Open Mike 31/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 31st, 2018 - 131 comments
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131 comments on “Open Mike 31/03/2018”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    Flicking around the news this morning: Stuff headline asks if Jacindamania is over?

    Meanwhile Ardern is on the front page of the UK Guardian, with link to an article, which links to an interview.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/new-zealand-likely-to-become-a-republic-in-my-lifetime-says-jacinda-ardern

    On NZ becoming a republic?

    And what Obama said to her, and being a celebrity PM, and more…

    • alwyn 1.1

      “On NZ becoming a republic”.
      It will no doubt happen someday. I can remember Jim Bolger, in an Address in Reply debate when he was Prime Minister, suggesting that it would (or perhaps it was should) happen before 2001. Jim had the characteristics of someone from the Irish Republic of course.
      Hardly a question of urgency when she suggests it will happen in her lifetime considering that her life expectancy is probably another 60 years. Still, it’s a squirrel.

    • francesca 1.2

      Check out the comments below the full interview.

      The full interview covers more than the Womans Weekly garbage.
      Somewhere I read she will meet Corbyn for breakfast? when she’s in the
      UK
      Hope we won’t be treated to her favourite muesli recipe. No doubt there will be cat talk, and El Gato will be photographed smooching up to Jacinda

      https://inews.co.uk/news/general-election-corbyn-cat-number-10-socialist/

        • Sanctuary 1.2.1.1

          *sigh* Accusations of anti-semitism have become the last refuge of the scoundrel.

          These charges against Corbyn are nonsense. No one in the UK really believes them, not even his accusers. The charges have made very little impression on British voters, who know a smear campaign when they see one.

          The anti-semitism charges against Corbyn are useful to study though, because they show two things.

          The first is how successful Israel has been with infiltrating the UK political establishment and bribing neoliberal politicians via the LFI (Labour Friends of Israel) (https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Labour_Friends_of_Israel). Effectively, anyone who questions current Israeli policies of violent repression of the Palestinians in mainstream UK politics can be practically guaranteed they will be smeared by a powerful fifth column of pro-Jewish voices in the UK media and political elites.

          Secondly, the anti-semitism accusations how quickly middle class liberals will start slinging around accusations of racism when they lose. It was literally the first thing the Blairiites went for when Corbyn won the UK Labour party leadership.

          That there is an intersection between the utterly corrupt and hopelessly entitled Blairite extremists and the cash sloshing around from right wing LFI donors is undeniable – and they have powerful friends in the liberal media. Repeaters and morons like James find it convenient to parrot politically motivated and vile lies and smears for completely dishonest reasons, what a complete dropkick and arsehole you are James.

          • francesca 1.2.1.1.1

            Can’t wait for reselection of Labour candidates to get underway.
            Corbyn’s surge in the last UK elections shut the Guardian up for a bit, but they’re back to their old ways.
            Currently anti-semitism is the rack they hope to break him on

          • patricia bremner 1.2.1.1.2

            CarolynNorth, I have noticed a concerted effort by the right in all areas to undermine Jacinda. The article in Stuff follows several in the same vein giving the impression she has “Lost control”

            This is a build up before Winston takes over, trying to destabilize the coalition, and make it look mismanaged by emphasising unrelated issues as symptomatic. IMO

            I see three rather right wing commentators arrive to swiftly add fuel to the fire. As if being an echo makes it right.

          • James 1.2.1.1.3

            That’s not very polite language there.

            Are the 15 UK labour MPs who protested dropkick assholes as well?

          • Robert Guyton 1.2.1.1.4

            “Repeaters and morons like James find it convenient to parrot politically motivated and vile lies and smears for completely dishonest reasons, what a complete dropkick and arsehole you are James.”
            Harsh.
            But true.

        • reason 1.2.1.2

          Corbyn is probably being quite reasonable about Zionist …. and Zionists like to smear people with “antisemitism” … James

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      No, no there’s no agitation to become a republic…

      http://www.republic.org.nz/

      Just an entire organisation deducted to making it so…

      And there’s a reason why the question keeps coming up – there generally support for the change.

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/83864989/nearly-60-per-cent-of-kiwis-want-the-british-monarchy-out–poll

      It seems that it is the politicians that are holding things up.

      • alwyn 1.3.1

        I don’t think there will be any political will toward becoming a Republic any time soon. It would, I think introduce a three way brawl between politicians, the senior level of the Judiciary in the Supreme Court and the public.

        There will need to be a Head of State, other than the British Monarch.
        The current set of politicians around at the time will want it to be an appointment by them. The Public will want to elect him or her. An election will give the person chosen a major claim to power. They will be the only person elected by the whole of the country and will be able to claim moral authority over parliamentarians. No Politician will want to accept that.

        There will be a brawl between the senior judges and the politicians. The Judges, led by our current Chief Justice will claim the right to decide all the questions of a Constitutional manner. They will claim the right, in the absence of our traditional system and without a formal Constitution to lay down the rules and to override the Parliament. Again the politicians won’t like it.

        Personally I am quite happy with the present situation. They keep out of the way, don’t try and interfere and don’t cost us very much. In fact I think we ought to go back to choosing British Peers as the GG as well. When they were in Office they tended to give us things. Think Ranfurly Shied, Plunket Shield, Bledisloe Cup, Waitangi Grounds, Treaty House etc.
        Then when they leave office they bugger off back to Britain. Look at the number we have of the local lot who still demand their perks long after they have become relics from History? Crown Limo to go to the ball, anyone?
        Do you realise that we don’t just have the current one to worry about? There are, if my counting is right, no fewer than 5 ex’s swanning around. Plus a bunch or spouses of deceased ones who are also still feeding at the trough.
        Away with them.

    • ScottGN 1.4

      And a pretty comprehensive interview in Good Weekend magazine that goes out with the Fairfax papers on a Saturday in Australia.
      I like the bit where Clarke goes out every Friday evening to get the briefcase of Cabinet Papers and judges by the weight of it whether or not they are going to any fun that weekend.

