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Yulia wants to go home.

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, May 25th, 2018 - 59 comments
Categories: International, Propaganda, Russia, uk politics - Tags: , , , ,

So Yulia Skripal contacted reuters news agency through the Metropolitan Police and issued two written and one video taped statements. I might think reuters to be an odd choice for someone looking to break a story when there are so many other (how to say?) more sensationalist and more widely read publications in the UK. But hey.

Anyway. She has stated she wants to go home to Russia and has publicly thanked the Russian Embassy for their offers of assistance.

Given that we’ve been assured the Russian government lies behind the poisoning of the Skripals, and given there have no doubt been quite in-depth conversations between the Skripals and whatever arm of the British state, it strikes me as somewhat astonishing that she’d state a desire to return to the country whose government tried to “off” her. Unless of course, what the UK Government, and others garnering their information from the UK government, have been spouting tosh all along.

Angus Roxburgh, a former adviser to the Russian government during the Yeltsin years writing for the Guardian has it covered off. Yulia was apparently “delivering a coded message” – according to the headline of his piece. I read it. But it seems he forgot to include the decoding of whatever the coded message was. A small oversight. But whatever, he doesn’t seem to be overly convinced that the UK Government has been batting with a straight bat.

Meanwhile, we have Mary Djevsky writing for “The Independent” articulating some of the many obvious questions that surround the official UK version of events while still nobly trying to salvage some credibility for the UK Government’s line.

So what does a government usually do when its version of a major event starts to come apart at the seams? That’s right. It throws in a new story to divert the focus and fill those headlines (And bang on cue, reports from the Dutch investigation of flight MH17 fingering Russia*).

If that’s why the timing of the MH17 allegations, they needn’t have bothered. It seems the UK’s Liberal media are more than happy to relegate the Skripal story these days and run with North Korea, Brexit and Harvey Weinstein (The Guardian) or Brexit, Weinstein and ministerial aids quitting their positions (The Independent).

That’s to be expected. The job of the media is to generate memes and not to undermine that which they help to create. And yes, I know, we’re only to think it’s the more dubious or nefarious media operating from within countries that our governments aren’t too hot on that do that. My bad.

* It appears that no actual report has been published

 

59 comments on “Yulia wants to go home.”

  1. lprent 1

    An interesting spin angle. You really do seem to like repeating the RT spin

    Somehow you seem to have missed a few portions of the statement

    1. She wasn’t interested in talking to the Russian embassy.

    2. She rather explicitly said that she wasn’t interested in other family members like the Russian government’s pet cousin trying to speak for her. I got the impression that she disagreed with them.

    3. Most people would like to go back to the country of origin. Presumably when they are sure that they aren’t going to be poisoned or pressured into being another propaganda tool to parade on RT and state television to support Putin.

    4, She didn’t say when she’d go back. Maybe when the arseholes in charge of Russia aren’t trying to kill her perhaps? Perhaps that is what she meant by the “longer term” when she’d want to go back?

    For instance you seem to assume that the British Government has control over a Netherland’s inquiry over the MH17 report is released.

    Now that really is a case of pathetic propaganda. Does sound like a conspiracy parrot line from RT though. But could you please improve the quality of your lines. This is outright stupid.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-skripal-yulia-exclusiv/exclusive-yulia-skripal-attempted-assassination-turned-my-world-upside-down-idUSKCN1IO2LT

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      +1

    • Bill 1.2

      No idea how I can “repeat RT spin” when 1. (and how fucking often am I going to have to repeat this?) I cannot access RT.com and 2. all of the sources I’ve used are well established and (some would say) reputable UK media outlets.

      She thanked the Russian Embassy and did not say she was not interested in talking to them, but that she (quote) at the moment do not wish to avail myself of their services.

      There is absolutely no mention of her family members (bar her father) in her written statements. (Christ! Have you even read the stuff?)

      The rest of your points flow from an assumption on your part – that the Russian government tried to kill her. It might have escaped your notice (it happens when people are all bound up in prejudice) that I’ve never made a definitive statement around who did or didn’t try to kill the Skripals.

      And you don’t think the UK government is able to suggest that an inquiry release a pre-report statement around some detail of their “progress to date”?! Especially when both countries share the same desire to vilify the same target. ffs Lynn!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        re: that “assumption”.

        Boris Johnson: ““we’re almost 100% sure”.

        Even Johnson retains an element of doubt.

        By comparison, your assertion that the UK and Netherlands possess a desire to “vilify” the Russian Foundation reveals no doubt whatsoever. Do you have a scrap, a skerrik, a shred, of evidence to support this nasty slur on Dutch investigators?

