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Ryall: disgraceful

Written By: - Date published: 1:28 pm, May 30th, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: health, same old national - Tags: ,

National’s Tony Ryall has made a disgrace of himself, yet again. This time, by labelling a Government initiative to hasten improvements in the detection of colon cancer (which kills 1200 people a year) ‘a political stunt’. Here is Health Minister David Cunliffe and Ryall on National Radio:

CUNLIFFE: I’m not doing this because of votes, I’m doing this because I’ve seen evidence which indicates we can do good, we can save lives. I am not happy that the previously proposed timetable [for routine colonoscopys] is aggressive enough and I think Mr Ryall would join with me and say that if we can do this more quickly with a view to that can it be achieved that we should do that. Look, I know there’s an election later in the year but I’m, frankly, far too busy with the portfolio to think about election stunts and I just hope that Mr Ryall could see this glass is half full rather than half empty again.

RYALL: I think that the Government is desperate and is going to come up with anything that makes it look as though they’re dealing with the issues.

Here’s a Minister dealing with a serious issue, even reaching out to National because surely this should be a common cause. Yet all Ryall can do is play politics in the most pathetic, hollow manner.

Ryall would rather the issue was not addressed and people die of colon cancer than for voters to hear a good news story about the Government.

You’ll note that not once in the interview does he suggest what National would have done differently. Why? Because National isn’t going to spend more on health, it’s going to spend less.

National doesn’t have a solution to colon cancer or any other issue. All it has is rabid attack dogs like Ryall and hollow calls for tax cuts.

34 comments on “Ryall: disgraceful”

  1. Anyone who has had to deal with Ryall personally will not be surprised by this.

  2. Felix 2

    Never had to deal with him but I’m not surprised either. Horrible little man.

  3. andy 3

    As I said on older thread, Ryall is allowed to be a spokesman, whereas the Wilkinson isn’t.

    Ryall offered nothing except the “NZ sucks” campaign…

  4. James Kearney 4

    And this is the guy National’s offering as our future Health Minister?

  5. AncientGeek 5

    I commented on this earlier. As did andy.

    Tony Ryall in my opinion was only after a headline. And it was the height of hypocrisy for Ryall to accuse Cunliffe of electioneering with the announcement, when it was clear that Cunliffes didn’t have that in mind. Especially when Ryall really couldn’t say what they’d have done different. I think I’ll have to class Ryall as a wannabe with no sense of proportion.

    I’d expect that from here until the election we will get a lot of this. We did in 2005 as well from early in the year. According to the Nat’s it appears that the normal processes of government are meant to stop during election year? It is a 3 year cycle, and governing is meant to stop for a third of that time?

    To me it shows that the Nat’s have now (finally) become an opposition after 8 years. But they really don’t look ready for government. Pathetic really, like their released policy.

  6. Peter Nelson 6

    It must be election year with all of these initiatives coming out.

  7. mike 7

    Good initiative but the smelly bit is why wait 8 years to act. Is there an election coming up? Is Labour behind in the polls?

  8. Do you have to practice to be that stupid Peter? Or does it come to you naturally?

    Mike – good to see you exhibiting the cynical vapidness of the right so clearly.

  9. andy 9

    Peter, mike

    cunliffe admitted it would look that way, and I think there is an element to it. But if you dig deeper, they want to introduce Best practice from NSW screening program. National is not ambitious to have health outcomes the same as NSW. Despite the constant comparisons to Aussie.

    The testing was dubious in the past but newer testing has proved to be more cost effective and robust in diagnosis.

  10. If they were trying to get votes don’t you think that the annoucement would have been done with some fanfare?

    It wasn’t. It only became a big story because Ryall jumped up and down, a positive sotry like this conflicts with his own “NZ sucks’ electioneering so he had to paint it in a negative light.

  11. Felix 11

    When Peter, Mike and others elsewhere imply that nothing should get done in an election year except electioneering they miss a simple truth; that in a democracy everything a government does in any year is electioneering in one sense.
    That’s how we know whether to keep voting for them or not.

  12. Craig Ranapia 12

    Robinsod:

    And thank you for acting like the D4J of the left. While I don’t often agree with Ancient Greek at least s/he does contribute something a little more worthwhile than asinine name-calling.

    Meanwhile, of course Cunliffe was ‘electioneering’ — if by that you mean he’d actually rather like to still hold a ministerial warrant after the election, and might just think this policy inititive might just dispose some voters kindly towards Labour.

