Posts by Lucy Telfar Barnard

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  • Speaker: The Spirit Level,

    "For the fact was, the school the Burnell children went to was not at all the kind of place their parents would have chosen if there had been any choice. But there was none. It was the only school for miles. And the consequence was all the children in the neighborhood, the judge's little girls, the doctor's daughters, the store-keeper's children, the milkman's, were forced to mix together. ... But the line had to be drawn somewhere. It was drawn at the Kelveys. Many of the children, including the Burnells, were not allowed even to speak to them. They walked past the Kelveys with their heads in the air, and as they set the fashion in all matters of behaviour, the Kelveys were shunned by everybody. Even the teacher had a special voice for them, and a special smile for the other children when Lil Kelvey came up to her desk with a bunch of dreadfully common-looking flowers.
    They were the daughters of a spry, hardworking little washerwoman, who went about from house to house by the day. This was awful enough. But where was Mr. Kelvey? Nobody knew for certain. But everybody said he was in prison. So they were the daughters of a washerwoman and a gaolbird. Very nice company for other people's children!"
    The Doll's House, Katherine Mansfield, 1922

    So in six years, if nothing changes, we'll be in much the same place as we were a hundred years before.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences…, in reply to chris,

    At the end of the day, one has to ask for whose benefit they keep repeating this number 40 on the TV?

    Probably for the benefit of all the journalists, and those they're writing for, who keep asking "so just how many of these people are there?"

    If they gave no number, presumably the complaint would be that they say they're watching people, but not how many, so how do we know there's any of them, or that the budget isn't for just one or two people, or conversely, for those at the Trump end of the spectrum, that there's hundreds and thousands of them liberally sprinkled throughout the country.

    I would also expect 40 to be a round number. In regard to complaints the number doesn't seem to change, well, I wouldn't expect it to change much. Why should it?

    As for the jihadi brides - I put very little stock in anything else JK says, so I would take Rebecca Kitteridge's numbers as more accurate than JK's. But overall I suspect it's a case of "we're 100% certain these two left to be 'jihadi brides', we're more or less sure these other 5 did, and there are another 5 where we think it's a possibility but we're less sure. So it's less than twelve, but more than 1."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A hazy, intriguing crystal ball,

    So it seems that regardless of how hazy a crystal ball it was, it'll no longer be any kind of crystal ball at all:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/74438852/ipredict-to-close-after-govt-refuses-antimoney-laundering-law-exemption

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State, in reply to william blake,

    Their gagging says one of two things, they really, really don’t like Dr Gilbert ( and his book patched is praised for its fairness) or they have something to hide about their policing of alcohol.

    I suspect it's the former; and that it comes back to one of the basic problems with police everywhere: they divide the world into good people and bad people. You're either one or the other. And you're generally judged by the company you keep. So Dr Gilbert, by even being even-handed in his treatment of gangs, rather than firmly against them in every possible way, cannot be good, and therefore must be bad.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State, in reply to Alfie,

    He wouldn't have any say. If you're talking to people who've left the police, you don't need the police's permission to do it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Yes he's been given access to the information requested, but I wasn't clear from Manu's reply whether he's had to sign that contract to get it.

    To me there are two separate issues here. One is that Dr Gilbert has been refused access to data for research. The other is that people who want data for research are (apparently) all expected to sign that contract. They're both bad, but they're different issues.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State, in reply to william blake,

    I think you probably are drawing too long a bow. The police are generally not backwards in coming forwards in support of earlier closing hours, and lower drink-driving alcohol limits, and raising the alcohol-purchasing age, and other things not supported by the liquor industry. For all its power, I'd be very surprised to find Big Liqour able to affect police policy to this extent.

    Also, it's clear the contract isn't only demanded of Dr Gilbert, but of all researchers wanting to access police statistics.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State, in reply to Alfie,

    The beginning of a backdown? Hopefully.

    That would be great, but a backdown in Dr Gilbert's case isn't sufficient: the whole policy needs to go. It's completely unacceptable. As an academic who regularly uses government-sourced data, I would never sign an agreement like that. Earlier this year I was seeking data from a private company, and we had a fair bit of wrangling to ensure the non-disclosure agreement signed with them wouldn't compromise my ability to publish. I have huge admiration for that company that they took a leap of faith and agreed to a pre-agreed paragraph for the limitations section of subsequent publications, rather than wanting to hold results back if they weren't favourable for them, knowing that there is potential for the results to have adverse implications for their business.

    And even their original non-disclosure agreement wasn't as restrictive and draconian as that required by NZ Police.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs, in reply to Stephen R,

    Except that even the military doesn’t think it’s OK to bomb hospitals (though of course does by mistake), and really prefers and tries not to kill civilians when it’s trying to take out military targets. There is a difference between treating civilians as people you try to avoid killing, and treating civilians as the people you are trying to kill.

    There may not be much difference to the civilians who are dead, or their families, but there is still a difference.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs,

    Er, my french is a bit rusty, but I think that last sentence should read “They did not know that war had been declared on them”. It’s a rather different meaning, so would be nice to have a proper francophone confirm either way?

    ETA: I have checked with the francophones I know, and they also say it is “They did not know that war had been declared on them”. An example of the risks, but also the poetry, of Google translate, because the incorrect translation seems to me at least as meaningful as the actual translation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 555 posts Report Reply

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