      • patricia bremner 1.4.1

        Yes his humour is “robust” to quote Jacinda.

      • alwyn 1.4.2

        If that is the same one that was in the DomPost I can only say that you have a very strong stomach sir. Did you really read it all?

  2. mac1 2

    A grand piss take of the gun debate, RW commentators and “conservative values” from the Washington Post.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2018/03/29/i-am-sick-of-these-kids-demanding-safe-spaces/?utm_term=.74762ef3257a

  3. savenz 3

    You have to wonder in the light of the Cambridge Analytics scandal, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=KKJMp_O0f7E why the UK is not having a second referendum on BREXIT to see whether it was democratically legitimate to the British people and is what the British people wanted, not what a small corporation funded by a US billionaire, spent a lot of money to influence the result of.

  4. mac1 4

    Gareth Morgan on Coleman’s resignation and the need for a by-election.

    “while we have high expectations of our politicians, they are in turn very well looked after by the NZ taxpayer, and have an obligation to their constituents. Dr Coleman, being an Electorate rather than a List MP, is the latest to thumb his nose at this social contract he has with his constituents”.

    He goes on to say that “Electorate MPs that resign for pecuniary reasons during their term should forfeit all of their taxpayer-funded post political benefits which include inflated Super payments. After all, at the election they undertook to represent the people of their region. To turn around after the event and say ‘too bad, I’m not in government anymore and that’s all it was about for me, it was never about representing you, my electorate’ is the ultimate insult an electorate representative can inflict’.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1803/S00408/gareth-morgan-jonathan-colman-resignation-an-insult.htm

    Interesting discussion to be had about fulfilling social contracts and penalties for contractual default……

    • Nic the NZer 4.1

      I’m thinking Gareth has never seen written or signed a social contract. No doubt the courts will enforce what ever provision has been written into Colemans one.

    • weka 4.2

      ” “Electorate MPs that resign for pecuniary reasons during their term should forfeit all of their taxpayer-funded post political benefits which include inflated Super payments. After all, at the election they undertook to represent the people of their region. To turn around after the event and say ‘too bad, I’m not in government anymore and that’s all it was about for me, it was never about representing you, my electorate’ is the ultimate insult an electorate representative can inflict’.”

      How is that a pecuniary reason?

      Good luck with proving why an MP resigns.

      • veutoviper 4.2.1

        Your quote is out of context. That relates to the ‘ultimate insult’ – not pecuniary reason.

        The pecuniary reason is:

        a. The earlier reference to Coleman deciding to step down to take up a position in the private sector, and maintaining it was a hard decision, “ But when you get offered opportunities like this, you just got to take them”; and

        b. The paragraph following your quote that “To add insult to injury, the taxpayer then has to turn around and spend $1 million on a by-election, simply because they took the candidate at their word. Politicians who undertake to represent an electorate should have to pay the costs of a by-election or forgo all their post political perks, if they move on for the money before fulfilling their pledge”.

        I doubt it would be hard to prove that Coleman’s move will result in pecuniary gain from the salary etc from his new job compared to his current income as an Opposition MP; especially since he himself has made public statements to that effect.

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          Maybe, but if there were rules around that then they’d just say family reasons or whatever.

          Lol GM though, the man that tried to buy his way into parliament with his personal fortune.

    • Sanctuary 4.3

      Imagine Mike Hosking’s if Coleman had been a Labour MP. For the left, hysterical condemnation from the MSM. For National, utter silence.

      • alwyn 4.3.1

        Remember the screams of protest on this site when some other MPs resigned and forced a By-election?
        Don’t you remember the screams of outrage on this site when Winnie Laban quit for another job? And the same when Lianne Dalziel jumped ship to be Christchurch Mayor, or when Phil Goff did the same in Auckland and David Shearer also quit in mid-term?
        No, neither do I.

        I think that anyone, Electorate or List who runs for Parliament should serve out their full term unless medical problems preclude it or they are kicked out.
        The only exception should be PMs whose party ceases to be the Government. Clark and English come into that category. Everyone else should fulfil their contract.

      • patricia bremner 4.3.2

        Sanctuary, Just as telling is the “Deafening Silence” from Hoskings about Health.

  5. Bill 5

    So what if the Skripal’s themselves were the ones with the nerve agent? The daughter had just flown back from Moscow a few days before. The container or whatever bursts as she’s rummaging for the front door keys. (hence shit on the door handle) They then run around all those cordoned places – the kids park, the cemetery etc, in those cordoned vehicles, as they look to get rid of the stuff. They feel fine. They think they might have dodged a bullet. They go for lunch. It hits. And the rest is unfolding history.

    Makes for a better film script than anything I’ve heard so far 🙂

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      In this new story, why did the Kremlin give Yulia Skripal some military grade nerve agents?

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Ah! Well, you see, the reason May was so sure of the Russian connection was because the daughter had just been to Moscow. May didn’t specify whether it was the Kremlin or a private source. Which is good for the plot line and allows for the Kremlin to be blamed regardless (loss of control of nerve agents/ not full stock destroyed etc) 😉

        Did she know she was carrying nerve agents? Who was she carrying nerve agents for? What was the intended purpose and who was the intended recipient or victim?

        Or did May just jump the gun with the Moscow connection?

        Could make a nice wee mini series.

        • Adrian Thornton 5.1.1.1

          Who plays May? maybe Meryl Streep, she seems at ease with rehabilitating despicable woman’s reputations.

        • Stunned mullet 5.1.1.2

          Worse plot than the new Star Wars movie.

