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The Standard Week: 18-25 July

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, July 25th, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: standard week - Tags:

The big story of the week is National’s work rights policy that does nothing to further workers’ rights and actually undermines them in a number of subtle ways. There is no policy for increasing wages, none at all. In fact, the policies are likely to cut wages by taking bargaining power away from workers. Turns out John Key really meant it when he said “we would love to see wages drop“. A week and a half of pretty petty attacks on Winston Peters suddenly became much more serious when it emerged that Bob Jones had made a donation to a secret trust that was meant to go NZF but was either never passed on or never declared. These secret trusts are now illegal thanks to the Electoral Finance Act but it’s clear that parties who have used them need to open up their books so Kiwis can now who has been making large donations and be sure the trusts haven’t been used to circumvent spending limits.

Between the lines: Nats’ work rights policy
On its surface, National’s ‘workplace’ policy seems fairly mild but, when you look at what it actually means in practise it’s classic National: anti-worker, anti-rights, anti-wage rises…[more]

Take the money and run
The government will be providing New Zealand manufacturers with a tax incentive to outsource their production….[more]

Would Nats introduce work-for-the-dole?
 Work-for-the-dole is a nice sounding slogan but it doesn’t work in practice. As with ACC and the 90 Day No Rights policy, National is following ideology, rather than doing what makes sense….[more]

The war on P
So here we have again, John Key and National saying one thing to voters and another thing to big business in this case the insurance industry….[more]

Culture of secrecy
It’s 4.45 on a Friday afternoon and National has just released its Outdoor Recreation policy…if you’re trying to kill media coverage of a policy and avoid any awkward questions then just before 5pm on a Friday is the perfect time to do it…[more]

Open up the trusts
The only way to clear all this up now is for all parties to open the books of their secret trusts so that Kiwis can finally be certain of who has been donating to parties and that the money has been used as donors intended…[more]

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56 comments on “The Standard Week: 18-25 July”

  1. Heh – Repeat after me, Steve… Don’t copy and paste from a search result should your terms forever be highlighted! 🙂

  2. ha! I didn’t realise it worked like that.

  3. sweeetd 3

    FFS, big story of the week?

    You don’t get out much do you?

    Two words, Winston Peters!?!?!?!?

  4. Monty 4

    Nop you are wrong – The big story of the week is Winston’s Lies and corruption and Helen’s protection of his lies and corruption.

    I understand that there is much much more to run of this story to the extent that Helen will eventuially be left with no option but to sack Winston as Labour become co-lateral victims (ha ha) of the fallout.

    Winston is corrupt. Helen has been complicite in his lies and corruption. I would suggest that Helen will need to sack Winston and call an election within two weeks. Not good when you are 18-20 points behind in the polls and are running out of co-alition partners.

  5. randal 5

    espiner has been trying to make a story all week for his tory paymasters about winston but he is not going to succeed. where is the evidence. just because bob jones is getting lonely over there in the hutt valley and has suckered the press in is no basis in fact. the real story is how tv1 continues to employ espiner when he has never broken a story yet but continues to inject his sly venom into the national discourse without contributing anything. only in New Zealand.

  6. Benodic 6

    Winston is not a story of substance, it’s a media beatup that will be forgotten in a week or two.

    I’d rather see the focus on policies that affect real NZers, not the latest gossip and excitement from the well-paid idiots of the parliamentary press gallery.

  7. Rob 7

    Benodic

    Sorry have to disagree Winston story has real legs and would be wishful thinking by you for it not to have, This has the potential to force an early Election, Winston never covered himself in glory in the press conference and was as evasive as ever in answering questions. Helen Clark cant let this sham and cover up continue the people want to know what went on!! They want open and honest Government as promised not a happening thing at the moment

  8. How does one bargain against a Chinese worker being paid less than $.60 per hour?

  9. Monty 9

    The Winston Story has major legs – more revelations in the Dom Poast tomorrow. Already this story has featured on the news as a major item everyday for two weeks, and it does not look like going away. I expect to see labour and Winnie’s support drop further (Labour because Clark is complicite in his corruption and lies)

    I do not expect to see Winston last till next Friday (But I do hope Clark continues to protect him for another month) – Clark will be wondering how long she can stand him – a finely balanced act at present.

