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Open mike 25/10/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 25th, 2022 - 134 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

134 comments on “Open mike 25/10/2022 ”

  1. Jenny are we there yet 1

    On Sunday the head of the Russian armed forces personally telephoned the heads of NATO to inform them that Ukraine is preparing a radiological attack in Ukraine.

    On Sunday, 23 October, Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Minister of Defence, had a phone conversation with the third NATO defence minister on the same day, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom….

    …..The Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom became the third representative of a NATO member state (after France and Turkey) whom Shoigu called on Sunday to tell them about supposed plans for a Ukrainian "dirty bomb".


    Yesterday the Speaker of the Russian government, (Duma), Vyacheslav Volodin repeated the same threat.

    Volodin claimed that Kiev had instructed its nuclear scientists to make a ‘dirty bomb’, while its forces shell the critical infrastructure of the Zaporozhye and Kursk nuclear power plants.


    The only possible conclusion is that the Russian Federation in a last ditch desperate attempt are preparing to detonate a radiological bomb in Ukraine to inflict a heavy losses on the Ukrainian armed forces in an effort to stop the Ukrainian successes in liberating Russian occupied territories, and intend to put the blame for this crime against humanity on the Ukrainian authorities. This imminent attack is most likely to occur in Kherson, after the Russian forces have evacuated, and as Ukrainian forces pour into the area.
    In conjunction with a radiological (dirty bomb) attack in Kherson, it is quite likely that the retreating Russian Federation forces will also blow up the Zaporozhye and Kursk nuclear power plants.

    Coming from the two highest officials in the Russian military and the Russian government, this threat can not be taken lightly.

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      The price of gas is dropping in Europe, while the number of LNG carrier ships currently under construction sits at 285, with an astonishing 250+ due for delivery by the end of 2025. With a global fleet of LNG carriers of roughly 650 vessels the size and number of these ships means the carrying capacity with increase by 60-70% by 2025. Much of this construction is driven by Europe, and a determination not to be dependent on Russian gas.

      Those lucky bastards otherwise known as Australia are of course the world’s fifth biggest natural gas exporter, and they exclusively exports natural gas as LNG. Australia is now the world’s largest LNG exporter, accounting for 22% of international trade. I suspect they’ll replace most of Russia’s gas in Europe. Shipping gas halfway around the world in ships is less cost effective than piping it in from Russia, but then again Australia isn’t run by a nuclear armed mad dictator set on wars of imperial aggression.

      Russia's attempts to use energy to blackmail Europe have failed.

      • KJT 1.1.1

        So much for reducing Green house gas producing, energy sources!

        • Jenny are we there yet

          War is provenly bad for humanity and the planet.

          If we can't even stop stop killing each other?

          How can we stop killing the biosphere that sustains us?

          What is the underlying cause that keeps us doing both?

  2. Incognito 2

    She said she had seen other videos on TikTok that had been swamped with abusive comments where the creator appealed for likes and positivity to help "pull them back from the wrong side of TikTok".


    This is just one of the reasons why I dislike like buttons and the likes. Even without algorithms on/of the actual site, it introduces a bias in readers, responders, and number of mentions & links elsewhere. I think it sucks big time.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      She is the next mayor in waiting, mark my words.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.1

        No Sanc disagree-the Greens will want to keep her winning Akl Central ad infinitum as an insurance policy against sub 5% and because she will be a co-leader soon.

        • Sacha

          Swarbrick will do whatever job brings the most change. Mayor of Auckland is more powerful than Green co-leader in any watered-down arrangement with Labour et al.

        • Visubversa

          However, winning Auckland Central is very resource intensive for the Greens. They run it like a by-election – as if it was almost the only seat going. That sucks in activists from all over the country, I know someone who lives in Reefton who was working in Auckland Central last time, and she was not the only one from her area. It is a very expensive insurance policy

      • Radical Alternative 3.1.2

        I think people who like Chloe really overestimate her popularity outside of Central Auckland. As for her style of campaigning, the Efeso team essentially tried to replicate it, right down to the comedy fundraisers, and we all saw how that went.

        • Sacha

          Almost as if the missing ingredient was.. Chloe.

          Ask young people across the country who inspires them.

          • Radical Alternative

            As a young person myself, I don't find her particularly inspiring. Some of my more politically engaged friends are pretty big fans but they're a minority. Most are barely aware of who she is, or find her kinda judgmental. She has a good niche as the go-to young politician, but the idea that everyone my age sees her as our saviour just isn't true

        • Incognito

          Her following on social media begs to differ.

          You cannot replicate authenticity.

          • Radical Alternative

            You need more than that if you want the mayoralty. Most people aren't on Twitter, and for what it's worth, I've heard plenty of people my age say they find her inauthentic. Also, based on my experience trying to vote this year as a renter, you really cannot count on young people in local elections.

