Suicide, Mike King, and mental health services

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, May 19th, 2017 - 38 comments
Categories: health, labour, national, quality of life - Tags: , , , , , ,

Here are some recent headlines on suicide in NZ:
NZ suicide stats highest ever recorded
The highest rate of teen suicide in the developed world
The Horror of NZ’s Suicide Rates
NZ suicide toll: More discussion needed to bring down ‘unacceptably high’ rate, Chief Coroner says
Suicide rate among young Kiwi men double that of young Australian men in recent years
and chillingly:
Number of suicides may be three times as high as recorded

It is in this context that this week’s news regarding Mike King is so important (Olivia Carville in The Herald):

Comedian Mike King quits: Govt’s suicide plan ‘deeply flawed’

The comedian and television presenter stepped down from his post on New Zealand’s suicide-prevention panel today, claiming the Government’s recently released draft plan to prevent suicide is “deeply flawed” and self-serving.

The panel was established to help shape a strategy to reduce suicide over the next 10 years. Its Draft Suicide Prevention Plan was released to the public last month.

But key measures – including a 20 per cent reduction in suicides over 10 years – have been removed from the plan.

Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman did not answer a question from the Herald about why the target had been removed.

Speaking to NZ Herald Focus King said a percentage target was important to give people a clear direction to work towards, and that 20 per cent was “absolutely realistic”.

He went further, saying New Zealand should aim for a suicide rate of zero.

King plans to keep working in the field of suicide prevention, he told Focus. “I haven’t quit doing what I’m doing – I’m just not going to waste any more time on a failed plan that has failed for the last 10 years and will not have my name associated with this current plan which is more of the same.” …

Other coverage:
Suicide prevention plan ‘deeply flawed’ – Mike King
‘Actually implement things that are going to help’ – Mike King steps down from suicide prevention panel over ‘deeply flawed’ government plan
Real suicides figure is double what’s reported – Mike King
Suicide prevention plan a ‘meaningless statement’ (Mental Health Foundation)
Editorial: Mike King right to seek clarity in vital battle to curb suicides

The flawed suicide plan is symptomatic of National’s failed approach to mental health as a whole.   The warning bells have been sounding on mental health for a long time now. National have been slashing funding and services:
Auckland’s crumbling mental health services
Chch mental health funding slashed despite overwhelming demand
Chch mental health cuts ‘put lives at risk’
Mental health services facing cutbacks (ODT)
Cuts to mental health acute care ill-advised say psychiatrists
Coleman’s cuts create crisis
The stark reality: New Zealand no longer has a functioning Mental Health Service

The recent People’s Mental Health Review report (pdf) put the issue firmly in the spotlight:

Damning report joins calls for inquiry into country’s stretched mental health services

Pressure is building for the Government to launch an independent inquiry into the mental health sector in the wake of a damning new report.

The People’s Mental Health Review report, released today, canvassed 500 people who have either accessed or worked within mental health services in New Zealand.

Almost 95 per cent of those surveyed had negative experiences of the sector and shared stories of inappropriately long wait times, an over-reliance on medication and an under-resourced, stressed workforce.

“In a number of stories people expressed concern that they couldn’t get the help they needed until their health had deteriorated to the point of crisis,” said ActionStation, the community campaign group behind the survey.

The report recommended urgent funding increases, rolling out mental health education programmes across the country and the reinstatement of the Mental Health Commissioner, to provide independent oversight of the sector.

It also added to recent calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the provision of mental health services – a request made by both the Parents of Children with Additional Needs Collective and the Aotearoa Students’ Alliance just last week. …

National’s response was to call the report the work of ‘Left-wing, anti-Government protesters’, a response which is both pathetic and disgusting.

Labour’s response was pretty blunt:

Labour leader Andrew Little said Kiwis had “huge concern” about publicly-funded mental health services. The number of service users had increased by 60 per cent since the 2007/08 year, he said.