    The double standard of this Labour / NZF Government is astounding – and you all know what I am talking about (oh God – I don’t sound like Winnie do I?)

  10. Next thing you’ll know Bob Jones will be linked to the Exclusive Brethren and all hell will break again!!
    Bloody hypocrites should be in a frigging straight jacket – eh MORON WINNY and foul AUNTY HELL.

    ( 1000 Demerits and a poke in the eye with a pen )

  11. D4J, How did you find out about the Bob Jones/Exclusive Brethren link? I’m impressed.

  12. jafapete, Batman knows all and my good friend on the Moon Aristotle told me that ‘misfortune shows those who are NOT really friends’.

    Poor Winny’s head is on the block.

  13. dave 13

    The big story of the week is National’s work rights policy
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha -so whats the story about it? You only said what it waasn’t.

  14. Winston is shot. He told Campbell that Bob Jones knew what the money was for – after which Jones stuck the knife in, twisted it around a bit, and told Campbell of the donation that “Obviously it was for the party”

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/bob-jones-hangs-peters.html

    Peters made a big mistake today insulting Jones. Jones took Muldoon down in 1984, and it seems he will do the same to Peters and Clark in 2008.

  15. Razorlight 15

    We can almost begin next weeks ‘Standard Week’ as well by saying the story of the week is the ongoing Winston saga.

    The proof that it is the story of the month is the fact it keeps coming up in every thread no matter what the topic.

    [lprent: That could have something to do with the right’s obsession on it (I think at KB it was about 14 posts out of 18 last time I looked). As Steve said last week, it is easier than looking at policy. The right seem to prefer not to have any policy at present (just meaningless bullet points). It would involve some right commentators (like yourself?) using their brains – could be painful.

    However if it there is too much thread jacking on this particular topic or any other (hasn’t been too bad to date), then I’ll just start moving the comments to a relevant thread (say “Attempted Threadjacking”) – or just nuking them. Eventually the behavior will subside. You should remember that the site is just a database – I should add the capability.]

  16. Leftie 16

    Big story of the week? National’s tax cuts dont mean shit by the time they have implemented their changes to the employment laws. Worst part is they have campaigned on closing the pay gap with Australia.

  17. Rob 17

    I believe Winston trying to take Bob Jones on in a battle of wit and calling him a Liar is the most stupid thing he has ever done!!

    Jones will eat him alive and take Clark and Labour to the cleaners if they continue to hide and support him!!

    What about Helen’s call for open and Honest Government when will see it as a happening thing!!

  18. randal 18

    i believe winston will have a very nice lunch with condi tody and not bother a bit about all the creatures trying to take him down out of pure jealousy…this country is full of little people even when they are millionaires…go winnie

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Funny that the big story for some of the right is NZFs donations, yet they’re happy to ignore National’s plans that would affect, oh, I don’t know, three million or so workers, if implemented. So, a side show that affects one party and is making Winston look out of his depth (let’s not foget how often the right would like to pretend he’s unimportant as it is), or a policy that is generally one of the most important…

    Just shows where their priorities are, and the contempt to which these people must be held in.

  20. Rob 20

    The National Policies for workers are good I believe it will get more people into the Workforce as many employers have stated they will take more people on. Also it is working in Australia now with no great problems there unions have it whats the big problem!!

    Funny haven’t seen any big Adverts in the papers from Unions complaining about it only have seen adverts complaining about Trevor Mallard.

    As much as you guys try to play this down it wont go away and Helen and Heather Simpson are going to have make some very hard decisions next week after the Mrs Rice has departed. We want open and Honest Government as promised by Helen Clark when is it going to happen

  21. T-rex 21

    Rob

    We’re already running at very low unemployment.

    Howard lost the election on the strength of opposition to his changes to employment policy.

    Your second paragraph is totally retarded. Read Steve’s summary: ‘Reaction Roundup’; you’ll see that most of the employment relations groups have been sharply critical of Nationals policy. Contrary to what appears to be your view – The NZ Herald is not representative of all sentiment in NZ.

    I don’t know why you’re all so f*cking excited about Peters. If he’s lying, which I expect he is, he’ll burn come the election – and good riddance. Your pathetic attempts to smear Labour, despite the absence of any association with the accusations is both transparent and reprehensible.