            • Doogs

              Well I would say that comment says more about you and your cohort than it does about Chloe.

              • Radical Alternative

                I'm just trying to tell you how it is bro, scolding people for not liking your candidate is never going to get you anywhere.

            • Incognito

              I’m struggling with both your comments @ and For example, I don’t know where the saviour reference comes from; if (young) people are not aware of CS they are probably politically ‘illiterate’, which is not meant as a criticism, BTW. Your comments also appear to argue against lowering the voting age to 16, which is just a side note here.

              I’d say that if anybody can reach and engage with (some but not all) young people in any election it is CS. Nobody has or is arguing that she could count on young people in an Auckland Mayoral election because one can never take voters for granted. I’d like to think that CS is not that naïve.

              • Radical Alternative

                This whole thread started because someone said she was going to be the next mayor, and I disagreed. As for the saviour thing, do you really have no idea where it comes from? Take this line from a Spinoff piece for example:

                "Swarbrick’s resistance to political realism seems to stem less from self-belief and more from a borderline irrational faith in stuff like the fundamental goodness of other people"


                I don't have any ill will towards her as a person, it's more about her supporters trying to make her into this avatar for all young people, with the implication being that, if you don't feel the exact same way, you're some kind of traitor to your age group. Also, how is writing young people off as politically illiterate not a criticism?

                • Incognito

                  Nobody knows if CS will stand a second time in an Auckland Mayoral election let alone the next one and win; she may or she may not. So, agreeing or disagreeing with the comment @ 3.1 is moot and a red herring. I’d like to think that Sanctuary made the comment not to be taken literally and absolute but as a starting point for discussion.

                  TLDR; it appears that you projected CS’s beliefs onto others, i.e., young people.

                  Your issue seems to be with her supporters rather than with her per se, which is why pigeonholing CS does not make for strong counter-argument at all. If anything, CS seems to be [in] a class of her own. I have no idea where the ‘traitor’ allegations stem from either; there are way too many inferences and wild speculations in this thread to make it of much use.

                  According to your own ‘poll’ of young people and anecdata many don’t know of CS and who she is. That’s not criticism, is it? It isn’t writing them off either, is it? You seem a little aggressive defensive …

          • Corey Humm

            Totally agree with radical alternative.

            Chloe has been put on some weird pedestal from day one of her parliamentary career and it's never made any sense.

            Shes the same age as me and politically I agree with her but I find her alienating af and her "maaaaaaaate " schticks to fake and cringe.

            Shes a lightweight in the house, most people don't know who she is, she's got weirdo deeply fringe political allies and her disastrous weed legalization campaign tactics are best forgotten.

            She's just another rich kid student politician. She inspires people like herself I guess.

            I think she'd do better as sole green leader , but that's cos she's the best out of the party.

            • Muttonbird

              The anti-Seymour.

            • weka

              who are her weirdo deeply fringe political allies?

            • Incognito

              Chloe has been put on some …

              You realise that is passive voice? In other words, CS didn’t do this herself. And you want to topple her off because “[s]he's just another rich kid student politician”? That’s such a pathetic character assassination attempt with a lazy stereotype.

              CS is different, I give you that wink

    • Poission 3.2

      With Auckland central being the centre of a significant population loss.property loss and employment changes,there may be a need for fewer central government resources.

      Auckland had a provisional net loss of 15,000 people through internal migration (people moving between Auckland and other parts of New Zealand). This comes after net losses of 11,300 and 15,400 people in the previous two years. It continues a trend of net flows out of Auckland that began in the late 1990s.


      • Sacha 3.2.1

        Yet the region's population continues to increase. Strange..

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Replaced via immigration. Baby boomers cashing up and moving to the provinces. Why not sell in Auckland buy in a province = few hundred thousand plus in the bank.

          • Sacha

            Replaced via births. And quite a different demographic makeup than the old folk retiring to the provinces.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Stats NZ are pretty clear the drop is as a result of less overseas immigration and low natural increase.

              Given our aging population you are not going to get increases through births. There ain't no one getting pregnant in our older population. No teenage mums in the ever increasing number of residential villages.

              Slowing regional growth reflects what is happening nationally, particularly annual net migration loss, partly due to the impact of Covid-19 on international migration," Stats NZ population estimates and projections acting manager Rebekah Hennessey said.

              "This net migration loss [of 11,500] was combined with the lowest natural increase [24,100] since World War II."

              Auckland and the West Coast saw its population fall 0.5 percent, with Auckland's decline slowing slightly from the 0.6 percent fall recorded in the June 2021 year.