        • Bill 1.2.1.1

          I made no comment whatsoever on motivations of those directly involved in the Dutch investigation into flight MH17 OAB. So how you get from that fact to “nasty slur” escapes me.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.1

            “both countries share the same desire to vilify the same target”

            So you’re saying the MH17 investigators aren’t involved? OK. What’s your evidence that the Netherlands harbours such malicious intent?

            • Bill 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Can you read Dutch OAB?

              If you can, then go and read their newspapers or view their news bulletins on topics “Russian”. You’ll find it’s in the same ballpark as the British stuff, the NZ stuff, the US stuff, the French stuff….

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                That only indicates a desire to vilify if they’re lying. Otherwise it’s called reporting the facts.

        • reason 1.2.1.2

          Boris Johnson should have been sacked for bullshitting harder than Wayne Mapp …

          Outright liar

      • Gosman 1.2.2

        Why doesn’t she want to leave the UK immediately if she entertained ANY thought the UK was behind the poisoning of her father and her?

        • Bill 1.2.2.1

          Where’s that one coming from Gos?

          And what is it with people, apparently only able to orbit around two possible scenarios?

          It may have been neither Russia, nor the UK. It may not even have been directed by a state.

      • Gabby 1.2.3

        I’m sure the emigres wanted to go back to France too billy. But they weren’t stoopid.

      • esoteric pineapples 1.2.4

        I’m with you Bill in not automatically ruling out US or British involvement. I watched a very good interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by Stephen Sackur of the BBC’s Hard Talk. Sackur specifically grilled him about the poisoning and asked if Lavrov was joking when he said the British might have done it Lavrov answered why not and pointed out that the argument by the British that the Russians were the only ones who could have done it because they are the only ones with access to the nerve agent is totally untrue. Lavrov appears to be 100 percent correct.
        Russian chemist Vil Mirzayanov had moved to the US and published his book ‘State Secrets: An Insider’s Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program.’
        A later edition of the book, printed after the scientist had cooperated with the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center of the US army in 2008 contains the formula and you can buy the book on Amazon.

        Here’s the Lavrov interview:

        Here’s a story on Lavrov explaining why the nerve agent may be in the arsenal of the British and US military

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-skripal-lavrov/russias-lavrov-says-skripals-may-have-been-poisoned-by-substance-russia-never-made-idUSKBN1HL17K

        This story gives more background detail on the chemist and formula

        https://www.rt.com/news/424597-russia-opcw-a234-novichok-convention/

    • One Two 1.3

      But could you please improve the quality of your lines. This is outright stupid.

      Is Bill a KGB agent then…Russian troll army member perhaps?…

      Site admin ‘attacking’ an author…

      • Bill 1.3.1

        🙂 I just took the final sentence to a be a self reflecting comment on the straw men and false bullshit contained in the comment itself. You thinking I was meant to be taking it as a comment on the general thrust of the post that the comment didn’t manage to address?

        (Daft armwaving and fulminating doesn’t cut it when it comes to engaging with an opinion piece – not in my book anyway.)

        But enough of this. About the UK Government’s narrative falling apart in the eyes of the British press as per the links provided….

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1

          Let’s also talk about how “Yulia wants to go home” and “Yulia wants to go home one day” are not the same thing, and see if any other narratives are thereby undermined.

      • Brigid 1.3.2

        “Site admin ‘attacking’ an author…”
        What does ethics matter when you ‘own’ a thing?

    • adam 1.4

      Lprent why are you using red scear tactics on a left wing site? The “RT spin” line is straight out of the CIA/NSA/FBI hand book.

      https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

      Please note, this is my opinion, and not a objective truth – just in case people think I write with any God given authority – which by the way, I do not.

      • McFlock 1.4.1

        Which page?

        • adam 1.4.1.1

          Should that not be pages?

          • McFlock 1.4.1.1.1

            Nah, just wanting to know which page of the “handbook” has the list of lines that includes “RT spin”.

            Of course, the other point is that if there’s a difference between your “opinion” and “objective truth”, then you’re wrong.

            • adam 1.4.1.1.1.1

              In the meantime it is my opinion, nothing more.

              Sorry if my opinion offends you, but hey that’s life, not everyone’s going to worship you.

              • McFlock

                Doesn’t offend me. It just seems funny to me that you think a report into another issue is a handbook related to this issue.

                But then obviously I’m too hung up about the actuality of things: I reckon objective truth overrules opinion.

                • adam

                  “Doesn’t offend me.”

                  Really, OK. I’ll take your word for it.

