vast conglomerates situated overseas, now with holiday homes in NZ. The jobs that people could do and hold their heads up high as independent people are being deleted. It suits the neolib cohort to virtually delete people! The schools are preparing children for this future by making them do their learning on computers, laptops. Manual, hand work, is out, and jobs are just a number to indicate the movements of the market.

    The trouble with these narrow-minded people, is that they are against the lone woman, and will punish her by keeping her poor and lonely, and they regard sex as sinful if not sanctified by marriage. And the actions of such as Family First match this prejudice. They will back the right wing who would rather single women were working at a low-level and tiring job, than to be available to their children and being supported to become first-rate parents, home managers, and have skills training enabling them to earn and improve their lifestyles and work status over the years.

    That would be the ideal but it would seem to be encouraging the women and the right wing don't want this to happen. They don't like the idea of beneficiaries being happy – how dare they enjoy living off my hard-won earnings is the mean refrain. So they won't even back them to get a good start in life, along with their children. When they talk about beneficiary mothers it is the children they mention, not the person trying to cope with responsibilities on one pair of shoulders. This has been made worse by the demand to advise the father's identity or lose benefit payment.

    After time passes and some wisdom gained, plus the experience of bearing and birthing their child, many women know the man concerned will have a negative affect on them and the child. But money and stiff morality have equal places in the minds of the right wing, and I think it is money that is paramount really. It's a toxic world in there when you get a glimpse into the depths of such people's minds, no matter how pleasant they look and sound.

  23. Stephen D 23

    Replying to Logie97 at 21.

    The media interview businesses, and the opposition. For the sake of balance they should be also interviewing those whose lives are being saved.

  24. calltoaccount 24

    Hi LP, thanks as ever for your site. I’ve had problems viewing the articles for a while now. I see the headline, and the comments, but not the article itself. Not always, but often. Now, today, the ‘design’ is missing too, your banner for example. A ‘template’ problem? I can switch to desktop version, but that doesn’t work so well either on a phone. I’m using safari, latest iOS 13x, on iPhone se. Hope this info is helpful.

    • lprent 24.1

      You are absolutely correct. I’ve been mostly concerned with other things (like the site running like a dog due to what turned out to be a failing SSD in a RAID array) for the last day or so.

      But I’m seeing the same things on a Android Samsung S10+. I’ll clean it up after I get through inserting new SSDs. However it may be tomorrow (he says looking at the time).

      • lprent 24.1.1

        It is now ok now on my samsung. Checked it on my partners iphone. Her front page is still wrong but the rest is as it should be. I’m presuming that is a caching issue. My android suddenly came right a while after I did a update for the appearance.

  25. Morrissey 25

    Is New Zealand chicken production as disgusting as this?

    'The UK slaughters 20 million broilers every week, the vast majority of which are fast- growing breeds, reaching slaughter weight in just 35 days – four times faster than in the 1950s. This, according to the RSPCA, is responsible for contributing to severe welfare problems such as chronic leg disorders and heart and circulatory problems.

    The data revealed that more than 3 million chickens were rejected at slaughter due to ascites or heart failure. “The main contributor is believed to be an increased oxygen demand by the fast-growing muscle. The body simply can’t keep up,” said Vicky Bond, veterinarian and director of the Humane League. CIWF have called for a ban on the use of fast-growing broiler breeds.

    Dr Ed Van Klink, senior lecturer at Bristol Veterinary School, said: “Some of these issues are clearly welfare related … There will always be sick animals, certainly given the enormous numbers that are being processed. Poultry is kept in large flocks, therefore attention for individual disease issues is generally not possible.”


    Don't buy it or consume it.

    (Hat tip to Mary from The Lifeboat News.)

  26. sumsuch 26

    I think Ardern has a 20% advantage in the next election over National. Lets press her to implement the Welfare Advisory Group's recommendations. If not now for our kin, when?

    Don't vote for her , talk against her, unless she helps the neediest NOW after 36 years.

    Disgusted I have to make a case here.

    We are too far near to America's set-up.

    When Jacinda bullshits about poverty and can't talk for Godzone.

    I despise her because I know her, and reality, unlike others.

    • Rosemary McDonald 26.1

      Just about sums it up, sumsuch.

      Ardern baited her hooks for middle NZ… being the daughter of a white cop in Mangakino does not give her insight into the lives of those the WEAG were trying to champion.

      The reality is, just like NZ voted National back in time and time again despite the water in the pot getting hotter all the time, there will be flesh falling from the bones of Godzone's most vulnerable and still the bulk will vote for the popular and telegenic.


      • Drowsy M. Kram 26.1.1

        "Ardern baited her hooks for middle NZ… being the daughter of a white cop in Mangakino"

        In 2002 Mr Ardern received a Police Commissioner’s Commendation after he negotiated for three hours with a man armed with a machete in an incident in Morrinsville’s main street. The stand-off ended peacefully.

        Ross Ardern worked in a number of towns in the Waikato region (Murupapa, Piako-Matamata, Morrinsville, etc.) So he was "a white cop in Mangakino" too, eh? SSDD.

        • Rosemary McDonald


          I always confuse the two…my bad.

          However…do you think this government has addressed the needs of the most vulnerable New Zealanders Drowsy M.Kram?

          Do you think it is OK for this government to have largely ignored the recommendations of the WEAG?

          Do you think it is OK that the most vulnerable have been told since forever…'just wait, be patient, your day will come when there's enough money in the coffers…'

          …only to see that when Business is threatened by the effects of a virus there's suddenly mega billions in the coffers?

          Do you think that Ardern's(and most of our other elected 'representatives') privileged upbringing has prepared her to be able to properly empathize with those who has been discarded by government for the past twenty five years?

          Because if its not to do with her lack of experience of life in the outer margins…?

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            IMHO it's a bit rich to have a go at Ardern for not being able to "properly empathize", but whatever floats your boat.

            I do think that our Government should be aiming to address "the needs of the most vulnerable New Zealanders" as a priority, and then the needs of the less vulnerable, and lastly the needs of the invulnerable should they have any.

            No, I don't "think it is OK for this government to have largely ignored the recommendations of the WEAG", nor do I think it's OK that various NZ governments have avoided making recommended changes to MMP, and have avoided alcohol law reform, and have privatised public assets in the face of strong public opposition, and have said no to introducing a CGT, or a Fart Tax, or indeed whatever progressive tax(es) might be needed to adequately address the many and varied needs of all citizens and the wider environment.

            But there are only so many things that I can rail against at any one time.

            I do think its OK that NZ governments resisted popular attempts to overturn the 'anti-smacking' legislation introduced to the house by Sue Bradford, and it's OK that the current Government introduced stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, and that they are also doing a reasonable-to-good job (indeed, an excellent job if current international comparisons of health outcomes are valid) of addressing the immediate public health and welfare issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, not to mention record investment in mental health, building classrooms and new schools, fixing hospitals, introducing the winter energy payment, extending paid parental leave…

            But something's gotta give, and when it does most of us who are able to look back on past times will realise just how good we had it. Just my opinion, of course, and thanks for asking.

          • sumsuch

            You won't confuse the two if you ever go through and 'stop' at Murupara (don't), Rosemary. It's Ardern's Dorian Gray portrait.

            The 1980 ruling class by right of 'merit' has everything but 'right'.

            And we remember, and, what's more, have the personnel to turn around our country, unlike America, their model.

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