“The report says patients have told ‘a story of frustration at being unable to access mental health services.’ This is a tragic indictment of the Government’s underfunding with many submitters talking of despair and hopelessness. …

See also Labour questions mental health support as open letter presented to Parliament. Since then Labour has released new mental health policy:

Under Labour’s fresh approach to mental health services, we will establish a two-year pilot programme of primary mental health teams at eight sites across the country to work with GPs, PHOs, DHBs, and mental health NGOs. These sites will be selected to meet high needs populations, including Christchurch, which has seen a surge in mental health needs. The programme is expected to help nearly 40,000 people get the assistance they need for each year of the pilot. This will be an investment of $43m over two years, funded through Labour’s commitment to reversing National’s $1.7b of health cuts.

Mental health teams will be based on site with primary care providers, such as GPs, to offer free, accessible help for people with mental health issues before and after crises. Early intervention and continuing care will help people avoid significant mental health distress and assist them to live their lives fully.

Each mental health team will comprise mental health service co-ordinators, who will be doctors or other medical professionals. It will be their job to help people navigate the system and integrate the care from GPs, PHOs, NGOs, and DHBs, creating a sustained programme of care for each individual. This will mean patients will deal with the same health professionals throughout.

The programme will provide funding for:

  • Increased capacity for GPs to conduct interventions and make appropriate referrals
  • Mental health service co-ordinators to be based with primary care providers
  • NGOs to provide social assistance such as help getting a job or finding somewhere to live
  • Increased access to counselling
  • Coordinators to facilitate shared care between GPs and DHBs

A full review of the pilot will be taken after two years with a view to rolling out the programme nationwide over time.

Further coverage:
Labour wants mental health teams within GP practices, free appointments for mental health issues
Labour would spend $43m on mental health teams
Mental health consults at the GP free under Labour, Andrew Little announces
Labour promises new mental health programme to create ‘front door’ to services

So on the issues of suicide and mental health, the choice is pretty clear. Bungling and abuse from National, a positive plan for action from Labour.



Here’s a list of helpline numbers from RNZ:

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
  • Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7)
  • Sparx online e-therapy tool for young people
  • Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)
  • Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz
  • What’s Up: online chat (7pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 children’s helpline (1pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-10pm weekends)
  • Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)
  • Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254
  • Healthline: 0800 611 116
  • Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
  • OUTline 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) provides confidential telephone support on sexuality or gender identity

38 comments on “Suicide, Mike King, and mental health services”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    What needs to be looked at is government policies effects upon the suicide rate. Especially policies that punish people for being poor, the beneficiary bashing that this government has engaged in since forever.

    We all know that these policies have some effect but we need to know what effect and then undo them.

    • Cinny 1.1

      Strongly agree with you Draco.

      Why are people so soul destroyed that they are killing themselves?

      There will be many reasons, but the one thing they probably all have in common, is they are sick of suffering, they are feeling so hurt and so desperate that the only way they can find to take away their suffering is suicide.

      We can all do something every day, it’s called being kind, acknowledging others and showing respect to EVERYONE, no matter how they look or what they do. Help others to feel valued and important.

      Such behaviour should be demonstrated by our government, and clearly it is not. And the greedy money prioritising Tory fools can’t even seem to comprehend that a happy population would drive the economy through the roof.

      The government could do so much more, and it needs to be action in many different areas. But they choose not to, the National Party chooses not to.

      This year I’m voting for change, I’m choosing to do something about it.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        I think in Freudian thinking about our minds, love and money, food and physical comforts are all connected. And it seems in ‘Affluenza’ terms, that the love-money thing can get out of balance, in that the more excess money one gets, the less love there is in the soul for others outsides one’s own intimate relationships.

        We need to understand human thinking, and take an overview of humankind, and reflect in an inner view of how we think of others and ourselves. We need to love our own souls, something that isn’t talked or thought about much. But our minds are affected by our needy thoughts, perhaps we need to be the ‘best we can be’, being instilled by parents, school, sports.