              "While people leaving the bigger cities such as Auckland is not new, internal migration losses have historically been offset by international migration gains," Hennessey said.

              "With international migration losses now occurring, Auckland had an overall population loss of 8900 people in the June 2022 year."

      • Incognito 3.2.2

        … there may be a need for fewer central government resources.

        Such as? What are you thinking of?

        • Poission

          Anything that involves unfunded capex,As our borrowing rate is a full percentage point higher then the UK,which have now fallen as markets perceive a lowering of fiscal risk,which is not seen here.

          • Incognito

            Selling off shares, land, assets, that sort of thing?

            • Poission

              No thats the next government plan,what need s to be constrained is unfunded capex,and limits or cuts to the consultant community,similar to what the Australian treasurer will announce this afternoon.

              It is believed $3.6 billion will be saved through the government reducing its spending on external contractors, advertising, travel and legal expenses, while $2 billion in grants promised by the former government will be cancelled.


              Government borrowing hit the 5 % interest rate level last week ( 4.85- 5.05%) there is now a large risk premium due to the dual risks of a current account deficit and fiscal deficit,a dollar overvalued,and unfunded cost blow outs in the pipeline.

              • Sacha

                Less consultants = more permanent employees, plus the infrastructure to support their knowledge. Bring it on.

              • Incognito


                Advertising and travel (and other staff ‘allowances’) are probably low-hanging fruit and might save a few dollars. Since Council doesn’t sell anything as such, I assume advertising means or includes PR and providing information to the public. If so, it may lead to more requests for information from people, which would require more staff effort.

                IDK how it would cut legal costs. Less scrutinising by legal experts? Will this really save all the much?

                That leaves consultants and external contractors assuming they’re not one and the same thing. Again, if they do stuff that’s entirely unnecessary then sure, cull it from the balance sheet. Otherwise, somebody must do the work, yes?

                Mayor-Elect Brown uses the good old slogan Less Is More but what does that really mean?


  3. Adrian 4

    So a man far richer than the King will be the next Prime Minister of Britain, what could possibly go wrong with that?

  4. pat 5

    Summed up on one small paragraph

    "Before Truss, everyone still thought they’d turn it around. There was a plan, right? Right? Nope. The reason this last week was so captivating is it’s suddenly obvious there is no plan."


    • Incognito 5.1

      Perhaps there was and is no plan, but there always is an agenda.

      • observer 5.1.1

        The comments on that Stuff column … shudder.

        I'm proud to say I got banned from Stuff comments because I told the moderators that their "terms and conditions" were a fraud. So they banned me for telling the truth while they continue to publish garbage, contradicting their own rules.

        e.g. one comment on that column says Sunak is not British. False (and of course racist). Not opinion – simply false.

        Therefore, either the moderators don't read what they publish or they do read but don't care.

        • Incognito

          I can’t remember the last time I looked at comments on Stuff as indeed most of them are such a waste of time and life is short. I generally find the few comments on Newsroom insightful and informative but, of course, that’s an entirely different site compared to Stuff.

          All manual moderation has a major intrinsic weakness: time. And time costs money. Simple fact-checking can and perhaps should be done by the commentariat at large aka the wisdom of the crowd instead of one or a couple of overworked mods who then may still need to apply the corrections (edits) and/or flag the particular commenter. The question is who’s ultimately responsible (onus). The same applies to all content (OPs), including opinion pieces.

          The way I see it, there are 2 issues: 1) incorrect/inaccurate info; 2) vague/ambiguous/imprecise ‘info’. The second issue is actually the bigger one because it can suck up a lot of oxygen because it strays into terra incognita where anything can mean anything and people make unchecked/unsupported assumptions, jump to all sorts of conclusions, twist language, meaning, and concepts to suit their narrative (bias), and generally just talk past each other. (NB assumption ≠ conclusion)

          • observer

            Yes, fair comment.

            Stuff's "system" is particularly annoying because they post comments and then replies are held in moderation for many hours (as is the case currently on that column). So rapid rebuttal is impossible.

            They let false statements stand, and if the readers can't correct (for hours) and the moderators are too busy, then it's a free platform for liars. The trolls know this, of course.

            • Incognito

              Fair comment too.

              It is disappointing but I do think that Stuff is one of the better ones in NZ. Simply put, there’s room for improvement.

        • bwaghorn

          Reading stuff comments is sbout as useful as reading face book comments, the only time I do it is when I start think there is hope for the human race, a quick read of the comments soon fixs that dose of optimism I tell ya

        • Jilly Bee

          If you think the STUFF comments are bad – have you read the comments on some of the Herald articles which do allow comments – they are diabolical. I (probably against my better judgement) re-subscribed to the Herald a few months ago so I could read Simon Wilson's articles and Shane Te Pou's too plus one or two other authors worth having a look at. There are some pieces I point blank refuse to read, probably to keep my sometimes elevated blood pressure at a reasonable level indecision

        • logie97

          When The Herald and Stuff were just hard copy, if you wanted to comment on an article you wrote a letter to the editor. The letter had to be signed with an address supplied.

