Posts by George Darroch

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  • Speaker: Abortion: morality and health,

    So at some point in a pregnancy the law decides the potential human (fetus) has more rights than the existing human. Sigh.

    Well, the law (and society) might be treating that fetus as a human, a potential human (ie, greater than zero set of rights), or a non-human entity.

    There's a reason why this is a squishy subject - because if you get it wrong, it's about killing people. If you get it right it's about women having control over a medical condition they're experiencing.

    I think that (early 21st Century gay-marrying NZ) society is collectively quite comfortable with granting the latter and preventing the former. That's basically abortion on demand in the early stages of pregnancy, with highly restricted abortion in later stages.

    But they want to be assured and made comfortable that this is indeed the reality they're supporting. I think that's eminently doable, but pretending their concerns are invalid won't make them go away.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Abortion: morality and health,

    Meantime the number of unwanted pregnancies can be reduced with much better coverage of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives, an effort to increase awareness, and full funding for all available options.

    Edit: there’s an understandable tension between prioritising advocacy on this issue or on abortion – a law that clearly needs to be changed. However, I think that reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies actually sharpens the arguments for abortion, which gives control back to those who need power over their bodies when they are unable to exercise it.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Abortion: morality and health,

    They have the resources to convene committees, get expert testimonies and make decisions that are based on evidence. We, as individuals, do not have that luxury when forming an opinion on an issue. They may not want to deal with this issue but dealing with it is in their job description. It’s time someone reminded politicians that winning elections isn’t their job, governing is.

    As you note, we have a law that doesn’t work. And this is so because this is a moral issue lacking in clarity. Evidence is necessary to inform the decision, but is not sufficient for making it.

    At a certain point, the product of fertilised egg can be considered a human – somewhere between conception and birth. The law (rightly) does not try to define this. But in this absence the law essentially treats all medically procedures to induce the abortion of that fetus as criminal, and exempts them under certain conditions.

    Without having a debate about where that moral line is, it’s very difficult to move forward. Even if there is consensus on a large range of associated issues, it will still come up. If there is a consensus for regarding a clump of cells with the potential to be human as not-human (as I believe) then we’ll get there. If there isn’t, this will founder - no matter the evidence or the wrongness of the current situation.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?,

    The other major perceptual issue that Labour and other parties had was the ‘inability to form a government’. You have to be able to get to that line to start to present a ‘stable’ and ‘positive’ government, and that was sorely lacking.

    What the ‘Progress’ faction would do is to kick Labour’s allies for political gain. That might be worth a small poll bump, but it makes the maths harder and puts it in a further position of extreme vulnerablility. Ironically, it is something that has to be done from a position of strength. (I know, easier said than done.)

    Labour could do it in 2002, and again in 2005. It couldn’t do it in 1999, 2011 or 2014.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?,

    It certainly smells like a faction of the disaffected from over here. I’ve been told Nash polled on running as an independent in the last election, before deciding to stay with Labour.

    There’s a reasonable degree of coherence in Labour at the moment, driven by a recognition that it’s a centre-left party that will advocate for a degree of regulation in most sectors of society, and a considerable redistribution of resources from the top to the middle and bottom. Some argument over the details, but not the philosophy – except from marginal ‘third-way’ types such as Pagani.

    It’s been noted by others that Key could easily fit into the Democratic Party of the US, because the Government he runs is well within its mainstream. Liberal, but not ahead of public opinion, and willing to spend to rectify problems in society. His Government is probably to the left of the Obama administration.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A dramatic and unremarkable decision,

    I’m not sure the cannabis reform people protesting outside the hospital and ministry were of much help (on this case or any other TBH).

    They never are. Their cause would be furthered if they all stayed home and took hits from the bong.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Up the Charts,

    Unknown Mortal Orchestra have topped the US charts (Facebook), and are second in the UK.

    On vinyl. I don’t know what that means in real terms, but it’s very nice to hear all the same. I presume they’re happy about it.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campbell Live: A Disturbance…,

    Really good television is about the full range of emotions. Campbell Live delivered that, night after night. Joy, wonder, fear, shock, surprise, anger, sadness, pathos, love. Often all in the same story.

    That’s why it has our hearts.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason, in reply to Rob Hosking,

    Rob's right. There's been a bit more attention this week, and will be next, but because this has been a collegial contest it's lacked spark.

    Isaac Davidson has done an excellent job of capturing the state of the contest in its final week. What you see below is as close as there has been to open criticism.

    Mr Shaw has spent much of his energy in the leadership meetings trying to dispel two criticisms - that he is a National MP in disguise, and that he lacks experience. The first issue partly stems from his slick, business-friendly reputation, which comes from his past work in making mega-brands such as BP and Coca-Cola more sustainable and green. But it can mostly be blamed on National MPs and commentators who have goaded him, describing him as National-lite. It annoys him, he says, because it suggests that National "has a lock on every single business person".

    He feels economic credibility is a key barrier to voting Green, and wants his party to develop an economic front bench of four or five MPs.

    Mr Hague is sceptical of Mr Shaw's leadership credentials. He says the MP was only one part of the Greens' popularity in Wellington, and his recipe for success does not translate to South Auckland, suburban areas and provincial centres. Would he be at home speaking on a marae, to farmers or to trade unionists, Mr Hague asked, and could the wider population relate to a Wellington-based, metrosexual MP who doesn't drive?

    One thing that has come from this is greater unity and strength. Having four men hold around 50 meetings to talk about ideas and vision has connected them with their membership, and tested their stamina.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason,

    (Oh, unless their Hippie Magick actually works and they can organise by telepathy. That must be it).

    The Internet.

    Danyl is organising for James Shaw's campaign, and knows that there are semi-organised groups who think that the party should move in various different political directions and give more or less attention to different things. These people talk to each other and work together. There is also a degree of geographic segmentation, personality based politics, and minor levels of patronage. None of these are terrible things, and none of them are pronounced to the degree that they are in some other parties. But they do affect outcomes.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2184 posts Report Reply

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