    Clark is charged with delivering stable government – you think she should fire her ministers on rumour? Guilt by accusation? Just before a foreign dignitary visits? Don’t be so stupid. Regardless of what he’s done elsewhere he is doing a pretty good job as foreign minister by all appearances, and I’d quite like to keep a competent government at least until we get the next one.

    The fact that you retards would be happy to see pointless chaos in order to get the change you want is a pretty good indicator of how much you actually care about the wellbeing of the country.

  22. Quoth the Raven 22

    Since when have National wanted more people in the workforce Rob? Key has said before that there is “no capacity there” and he wants more “flexibility” in the labour market. As I/S puts it
    So what is this “spare capacity”? Unemployment. Key is complaining that too many New Zealanders have jobs, meaning employers have to compete for labour, and they can’t just expand production by hiring another warm body at the minimum wage like they did in the 90’s.
    It’s the old Muldoon addage of two jobs for every three people. As it has been pointed out here Bill English said Labour’s goal of getting umemployment below 4% was a ‘hoax.’ But they succeded in acheiving that goal didn’t they. Can you remind me Rob what was unemployment at in the nineties when National was in power?

  23. Anita 23

    Rob,

    The National Policies for workers are good I believe it will get more people into the Workforce as many employers have stated they will take more people on.

    When? Where?

    I honestly don’t recall any reaction by employers groups saying that they will be taking on more staff if/when National’s policies come into force.

  24. Rob 24

    T-Rex

    In case you haven’t notice between 51 & 55% of New Zealanders would like this government to end now. They would like National in . So who cares if Peters burns and takes Clark down with him, All I can say if the shoe was on the other foot , The Standard would be all over National like a rash a little but hypocritical don’t you think?

  25. RedLogix 25

    In case you haven’t notice between 51 & 55% of New Zealanders would like this government to end now

    False statement.

    Unless you also know the percentages who either refuse to answer the pollster (> 50%) AND how many answer “Don’t know” (at least 25%)… then your statement above is demonstrably unprovable.

  26. Rob 26

    RedLogix I guess you would have said the polls were correct if Labour had been in the lead and their trend hadn’t been down for the last year. Its the trend that counts and that is a sorry sorry sight!!

    Your biggest problem will be getting people out to vote on Election day as they wont bother if they think Labour is going to get a hiding and that will decrease the Labour Party vote even more

    Anita

    Try listening to talk-back and you will hear all the small business owners ringing in saying they have been waiting for a law like this. As its weighted to far one way at the moment. Then they would employ more people. As we know small businesses as the biggest employers in New Zealand.

  27. Anita 27

    RedLogix,

    The July OneNews Colmar Brunton Poll has a 10% don’t know rate (obviously only of people who agreed to take part in the poll in the first place).

    That’s been pretty consistent all year, with all but of of their polls showing 8-10%, and the other one (March) showing 6%.

  28. outofbed 28

    In case you haven’t notice between 51 & 55% of New Zealanders would like this government to end now
    I would like to know where you get that figure from ?
    From you arse perhaps ?
    If you said “based on recent polls of eligible voters who agreed to answer polling questions, approx 50 % expressed a preference for a National led Government’ You may have been closer to the mark. However you didn’t.

    Look I know it must be frustrating supporting a team that has been in opposition for 9 years and realising that the only hope of regaining power it to throw all your right wing principles out the window and adopt 90% of the Labours thinking.
    I guess the realisation is slowly dawning that even if you(nats) win its Labours policies which are the real winners.
    This is obviously making you angry. Take a chill pill accept the centre left has won the argument

    BTW I could not possibly carry on supporting the Party of my choosing if they did a 180 on all the policies that attracted my support in the first place.
    But then I guess I have principles

  29. “Benodic

    Winston is not a story of substance, it’s a media beatup that will be forgotten in a week or two.”