          How many of the comments would be made if the commenters had to identify who they were? Also, how many comments are made by resident New Zealanders and how many are from "Comments pools" submitting comment from the US /Australia/ UK based subversives.

    • Tony Veitch 5.2

      So, ah, do we have a plan?

      Labour and the Greens have much more of a plan than the tired, old, discredited ones of the Natz – at least those announced so far – trickle down economics and privatising social welfare! (they call it 'social investment!)

    • observer 5.3

      everyone still thought they’d turn it around.

      She does this in all her columns. "I reckon, therefore everyone reckons".

      Even a cursory glance at the UK media coverage would tell her that was not true, not in the slightest. She simply makes things up.

      It would help if her editors cared – but they don't.

  5. weka 6

    Good morning everyone.

  6. Peter 7

    Last week the discussion about falling achievement of school pupils was a focus here and there. It seems we are not alone in having issues to address.

    ‘Nation’s Report Card’ shows new evidence of Covid-19’s devastating impact on US children’s education

    Fourth- and eighth-graders fell behind in reading and had the largest ever decline in math, according to a national educational assessment showing the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on America’s children."


    • Incognito 7.1

      It happened pretty much everywhere, as one would expect. For example, here is a study published in a top scientific journal in April 2021:

      The Netherlands is interesting as a “best-case” scenario, with a short lockdown, equitable school funding, and world-leading rates of broadband access.

      Here we evaluate the effect of school closures on primary school performance using exceptionally rich data from The Netherlands (n ≈ 350,000). We use the fact that national examinations took place before and after lockdown and compare progress during this period to the same period in the 3 previous years.

      The findings imply that students made little or no progress while learning from home and suggest losses even larger in countries with weaker infrastructure or longer school closures.

      Learning loss due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic


      • Peter 7.1.1

        Thanks for that link.

        Young people didn't learn what was hoped or expected in maths, spelling, and reading. Did they learn anything? What did they learn? Did they learn resilience? Did they learn to be 'creative.'

        Another study has it

        "In our recent survey of 16,370 parents across every state in America, 35 percent of parents said they were very or extremely concerned about their child’s mental health."


        Did children learn their parents were resilient, creative? Or become concerned about their parents' mental health?

        'Deschooling Society' the Ivan Ilich book from 1971 comes to mind.

        "Illich presented schools as places where consumerism and obedience to authority were paramount and genuine learning was replaced by a process of advancement through institutional hierarchies accompanied by the accumulation of largely meaningless credentials."

        Interesting to consider some of the notions from just over 50 years ago and think of how Ivan Ilich would have seen the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic in the sort of societies we now live in.


  7. Muttonbird 8

    Dr. Cravat interviewing his own keyboard again. He claims there is increased speculation about Jacinda Ardern quitting but provides just two examples, the NBR and himself. 😆


    • observer 8.1

      Time for the regular reminder …

      The pundit class did not predict John Key's resignation as PM. They did not predict Simon Bridges' resignation as an MP. Shocked, they were! Shocked!

      But they've been predicting Ardern's departure since her first term. Fluffy little girlie, no staying power … and now facing her 5th opposition leader.

      • Incognito 8.1.1

        One day they will be proven right and have a little celebratory dance singing ‘I told you so’.

        • Anne

          Are you sure 'they' are real people or are they robots? Seriously, I wonder sometimes. TV presenters and reporters stare glassy eyed into the camera lens repeating bald-faced lies about Ardern in particular, but all Labour ministers are fair game.

          If they were real would there not be a flicker of a conscience in those eyes? 😕

      • Jimmy 8.1.2

        Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Eventually, they will be correct.

        • James Simpson

          They won't be correct.

          Jacinda will either win or lose the election. But she won't be jumping ship early.

    • AB 8.2

      The rumour has been created to implant the idea that some plausible reason for her resigning actually exists. There is no such reason. It's propaganda from the RW disinformation mill and Edwards travesties his academic and intellectual credentials by repeating it. A real journalist or intellectual (unlike Edwards) would come up with an explanation as to why the rumour is being generated, and by whom.

      • observer 8.2.1

        Even his first sentence is part of the RW trope.

        It must be a "photo op" because it's Ardern. Never mind that John Key and Helen Clark went to Antarctica as PMs, never mind any of the NZ relationship and responsibilities there. Feed the frothers.