        • francesca 5.1.1.3

          Actually Bill, the Novichok series has already been made The british public had just finished watching their first introduction to the notion of Novichoks

          “So where is the ‘Novichok’ talk coming from? Well, someone in the British government propaganda staff watched the current seasons of the British-American spy drama Strike Back. Nina Byzantina points to the summaries of recent episodes:

          Episode 50 ran in the U.K on November 21 2017 and in the U.S. on February 23 2018:

          Meanwhile, General Lázsló shuts down Section 20, forcing Donovan to work in secret. She discovers that Zaryn is in fact Karim Markov, a Russian scientist who allegedly killed his colleagues with Novichok, a nerve agent they invented.
          Episodes 51 ran in the U.K on November 28 2017 and in the U.S. on March 2 2018:

          Section 20 track Berisovich’s meth lab in Turov where Markov is making more Novichok and destroy it, though Berisovich escapes with Markov.
          Episodes 52 ran in the U.K on January 31 2018 and in the U.S. on March 9 2018:

          Section 20 track down Maya, a local Muslim woman Lowry radicalised, to a local airport. When she attempts to release the Novichok, Reynolds shoots her. The Novichok is fake however, as Berisovich does not want an attack committed in his country. … By the time Section 20 arrives, Berisovich had already called in the FSB to extract Markov and confiscate the Novichok. Yuri resurfaces to kill McAllister and Wyatt. However they turn the tables and strangle him to death. They then manage to engage the FSB and contain the gas. But in the process Reynolds is exposed. Markov works on an antidote but is killed by the Russians before he can complete. McAllister improvises and saves Reynolds, before Novin blows up the lab. Lowry uses the remainder of the gas to kill Berisovich for trying to betray her.”

          I like your screenplay better

          • mikesh 5.1.1.3.1

            No doubt Perry Mason ferreted out the truth when the whole matter got court.

          • mauī 5.1.1.3.2

            There is form for this kind of thing you know, apparently it had something to do with Iraq…

        • Anne 5.1.1.4

          Hollywood’s Warner Bros. will be knocking on your front door any day now bill. Play your cards right and you could make a tidy packet out of that script. It’s about on a par for H.w. 😉

          Might even get Peter Jackson to direct the film.

        • veutoviper 5.1.1.5

          Bill, at 5 and 5.1.1. you say
          “The daughter had just flown back from Moscow a few days before.” and “because the daughter had just been to Moscow.”

          My understanding is that Yulia Skripal lives in Moscow and just visits her father in the UK from time to time. Also I read some time ago that she works in Moscow at either the UK Embassy or the US Embassy. I am not sure which and am not about to search back for the articles.

          However, if you want a good film script you could not go past this Daily Mail article that claims that the poison was aimed at Yulia, not her father, because of her impending marriage in Moscow.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5557625/Russia-protecting-identity-Yulia-Skripals-mystery-boyfriend.html

          This article implies she lived in the UK for at least some time
          https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5744564/yulia-skripal-daughter-russian-double-agent-sergei-skripal-latest/

          But this one then suggests that she did live in the UK for some years but then moved back to Moscow

          https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5744564/yulia-skripal-daughter-russian-double-agent-sergei-skripal-latest/

          And no, I don’t usually read or believe rags like the Sun or the Daily Mail. But there are other variants of the Daily Mail story.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      For this to be plausible there needs to be a good reason for the daughter of a known MI6 spy and defector getting hold of the nerve agent though.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        Hmm.

        The father continues his involvement in the shady underworld of Russian ex-pats and…oh, I know!

        Bill Browder has another target in mind! One of the London based oligarchs is getting close to uncovering his scamming, murderous ways. So he instructs the daughter to pick up a wee package from Moscow….

        I guess that should all unravel at the end of the final episode though as a passable surprise ending 🙂

      • One Two 5.2.2

        ‘Plausible’ doesn’t exist when using a subset of breadcrumbs and speculation to understand the ‘WHO’ of an espionage hit…

        Could have been anyone…

        • Brigid 5.2.2.1

          But RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA

          • Stuart Munro 5.2.2.1.1

            And of course Russia never kills anyone.

            Politkovskaya lives. Litvinenko died of natural causes. Nemtsov strolled home intact without begin gunned down by Putin’s thugs. And Daphne Caruana Galizia is still alive. It’s all just nasty western propaganda.

        • Stuart Munro 5.2.2.2

          Piffle.

          “anyone” doesn’t have nerve agents at their fingertips.

          • One Two 5.2.2.2.1

            That’s ok Stuart you can ‘think’ whatever you like…

            But you’ve no actual idea who has which nerve agents, resources to manufacture them or who actually ‘did it’…

            You’re not a spy or hitman I’m guessing, and espionage won’t be in your skillset…

            Thinking like a spy or hitman…not for you…

            • Stuart Munro 5.2.2.2.1.1

              Happy day – lectured by a dupe so backward he swallows the RT line whole.

              I have a fair idea what’s involved. It’s well beyond the average petty criminal.

              “Thinking like a spy or a hitman” – is neither here nor there.

              Nerve agents are principally made by state actors, who can recruit people capable of deploying them. Russia has made a habit of using them, and has a large pool of people available to use them.

              The thousand lies of whataboutery have yet to fly a plausible kite.

              • One Two

                That you’ve taken my obvious statement as a lecture and come back with such a bizarre comment is of no surprise..
                Resplendent with the RT mention thrown in…I’ve not mentioned RT , Stuart…that makes you a projection dupe…

                You see , Stuart. It’s a good thing to understand ones own boundaries… You appear not to….that’s all too common an affliction…

                No-one on this site has anything other than speculation based on what might be 1% of information provided by other entities…

                It’s a fundamental failing to take a postion and believe it in the espionage arena….you are not part of that world…

                Take a position, sure but appreciate you have NFI about the levels and angles that are in play, because it’s espionage Stu…….just acknowledge that to yourself if you can….

                It is a world that your imagination wouldn’t get close to…

                [Cut out the pointless chest puffery personal stuff, aye? Both of you. Cheers.] – Bill

                • Stuart Munro

                  So as usual – the propaganda troll claims intellectual superiority for entertaining unsupported (and unsupportable) bilge.

                  You are not a spy.
                  You are not a hitman.
                  You know little or nothing about Russian intelligence.
                  Your imagination is neither here nor there.
                  You’re not even properly informed.