    I’m not so sure, the whole thing about Peters alleged over spend last election hasnt died over at kiwi blog. Some good soul managed to pry from Farrar that it was a moral obligation to pay the money back not a legal and ive got a sense that the some thing will happen here. How long do you think they could carry it on for? The whole election thing I think will probably carry on till the day Winston dies (with certian breaks while National needs Winstons support), once hes gone, National loves fascist authoritarians like Ron Markl, they can say the things National are to emmbarased to say themselves)

    And far out you can just about see the desperation in thier typing when they are trying to claim that Hellen Clark has anything to do with it.

    It kinda gives the game away really, you can tell they dont really care what hes done (maybe even a little jealous?) its really all about attempting to topple this government

  30. Rob 30

    OutofBed

    Winners are Grinner’s and I know who will be grinning on November the 9th and it wont be Labour!!

  31. RedLogix 31

    Oh dear Rob. You were only allowed one ugly election gloat here at the Standard, and you’ve gone and used it up already. How sad.

  32. lprent 32

    Rob: I don’t think you understand how the polls operate. Otherwise you wouldn’t make these rather vacuous noises.

    No-one actually involved in politics trusts the polls because their methodology is grossly inaccurate. Look at any polling series 4 to 5 months out from an election and up to the election and compare the trends against the final results. Trends are of interest, but absolute values and spreads aren’t.

    RL: You also forgot the 35% or so of the electorate households that they can’t contact because they don’t have listed landlines. That is also differentially sorted because the ‘poorest’ electorates only have less than 40% with a listed land-line. The most conservative (and technophobic) electorates have over 85% with listed phone lines.

    The nett effect is that the people who participate in polls are a self-selected bunch. As Rob implies, they contain a considerably higher proportion of the talkback radio deadheads.

    Actually look a lot like some rightists around here. You get the distinct impression that they don’t do any ground-level politics.

    captcha: admires Minister

  33. Rob 33

    Anita

    You can rationalise all you like about the don’t know rate !! What about the trend of Labour voters going down!!

    What about Women voters switching to National going up!! What about the Auckland Vote going hugely towards National.

    What about the Maori Vote Maori Party picking up and National picking up Maori voters Labour losing Maori voters. All pretty conclusive really or you don’t know!!

  34. just wondering 34

    Rob

    Are you “Jamie” on the Stuff/Fairfax blogs?

  35. outofbed 35

    “Winners are Grinner’s ”
    I fail to see have to sell out everything you believe in in a desperate bid for power, is winning
    It a shame that Clark is going to win in some respects, because it would be great to to see the fractionated principleless Tories implode

  36. lprent 36

    Rob: Now I know you’re a mathematical idiot. Tell me what was the actual number of people in the auckland sample. What is the probable error rate on that size sample just in the stats (ignore all of the other factors that RedLogix, Anita, and I talked about).

    You’re trying to pull a trend out of that? You obviously didn’t pay attention during any applied maths.

  37. higherstandard 37

    Lynn

    Attached is the only reasonable summary I’ve seen of polling trends in the regions.

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2008/4308/

    On a side issue I find it odd that a number of the posters on the blog (with Tane and IB being notable exceptions) continue to ignore or act as apologists for Winston’s appalling behaviour.

    Certainly there is some degree of feeding frenzy on the political right but this is exacerbated by his denials and attacks on the media when they appear to have been correct about the man from day one.

    I expect the Prime Minister will take the same position as Key early next week and state that if he doesn’t have a satisfactory explanation for lying to the media and missing donations that he will not be forming part of Labour’s plans should they look to form a government after the election.

  38. lprent 38

    hs: Yeah I’ve seen it. The question is on the margin of error / confidence levels.

    The last poll was 871 respondents. Now that is an appallingly low number to estimate across a 2.8 million voting population

    Assume 1/3rd of those are in Auckland, you’re trying to estimate voting intentions from about 290 people. I think that there are more district names than that in the auckland region. The confidence level must be atrocious.

    You notice the final section in that report on margin of error

    The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample.

    I’d argue with a high degree of confidence that the latter condition has not been met in any way.

    //================

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there is one thing that the standardistas who have talked about it so far seem to agree on. They don’t like anonymous donations.

    The Winston thing – I regard it as just another inherent problem with anonymous donations. As far as I can see so far there isn’t anything that even comes close to the widespread political influence buying with National that I detect in the Waitemata trust.

