Posts by Danyl Mclauchlan

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  • Hard News: Complaint and culture,

    I'm not sure any rule-bending ad campaign can compete with the lactation consultant at our breastfeeding class insisting that it will be 'difficult for formula feeding mothers to get jobs, because employers prefer to hire women who breastfeed'.

    I still amuse myself by imaging our HR reps reaction if I asked someone in a job interview whether or not they were breastfeeding.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Complaint and culture,

    But what I see is a PR machine out there that formula is OK as a substitute for breastmilk

    As someone attending parenting and breastfeeding classes with my wife, reading parenting books and buying a bewildering array of post-natal gadgets, I really don't see this at all. The overwhelming message is pro-breastfeeding.

    Which is good, to a degree, because there's a lot of empirical evidence in its favour. But the differences aren't mortal - the majority of the population over the age of 30 was formula fed, they're not limbless vegetables. And many women have huge problems breastfeeding, so the message that this failure means they're destroying their children's lives isn't that helpful. Especially since stress impacts on the milk production cycle.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Complaint and culture,

    One month away from my wife's due date for our first baby and I've had a fair bit of contact with various midwives, through the classes, hospital appointments etc. And some people are good, some are bad, same as any industry.

    But what's really struck me at this point is that the entire profession seems to cross the line when it comes to advocacy for breast-feeding. I'm aware that there are many proven scientific benefits, that it's preferable to breast-feed your child and so on - but I'm also aware that many woman have huge problems with the practise, so I don't think it's helpful for mid-wives to send the message that failure to breast-feed is tantamount to child abuse.

    And the pre-occupation over breast-feeding seems to cross over into their judgement during deliveries. There's a huge controversy about the role of pain-killers during childbirth - they may, or may not delay the onset of breast milk and a baby's instincts to feed, and many midwives seem to take this debate as settled and strongly oppose the use of painkillers during labour. I've had a few friends who have requested pain relief and whose mid-wives have 'stalled for time' during the delivery until it was too late to perform an epidural.

    And of course nobody complains - at the end of it most mums get their baby and go home to several months of sleep deprivation, during which the idea of making a formal complaint to a DHB is the last thing on their mind.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The scandal that keeps on giving,

    ...according to the Met? Just saying, it's not the sort of situation in which you can be confident of police impartiality.
    Which sounds awfully conspiracy minded.

    Yeah - it's certainly possible Hoare killed himself - I'm not saying people who think that are 'sheeple' or anything - just that the police statements to that effect are near worthless, that it seems like a huge coincidence that he'd antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people and then commit suicide.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The scandal that keeps on giving,

    I think it's fairly likely Sean Hoare was assassinated - probably not by News International, but by Met officers working in an unofficial capacity, sending a not-very subtle message to other potential whistleblowers that if you speak out against them they can murder you with near total impunity.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Easy as 1, 2, 22.8 billion,

    Strange that this was spun together by Joyce's little elves, not the Finance Ministers'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The great New Zealand phone…,

    Ever since, I'm continually amused by the popular conflation of hacker with computer genius. It's not quite "never the twain shall meet", but there's very little, if any, correlation

    Writing the code that finds security exploits, is, I assume, fairly difficult, but a matter of expertise and time, not genius. I think most 'hackers' just torrent said files and run them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Asking the next question,

    Mine would be something like, 'When you speak about race issues you ask the public to accept that you're acting in good faith, and not race-baiting or 'playing the racist card'. Yet you surround yourself with candidates and staffers who repeatedly make comments that speak the language of racism and white supremacy. How can we accept your claim of good faith given this wider context?'

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Radio NZ: Sailing on in…,

    Ministers are accountable, that's the point. It's not just an opportunity to campaign to "persuadable voters". That's an election campaign.

    And this is a government that's in permanent campaign mode.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Radio NZ: Sailing on in…,

    I've heard from a few friends at RNZ that the two presenters that receive the largest amount of complaints and negative feedback are/were Plunkett and Wilson. RNZ's mostly superannuated audience considers them both 'rude'.

    Which makes the decision not to replace Sean Plunkett with another facsimile of same make a lot of choice - from the organisations perspective he was an unpopular and very high maintenance presenter.

    I don't think the government's lack of appearance on RNZ is because they're 'scared of being held to account' or whatever - its just a strategy focused on reaching persuadable voters, which means a focus on non-news outlets like Breakfast TV, womens magazines, sports radio and so on.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

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