    And, Steve, I think you find Ministers do consider a prime slot on Morning Report quite a good platform. Again, I can’t really be arsed being faux naif about it.

  13. Would that be asinine name-calling like referring to someone as the “D4J of the left”? Despite your tragically faux-erudition Craig you really are just another rightwing retard. I suggest you go back to the bog where you can pass yourself off as an intellectual amongst the rabid chimps instead of parading your inadequacies about here.

  14. mike 14

    Felix, This post is accusing Tony Ryall of playing politics. This is probably the case but no more than Cunlife is by pulling this rabbit out of the hat.

  15. andy 15

    Mike

    Cunliffe, is following on from Hodgson (SP?)and previous Ministers work in the area.

    This has been in the works for some time, its not rabbit out of the hat action. But real policy to help prevent the second biggest killer in NZ.

    So timing of announcement may be questionable, but substance was not. Listen to the interview as your comments reflect the idea you didn’t listen at all.

    [I couldn’t work out what the hell you were asking me with (SP?), but then I realised not everything is about me. SP]

  16. Ari 16

    I don’t see how improving detection of colon cancer is a stunt, mike. It sounds almost suspiciously like actual policy to me.

    If this was the sort of thing all politicians did to shore up votes for their parties, I would be one happy dude.

  17. BeShakey 17

    An important issue that often gets sidestepped when it comes to these types of issues is the effectiveness of the programme. Although I don’t know about this particular one, there are some real questions about a lot of the proposed programmes around prostate cancer (as an example). The evidence suggests that screening reduces the life expectancy of men (because of how rare fatal instances are (the number that get it are high, but a large number have no noticeable effects and die of other unrelated causes) and the side effects of testing). Sorry movember supporters. Likewise, while breast cancer screening is better, few women understand the details around it, and unfortunately doctors are rarely able to help. The actual odds of having breast cancer following a positive mammogram are only 10% (American figures but I assume they apply here too). Nonetheless, many women, supported by their doctors take serious action following a positive test.
    Like I said, not quite the same issue, but it is relevant in terms of screening, and in terms of effectiveness.

  18. ghostwhowalks 18

    France, the UK and Australia already screen with a simple do-it-yourself test for those aged 55 or over; a bowel sample is taken at home then sent to a lab and tested for the presence of blood – a key sign of cancer.

    Those who test positive would go on to have an investigative procedure called a colonoscopy.

    Doctors say getting enough extra staff for the screening must be the top priority.

    “Presently we don’t have enough pathologists to check the test and we don’t have enough colonoscopists to actually check the person who has a positive test so they’re two very key issues,” says Finlay.

    Cunliffe agrees that money needs to be spent on manpower.
    TVNZ http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411416/1805602

    Yikes .
    I expect this to be in the top 5 of health programmes in this country, if not higher

    1200 die per year!!!!. Doesnt sound like a nice way to go either.
    Sounds like the excuse is they are going to die anyway so why bother

  19. Hillary 19

    I love the utter arrogance of the right. Labour is not allowed to govern even when they are in government. It is not a great look for National to be so negative about trying to save lives. Ryall is the one who looks like he is electioneering.

    Robinsod is not asinine, he is obnoxious and funny, the more obnoxious he is, the funnier he is. It’s especially fun when he gets ‘growled at’. You go Robinsod.

  20. RedLogix 20

    This from a National Party that has openly and cynically committed to NOT releasing it’s tax policy until 4 weeks before the election.

    Because National is so blatantly manipulating it’s own policy releases around an election, the odious Tony Ryall has fallen into the old trap of assuming everyone else is behaving like he is.

  21. This is the first time a post on here has actually made me angry.
    You guys need to step out of your little bubble and actually look at what is going on here.
    The announcement yesterday is BECAUSE OF A QUESTION ASKED LAST WEEK.
    A TVNZ health reporter asked the health department last week what was being done about the national disgrace that is bowel cancer (we are top 3 in the global mortality table).
    Lorelie Mason was told that they hoped to have a pilot screening programme up in around 18 months.
    Obviously word of the inquiry reached the beehive and all of a sudden we have sound bites about fast tracking this. venal, slippery, opportunistic bollocks.
    The announcement was empty of detail, dates and costings.
    26 people a week die without dignity in excruciating pain from this cruel cancer. But that particular detail was irrelevant till the bug eyed health reporter started asking questions.
    Meanwhile in an earlier labour spend up we find that every girl in the country is to be immunised to save 25 lives PER YEAR at a cost slightly north of 100 million dollars and nothing is being done about the 30 men a week who die from prostate cancer.
    Oh, and our mums and wives will still die like dogs because herceptin is still unfunded.