    Until I see the Nat’s, Act, and for that matter Labour offer to all of their anon donations, I will treat NZF and Winston in the same suspicious state. The major distinction is that NZF had less than the 2 million that the nats got from the Watemata Trust.

  39. Pascal's bookie 39

    “when they appear to have been correct about the man from day one.”

    Just saying HS, but on day one of Winnie’s career, (and he hasn’t changed his spots at all) he was a Nat party MP, with high expectations of leadership potential.

    Personally I think most of the venom thrown at him from the right stems from the fact that he is a traitor to their cause.

  40. ak 40

    ligherstandard: I expect the Prime Minister will take the same position as Key early next week…

    heeeeee! – now that really would be a first, considering that Slip-slop’s entire campaign to date has consisted of taking Hel’s position on almost everything!

    Can’t wait till “early next week” LS, to further confirm the accuracy and credibility of your little “wishful thinking” predictions 🙂

  41. Anita 41

    Rob,

    Anita

    You can rationalise all you like about the don?t know rate !!

    Actually I’m pretty sure I was disagreeing with RedLogix not you.

    But don’t let that confuse you, I shall disagree with you now 🙂

    What about Women voters switching to National going up!!

    What about the Maori Vote Maori Party picking up and National picking up Maori voters Labour losing Maori voters.

    I haven’t seen any of those splits show that women are swinging to National at a greater rate than men, or Maori roll voters at a greater rate than general roll voters.

    Can you point me to the data you’re using?

  42. Anita 42

    HS,

    I wouldn’t say I’m representative of the left, we contain multitudes, but I know many people share this view of the current NZF debacle. Does it sound either apologist or ignoring to you?

    1) WP and NZF have acted in a way that is, at least, pretty damned dodgy. Someone may or may not get to the bottom of it – I’d like to hope they do, but I’m not optimistic. It hasn’t lowered my opinion of NZF at all, it was that low to begin with.

    2) This whole fuss reinforces all my pre-existing beliefs about how bad anonymous and quasi-anonymous donations to political parties (or, in fact, any large sum donations). I want tighter rules, I want state funding – I want them even more after this.

    3) Key is wandering around saying he wants to repeal the legislation that is preventing NZF doing the same thing this year – this doesn’t surprise me, nor does it lower my opinion of Key or the National Party.

    4) Can we move on from the sideshow and discuss policy now?

    5) Yep, policy, now.

  43. Quoth the Raven 43

    The National Policies for workers are good I believe it will get more people into the Workforce as many employers have stated they will take more people on.

    Rob – You make this assertion then when people take you up on it you don’t bother to defend it you just jump to another assertion. Face it Rob the National party does not care about working class New Zealand all there policy and rhetoric points at lowering wages and the number of people in employment. They have a track record to prove it.

    Also it is working in Australia now with no great problems there unions have it whats the big problem!!

    Howard lost the election because of workchoices or did you forget that Rob.

  44. lprent 44

    Anita: That was an admirable summing up of my attitudes.

    It is a distracting sideshow. Makes the media feel like they have a grasp on something, but that is because a lot of them appear to be adverse to looking at anything serious.

  45. randal 45

    lprent…after 50 years of reading the local rag and the two wellington dailes now reduced to one it is obvious that they only employ servile flunkies these days or lightweight style columnists devoid of content…its all very sad.

  46. RedLogix 46

    And of course the timing was perfect.

    First up they wait until WP is in Singapore so that they have a whole unmolested week to get traction in the media.

    And then of course the essential need to distract from any success that might arise from the Rice visit.

    Any wonder I get more cynical with age. (A process I take no pleasure from.)

  47. CMR 47

    So National’s employment policy is the major story of the week? Really? Ask Sir Robert Jones if he agrees to this absurdity!

    I rate the weather as a more significant event this week. Then there’s the crazy names debate. (Beautifully exemplified by the arrival of Condoleeza Rice…what sort of crazy name is that?) The next story is the lack of resolve shown by the PM in not sacking the filth she condones as a foreign minister. Not much happening;is there?

    The suggestion by RedLogix that it takes a mere “whole unmolested week” to obtain traction in the media is wide of the mark…it takes a full week to awaken them let alone witness any evidence the media is doing something!