                  • One Two

                    Propaganda tr*ll…again with the projection, Stu…

                    it could have been anyone…

                    I do not know, nor do I have an interest in ‘who did it’…no propaganda in my position…

                    You appear to have chosen a side…Each to their own…

                    Have a good day…

    • francesca 5.3

      Not bad Bill, I like it and why not? The UK pension doesn’t amount to much these days

      but wouldn’t she just wipe the mess up with baby wipes?
      Nope apparently not, and the mess is still there on the doorknob, actually its a handle in the photos but I like the word knob, after 4 weeks of rain and snow
      As part of his consultancy work in cybersecurity, Skripal travelled all over the place ,Dubai for one
      False flag in the ME?

      Skripal was still meeting with Pablo Miller, his original recruiter, every week .
      And Miller was working for Christopher Steele at Orbis
      Like a lot of ex M16 agents, they go on to do private consultancy work
      Maybe Skripal contributed to the Steele dossier, knowing it was a load of bullshit but the money was ok
      Maybe his monthly visits(according to an expat Russian friend)roused the suspicion that he’d flipped once again , and knew too much ….

      Or maybe he’s just been using out of date organophosphate pesticides he found in the garden shed
      Personally, I’m going with the theory that Putin at heart just wanted to be caught, he wanted to out the whole secretive Novichok program he’d been beavering away at for the last 10 years
      And he wanted to send a message, to the US/EU that their beleaguered ally the UK needed to be rallied around and propped up

    • McFlock 5.4

      Ok, let’s go with that.

      Firstly, that requires Julia to have access to the poison, and be sure thet she (as daughter of a traitor toi russia) will be able to get it through customs. Big hole needs filler.

      Secondly, the exposure needs to be unknown to them, because otherwise they would have presented immediately to hospital with some convoluted story. Time is survival.

      Thirdly, she smuggled a substance internationally and they didn’t immediately check it when she arrived, they went to lunch? Doesn’t match with the second.

      Fourthly, why the front door? They would have gone inside and looked at the package, so that’s where the main contamination would be, surely?

      It’s possible, maybe, but really doesn’t scan so simply as “assasination attempt”.

      • Bill 5.4.1

        She doesn’t know what she’s picking up for Browder. It’s in some make-up thang – a compact case! (All spy movies should be 60s 🙂 ) Maybe the compact case comes as a “side package” to the main package which isn’t nerve agent. No suspicion at customs for innocuous object.

        There’s a meeting. The compact case is in her bag. Meeting gets rescheduled. They go home. Compact opens by accident. Door handle.

        They quickly contact Browder. He says they’ll be okay, wash hands and dump the shit somewhere.

        They go where they went. They dump it somewhere along the way…or pass it off. And lunch. And think they’re okay, but…

        Don’t know whether you should be a script editor or never allowed to go to the pictures with anyone McFlock. Maybe both 🙂

        • McFlock 5.4.1.1

          Ok, assuming she decidied to take something through customs for Browder, you’re on the one hand saying she doesn’t know what it is, but on the other hand “calls him quickly” when it breaks. And why would he use as a mule someone who’ll raise flags on both Russian and British immigration/customs computers?

          And there’s still the source in Russia to cover, and whomever Browder wants to give it to.

          I mean, you’ve got a possible explanation of events there, but not really plausible, let alone likely.

          Whereas on the flipside we have Russia being the source, transporter, and deliverer of a lethal weapon in order to get revenge for treason and intimidate other prospective assets.

          • Bill 5.4.1.1.1

            Do you think we should have a scene where daughter and father discuss what to do before deciding that maybe it would be best to make a call? I think you might be right on that. Good idea.

            I’m actually not altogether happy with the burst package in bag getting contents on hands and that then coating the door handle. As with the case of the door handle being the source of contamination by some other route, it would generally only be touched by one of two people entering a place.

            Anyway. Do you think we can let that one slide? Or should we concoct some little scene to explain two people using the one door handle?

            I don’t think we need to bother ourselves with “flags” at Russian/UK customs etc seeing as how the daughter was a fairly frequent flyer. Maybe we could also shoot a scene where the faux package is subjected to some scrutiny? What should that be? Some papers? Computer related drives? Hmm – thinking 🙂

            The full identity of the source doesn’t really matter for our purposes. Establishing a private entity as the source is all that’s required which, given that Skripal senior was a double agent and so unlikely to be used by the Russian state, isn’t a problem.

            • Ed 5.4.1.1.1.1

              Bill O have been away for a couple of weeks.
              In that time, my research on this topic has taken me to Craig Murray as a very interesting source of information
              Have you heard of him?
              Do you have a view on his viewpoint?

              https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/on-not-being-refuted/

              I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

            • McFlock 5.4.1.1.1.2

              Thing is, that’s the closest anyone’s come to coming up with some other even vaguely reasonable explanation as to how two people were poisoned by nerve agents in the middle of an English town. As as you point out it still has big holes that would make William of Occam suspicious. Whereas having one or both of them as targets of the Russian state fills up most of those holes.

              BTW, you’re looking for cross-contamination to explain the doorhandle thing. Person A touches door, then touches person B with the same hand. But you’d expect the person with the initial exposure to have a greater dose and therefore greater symptoms.

              • Incognito

                It has been quite cold in the UK so weren’t they wearing gloves?

                How come so many people ended up in hospital with symptoms of alleged poisoning? Simple precaution or were they truly ill? Did they all touch that door handle or did they all shake hands with the couple when they were found slumped on a park bench?

                • McFlock

                  Lots of people were tested. Three others were injured to the point of being given a hospital bed. ISTR all three were cops and had been in the house.

                  Interesting point about the gloves. But then I’m not sure what the latest theories of exposure are.

                  • Incognito

                    The basic questions are often overlooked. Cops entering the house would have worn gloves and not touched things with their bare skin unless they are clueless & incompetent …

                  • Bill

                    I kinda liked these pertinent questions. (I’ve reproduced a few) But then, I know I’m apparently bias, besides knowing for certain that I’m in a growing minority of people who view “the west” as being the belligerents on the global stage these days.