                  And it’s not the play book – sheesh your attempts at literalist idiocy sometimes generate much laughs. Do you not remember the above report? Seems you don’t, oh well thanks for the shits and giggles.

                  • McFlock

                    Silly me, reading what you actually wrote, again…

                    • adam

                      No, you taking things how you think best suits your agenda. Which I must say you done a few times with my comments. But then again spot, leopards ect, ect, ect….

                    • McFlock

                      So you made a comment about a handbook, and attached without any other context a random link. Silly me believed you felt the comment and link were connected.

                      Good for you. A mighty victory against the forces of disinformation.

                    • adam

                      Is the whole lets miss the context of the report deliberate, or to give me more shits and giggles?

                      Because if you’d like me to spoon feed you, I’d like to know you read the report. Or at the very least seen or read any of the criticism that went around the report.

                      Or you going to keep running with it being a manual? Because if you are, then pot, kettle, black, ect, ect, ect…

                    • McFlock

                      So the fact that another report says the Russians did something else suggests a handbook of some sort?

                      Of course, it could just point to the idea that the report writers genuinely concluded that the Russians actually did the thing described in the report.

        • Bill 1.4.1.2

          Which page? It’s a 25 leaf wadge of (not very absorbent) bog paper. Start anywhere you like, but just be aware it smears and spreads rather than clean. 😉

          • McFlock 1.4.1.2.1

            Yup. When multiple fingers across multiple countries point at Russia for multiple offences, they all must be wrong…

            • Bill 1.4.1.2.1.1

              Well no. When multiple fingers that share an ideological mind set are always pointing in the one direction, it pays to look back up the direction the pointing’s coming from.

              Or there’s running along and bellowing approval with the herd. That’s always an option.

              • McFlock

                lol interesting thought – if you’re looking back up the direction of people pointing fingers, they’re pointing at you. Even if you think you’re above it all.

                • Bill

                  heh – well, given the amount of bullshit that’s lobbed in my general direction off the back of posts like this one, you might be right enough in saying fingers are pointing at me. I’m an RT stooge, a friend of my enemy’s enemy etc. Apparently. 😉

    • Richard 1.5

      I don’t think this is repeating RT spin. RT’s smart enough to know there are people like Bill whose prejudices they can feed and amplify.

  2. Stunned mullet 2

    I don’t quite follow your reasoning Bill.

    There have been uncounted Syrians, Iraqis etc etc who have been treated appalling by those in charge of their countries and invaders from the outside and been subjected to the most appalling deprivations many of whom have expressed the wish to return to the homes. That this young woman has expressed a desire to return home at some stage can hardly be surprising.

    Also regarding the attack on the Malaysian airline the weight of evidence does seem to point towards a criminally negligent rock of Russian origin – whether it was fired by the breakaway faction in the ukraine still remains to be confirmed but the many absurd alternate scenarios offered by Russia on this incident did Russias reputation no favours.

    • Bill 2.1

      Does she mean when she’s convalesced, or does she mean when she’s old and Putin’s dead and everything’s roses? That’s an open question we can only surmise the answer to.

      • Stunned Mullet 2.1.1

        I would expect she’ll be staying in the UK for sometime yet – the after effects of nerve agent poisoning can no doubt last some time and the medical team in the UK that pulled her and her father through are probably best placed to provide some ongoing treatment or a treatment plan for them once they are back under the care of other doctors.

  3. One Two 3

    MH17 right on cue was the follow up to MH370 a few weeks ago..

    The Dutch report is a rehash from previous years where the dutch ‘findings’ were published…

    With the FIFA world cup in a few weeks time it will be of interest to see how the rhetoric and actions play out..

    World Cups are often a ‘news’ dead month where all else goes on in the background while the WC host basks in ‘glory’…

    Russia should not reasonably expect SOP from the global western imperialist media…

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Why Reuters? Because since Murdoch degraded a number of papers, it is the most professional remaining international agency.

    • Bill 4.1

      What I’m saying is that if you want to make a splash, then reuters isn’t the way to go. They only feed the sources that would run with stories. I take the point about Murdoch, but none of the links in the piece are from the Murdoch stable.

      That said, and I’m repeating a tad from the post, I can appreciate why none of them would want to go all banner headline on a story that undermines what they’ve been banner headlining up til now.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        Yulia probably doesn’t want to make a splash – from her perspective she’s pretty much an injured bystander, not having been part of the intelligence side of things, and not wishing to be part of the PR war.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          According to the Independent piece I linked, Yulia might not be such a bystander on the intelligence side of things. And whether or not Yulia wanted to make a splash, she had to go through the Met. And I think it’s fair to say they’d want to dampen things somewhat. Again, the Independent piece sign-posts some possible stuff around that.