        • alwyn

          While it is true that both Clark and Key did visit Antarctica while they were Prime Minister they both made their trips in January, while Parliament was in recess. Clark's visit was from 18-22 January 2007 and Key from 17-21 January 2013.

          There is a difference in that PM Ardern will be there while the House is sitting and will miss Question time for the week.

          Whether she would add anything useful if she was in Wellington is of course an open question.


          • observer

            She'll miss Question Time? Luxon probably booked her ticket.

          • Patricia Bremner

            It is a special anniversary visit to Antarctica ….. but you know that.

            • alwyn

              Really? According to the RNZ news her visit is to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Scott Base. However the opening of Scott Base was on 20th January 1957 so surely she should be visiting at about the same time of year as Clark and Key visited?

              Helen's visit in 2007 was of course to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

              What special anniversary is being celebrated in October?

          • Incognito

            There are a few reasons for the timing of the PM’s visit, of course, but not that you’d know or care. She probably also wanted to give Luxon a much-needed break; the poor fellow looked worse than Truss last week.

            • alwyn

              "There are a few reasons for the timing of the PM’s visit".

              Pray tell. You are obviously in possession of something important. Why not share this material to which you are privy.

              • Incognito

                You are obviously in possession of something important.

                Yup, I give you the finger.

                Use it to click on links and read beyond headlines and the stuff that is regurgitated ad nauseam in MSM.

            • Stuart Munro

              It's the lettuce I feel sorry for – it beat Liz fair and square, but doesn't get to be PM. Sucks to be a salad vegetable.

              • Incognito

                Typically, greens with an online presence and following attract trolls and other vermin. I also feel for the lettuce but luckily Truss stepped aside quickly and probably saved the lettuce’s life. It could have led to a few good slogans, e.g.:

                Let Lettuce Live

                Lettuce Lives Matter

                Lettuce Trumps Truss

                Truss Tossed in Salacious Tussle with Lettuce

                Lettuce Champignon After Beating Truss

          • Gabby

            Nice break for Luxie if Ms Ardern misses Q Time.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 8.2.2

        He claims there is increased speculation about Jacinda Ardern quitting…

        NAct et al. wish – spot on observer and AB, and thanks to Muttonbird for posting.

        Grant Duncan (Massey University) wrote on this topic nearly a year ago.

        Labour makes it easier to change leaders, but Jacinda Ardern has no reason to go – yet [8 Nov 2021]

        I particularly liked one of the comments under Duncan's article.

        It is interesting, from Australia, to read this internal NZ political detail. It is understandably hard for us to be across all the various nuances that are discussed in this article, and given how brilliantly your PM has performed in a number of crises, it seems astonishing that her own party would consider replacing her. Perhaps they like the view from the Opposition benches better. However, I WOULD say that if NZ Labour DID replace Jacinda, and she felt like a change of scenery, an awful lot of us on this side of The Ditch would give our eye teeth to have someone of her calibre available to lead those to the political left of Genghis Khan. We are not afforded the luxury of speculating on whether there might be someone better than her out there, we just know from daily experience how appallingly worse a PM can be than she is!

        • alwyn

          I see that the title of the article you quote finishes "no reason to go – yet".

          I believe that it was Harold Wilson who quipped that "A week is a long time in politics". A year, which is the time since Gran Duncan wrote his opinion piece is an infinity.

          She may have had no reason to go then but her prospects don't look anywhere near as rosy today, do they?

          • Patricia Bremner

            I agree that a week is a long time in Politics…. Luxon learned that the hard way.

            Any talk of Jacinda Ardern leaving is just that. Talk!!

            • Patricia Bremner

              Actually she is returning due to bad weather. Two hours into an eight hour flight. Not even a week Alwyn!!

              • alwyn

                At 1.44pm you told me that

                "It is a special anniversary visit to Antarctica ….. but you know that."

                Given that the Scott Base anniversary, as previously observed by Helen Clark and John Key, is in January what was the anniversary that Ms Ardern was planning to celebrate there in October?

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Ardern is Labour's best chance of winning a third term – we both know it – hence all this ‘headless chook’ action regarding her supposedly imminent departure.

            It's unsurprising to me that you feel Ardern has been PM for "an infinity", or perhaps several political infinities, just as it will come as no surprise to you that each of English/Bridges/Muller/Collins/Luxon's recent stints as 'leader' of the opposition seemed like an eternity to me.

            "An infinity" of time will tell if Ardern's 'infinity' as PM lasts longer than honest John's. I'll leave you to count your chickens – cLux cLux.

            • alwyn

              "It's unsurprising to me that you feel Ardern has been PM for "an infinity""

              Really? Given that I have never said that I feel she has been the PM for a long time how on earth can you possibly decide that I feel such a thing?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Given that I have never said that I feel she has been the PM for a long time how on earth can you possibly decide that I feel such a thing?