                    From this link.

                    https://www.rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/6447

                    2) What specific antidotes were administered to Mr and Ms Skripal, and in which form? How were those antidotes available for the medical staff on the site of the incident?

                    3) On what grounds has France been involved in technical cooperation with regard to the investigation of an incident in which Russian nationals had suffered?

                    12) On the basis of which characteristics (“markers”) has it been ascertained that the substance used in Salisbury “originated from Russia”?

                    13) Does the UK possess reference samples of the military-grade poisonous substance that British representatives identify as “Novichok”?

                    14) Has the substance identified by British representatives as “Novichok” or analogous substances been researched, developed or produced in the UK?

                    • McFlock

                      Not all that interesting, really. What purpose do they serve? How would any answers to any of those questions change the debate? Seems to me that it still comes down to “Putin is killing traitors” vs “Putin’s enemies are killing his other enemies in order to make him look bad, but they keep killing his most powerful enemies so that’s a bit of a weird strategy”.

                      As to people who view the West as belligerants, that’s actually a pretty big group of people. The people who automatically think the the West must bethe only group of belligerents, that’s a very small group of people.

                    • Incognito

                      The usual antidotes for poisoning with nerve agents apparently don’t work with Novichok, if that’s what they were poisoned with. In any case, they have to be given within minutes of exposure to be effective; any later and they’re largely ineffective and require different antidotes/treatment. The inhibition of one of the biological targets, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), leads to severe acute symptoms and potentially followed by rapid death. The longer-lasting effects of nerve agents are nerve damage particularly of but not limited to the function of the legs.

                  • Bill

                    Or there are these ones (a few reproduced) from this link.

                    https://www.rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/6443

                    1) What is Mr and Ms Skripal’s exact diagnosis and condition?

                    2) What treatment are they receiving?

                    3) Is that treatment the same as that provided to Sgt Nick Bailey?

                    6) Did Mr Bailey, Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal receive antidotes?

                    7) Which antidotes?

                    8) How were the right antidotes identified?

                    9) Did they actually help or harm?

                    25) Nerve agents act immediately. Why was it not the case with the Skripals?

                    26) Leaks suggest the Skripals were poisoned at a pub, at a restaurant, in their car, at the airport, at home… Which version is the official one?

                    27) How to reconcile quick political moves with Scotland Yard’s statement that the investigation will take “months”?

                  • Incognito

                    @ McFlock 1 April 2018 at 9:47 pm:

                    Point 25 is correct.

                    Onset
                    Novichok is reported to be 5–8 times more lethal than VX nerve agent and effects are rapid, usually within 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                    Major symptoms
                    Symptoms are the same as those of other nerve agents as shown in Table 5.11 (p. 257). Local effects are thought to be immediate, while systemic effects may be delayed up to 18 hours.

                    From that same link in this comment /open-mike-29-03-2018/#comment-1467564 (for your convenience: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/novichok-agent).

                    • McFlock

                      For inhalation, it would be immediate/seconds.
                      Yeah fair call, they don’t necessarily act immediately. Which is the point – lack of immediate onset doesn’t rule out any nerve agent.

                      The chapter has significant differences in time between skin exposure and symptoms vs inhalation. Because it says inhalation of the powder was thought to be the main route of exposure, they theorised onset in seconds. If the Skripals had a skin exposure, the delay is anyone’s guess.

                      As a side note, reading the chapter basically puts paid to the “where did they get the antidotes from” question – literally every nerve agent has the same treatment as organophosphate exposure:

                      • Atropine repeated as required – page 322.
                      • Pralidoxime – page 323.
                      • Diazepam – page 325.
                      • ‘Combi-pens’ – page 326.

                      So any rural area fit to treat farmworkers soaked in pesticide would be able to treat a nerve gas attack.
                      Not to mention other uses of those medications.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    As an antidote to a fortnight of hostile MSM attacks, a nice interview in the Guardian with Jacinda Ardern –

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/jacinda-ardern-on-life-as-a-leader-trump-and-selfies-in-the-lingerie-department

    Reading the interview made me realise how partisan and right wing our media is.

    The agenda is to paint Labour an accidental government, unready and accident prone and the onslaught is relentless – and it isn’t helped by the pile on of immature and hysterical left wing snowflakes who toss their toys because Jacinda hasn’t waved a magic wand and fixed everything in three months.

    • james 6.1

      “Reading the interview made me realise how partisan and right wing our media is”

      You then go onto a puff piece in the Guardian ?

      The main difference is in NZ the media is discussing her actions (or lack there of) of her government.

      It dosnt make them partisan or right wing.

      The government or labour should be held up for what they are doing.

      There have been some commentators on here who voted for labour who have said they wont again – does that make them right wing? No – its that some people just are not happy how this government is working out and media may be a reflection of this view for many.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        The government or labour should be held up for what they are doing.

        True but the MSM never seems to do that when National is power and they get excessive when Labour is.

        And then there’s the fact that they’ll stop reporting what National did in power to report a non-event that happens in the present Labour government.

        • James 6.1.1.1

          It depends on ones perception of a non- event.

          Example you have stated as fact that labour did nothing wrong about the sexual assaults at the labour camp (despite concessions from labour for not providing a safe space).

          So for you it’s a non-event.

          Others disagree and believe it’s a item that is newsworthy.

          There is a lot of personal bias that comes into ones perception of the media.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            Example you have stated as fact that labour did nothing wrong about the sexual assaults at the labour camp (despite concessions from labour for not providing a safe space).

            They didn’t. Shit happens no matter how many protections you put in place and expecting everything to be perfect is delusional at best.

            And what they did after shit did as a matter of fact happen, was spot on according to those who know a bit about these things which counts a great deal.

            Considering National’s systemic victim blaming if this had happened at a National Party function the victims would either have thrown under the bus or paid off if the parents were rich.