        But put it another way that is easier on the inner psyche, and think ‘do everything as well as you can’, but look for your interest, your potential and find a way to excel at that. Much more positive. And the result, less need to grasp and hold onto money as the main boost to your psyche.

        If we had a point when you said ‘enough is enough’ and could relax, then you would be able to share more without anxiety of being bereft in the world, or needing it to add to your standing, perhaps (mentally) the only thing going for you.

        But universities are having their Humanities funding cut. So where will the study of human behaviour and its understanding go then? Better that we all be turned into psychologically programmed pigeons pecking at the money source and finally tearing our feathers out. That is the government’s program for us. And even if they deny this, having no policy about something, actually constitutes a policy of neglect of that something.

        Put a little sweetness in your day with Nat King Cole and Nature Boy. (A great piece of performance.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq0XJCJ1Srw
        ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.’

        and interesting to compare others – beautiful, many passed.
        Swedish The Real Group (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDsjZXrYIZk
        More arcapella jazz from Afro Blue 7.41m
        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzX0-05KHG4
        David Bowie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_YtyyfUF8g
        Michael Jackson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEI5VXyS0qw
        Cher (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvwL7NNct3g
        Ella Fitzgerald (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBfuoMpabHY

        • Cinny 1.1.1.1

          Oh snap, I’ve been watching a BBC doco series about Freuds nephew Edward Bernays who invented the public relations profession, it’s disturbingly fascinating.

          Made back in 2002 but still so relevant today. The Century of the Self

          “This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”

          It’s about controlling people via their emotions. Am so understanding where you are coming from GWS.

          Cheers for links to sweet beats. Here’s one for you.

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Cinny and One Two
            Good to know that it struck a heart string and beat when one writes.

            And Cinny I must watch that thing on Bernays as I’ve only heard bits. I heard that he turned round the strong social disdain for women smoking by organising a set of beautiful women celebrating being emancipated by smoking, and turned around a societal ban in no time. How can that be applied to getting young people voting???

            If you can’t beat ’em join ’em.

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.2

            Cinny and perhaps One Two
            There was an interesting woman interviewed by Kim Hill this morning who has something to say on lots of bases about women, humanity, travel, personal journeys etc.

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/201844552/ariel-levy-the-rules-do-not-apply
            author interview
            10:05 am today
            Ariel Levy – The rules do not apply
            From Saturday Morning, 10:05 am today
            Listen duration 21′ :30″
            Ariel Levy is a journalist and writer based in New York. She joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008, tackling topics such as the world’s reaction to intersex South African runner Caster Semenya, and Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that brought down the Defense of Marriage Act. Levy won a National Magazine Award in 2013 for the essay “Thanksgiving in Mongolia”, where she details a miscarriage in a hotel room while on assignment in Ulaanbaatar.

            The loss caused Levy to examine the unravelling of her life, a process that led her to author the New York Times best-seller The Rules Do Not Apply (2017). Her first book was Female Chauvinist Pigs (2006), which looked at the rise of ‘raunch’ culture.
            ………………………………………………………………………………..

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/201844547/tommy-rhattigan-bread-jam-and-terror
            A great interview with a street wise kid who narrowly missed being one of the Moors Murders victims and has got himself through it and has found himself enough to be strong, and talk about it and warm and understanding.
            Tommy Rhattigan. The value of counselling is a theme, and also the iniquitous practice of splitting up children from homes that had difficulties.
            I’ve encountered this before. A mechanical process by a pathetically uninformed and uncaring system.

            author interview crime
            8:12 am today
            Tommy Rhattigan – Bread, jam and terror
            From Saturday Morning, 8:12 am today
            Listen duration 37′ :22″
            Tommy Rhattigan was a seven-year-old Manchester boy when he was lured to the house of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady with a promise of bread and jam. Born the eighth of 13 children, he’d been sent out by alcoholic parents to beg on the streets of Hulme, a rundown suburb of Manchester, when he was targeted by the pair – later to be known as the Moors Murderers. He escaped out a window at some point in the encounter – an action he believes saved him from becoming the sixth murder victim.

