Open mike 28/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 28th, 2010 - 44 comments
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44 comments on “Open mike 28/04/2010”

  1. Pete 1

    Though I usually don’t give it the time of day, the next issue of the Listener has a good article about inequality and perception in New Zealand based on comparative research over the years called “All Things Being Equal”. The academics discussing the issue explain that their results show that ‘aspiration’ has overtaken a sense of community in this country – a bit of good background for those of you perplexed by National, and John Key in particulars reign as media/poll darlings.

    There’s a preview on the Listener site for next week’s issue (cover story) – worth checking out. And no, I’m not a shill for The Listener.

    • Bored 1.1

      Funny you should mention the Listener, I sent them a letter a few years ago telling them in language their bosses would understand that “they were fired”. I got sick of their pandering to middle class worries and angst, the solutions to which were invariably framed in new right speak. I will however join you in this and make an exception, especially if it throws light on “aspirational” politics.

      • just saying 1.1.1

        What a weird coincidence. I finally stopped getting the listener after years, a couple of weeks ago too. I’d been pissed off with it for ages for exactly the reasons you’ve so succinctly summed-up, and long said it was just my addiction to the puzzle page and a couple of the columnists that kept me hanging on. Final straw for me was the listener’s featured response to the complaint about the ‘unfortunate experiment’ story on the opinions page, which utterly appalled me.

        Funny how people all over the place start thinking the same sorts of things and taking the same sorts of actions at the same time. I find that on this site quite often.

      • Bill 1.1.2

        But isn’t ‘aspirational’ politics right wing speak?

        Are they going to counterpoise class struggle politics with aspirational politics? No. Of course not….bet they don’t even mention class in the passing.

        Because for the past however long ( remember TINA?) we’ve been subjected to identity politics….of which ‘aspiration’ is an expression….by the parliamentary left as much as by the parliamentary right.

        Anybody would think there was no such thing as class these days if they allowed their perception of reality to be shaped by the frequency that a particular term or concept is mentioned in political or academic discourse.

        Which leads me to ask a question. When did we all become classless citizens engaged in this great project of civilisation again? Or didn’t we? Did we just have one of the better tools for understanding the world removed from us and replaced with a pile of cheap, useless and unfathomable junk?

        Now, if ‘The Listener’ wants to take that one on rather than wanking on ‘aspirational’ junk…

        • Bored 1.1.2.1

          Bill, I am not classless, just a confused prolitarian who employs people which is a sort of contradiction acording to Marx’s model of relations to production. I get the feeling that todays readers of the Listener have only ever heard the language of Milton Friedman and a few journalistic acolytes. I venture that some have progressed their reading from Mills and Boon onto Ayn Rand, and when Atlas does finally does shrug or similar, regressed to Womens Weekly then the Listener.

          • uke 1.1.2.1.1

            I’m not sure one should tar all the Listener’s readers with the same “aspirational right-wing” brush. There was a definite change in direction that happened about 4-5 years ago after editor Finlay McDonald left. The magazine started to pitch to a broader, more affluent readership with lots more cover stories about health, real estate, rich people, investments etc.

            But many other readers, I suspect, have hung on from loyalty. And when I occasionally pick it up there are usually plenty of letters taking left-wing-ish exception to the magazine’s articles. Thus the magazine does seem to contain a kind of self-critique.

            • Jum 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I only bought it if Brian Easton had a column. Now I don’t buy it at all. I read anything of interest in the library – before the Auckland governance crowd put everything up, then I’ll read it in the supermarket! It’s not worth the money they ask. When is Campbell going to commit to a paper I can buy and read with trust and know it contains objective thought?

              • Ianmac

                I had been reading the Listener for over 50 years. Remember the black and white pages on newsprint sort of paper? Last year I cancelled my sub because it was a sort of North/SouthWomens Weekly pro National shadow of its former self. Sorry to lose the puzzles but sometimes pick up a copy at the supermarket, scan it, then put it back thinking the cancelling was the right decision.
                Now when I get round to it I will make a modest autopayment to the Standard as it is much more fun to read.

        • just saying 1.1.2.2

          I agree that aspiration-speak is a big con, but I don’t think ‘identity politics’ of the left is responsible. Remember ‘identity politics’ have a right wing too.

          Words like ‘class’ got thrown out in the political-linguistic revolution in the eighties. Control the language – control the minds.