            There is a lot of personal bias that comes into ones perception of the media.

            That’s not perception – that’s bias and people looking for reports that confirm their bias.

            • JohnSelway 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “….and people looking for reports that confirm their bias.”

              ‘Cough’… political compass…’cough’

              😉

              • Draco T Bastard

                Dude, I’m autistic with genius level IQ.

                I’m quite aware of my own biases and account for them.

                Any party that supports capitalism is, by default, right-wing. Labour has always been a capitalist party.

                Capitalism is the problem – not the solution.

                • JohnSelway

                  For someone with a genius level IQ you sure make a load of mistakes 😉

                  But we’re all human at the end of the day. Even Stephen Hawking fucked up on occasion

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Making mistakes is fine – learn from them.

                    But you missed the point about autism didn’t you?

    • Bill 6.2

      Compare that paper’s coverage of Ardern to its coverage of Corbyn. Then dig out some of its coverage of Smith who ran against Corbyn.

      And tell me Ardern should be considered a good thing.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1

        Exactly…+1, the editors of The Guardian have made it plainly obvious that they would rather eat their own arms off than have a real Left Wing Progressive alternative in the UK.

    • JanM 6.3

      “and it isn’t helped by the pile on of immature and hysterical left wing snowflakes who toss their toys because Jacinda hasn’t waved a magic wand and fixed everything in three months.”
      I so agree with you there – they remind me of the worst of ‘terrible two’ behaviour. It beggars belief that they have no understanding of the amount of effort that’s going to have to be put into turning around the horrors that have developed, especially in welfare, health and education. We haven’t had 6 months yet, and a goodly portion of that was taken up with settling into government and then the long holiday. Adding to the feeding frenzy of the trolls and twits is not helpful or sensible.

      • patricia bremner 6.3.1

        1000%

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.3.2

        They could at least answer letters.

        “Terrible twos” indeed!

        Perhaps some of us have long memories and recall how enthusiastically Labour embraced neo liberal free market ideologies, and we accept that they literally smoothed the path so the real right wing could consolidate.
        Perhaps we terrible twos need some sort of a sign from this so-called progressive government this could be that the very first task should be a systematic rout of the bureaucrats who have held power at certain ministries for way too long.

        Because when this snowflake heard that the new Minister of Health was going to take advice from staff at the Ministry about disability issues and family carers I actually wept with despair.

        I guess I’ll just have to harden the f up.

        • One Two 6.3.2.1

          Rosemary your position and perspective is entirely appropriate (not that you need endorsement) but I’ve followed your posts, and have nothing but support for all who have been maligned and abused by successive governments and their departments…

          The current government could have unequivocally cleared house by now in a number of key areas, but have not even made the ‘right noises’..instead they are playing along with the dominant ideology of which they represent and are gatekeepers of..

          Those who ask for more time or make excuses for inaction, are establishment apologists who sound as though they have memory failure…

          Waiting and wishing that the Westminster System will change its spots is head in the sand denial…

          The system is rotten…and requires complete rebuild…

          My heartfelt sympathies for all who are being abused by state and private establishments…

      • weka 6.3.3

        not quite as bad as the Labour fundies though who can’t tolerate any critique of the beloved party.

        See how the framing in this thread is going?

        • JanM 6.3.3.1

          Far from being a ‘Labour fundy’ I more often vote Green than Labour. Labour this time though, because I was desperate to get National out and, living in the Far North, voted tactically.
          However, feeding a National opposition, who will stop at nothing to undermine Labour, on an open forum will, in practical terms, help to bring down this government within one term. Then you will have a National government back – yippee!
          There may be an awful lot to do, and it might not be enough for many, but coming from an education background, I am thrilled to bits that they have got rid of National Standards already. That’s huge, for those that understand it.
          If there are specific things that some think are not going well, spell it out – do a post so we can all understand so maybe the rest of us can support and help you. There seem to be major issues about the treatment of people with permanent disabilities that are not going according to plan and I know myself how appalling WINZ can be. However, it would be helpful to know, in more detail, what people who are dissatisfied now think that Labour should do that they have turned their backs on.

          • weka 6.3.3.1.1

            Thanks Jan, that’s very helpful. I agree with that, that we need solid posts* on what the actual problems are, and we need posts on what Labour (and the GP/NZF) are getting right. I’d also like to see some discussion about what to do in the areas where Labour are failing from a LW perspective, and that leads into a bigger conversation about how to criticise the centre left when the risk is supporting a RW narrative.

            btw I wasn’t calling you a Labour fundy 🙂 I was making an exaggerated comment to mimic the generalisations that are being thrown around at the moment that are loaded with implications but not specific enough to easily address. I’d like to see that conversation get more nuanced.

            *anyone who wants to have a go at writing a Guest Post, please let me know.

            • JanM 6.3.3.1.1.1

              Cool 🙂

            • Incognito 6.3.3.1.1.2

              Hi Weka, I sent you one those messages again 😉

              • weka

                Cheers. I’ll be back at my email in the next few days. Let me know here if it’s more urgent than that 🙂

                • Incognito

                  Nah, not urgent but fits in well (I hope) with Micky’s post The manufacturing of a narrative and other quite recent threads.

                  I wish you a good Easter; the weather is beautiful, which means lots of working in the garden 😉

    • Anne 6.4

      Reading the interview made me realise how partisan and right wing our media is.

      Yep. And happy to wittingly formulate lies and half truths in the process. Like TV3 who
      continued to claim the young Labour victims of sexual abuse were only 15 years of age. This, despite the fact they were 16 years years old. What’s the difference of one year? Well at 15 they’re still under-age but at 16 they are considered old enough to make their own decisions. Important distinction in the scheme of things, but hey… why let the truth get in the way of a good Labour bashing.

      • James 6.4.1

        I believe that there was a 15 yo there and drinking – although I understand that the sexual assault victims were all 16.

        Where has tv3 categorically stated the victim was 15 – do you have a link?