  22. RedLogix 22

    BB,

    If you had actually bothered to listen to the Minister’s announcment you would realise that there is a background to this story:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0805/S00151.htm

    Your reporter was merely following up on a fairly routine lead. Health is the largest and most demanding portfolio of them all, and so far Cunnliffe has done pretty damm well with it.

    BB, I look forward to your happiness when National announce a major increase in Health funding to cover every conceivable need that you could currently get angry about.

  23. Dan 23

    Go for it Barnsley! Let’s see the Nats put the money where you want it. Highly unlikely. And Labour should get Ryall on TV as often as possible: every time he speaks costs National hundreds of votes.

  24. Ryall has been the very model of a modern party hack since the first time I ever heard of him.

    Back in 1990, I was Secretary of the Electoral Reform Coalition. I got the weekly bundle of newsclips from Chongs clipping service (no Internet news then) and went through the pile of articles, features and letters to the editor about electoral reform and proportional representation from newspapers and weeklies all over the country.

    Among them was a letter from one Tony Ryall, National Party candidate, to the Kawerau Gazette. In it, he said he was opposed to MMP because…and he went on give a very detailed list of reasons why he opposed MMP. The only problem was that the system he was giving detailed opposition to was actually STV – the Single Transferable Vote system.

    It was just the first of many examples where it was clear Mr. Ryall needed to have the right position on a subject…….and bugger the facts. I’ve since made an oral submission in front of a Select Committee he sat on. Completely uninterested in what we had to say and simply using his own questions as an opportunity to expound his own views.

    I’ve had a special place in my memory for Mr. Ryall ever since as being a party hack’s party hack.

    Ryall’s current status in National is a kind of benchmark for me. As long as someone like him can do well in National, they can’t be worth voting for.

  25. slightlyrighty 25

    I realise that Colon Cancer kills and prevention is better than cure, but cancer death rates among men for Prostate and Colon Cancer are about the same. There has been many calls from mens groups for screening for prostate cancer, which kills many more men than cervical cancer kills women, but the reponse from the current government has been less than forthcoming.

    In 2004, the then minister of health, Annette King, reported that a screening programme for prostate cancer should not be supported at that time.

  26. Craig Ranapia 26

    Robinsod:

    Thanks for proving my point. If you don’t like being compared to D4J, try not to behave like that gutless loser. The only “tragic faux” around here is the sight of you and Mr Burns playing hard men while hiding behind a pseudonym, and losing your rag whenever anyone had the cheek to disagree with you.

  27. I thought Sod was doing really well with his “tragically faux-erudition”, but lost it with “right-wing retard”. Only then did he descend to D4J bottom-feeding levels. Come on, Sod, you can do better than that.

    (Also, Sod, you pedant, note the commas around your name. We have, er, Standards, here to uphold.)

  28. roger nome 28

    You seem even bitchier than your usual self Craig. What’s up? The old man not performing?

  29. Dr Robinsod prescribes Craig Ranapia a nice cup of tea and a lie down. Poor Craig. I didn’t think I was playing a “hard man” just a much smarter man than you.

  30. ak 30

    Carumba. Talk about below the belt: comparing sod to dad is like comparing Einstein with Bob Clarkson’s left testicle. You go sod – sewer denizens complaining about your etiquette is almost as flattering as them being too scared to allow you there.

  31. roger nome and robinsod: Do these comments serve any useful purpose? I’m probing to see if maybe in hindsight they look childish and superfluous to you, too.

    roger nome
    June 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    You seem even bitchier than your usual self Craig. What’s up? The old man not performing?

    Robinsod
    June 2, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Dr Robinsod prescribes Craig Ranapia a nice cup of tea and a lie down. Poor Craig. I didn’t think I was playing a “hard man’ just a much smarter man than you.

  32. Steve – yes they do. They both make me laugh (especially my comment). Next question please.

  33. ak 33

    Steve Withers: I find your use of “probing” and “hindsight” in the same sentence both childish and superfluous and a deliberate taunt to our guest from sewerblog. Kindly desist.

  34. Exactly ak – and let me add to that the use of both terms in the comments thread for a serious post such as this is distasteful to say the least.

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