          I think the left is looking for new language to express these kinds of concepts for today’s realities.

          • Bill 1.1.2.2.1

            Todays reality is no different to yesterdays. Just because the rhetoric changes does not mean that reality does. Which was a point I made that you seem to have missed.

            Needless to say, the left does not need a new language. The language of class does just fine…unless, you are referring to the Labour Parties across the Western world that deliberately abandoned their roots and expelled or alienated those who dared mention class, socialism or revolution as they embraced market rationalisation in fits of TINA.

            They do indeed need a new language. But it’s not a language of the left they need to develop, but the language of the craven apologist.

            • just saying 1.1.2.2.1.1

              There are some problems. Like what class am I? I have aspects of working, lower-middle, and middle classes. I’m a mixture of privileges and disadvantages. I feel a bit of a hypocrit calling myself working class under the circumstances, even though I identify with the interests of the working class. Those particular terms (working class etc) come from a different era, and don’t necessarily reflect today’s complexities accurately imo. The most working class people in NZ today (economically) tend to be on benefits.

              I agree with you about labour abandoning it’s roots.
              Excuse my ignorance, but what is TINA?

              btw, Maori seem to have made enormous progress through the philosophy of going into the future looking backwards to the past. They seem less likely to forget it’s lessons

              [TINA – There Is No Alternative, a catch cry popularised by Margaret Thatcher, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_is_no_alternative — r0b]

              • Bill

                Middle class and lower middle class etc are all unnecessary dirty little red herrings of complexity, just saying.

                Way I see it there is, structurally, the working class. The co-ordinator class. And the owners.

                Personal class sensibilities don’t necessarily flow from simply being positioned in a particular class…eg there are managers and professionals who are very pro working class and not quite the apologists for Capitalism that their position would suggest.

                There Is No Alternative (TINA) is a phrase originally associated with Thatcher and her governments imposition of neo-liberal economics.

  2. DeeDub 2

    Great to see Phil Goff made the TVNZ morning news today (at least he did at 8am – by the 8.30 bulletin they had pulled it for some reason??? More important to talk about NZ Music Month, which starts on Saturday?!! Maybe Paul henry has power of veto?) šŸ˜‰ . The soundbyte was really powerful, articulate and passionate. If he can get more MSM coverage and stay ‘on message’ I believe he can lead Labour to power in ’11. So why DID they pull the item??? And will it make the evening news???? Hmmmmm….

    • Margaret 2.1

      I refuse to watch Paul Henry on his programme and as long as people continue to watch TV1 each morning you are only giving him power. If people turn off Paul Henry TVNZ will have no option but to remove him from their show.
      Radio NZ has a far superior morning report every morning from 6am to 9am, try it sometime, you will be far better informed.

      • DeeDub 2.1.1

        Hey Margaret. I don’t watch that sociopath Henry as a rule either. But I do like to see what they deem newsworthy on any given day. The fact that they pulled the very good Goff soundbyte after only one airing on the half-hourly news bulletin speaks volumes about political interference at TVNZ to me. It seems Phil had a message someone didn’t want to hear again on air . . . I’d just really like to know who decided to pull the item and their reasons for doing so?

        For the record I get my news and info from a variety of sources, both online and on air.

        Captcha: deleting

        • Margaret 2.1.1.1

          The moral of the story is to go to these speechs in person as we did. It was well worth it, Phil was saying when they become the government again they will make these CCO’s more responsible to the taxpayer. That was just one of the interesting things Phil said.

          Perhaps that is what they did not want you to hear.

          It was a pleasure to watch a real Statesman who speaks with integrity. He will lead this country giving pride back to the people of New Zealand which John Key is eroding daily domestically and internationally.

          Heard on Morning Report how NZ’s intention to mine thir National Parks is getting world wide attention.

  3. Jum 3

    Is there any update on Rodney Hide’s keynote speech at Rydges in Auckland re the conference on privatising our assets, with the emphasis on water privatisation? The conference also intended to discuss how to sell off the other local government assets.

    It was between 9 and 9.30 this morning and The Standard wrote a post on it recently.

    captcha: protected

    • Margaret 3.1

      Were there any protests planned outside Ridges today, the Local Government Assets Management conference is also on tomorrow, is anyone planning anything then?

      They are hardly going to tell us who they are going to sell our assets to untill they are ready to sell them.
      We are just the ratepayers who will give the CCO’s their profits and their shereholders their divedends.