        Of course it is possible that they are right – unless you have inside knowledge??

        • Anne 6.4.1.1

          Duncan Garner for starters. I also read it online in more than one of their news items. Contemplated emailing them and hauling them over the coals for their ‘subterfuge’ but decided I had far better uses for my time.

          And btw, I’m taking about the victims of the sexual assaults. From memory there were 4 of them.

        • Robert Guyton 6.4.1.2

          James believes whatever it is that disadvantages the Left and suits the Right.
          That’s all.

          • James 6.4.1.2.1

            Robert you have no idea what I believe.

            To pretend to is simply a sad attempt at trolling.

            • McFlock 6.4.1.2.1.1

              But you keep telling us what you believe. And it’s always the worst possible interpretation for the left.

    • patricia bremner 6.5

      That is a piece of sanity Santuary. Hand wringing isn’t needed, early days yet.

      • veutoviper 6.5.1

        +1, patricia. See my 6.6 below.

        Also the bracketed comments apply to you as well as they are in relation to hip ops. Sorry, to hear you may have to wait. I had heard that waiting times for hips were shorter now but probably dependent upon DHB etc. But do give thought to the spinal if available. The same day as me, there were three other hip ops and one other had spinal like me and the other two general anesthesia The other spinal and I were up and walking in the corridor five or so hours after our ops, dressed in casuals and walking up and down stairs the next morning, cleared by the physio the following day and wanting to go home, but had to wait til the next morning for the surgeon and his clearance. The ‘general anesthesia’ two were bedridden for two days, only just walking by day three, and still in bedclothes when I went home, and expected to be in hospital for a further two days at least.

        • patricia bremner 6.5.1.1

          Thanks Veutoviper. I will discuss that with the surgeon when I get an appointment…. when being the operative word!!

          There sadly may be other issues for me, being a “post Poliomyelitis” patient, as some sedatives and muscle relaxants are not suitable. Further I have a double scoliosis of the spine… always did do things the hard way!!

          I have heard what you say from others regarding op times. Quite a difference.

          • veutoviper 6.5.1.1.1

            Understand the limitations on some sedatives etc as I was/am in the same situation (heart murmur and ultra sensitivity to many drugs) – hence the anesthetist wanting to go with spinal at the time. And so glad he did from the experience, plus I have since been diagnosed with one autoimmune disease and being tested for more, and this further limits things.

    • veutoviper 6.6

      Well said, Sanctuary. And I am pleased you started a new thread on the Guardian article, because I was trying to avoid the covert cattiness under 1 above and getting my own claws out.

      As a softish article, I did not consider the Guardian article too bad. And I totally agree with your snowflakes comments which match my own of yesterday on OM which sparked some reaction. LOL.

      As a result of the discussion on Pablo’s comments here under OM 29 March @ 3.1.1.2 two days ago, I caught up on his last six months of posts on his blog yesterday and assume you are the same Sanctuary as the one there. His 19 Jan 2018 post and the ‘discussion’ in the comments under it were of particular interest to me. Your comment of 20 Jan at 09.27 pretty much mirrors my own views on the situation both then and still currently. But pleased you two were able to resolve your ‘differences’. LOL. Re the discussion here the other day re his latest blog post, I also decided that this had to be read in conjunction with his “Plus ca change..” post of 5 Jan to understand what he was actually saying about Labour’s foreign policy and reaction to the UK led coalition action.

      [If you are speaking to him, please pass on my best wishes for his operation. Can confirm from my own experience, the relief from pain is almost immediate although regaining mobility takes some time. I also recommend spinal with sedation vs general anesthesia as no after effects. I was home and fully over it less than three days after the op.]

    • Keepcalmcarryon 6.7

      Signed the TPPA, soft on immigration, no water tax, no capital gains tax.
      Let’s see what gets delivered by the election.
      As well as not yet delivering for those that voted for them, yes labour faces relentless negative media. We have yet to see any media savvy or strategy to balance the news media. Without strong change, this government will be gone.
      FYI if not being a rusted on labour or national voter makes someone a snowflake, we need more of them.
      We need real change.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    The rouge state of Israel massacre 15 Palestinian protesters and wound over a thousand more, with IDF troops, snipers and tanks (for fucks sake!) executing Palestinian protesters armed with rocks.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/gaza-refugees-call-return-mass-protests-180330154419077.html

    While back at The Guardian they continue their anti sematic witch hunt of Corbyn and creating a new cold war…from their headlines today…

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/mar/30/corbyn-antisemitism-and-a-week-that-tugged-at-labours-frayed-fabric

  8. francesca 8

    Veutoviper, re Bills TV series:

    Victoria also said “The British say the Russians.The Russians say the British but maybe it is a third party that wants to make mischief between the two”
    I’d be picking Ukraine as a candidate in that scenario
    One, they stand to lose a lot of money if and when Nordstream goes through, bypassing them and depriving them of lucrative transit fees, plus the opportunity to tap into the pipeline for free gas
    They would love to scupper Nordstream.And there was pressure on the Germans to abandon it.The US wants to sell its more expensive fracked gas to Europe
    They would also like to muster up a bit more support from the EU (monetary) which has been tiring of their failure to adopt EU “values”
    And the black market in Ukraine for ex soviet military weapons is alive and well
    Plus you have the organised Crime/oligarch network already in place

    All in all, Bill’s series, with all these threads and potential cliffhangers and red herrings has huge potential
    The family element you bring in is an absolute beaut,highly necessary for a popular mini series

    • veutoviper 8.1

      And don’t forget the missing dog! It has all the elements necessary.

      • francesca 8.1.1

        I know, that dog is so telegenic!
        And I want to know what happened to the expensive cat and guinea pigs removed from Skripal’s house while we’re on the animal theme
        Could bring in the recent animal rights protests outside Porton Down too

        Hmmm the guinea pigs, were they on loan or liberated from Porton Down?
        These are questions we demand be answered

  9. Jenny 9

    Israel the only democracy in the Middle East?