            Rhattigan, who’s now based in Kent, kept his story secret until 2013, and published a book on that encounter and his life, 1963: A slice of bread and jam earlier this year.

            Ian Brady died this week at the age of 79 at a high-security hospital on Merseyside in North West England after battling a lung and chest condition. Myra Hindley died in prison in 2002.

        • One Two 1.1.1.2

          Being astute requires time to stop and feel in touch with ones own emotions…then be mindful to connect to all living beings around us…

          Frameworks have been constructed to ensure that very few have the peace of mind to think and feel a connectedness to other living beings..

          Our species is under a very old, and very organised set of abusive frameworks

          Your comments are deeply appreciated, greywarshark

  2. gsays 2

    What surprised me was the estimate of another 500 people a year suicide, but it is not recorded as such.

    Close to 1 a week, not reported.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      That would be an extra ten per week unreported as suicide.

    • Incognito 2.2

      500 unreported cases is more than 10 a week or more than one a day.

      Think about it for a moment: today it is highly likely that 2 Kiwis will commit suicide. And tomorrow another 2, etc.

      And then think about the suffering surrounding these individuals, before and after, and the many more that suffer in silence without adequate accessible help; it is truly gobsmacking …

      • gsays 2.2.1

        Apparently you are a lefty for being concerned.

        • Cinny 2.2.1.1

          Nah G, you are a caring human to be concerned. And this year your vote will reflect your real concern on this issue among others.

  3. Cinny 3

    Kudos Mike Smith for telling NZ how it really is this week. Proud of you Sir.

  4. mauī 4

    Culturally I think we’re in denial about suicide. For instance you never read news reports of someone dying and the cause of death being linked to suicide, barring some famous people. I think media actively suppress reporting on suicides too because there’s so much stigma around it. In contrast we hear about every road death, intersting eh? There’s various reasons I guess, the possibility of shaming and the fact its a taboo topic.

    Edit: Labours policy of mental health teams working with GPs sounds really encouraging too, good stuff.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      For instance you never read news reports of someone dying and the cause of death being linked to suicide, barring some famous people.

      That’s because it’s illegal to do so.

  5. I work in suicide prevention – at the coalface and this is a very big issue facing the country. Yes another 500 suicides a year to add because they are not classified as suicide – that will make it 1100 or so a year plus the others – driving off road, into traffic, and so on.

    Very complex talking to someone who thinks ending life is an answer to the problem – often as Mike King says they just want their (emotional usually) pain to stop, go away, not be there.

    I hope labours plan works and they get the chance to enact it because a lot is not working now. Kia kaha Mike King – no target? no plan – no plan? what the fuck are we wasting money on you talking heads then eh?

    • r0b 5.1

      Thank you for the work that you do. I can’t imagine it.

    • gsays 5.2

      Hi Marty, well done from me too.

      There are ways we can help/volunteer.
      Putting up our hand and helping youthline, helping coach sport or simply listening when someone speaks.
      Truly listening.

      • David Mac 5.2.1

        Yup, feeling wanted and needed is a fundamental life force in a social animal like us. When it’s not there, the road to not being here is short.

    • One Two 5.3

      Too all those who are formerly or informally involved in the supporting of our brothers and sisters..

      We are all equally responsible for the well being of others…

      Once that understanding completely envelopes our planet…peace and joy will truly exist

    • joe90 5.4

      I work in suicide prevention

      respect, marty

  6. riffer 6

    We only really seem to pay suicide any attention when it happens to someone we love, or when it’s somebody famous, like the reports of Chris Cornell’s death yesterday.

    The rest of the time it’s like some dirty little secret that no-one wants to talk about. And it’s the ultimate expression of how our society is failing its members.

    I don’t know the answer, but I sure as hell don’t think the cult of the individual is the right direction to be constantly looking.

    Sigh…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The cult of the individual seems to be a cause of a lot of the suffering that we’re seeing.