                Apologies alwyn, I thought you had asserted [@] something to the effect that 'a year is "an infinity" in politics' (quite original), and inferred that the very nearly five years Ardern has been our PM would feel like, if not "an infinity", then at least 'a long time' to you. What with the ChCh massacre, plus the pandemic and is repercussions, it feels like a long time to me.
                Honestly didn't realise it mattered that much – it's just a bit of fun –
                cLux cLux cLux
                laugh . laugh . laugh

        • Muttonbird

          Yep, right wing morons have been at it all day. HADP and her grandfather husband discussing it at length on their cosy, mostly undeclared political spot this afternoon.

          All from a speculative piece by self-appointed Guardian Of Democracy (GOD), Dr Bryce Cravat!

          An important window into how bitter cranks operate.

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 9

    Adam Conover knocks it out of the park – 'Why there's no such thing as a Good Billionaire'. Tackles the lie that is billionaire philanthropy.

    Amazing statistic from America – top 0.1% own about as much as the poorest 90%! NZ won't be that far behind.

    • Shanreagh 9.1

      But, but Nicola Willis says this is not true and she can see a place for philanthropists in the delivery of social services.


      From Max Rashbrooke's analysis of her speech


      "Second, drop this strange idea that philanthropists could provide social-investment funding for state schemes. If private money helps determine whether or not someone receives a core social service, that’s a wildly inappropriate privilege for the wealthy. And if we want more funds for social programmes, we should simply ensure millionaires pay more tax."

      • Incognito 9.1.1

        There’s a fine line between [some] philanthropists (and [some] charities for that matter), moral crusaders, and people with a saviour/messiah complex. It also reminds of Karpman’s drama triangle (i.e., victim, rescuer, persecutor). Some ex-CEOs and so-called ‘successful people’ (incl. celebrities) can substitute philanthropists by giving their time instead of their money …

        • Shanreagh

          Couldn't we just have a better tax system so that everyone pays appropriately and then if philanthropists want to fund other things that make life better for people then let them do this (with the money they have left after paying tax).

          So from taxes we allow for people to live a good life. The gifts from others can be the extra, the bit that allows talented students facing a parental inability to pay for 'whatever' for their children to have equal chances.

          Simple a concept.

          Ah me…..

          PS The Conover piece is concerning this latest way of passing wealth on through the generations by using 'charitable' companies as a front for the ability to influence far beyond one's natural life. They in fact are not giving $1m to charity. They are setting up a charity called XYZ charity that has a shareholding of ABC wholly owned Company with 999998 shares with family holding the remaining two shares and these two are the only ones having voting rights. I think there are more steps and twists but the end result is less tax to pay all round and rollicking good but undeserved reputation as a good firm/person. Patagonia was looked at. also the pulling at your heartstrings statements about these accidental billionaires who still drive their own old dungers and got rich by eating cat food. Seriously…..unpicked by Conover who said there was no need for them to do this as some tinned fish made for humans was cheaper than catfood!

        • Shanreagh

          Yes there are some good people and charities.

          Today through TS I have been reminded of Human Synergistics and Karpmans triangle (we had a course so we could find out which we were) both of which were visited on unsuspecting Govt Depts and round this off by a bit of Myers Briggs and that sums up some of my career in the PS.

          • Incognito

            You have my utmost empathy.

            • Shanreagh

              I did however make some of our HR people and managers (and restructuring consultants especially) a bit grumpy by pointing out that all of these probably had their genesis or the norms calculated in the US using tests done on white males. This meant they were unrepresentative and unsuited to NZ where women were the first in the world to vote, and where we had Maori and Pasifika people.

              Some of these perhaps MB are ok for personal use only, but wildly unsuitable for any population use. I count workplaces as population use.

              We had some teams made up so as to avoid Karpman, use MB or Human Synergistics. Totally artificial and all it made us do was to yearn to have our old teams back where in any brainstorm, policy development, we knew and valued who was going to do have the wacky off the wall stuff, who was going to be grump central but with an eye for bullkaka etc.

              Competent recruitment techniques, reference checking and an eye for a chance for a person and an org then competent management are key.

              Do we have any current PS who can tell us if these techniques are still being used across whole workplace populations?

              • Incognito

                Sorry, I can't help with this. I do have my own personal experience with this kind of stuff and it still akes me cringe, i.e., it left a mental scar for life. Don't ever get me started on psychometric tests and evaluations.

    • tWiggle 9.2

      Regarding the new UK PM, a Guardian reader wondered if, in the same way that rich people have hobby farms, is the UK perhaps Rishi's hobby nation?

  9. Anker 12

    My apologies in advance for posting a link above with no explanation.