  48. higherstandard 48

    Anita

    It’s not the donations that’s the issue – it’s his denials and obfuscation – the world according to Winston is everyone is a liar apart from Winston.

    He could have avoided this fiasco by saying he had no idea if Owen Glen had donated to him but it was No No No. He could have asked the media to get clarification from Glen but no – now he’s off down the same path with Bob Jones it’s bizarre.

    Personally I don’t give a damn that he’s had donations from Glen, Jones the Velas or Uncle Tom Cobleigh but his behaviour just reinforces that there’s something dodgy going on and the media will not let him go after the crap they’ve taken from him over the years.

    Regarding policy good lord there’s plenty of time for that – the NZ public have an incredibly short attention span there’ll be at least a couple of months to pour over things prior to the election and regardless most will have made up there mind already and a few will be counter-influenced by the odd policy sound bite – we can kid ourselves all we want but outside of the political blogs the general public won’t be wringing their hands about who to vote for based on policy.

    In terms of State Funding of political campaigns I don’t necessarily disagree but this always favours an incumbent government.

  49. Anita 49

    HS,

    Winston’s denials and obfuscations – absolutely! But, as I said, they haven’t altered my opinion of him; I have nothing new to say about him and no particular desire to repeat everything I’ve already said.

    Do you think that policy had no effect on the “general public” vote in the last election?

    State funding – can be constructed to not favour the incumbent. Shouldn’t we try to find a way to do that?

  50. ak 50

    (Without wishing to trivialise the serious discussion ensuing in your forum, but heckaday it’s Fridey night)

    LS: (the BS artist formerly known as burtHS who claims the status of a highly-educated medic yet exhibits all the erudition, humanity and spelling skills of a typically provincial partisan tory hack and remains a quasi-hippocratic-oath-taking hypocrite who has recently been exposed as a blatant prevaricatior of the highest standard (so pray excuse my little hypocoristic indulgence)):

    …a couple of months to pour over things prior to the election and….

    …most will have made up there mind already… and…

    the similarly intellectually-equipped young tory partisan known as burt is conspicuous by his ongoing and simultaneous absence….

    hmmmmmmm……

    As you were, men.

  51. Higherstandard 51

    AK

    Go away !

    I can’t be bothered with you after your last effort of calling me a liar based on my taking issue with your delusions.

    Anita

    Absolutely if the state funding could be constructed in such a away it would be a great idea – more so for the benefit of the smaller parties who I believe are dealt a poor hand under the current system.

    Certainly policy had an effect on the last election but nearly as much as the pure electioneering of things such as the Orewa speech and Brash’s dalliance with the EB.

  52. The All Blacks won’t win the next World Cup, because they backed a tired used up loser leader (Henry).Please don’t make the same mistake in the election, as Helen is in the same-stale use by date basket as the deluded AB coaches. Nothing too see here, doh kiwi’s – suckers for pain!!!
    Give em a boot !!!

  53. fiona 53

    d4j

    It is your analogy with the All Blacks that is mistaken, unless you mean that NZ should have switched coaches AND teams.

  54. Ed 54

    I find it surprising that the media blindly follow National’s misleading labelling of their policy as being the introduction of a 90 day trial period. Surely by now some of them should know that we already have such provision, and that all National is doing is allowing employers to terminate at the end of that trial with no cause, or explanation to the worker.

    There certainly doesn’t seem to be anything that would in any way close the wage gap with Australia

  55. Rob 55

    Great to see the EPMU in the papers getting at Mallard again obviously Labour hasn’t shut this problem down yet. Also Family First with all the cases so far where police have investigated the Clark payback to Greens bill (Anti Smacking ) All pressure mounting on the Government.

    [I take it this illiterate means the EMA – the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association, not the EPMU – the Enginneering, Printing, and Manufacturing Union. SP]

  56. immigrant 56

    The unbearable easiness of lying

    Hi guys

    I do come from a primitive country where the politician lie, steal, kill and if they bare not caught , they are heroes because of that.

    I thought , here , in New Zealand the things will be different.Yes, they are different but only on surface.

    If Winstone Peters lose his Parliament post I do advice him to go to Bulgarian Parliament as a Minister.There he can do whatever he wants and everything will be O.K . But he should hurry up , things start changing even there.

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