    • gsays 6.2

      Hi Marty, well done from me too.

      There are ways we can help/volunteer.
      Putting up our hand and helping youthline, helping coach sport or simply listening when someone speaks.
      Truly listening.

  7. Mrs Brillo 7

    In my experience of working with the teams that produce such reports – over a number of years and government departments – the reports are focussed and targeted up till the point where they go to a) a senior departmental official, or more likely, b) the minister’s office in draft.
    At this point they tend to be returned with sections crossed out, usually sections involving specific numbers and goals and deadlines, or contentious recommendations. “Approved” for publishing in their amended form.
    Not saying this happened here, not saying it didn’t…. but it happened more often than I was comfortable with. Seemed to be the regular modus operandi.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Yes, I’ve encountered similar things as well.

      The officials work within the constraints of what their political masters are willing to consider – which is how things should be, but it’s a bugger when the political master finds reality to be inconvenient.

      • One Two 7.1.1

        Those who do not take a stand, ensure the decline..

        Working within political masters constraints…how it should be…

        No, that is not how it should be

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          this ain’t the thread for your vacuities dipshit.

          • One Two 7.1.1.1.1

            It is a very serious thread. One of the most serious subjects possible which can be discussed. As such it deserves the tabling of thoughts and ideas which bring out deeper thinking on the subject, and the questioning of those thoughts and ideas, which ‘might’ miss a mark

            That is why I responded to your comment, which I believe is an incorrect perspective

            I should have elaborated as to why I thought it was incorrect, and for that I take some responsibility

            So I will say it again…

            Those who do not stand up against poor politics, policy and bullying, abusive behaviour, to continue their own ‘well being’, are in large part responsible. .

            Because they can take a direct stand, where others outside are mostly relegated to petitioning, and being part of the abuse…

            ‘I’m just going my job’….

            The time is past for that attitude, and its going to cost even more lives, dead and broken circles of humans, flora and fauna!

            To those who have ‘stood up’ to their own detriment, and put themselves in harms way, or at a disadvantage. .

            The world needs more of you…very quickly

            Everyone else who deludes themselves….examine inside, you ‘all know’ what must be done to halt the death/abuse frameworks…because they’re coming for ‘everything’

            “If you tolerate this, then your children will be next”

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, fucking bullshit.

              Firstly, we live in a democracy. Our bureaucracy answers to the elected ministers. Otherwise it’s not a democracy.

              Secondly, every individual has to make their own call on how much they can do. Mike King made a solid decision, and good on him for it. But I’m not going to judge the support staff and bureaucrats who try to take the best possible plan they can past a minister who doesn’t give a flying fuck and doesn’t want his government to address the problem.

              Alternatively, you’ll approve of bureaucrats subverting democracy as long as you agree with them, but you haven’t realised that it will eventuate in someone doing something you disagree with and you don’t even get the opportunity to vote against them.

              But all this is a digression, and you write like someone whose biggest moral crisis was “toast or corn flakes for breakfast?” It’s very bold of you to demand that others throw down their careers in circumstances of which you obviously have no knowledge.

              • One Two

                “Digression”. …

                Of course it’s not!, but keep throwing insults and deflecting yet..again

                I “understand all’ circumstances because I have been, have seen have heard, have lived. Therefore I can imagine what the very worst case scenarious equate to even if I’ve not ‘lived that’ particular scenario. Because ‘life’

                Walking in anothers shoes through thought, prayer, meditation and imagination…every single day lucky enough to have the opportunity ‘of this life’ to do so, and learn grow and give back

                Of course there are shades and degrees…but that’s ultimately not going to stop the rampant abuse, it ultimately endorses it, and enables the propagation of it

                You don’t get it, that’s ok. These are my thoughts, my levels!

    • David Mac 7.2

      I caught Mike talking on the wireless about what got his goat and it was the issues you raise Mrs Brillo. He said he was keen to see a goal of zero suicides per year adopted. He relinquished his idealistic number and was under the impression that the tools to reduce the number by 20% would be highlighted and implemented.