    Having some technical difficulties and I couldn't even delete it, so very sorry in advance Mods.

    The link is an article about a statement from the NHS that gender dyphoria in most children is a phase. (It also mentions the move away from the affirmation approach since the Cass report).

    In NZ in the current climate if you say gender dysphoria is a phase, you will likely be called transphobic and a bigot.

    • Visubversa 12.1

      Lets not call it "gender non conforming". Let's call it by its real name – "sexual stereotyping non conforming". Kids get transed for liking the "wrong" toys, or the "wrong" clothes. They get transed by homophobic parents who would rather have a "so fashionable" trans daughter than an icky gay son. Kids get transed because their parents are lied to by autogynephiliac "Trans Rights Activists" (who need the existence of trans kids to cloak their paraphilia) and told that their children will kill themselves unless they are "affirmed". And they are also lied to by the health and education systems who are either captured – or "for profit".

      • SPC 12.1.1

        Do you think all transgender people are paraphiliacs with a psychiatric disorder "characterized by deviant and culturally non-sanctioned sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or behaviors – apparently a proportion of which also suffer from symptoms of mental illness that can go unrecognized", or just trans rights activists?

        I just note how similar some of this language is that to that decades ago when gay men were criminalised and lesbian women were institutionalised for compulsory treatment.

        [Link required for quoted text – Incognito]

        • Incognito

          Where does the quoted text come from? Please provide a source link, thanks.

        • SPC

          What is a paraphilic?
          (sub list)
          Is paraphilia a mental disorder?


        • Incognito

          Mod note

        • weka

          Do you think all transgender people are paraphiliacs with a psychiatric disorder "characterized by deviant and culturally non-sanctioned sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or behaviors – apparently a proportion of which also suffer from symptoms of mental illness that can go unrecognized", or just trans rights activists?

          We don't know the rate of autogynephilia, because No Debate has meant that many academics aren't free to do the research. Blanchard may have some figures from his work but we really need to free up researchers to look at this properly.

          My own view is similar to Blanchard's proposal, that is are a small number of gender dysphoric males who have a strong identification with the gender stereotypes of women. Some of those males find relief from transition. They are often gay ie. they are sexually attracted to other males before and after transition.

          There are also males who are gay, who grow up in parts of society that don't tolerate or accept gayness in men, or effeminate behaviour and expression, and those young men are being socialised into being trans. You can follow the male detrans people online for a deeper understanding of what is going on there. There are parents on record talking about their discomfit about having a gay son but who are ok with a trans daughter. There are also countries that are intolerant of gay men, but tolerant of trans women.

          Then there are AGP males, many who are probably cross dressers historically, who are sexually aroused by the thought of themselves as a woman and who now seek to colonise women's spaces in search of affirmation and arousal. These are the males online taking photos of themselves wanking in women's public toilets. There are AGP males who aren't colonising women's culture/space as well. These males aren't dysphoric in the same way that transsexual males are, the driver isn't extreme mental distress.

          With women the pattern is different. There appears to be no female equivalent of AGP. That leaves us with girls/women with such extreme gender dysphoria that they are willing to go through a lot of medicalisation. But there are also a lot of girls growing up who hate being female because they are abused for it. Being male is an escape. Again, listen to what detrans women are saying.

          Social media socialisation of transness is a major issue. As is rapid onset gender dysphoria.

          You will probably find a lot there to disagree with, and I'm happy to hash it out with evidence and further reasoning. But it's wrong to respond to Visubversa's comment as if she is saying all trans are this thing. If you reread what she said, she is naming AGPs and their role and motivations in the major social shifts, she’s not saying all trans people are AGP.

          The question of how many trans activists fit into which category is an interesting one.

          I just note how similar some of this language is that to that decades ago when gay men were criminalised and lesbian women were institutionalised for compulsory treatment.

          I’m more careful with my language than some, because I don't believe trans people deserve to be categorised in negative ways anymore than any other vulnerable group.

          But, powerful lobby groups like Stonewall UK, and activists, have broadened the definition of trans so far now that we are well beyond transsexuals. The inclusion and denial of AGP is core to the gender/ sex war. Women have been losing rights, been seriously abused, and backed into a corner. Many GC feminists tried engaging in ways to find resolutions to the conflict of rights, but the denial and harm that has been done by activists has been extreme. You can't complain now when many women come out fighting including with language.

          • SPC

            My advice is that those debating/advocating on the issue not throw the word "paraphilia" around. One can note the autogynephilia side of trans activism without doing that.

            If the actual problem is a tendency to affirmation of self identity at too young an age in response to temporary dysphoria (or parental promotion because of concern at children not meeting gender stereotypes), then that is how that matter should be confronted – this is how to get change at the governmental/bureaucratic/professional end.