      • Jum 3.1.1

        What a joke! The Local G’ment Asset Management conference is on the Conferenz site (NZ’s leading business conference experience. On the site it shows they support kidscan. Yet they host the very people who will be selling off the asset of these children.

  4. Policy Parrot 4

    A new Parliament on the last Roy Morgan numbers closes the gap for the government.

    Nats 61
    ACT 1
    UFNZ 1
    Maori 5

    Labour 43
    Greens 9

    68-52 on these numbers. But watch out JK if Nat+ACT+UF falls under 61 – and they are only on 63 on these nos.

    • I dreamed a dream 4.1

      I am sure Key is worried. That’s why he’s making concessions to the Maori Party regularly in the hope that they will stick with him.

      But, add NZFirst into the mix and if they can get 5%, the whole situation is even more dire for the government.

      I think the government is getting more and more spooked and we’ll see more and more irrational knee-jerk type policies and more photo-ops.

    • gingercrush 4.2

      Oh blah. Remember last month how Iprent and others were noticing a real trend with the number of people thinking New Zealand was going in a positive direction going backwards. Well its back up again. Surprise, surprise they were wrong. And the gap is the same as last month.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating? The figures for this year are

        Roy Morgan GCR# 147.5, 151, 139, 140.5, 137, 125.5,132

        Quite how you think that a drop of 11.5 is equivalent to a rise of 6.5 says more about your naivetƃĀ© than anything else. The government managed to claw back about half of the loss in the last few figures.

        Overall, the confidence index is down almost 20 points since the start of the year. The lowest was about 25 points down. If you look at the graph it is pretty apparent that 6 point shifts happen frequently (indeed virtually every other poll when the chart plateaus), and are close to the ‘noise’ level in that particular poll

        As I said when the previous figures came out, it is the trend line that is interesting rather than individual spikes. The trend line is currently severely down. If an upward trend persists for a few more polls, then you might have a cause to celebrate. But at present it looks like a normal blip from the sampling technique.

        http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4485/

        Couldn’t you find something less obvious to exercise your stupid streak on?

        • gingercrush 4.2.1.1

          4. The only poll figures that I’ve found interesting recently, ie showing movement, has been the Roy Morgan poll on confidence in the direction of the country is taking. I’m wanting to see the next R-M poll to see if that is sustained. To me, that is the interesting poll result at present because it effectively measures uncertainty and tends to presage political shifts

          I’m wanting to see the next R-M poll to see if that is sustained.

          Well you had your one month. It crept up. I actually half-way agree with you. The trend is tracking downwards. I just don’t see it as negative for National since people should be more uncertain at this stage in the political cycle. Still you constantly attack any right-winger that comments on poll yet you’re completely quiet when left commentators do the same. Especially some people that do it on threads where polls shouldn’t even be discussed.

          • lprent 4.2.1.1.1

            It is the luck of the draw when I’m ‘reading’ the comment stream across all threads and posts because of the way I scan. I have a high reading speed and a programmers eye for patterns. So I don’t read the comments – I scan them for keywords and phrases or style of comment or interest to a moderator. This lets me read comments in blocks of 50 in a few minutes. I only stop if I pick up something that looks like I might have to actually read it.

            For obvious reasons of past tendencies of trolls, many of whom don’t appear to like this site existing, many of the patterns I look for are biased against the ‘right’. That is the main reason why I tend to read the comments from the ‘right’ more often than those on the ‘left’. There are a few exceptions that. In particular a few people like robinsod used to get a considerable proportion of my attention until they departed because of their language and phrasing.

            I frequently don’t notice comments off-topic unless I’m specifically looking, because I’m not reading inside posts. I read across all comments in reverse date/time order. Usually when I bounce people for being off-topic, it is because people have mentioned it in a comment.

            However one thing I always notice is comments that look very much the same appearing frequently in the comment stream pretty close together. It usually signals a trolling, and frequently a combined trolling attempt initiated from another site. The latter just pisses me off and I land on the perpetrators pretty damn hard if they’re doing it in unrelated posts. If they want to do it in OpenMike, I’d usually just leave it alone. But since when a poll comes out that is ‘bad’ for the left is frequently when we get those types of comments close together, that is why I lean heavily on the right commenting on polls. The left don’t seem to do that pattern here.