    Israel makes great play of its credentials as a democratic state, even allowing Palestinians with Israeli citizenship the right to vote to elect their representatives to the Knesset*

    But democracy is more than having the right to vote.

    A true and inclusive democracy does not send sharp shooters to shoot down unarmed protesters. Nor does a democracy fire tank shells into farmland, killing a farmer, to intimidate people from protesting.

    * (albeit with lesser rights than Israeli legislators).



    • indiana 9.1

      The last election held in Palestine was 2006.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        And the government elected then declared null and void by Israel and the US.

        So, would that be that Israel and the US then decided that the Palestinians shouldn’t have elections at all?

  10. adam 10

    After a successful strike in Kentucky, the state government rushes through legislation to destroy the union, one cut at a time. Response – Wildcat Strike!! How scummy can the right get, well it’s early days yet, and if anything like the lying and spinning Tories here, it going to get worse.

    https://libcom.org/news/mass-wildcat-strike-kentucky-teachers-30032018

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    (With Bill et al in mind)
    From The Dark Mountain Project

    “So thank you for inviting me to talk about this, because it made me reflect in the last few days, and I realise that maybe it’s useful to share this. Because this cathartic process that I went through, some of it conscious and some of it actually only making sense to me looking back, is perhaps something that other people will go through and need to go through. And maybe it’s something we can go through together and help each other.

    I guess I’ve gone through a grieving process and now I realise that it was pretty damn obvious that I will die, everyone I know will die, any community or culture I could ever contribute to will die out, this human species will die out, and the Earth and everything on it will die – well, that’s just obvious, we all knew that, anyway.

    DH: Yes, all of those things were true before the great hydrocarbon episode in humanity’s history. Arriving at that is an important part of the journey of making sense of what it means to be alive right now.

    JB: I feel free of some forms of delusion, some forms of social pressure, and I am approaching things with fascination and playfulness. And what I didn’t have over the past few years were fellow travellers and community, and now I’m realising that I do need a community around this very realisation that we’ve been talking about. And what will emerge from that, I don’t know, but there will be love within it, there will be creativity within it, there will be a sense of wonder at being alive at this incredibly strange moment in human history.”

    • weka 11.1

      So we’re all going to die along with the rest of nature but we can be ok because aren’t humans great when we hold hands??

      Sorry, just really sick of the anthropocentric hubris and hugely ironic positioning of #itstoolate.

    • patricia bremner 11.2

      Hello Robert. Yes, like the serenity prayer.
      My version for the secular world.

      May I have the serenity to accept what I cannot change
      The courage to change what I can
      And the wisdom to know the difference.

      We all need the company of those who know how to make others happy, who have enough grace to share that, and do it in such a way that it feels natural and right.

  12. Here we go a negative branding campaign against Maori. There are no story’s about the Maori King gifting land to the Government to build housing for the people who end up in the tentacles of the Justice system. This is a good thing because society changes so fast. It takes a while for people to catch up with the changes like every thing done by computer ECT society labels people as unemployable and if your brown well it is even harder to get a decent job .So having housing to give these people time to readjust to society changes is essential in keeping our people out of the tentacles of the justice system. I don’t see this story the positive story on OUR Maori King all I see is these story’s here is the link to the medias negative branding against Maori.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12022490

    Kia kaha to OUR Maori King Ka kite ano P.S I hope theres a caveats on that land that if the use changes the land is returned back to Maori

    • eco maori 12.1

      Marae TV 1 Hutau Petera College kai pai to the the whano fighting to keep it open we need more Maori schools not less to keep OUR Maori culture thriving surely someone can help keep this Catholic Maori school running the main reason that students have dropped at this school is money Maori don’t have enough money to send there mokopunas to this great school. There are many reason that Maori have slid down the income bracket I could name a few . But we need to stick together and look after our own as no one else will do this for us. We have to have OUR mokopunas best future first and foremost in our minds and actions and this means looking after Maori mana the way we behave the way we treat others the way we present our selves in public .We should always know if we do these things respectfully we will be giving our mokopunas mana if we do the opposite we are eroding our mokopunas mana. Its as simple as that please don’t give the negative branders of Maori any amo to use against our mokopunas future . Be proud of our maori culture and your self but don’t act arrogantly as this will damage our mokopunas mana to enough said Kia Kaha Ka kite ano

      • Stunned mullet 12.1.1

        Hato Petera has been very poorly run for many years, Local Maori youth will get a far better education in either Rosmini or Westlake.

      • eco maori 12.1.2

        Good fight Josephs you are very worthy of a rematch against Joshua I’m sure they will go for it the punters are calling for a rematch and now they know you are know push over. If you do things right you and your whano will be set for live. Kia Kaha
        Ka kite ano

        • eco maori 12.1.2.1

          Newshub there you go another fossil that needs to retire his ancient views he dress as if he is a common man for the cameras and on his website he is all flashed up he is just a person who plays with the public’s emotions .
          If we let his type win century’s ago we would not even have a telephone now .His type tried to suppress science as science endangered the control of some religions.
          Garth Mc idiot whats wrong with that new tec a taser enough said.
          Mike thats a beautiful sight of Te Moanga Taranaki There was more crowd support for the Warriors than the Roosters Kia kaha ka kite ano P.S still some flys hanging around I will Ignore them

          • eco maori 12.1.2.1.1

            Newshub Mike the more I examine my whakapapa and the unique places I have been and the experiences I’v had well this is my fate and te kumara never tell how sweet it is ka kite ano. P.S that lawyer I went to see in Hamilton was a employment lawyer I worked for another company that discriminated against me being brown and they under estimated ECO MAORI Ana to kai

  13. would somebody please explain why the police are able to shoot tom kill when they have Tasers ,that were issued to stop the police shooting to kill?

    • JohnSelway 13.1

      Depends on the distance away I’d imagine? Are all police kitted out with Tasers?

      I don’t really know

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  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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