            There are two intensifiers in play – one the way social media reinforces a concern and poses a possible miscategorisation of a problem and the other tribalisation of debate about this. Professionals should be concerned about the former and not being captured by trends, and those in social media/media the other.

            • Visubversa

              My advice is that you actually look at who has the loudest voices in this debate. Heterosexual men – many with wives and children – often "transitioning" in their 40's or older, well off and in positions of power and influence. Look at Eddie Izzard – now in "permanent girl mode" (at 60 years old FFS), complaining that "dating is difficult". You don't get to say this sort of stuff from a position of "marginalisation and oppression". https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/29/if-lesbian-prefers-same-sex-dates-thats-not-bigotry-desire-personal-thing

              • SPC

                More likely merely those with name recognition and the money to live as they want.

                The wider not cisgender male nor cisgender female identity derives from a younger generation, and this probably led the "coming out" of the older group.

                This is an issue to others in two areas, woman identity and safety and the original topic here Ankers link to the NHS view that gender dyphoria in most children is a phase.

                • Visubversa

                  There is no such thing as "cis". That is the language of the gender idealogues.

                  And it is not a fetish? https://twitter.com/sally_hines/status/1584292177907109890?fbclid=IwAR3XIEIZzuYKpox0Y9hmAMzPfnMrwei3ofwqrX0EKNuvi7YfFVVA7exrRQI

                  • SPC

                    It is the NOW who argued for gender equality – those born females having equal opportunity. Girls can do anything, females not being confined to roles/a limited place in society.

                    The concept was that there was a diversity within the female group (as to interests/way of living a life) also applied to males – each being freed from gender/birth sex stereotype.

                    From this derived the concept that there were those born male and female and living the traditional roles (and heterosexual) expected by religious and cultural tradition (marriage and family). Since called being cisgender male and female. And otherwise – those feminists critical of traditional marriage, those homosexual or lesbian, and since then a wider concept of those not conforming to birth sex/gender stereotype (sometimes related to not coupling to form families).

                    This is the setting in which the concept of sexual (bisexuality) and gender fluidity (non binary/gender queer etc) emerged.

                    Sure this is all add on to being born male and female, being male or female by biology. A bit like how there is nature and then nurture/culture.

                    At some point we are biological bio-determinism or there is more, the mind (what society constructs). Thus philosophy, are we who we think we are?

                    Some of our society have rethought whether we should be limited to inherited culture, some say we are who we have always have been (Greek males were misogynists before becoming Christians) and some say we should embrace the full equality of humanity (in all its diversity).

          • SPC

            You raised other points way beyond this particular issue – managing gender dysphoria in youth and related activism. Each of them (womens concerns and the diversity of the transgender group) will come up at other times.

  10. AB 13

    Nice takedown of the word "woke" by black Welsh actress Rakie Ayola on the BBC. (Link should skip and start at 45min 15secs into the video).

    • weka 13.1

      really good points about asking people to say what they mean by woke.

      Didn't quite follow the bit about the family. Is she starring in a TV show about a black Welsh family?

      • Shanreagh 13.1.2

        I tried several times seeking the meaning of 'woke anti racism' or was it 'anti woke racism' and 'woke' from a TS participant over the weekend but never got it. My small brain thinks being an anti racist is a good thing……..

        I am really confused by it as it seems to be in the same category as PC. PC just swept in and swept about with people being accused of being PC for being good mannered, avoiding stereotypes, not slamming people, giving others the benefit of the doubt, being inclusive etc

        I think it is a non word.

        Rakie Ayola – brilliant advice. Gorgeous voice too.

        • roblogic

          Nice explanation of the potential toxicity of woke movements. There's a difference between genuine civil rights causes with a clearly defined objective, and pressure groups of privileged narcissists.


          • SPC


            "narcissists have lost their "true self", the core of their personality, which has been replaced by delusions of grandeur, a "false self". Therefore, he believes, they cannot be healed, because they do not exist as real persons, only as reflections: "The False Self replaces the narcissist's True Self and is intended to shield him from hurt and narcissistic injury by self-imputing omnipotence…

            A bit like the Trump brand or online influencer persona

            The narcissist pretends that his False Self is real and demands that others affirm this confabulation," meanwhile keeping his real-life imperfect true self under wraps.

            Vaknin extends the concept of narcissistic supply, and introduces concepts such as primary and secondary narcissistic supply. He distinguishes between cerebral and somatic narcissists; the former generate their narcissistic supply by applying their minds, the latter their bodies. He considers himself a cerebral narcissist. He calls narcissistic co-dependents "inverted narcissists." "They provide the narcissist with an obsequious, unthreatening audience… the perfect backdrop."

            If you want to know about time and chronons look at the link


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