            Neither of these were the case today. Unfortunately (for you), I also read any comment that scans with sysop, lprent, Iprent, Lynn, or Prentice in it. It is my signal that someone wants to talk to me. As you found out I dislike reading comments asserting things that I didn’t state. Obviously the trend I was interested in wasn’t sustained. However it wasn’t invalidated or a reversed trend either. It was just ambiguous because of the noise level.

            It just means we need another poll (or two) to see if it was a blip, a change in direction, or a shift to plateau. If the poll had shifted up more than 5-6 points then it would have said that the previous poll was a sampling rogue (or maybe that there was change in climate back towards the government). If it had continued downwards then it would be a continuation and reaffirmation of an existing downward trend. But a movement at that level is at the noise level, which is most clear when the poll was plateaued last year.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Celeb news (from Stuff.co.nz):

    Middle aged smiling sensation Johnnie Keyber this morning bungy jumped from the Auckland harbour bridge after arriving back in New Zealand last night to throngs of hysterical reporters.

    Nearly 1000 fans – known as journalists – screeched and sobbed as they tried to get close to Keyber, 48, who touched down at Auckland International Airport just before midnight.

    The Kiwi PM tweeted his fans this morning and said:

    “Finally got back to New Zealand last night. The airport was crazy. Thanks for all ur support!! I’m ok thank you!!! On my way to bungy jumping!!! Whoopeeeee.”

    Keyber bungy jumped off the Auckland harbour bridge this morning and posted footage on his Twitter account.

    Staff at the bridge said they had been “sworn to secrecy” about the jump, but several paparazzi were seen trying to take photographs.

    Meanwhile, journalists have started to gather outside TV3’s offices in Auckland where Keyber is expected to make an appearance later today.

    Earlier, hordes of young hacks flooded the airport’s arrival hall, holding aloft hand painted signs professing their love for the politician with impeccable teeth and no principles.

    “Johnnie we want you babies” (sic) was scrawled on a simple New Zealand Herald editorial.

    Guyon Espiner said Keyber was “the best thing ever”.

    “I like him so much and the thing is he’s the same age as us. He’s so cute.”

    His friend Duncan Garner said he had snuck out of home to witness Keyber’s arrival.

    “I’ve never been this excited in my entire life. To be honest my parents don’t even know I’m here. For the first time ever I snuck out of home just to see him, but it’s worth it.”

    One reporter had to be removed from the crowd by after she began to feel dizzy in the minutes before Keyber’s arrival.

    A lone passer-by commented that this was all a load of nonsense and Keyber was just a cleverly marketed product of media hysteria. He was chased from the building by irate journalists.

  6. prism 6

    Sir Peter Jackson, knight, Lord of the Rings?

  7. prism 7

    On Morming report this norning one interviewee hung up on Sean Plunkett. He was in his devils advocate pose trying to get a school trustee to say something spicy as to why the school doesn’t want a brothel just across the road from the school. Fairly straightforward. We would like our children to look at all the available jobs before being sold on the pseudo glamorous life of a prostitute. It’s often the life for those who can sell themselves expensively as special ‘suppliers’, the route for drug habituees, an accustomed activity turned to income of those suffering incest. or an alternative and perhaps soul-destroying quick path to acquiring capital assets such as a house.

    Having them in plain view along with their mixed bag of male customers every day isn’t very satisfactory. But Sean was onto the free market approach. They are just another business, does the school object to dairies that sell cigarettes and I think he mentioned fattening foods as another parallel with prostitution. After the next trivial, insensitive, empty-headed question the line went dead.

    • Bored 7.1

      Yet another case of the jorno thinking he was the news and the rest of us his supporting cast. Good on the interviewee hanging up. Well done.

    • uke 7.2

      But the brothel-across-the-road-from-the-school approach seems so Westie, so Paula Bennett…

      “Hey, all you solo Mums on the DPB, here’s a great opportunity to get you off the benefit! Flexible hours that work for you & convenient for picking up the kiddies after school.”

  8. Adrian 8

    My sympathies go to the families of the Iroquois pilots and congratulations to them for insisting on a private ceremony of rememberance, but I bet there is some real pressure going on them to open it up to the TV channels, that guiless poser didn’t fly all the way back from Europe to miss out on that photo-op. He’s appalling and shameless.