      He suggested to achieve this we review and discover what programs are working and stoke the fires under them. Pretty basic stuff assumed Mike.

      I saw the document on TV, it looks like the manual for a Jumbo Jet, page after page of how great we’re going to be. HOW? Yells Mike.

      I feel a bit this way about Whanau Ora, it has contracted agencies that are kicking big goals. Shouldn’t we be looking at what’s working and give it a push along. It seems such a logical way to improve outcomes, I feel Mike’s frustration.

  8. Whispering Kate 8

    Mike King way saying that people found at the bottom of cliffs, people who had drugs or alcohol in their bodies and had left a note, or obvious car road crashes were not included in the official stats. This is a disgraceful state of mismanagement and total disregard for the serious state of the nation’s mental health. This lot in government are a callous god awful bunch of wankers.

    We have the power at the polling booth so let us hope and pray we all exercise it wisely this year and get rid of this awful shameful lot.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Whispering Kate
      “This is an unforgiveable state of deliberate mismanagement of sensitive but vital information and statistics….” FIFY

      And I endorse: ” This lot in government are a callous god awful bunch of wankers. “

  9. JC 9

    “Doctors angry at ‘secret’ Westport deal”

    “Angry West Coast senior doctors say the Government’s plans for a public/private partnership to fund Westport’s new integrated family health centre (IFHC) will suck millions of dollars from health care.
    They vented their fury about the ‘secret’ deal today less than an hour before a public/private deal involving the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) was confirmed.”

    “The deal is being brokered by a so-called partnership group, on behalf of the Government, and the DHB has been sidelined in the whole process.”

    https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/west-coast/doctors-angry-secret-westport-deal

    “If this deal proceeds, over time it will strip millions of dollars from health care on the West Coast – yet there’s been no transparency or public consultation. It’s a secret deal being pushed through, with the DHB expected to live with the consequences.

    WTF! The Blighted Future!

    http://morganfoundation.org.nz/childrens-mental-wellbeing-income-wealth-deprivation/

    None of us are untouched by mental health we can all demand better for children

    “Mental health disorders touch all of us in some way. Many of us have personal experience or a family member or friend who has struggled with mental health issues (whether we were aware of it or not). New Zealanders from all over the political spectrum have spoken bravely of their own experiences. It is the job of any Government to ensure all New Zealand citizens are getting what they need to be well, based on what we know works. Children need the best we can give them, to ensure they have a good chance to experience a life free from the burden of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and self-harm. We know what works, lets insist it gets done.”

  10. greywarshark 10

    Johnny Cash
    When it comes to existentialist failure: Johnny Cash reveals the pain in this song, ‘Hurt’.
    The thoughts, memories and knowledge that must be suppressed so we can go on living positively and hopeful for good. We must let them in only in a controlled trickle or we are at risk of being swept away by depression. Love one another as I have loved you. Jesus Christ (and he doesn’t say that you have to be ‘Christian’ to do this. And those who are unloveable, be wary of and try to treat them fairly.)

    JOHNNY CASH LYRICS
    “Hurt”
    (originally by Nine Inch Nails)
    from AZLyrics

    I hurt myself today
    To see if I still feel
    I focus on the pain
    The only thing that’s real
    The needle tears a hole
    The old familiar sting
    Try to kill it all away
    But I remember everything

    [Chorus:]
    What have I become
    My sweetest friend
    Everyone I know goes away
    In the end
    And you could have it all
    My empire of dirt
    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt

    I wear this crown of thorns
    Upon my liar’s chair
    Full of broken thoughts
    I cannot repair
    Beneath the stains of time
    The feelings disappear
    You are someone else
    I am still right here

    [Chorus:]
    What have I become
    My sweetest friend
    Everyone I know goes away
    In the end
    And you could have it all
    My empire of dirt
    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt

    If I could start again
    A million miles away
    I would keep myself
    I would find a way

    and Gonna Cut you Down

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  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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