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1.1

            The Independent piece is almost entirely speculation – few to no sources.

            Never mind the Met – Yulia needs to make very plain statements to avoid becoming the subject of a media feeding frenzy. If she misspeaks and endorses Putin she’ll face travel difficulties in Europe, if she claims the authority to blame Russia she paints a target on her head when she returns home.

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you being any less speculative than the Independent piece (or the Guardian piece for that matter)? Or any other piece that’s been written since 4th March?

            • mauī 4.1.1.1.1.2

              The funny thing is the entire case is based on speculation. From how they were poisoned, to what with, to who did it, to motives.

              And noone’s allowed to ask any questions apparently we’re just to believe what we’re told in the press.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    No.

    If Yulia had wished to endorse either side she would have done so – and plenty of hack reporters would cheerfully have beaten it up into as big a “splash” as you might wish.

    • Bill 5.1

      So you don’t think those who mediated her contact with media would have had, or would have wished to have had, any input that in would in any way moderate her message or the impact it was likely to have?

      That’s possible if we assume the Met are merely acting as benevolent body guards, and they are in no way serving any larger British state interests besides those served by simply keeping Yulia Skripal safe.

      • Stunned mullet 5.1.1

        Why don’t you come out with what you think happened and is going on Bill rather than speaking in riddles.

        From where I sit the most likely explanation is a failed attempt on the life of the Skripals has been made by a foreign player via the use of of very toxic substance and the british police and security services are keeping the Skripals out of the public eye until they are want to and are physically able to go back into public life.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          I’ve got nothing to state on that front. I don’t know what happened.

          I don’t think the UK government bold announcements about Russia are anything other than speculative. I haven’t been made aware of any evidence for that to be the case, and it seems all the circumstantial stuff doesn’t hold water (eg – only Russia has the particular nerve agent that was used)

          As an aside, I was amused/bemused a few weeks back when I spun a deliberately ridiculous “movie script” by way of illustrating how ridiculous the official announcements were and some seemed to take it seriously though.

          Some people were poisoned and treated. That’s about as far as anything I know goes.

          • Stunned mullet 5.1.1.1.1

            “Some people were poisoned and treated. That’s about as far as anything I know goes.”

            Well then what’s with all the emotive language in your various posts and comments supportive of Russia and disparaging of the UK and the press ?

            From where i’m sitting reading your thoughts on this site you’re very much entrenched in who you view as the innocent and guilty parties.

            • cleangreen 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Bill,

              I believe that this is all a stickup to pressure Russia to give something up.
              All the right wingers that are bagging your post have no love for Russia nor any good words to say so that inseft says it all now doesnt it?

              I believe Russia can add stability to the troubled world and we hope the global powers see this as Gemany does, as they have several partnership development programs withbv Russia so UK should think about that.

            • Bill 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Care you show any comments or posts of mine that are supportive of Russia at an ideological level?

              Not being supportive towards western liberalism is just the natural position of “left” (always has been), but that doesn’t imply support for political economies that might sit in opposition to western liberalism…well, maybe it does for the more simple minded amongst us, but that’s their problem, not mine.

              • Stunned Mullet

                “Not being supportive towards western liberalism is just the natural position of “left” (always has been),”

                Yes I quite agree, however, in my opinion the not being supportive of western liberalism has veered into my enemy’s enemy is my friend territory with your musings on the Skripals, the Malaysian airliner that was shot down and the general farcical murderous goings on in through the Middle East.

                Then again it could just be grumpy old cnutiness which we’re all guilty of as the years go by.

                • Bill

                  Don’t think I’ve ever offered up any opinion on flight MH17 and the UK government’s line on the Skripals (even if it transpires that Russia’s involved) has been bloody ridiculous from the get go.

                  As for the ME. As I pointed out in a post just recently, no state actor gives a flying fuck about any of the people living there, and that merely puts them all even more off-side with me than they always were.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.2

        If you can show that she has lost agency, and that the Met is controlling her, by all means do. I rather think you can’t.

        • Bill 5.1.2.1

          Having to live in a safe house is a loss of agency right there. Where did I say the Met were “controlling her”? (You think I reckon she’s an automaton or something?) Influencing a message and controlling people are vastly different things.

          Why do so many people always go to extremes on their positioning around stuff like this? (Rhetorical)

  6. Philg 6

    Good work Bill,
    I get as far as ‘Russian double agent’ and my BS detector goes off, and I don’t believe anything mainstream. Even so called ‘proof’ is hard to believe. Trust is becoming a problem.

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    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    22 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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