    • Anne 8.1

      Exactly my sentiments when I heard the media were to be kept away. Had a mental picture of Key saying to himself… ” I needn’t of come home. Bill could’ve gone. Bloody hell! Why didn’t they say this at the start”. Mind you, he will have jacked up photo ops. and an interview for immediately after the ceremonies are over.

  9. prism 9

    I forgot to add fatuous to the list of adjectives describing Sean’s little item about a massage bar and prostitution. I wonder if he has ever thought of taking it up as a job if he so freely embraces that sort of business.

    I came upon a Press item around my supermarket frozens. Colin James on Goff and Labour and it has good thinking fodder in it. Link – http://www.colinjames.co.nz/Press/Press_2010/Press_10Jan30.htm

    He looks at the terms of Labour in key periods, compares to the National vote,
    and poses question how often will Labour be in during the next five decades.

    Among his points – problems for Goff preparing for the 2011 elections plus the task of building policy and voter platforms for a long-lasting next Labour government…

    Two choices: skilful moment-to-moment managerial politics (like National) with faith in MMP maths, or build a principle-based policy line that locks in a strong voter base.

    ‘Labour under the baby-boomer educational meritocrats who ran the 2000s Cabinets extended the underdog notion embedded in championing wage workers’ cause to other disadvantaged groups: women, gays, Maori, ethnic minorities.’
    He refers to identity politics – okay if there are enough identity groups and mainstream voter support for them. But…John Key is cultivating the peak iwi leadership group and other iwi leaders and pitching a new Maori politics around economic assets and development – directly challenging Labour’s identity politics connection and indirectly querying its socioeconomic underdog pitch to Maori.

    James has thoughts about ideas to focus Labour minds.
    Towards the end he says “Labour probably won’t dominate office if it builds incrementally on 1970s-2000s thinking on such questions”.

  10. Jum 10

    Interesting that no one seems to care that Hide is discussing how to sell off our water asset in Auckland.

    If the Principal and parents asked all the men likely to use the brothel to stay away, there wouldn’t be a problem. How about it boys?

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    Further to the fatty food debate here a couple days ago I’d like to point out this:
    Refined carbs are bad for the heart, not fat

    In 2008 Stampfer co-authored a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that followed 322 moderately obese individuals for two years as they adopted one of three diets: a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet based on American Heart Association guidelines; a Mediterranean, restricted-calorie diet rich in vegetables and low in red meat; and a low-carbohydrate, nonrestricted-calorie diet. Although the subjects on the low-carb diet ate the most saturated fat, they ended up with the healthiest ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol and lost twice as much weight as their low-fat-eating counterparts.

  12. Trasparent 12

    Maori are children who are incapable of deciding there own future
    I know, you will all call me a racist, i don’t think I am, I think the govt and the MP are the racists here. I am smoker, I am 52 years old, educated to universtity standard and I smoke. Yes, that’s right I choose to smoke, I know the possible consequenses and I choose to take that risk. Fuck I’d even be prepared to pay for any consequenses if I could get a job that paid enough for me to do so. Effectively this decision to increase excise tax on tobacco products is a sop to the Maori Party who whinge constantly about the number of Maori who “suffer” from smoking. What is wrong with Maori? Are they not able to make reasoned decisions and to live by them? Are Maori so child like that they need the MP and the Govt to make their decisions for them? Nobody forces a cigarette into my mouth and makes me smoke it, are people doing that to Maori? No! Maori are by and large the poorest group in the country, is this because they smoke? NO, it because there is an institutionalised racism that means that Maori are seen as the benighted savages that need to be ‘looked after’, that need to have their decisions amde for them. The fact is that people like me, and in fact most Maori, certainly the ones that I know and work with day to day (I’m a bus drivwer and probably 30% of my workmates are Maori and they almost all smoke) don’t want the Govt to decide for them what they should do with the small amount of discretional income they have should be spent on. To bring this crap in under “extraordinary Urgency” is just another example of this government’s attitude to kiwis in general. People used to call Labour’s approach to civil legislation a ‘Nanny State’ attitude, it holds nothing on the current NACT bastards. They totally ignore the recommedations re alcahol (raising the price to influence the purchase practises of young people) but raise the price on tobacco to influence the purchase price of MAORI. What a fucking JOKE. Face it you Tangata Whenua, you just can’t make it in a white man’s world so we will intervene to ensure that you do, or don’t. It really doesn’t matter, really you are just pawns for the Maori Parties attempt to consolidate power, and the baubles that go with it for themselves. The MP really do appear to believe that you are incapable of deciding for yourselves any really important issues, you NEED the wisdom of people like Turiana Turia and Hone Hawariwa in order to decide want tyou want/should do with your lives. What a crock of shit, these people have no interests other than how they can keep feeding at the trough. If you doubt me just look at how often the MP have spouted about how what the govt is doing os wrong but nonetheless have continued to vote for the Govt’s legisl;ation, if you think the MP has any interest in you or your lives then maybe you do need the powers that be to make your dsecisions for you

    • Jum 12.1

      For women it appears that smoking is safer, since men still have no reason to consider women are anything but second class individuals and open to rape if they get drunk. If women are smoking at least they can see the rape dangers. Perhaps the Parliament can come up with a plan that convinces men that women are human beings and deserve the same respect that they, men, expect.

      Then, I think the need to smoke, by women, would start to decline from a stress release view.

      The alcohol and tobacco lobbyists realise this and want enmity between men and women. Until men realise this, support women and team up against divisive government life will continue to be nasty, brutish and short.

      • Bill 12.1.1

        Absolutely piss poor smokers having to find extra money to fund their addiction will be that much less money on the food bill. Fine for childless poverty stricken smokers. Well done to the MP and the rest of the shower in Wellington for increasing the hardships of poverty for many of the country’s addicts and their kids.

        • Armchair Critic 12.1.1.1

          Another tax increase from the government that campaigned on lowering taxes.

  13. Armchair Critic 13

    I can’t believe it took two years for the police to work out that Switched On Gardener sells equipment that can be used to grow cannabis.
    While I’m not a fan of marijuana and don’t support its production by participating in the market, I’m fine with others doing it. All I can see is a waste of talent in criminalising the people arrested, a waste of police resources investigating them and a waste of legal resources prosecuting them.
    Captcha – discover, surely it couldn’t take two years.

  14. gingercrush 14

    Any bets on what effect price rises on tobacco will do to smoking rates?

    I say nearly zero. It won’t do much and I agree with Bill here it will be the poor who suffer. I also believe as we increasingly place restrictions on smokers there is a real risk a flood that illegal tobacco operations will happen and forget about cocaine, marijuana etc. tobacco will top the lot and then some. It isn’t happening now because things are still legal. But lets be honest where the debate is going and what will happen in the future. More and more restrictions coupled by more pointless excise increases eventually leading to a ban. Recipe for disaster.

    We already have a real problem with majiuana in that it criminalises members of society unnecessarily why are we setting ourselves for the same thing to happen to tobacco companies. The most interesting that is that many on the liberal left and liberal right are calling for changes to laws concerning marijuana (namely decriminalisation) and likely has real support amongst people generally. Yet at the same time we’re doing the exact opposite in regards to tobacco use and increasingly are seeing a want for changes around alcohol. Its just pathetic.

    • Ianmac 14.1

      Cigarette price increase just announced breaks the cost up with 10% increase tonight and another 2.5% on budget night? Thats 12.5%! Is that the real reason for passing the Bill now? Cushion the effect? $13.0 pack will cost $16.25, (I think.) Glad I don’t smoke.

  15. gingercrush 15

    Its 10% then 10% Jan 1st next year and another 10% the following year. Roll-your-own is going up an extra 14% to be more in line with tailormades. Then you have the likely GST increase on budget night. I’m not sure how you can explain the decision to have it made now. Though doing it on budget day won’t help.

    But lets face it. If you’re a smoker and you’re on a low income GST changes and any likely tax cuts (I have a feeling National is doing threshold changes. I want a tax-free threshold). They’re still going to be worse off thanks to the smoking increases. Its a stupid move and yet all parties outside the Act voted for the changes. Of course they’ll sleep easy because they actually think they’ve made a difference though they haven’t.

    Its a recipe for increased crime, increased poverty and increased stupidity. I get people don’t like smoking and want it gone. But think rationally. Because smokers generally are irrational and will sacrifice much to continue smoking. Meanwhile as smoking related health costs decrease (which they will since the rate of smoking will drop more and more overtime without doing anything) we’ll still see health costs rise. 1. More people getting older. With many not smoking life expectancy is increased. That adds rapidly to health costs. Meanwhile, people who have health related issues due to being overweight etc rapidly increase yet none of them pay their own way.towards those health costs.

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