Hard News by Russell Brown


How harm happens

During the election campaign, I was working on a feature looking at how New Zealand arrived at a synthetic cannabinoid crisis that had seemed to come out of nowhere – and what I was finding was making me angry.

The story is the cover feature of the new issue of the New Zealand Drug Foundation magazine, Matters of Substance, and you can read it here.

The harsh truth is that the crisis did not come out of nowhere. It was developing even before the 2014 amendment to the Psychoactive Substances Act took all synthetic cannabinoid products off retail shelves. And for a range of reasons, almost no one saw it happening or, in some cases, did not wish to see.

Former Associate Health minister Peter Dunne traced the story back to the previous general election campaign, in 2014, when the headlines were jammed with alarming reports about the consequences of legal sales of some synthetic cannabinoid products under the Psychoactive Substances Act. These products had been sold for years before, but a radical cut in the number of outlets had focused media attention on the stores that made the regulatory cut under the Act, and on the dependent users who were experiencing real problems.

The National government, says Dunne, simply wanted to get the issue out of the headines and raced to amend the Act to foreclose its interim regulatory period and ban all sales. After that, the government wasn't interested.

“There was a certain dishonesty there," Dunne told me.

Paula Bold-Wilson, who led a campaign to get synthetics off the shelves, saw the same thing:

“At the time we were campaigning, we were trying to raise awareness of how many people were still extremely sick afterwards and that actually the government had a responsibility to tidy up the mess of those who’d become addicted through those products being legal in our community. But they left the community to tidy up the mess really.”

I don't hold Dunne entirely blameless here. In 2015, working on a different story, I spoke to two ESR scientists who told me that not only were they still receiving synthetic cannabinoid samples from Police and Customs for testing, there were "significantly more" of them and most were new substances that had never been sold in stores.

Dunne continued to insist that his advice was that there was only a "comparatively small" market in synthetics, trading in products stockpiled from the old legal regime. I sensed that the scientists copped some heat for saying otherwise. But they were right.

And ESR was right again this year, when its Forensic Chemistry Manager Kevan Walsh dispelled a lot of damaging Police blather about adulterants and mystery ingredients and pointed out that its testing of Police samples had consistently revealed a particular chemical: AMB-FUBINACA.

This chemical has been associated with "zombie outbreaks" in several countries in the past two years – but in New Zealand, the dosing in black-market products is 10 to 30 times higher than elsewhere. That's why people have been dying. It's not fucking fly spray.

When I re-read the published story yesterday, ESR's role as an honest broker stood out all the more. Its advice came as Police and the Coroner's office were publishing information that was vague, incomplete, irrelevant – and sometimes simply wrong. Other parties who could have helped chose to say nothing – the Auckland DHB's communications office refused to let me speak to the emergency doctors who have been dealing with as many as 20 synnies patients a day.

The drug early-warning system (EWS) touted in news stories after the synnies crisis broke is a mirage. The various agencies and specialists who generate and act on drug market information don't talk to each other in any organised way. The Ministry of Health admits there is as yet no dedicated funding for an EWS.

And worse, we're in danger of knowing even less. Police funding for two long-running drug use surveys was cut off this year.

This shouldn't rely on Police budgets. We have a new government now, one which has consistently talked about drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one. Well, with more than 20 deaths and hundreds of emergency admissions in mere months, we have a public health crisis. Peter Dunne's drug policy delegation has passed to the new Minister of Health, David Clark. It's up to him to bring order and transparency to a system that does not do what we need.

The keynote of our National Drug Policy is the prevention of harm. As things stand, our systems do a poor job of that. And because of the welter of other interests in the field, sometimes the system makes the harm worse.  Drug stigma and the particularly marginalised nature of the people who use synthetics makes it worse again. We need to fix this, because it will all happen again if we don't.


And so it begins ...

In a bracing analysis for Lawfare Blog, Susan Hennessy characterises Special Counsel Robert Mueller's first round of indictments in his investigation into Russian interference in last year's US Presidential election as "a remarkable show of strength" on the prosecutor's part.

Not only is Mueller alleging "astonishing criminality" on the part of Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is said to have laundered $75,000,000 in payments from the Russian puppet government in Ukraine, but ...

The second big takeaway is even starker: A member of President Trump’s campaign team admits that he was working with people he knew to be tied to the Russian government to “arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government officials” and to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of hacked emails—and that he lied about these activities to the FBI. He briefed President Trump on at least some of them.

Hennessy ventures that the charge to which that member of the Trump team, George Papadopoulos, has admitted – lying to FBI investigators in an interview – is but the tip of an iceberg:

Proving that someone is lying is often easier than proving that the underlying offense violates the law. Here, for example, Papadopoulos’s underlying activity—working with Russian government officials to obtain “dirt” on Clinton and set up a Putin-Trump meeting—may have been legal, if wholly disreputable. Lying about it, however, is a crime. We can assume that Mueller had the goods on Papadopoulos beyond lying to the bureau in some manner. The lying, after all, is merely the charge he pleaded to in the context of a plea deal in which prosecutors have cut him a break. 

That said, the Papadopoulos stipulation offers a stunningly frank, if probably incomplete, account of what occurred during the spring of 2016 in the Trump campaign. To wit, during that period, Trump campaign officials were actively working to set up a meeting with Russian officials or representatives. And from a very early point in the campaign, those meetings were explicitly about obtaining hacked, incriminating emails.

"Things," Hennessey concludes, "are only going to get worse from here."

Indeed, a number of journalists are already noting that the characterisation of Papadopoulos in a court filing from Mueller's office as a "proactive cooperator" suggests that Papadopoulos has been cooperating with the Feds for perhaps three months – and may have worn a wire in that time.

Talking Points Memo notes that the third man indicted today, Manafort's adviser Rick Gates, maintained close and active involvement with the Trump project through into this year. And the Miami Herald reports that one of the entities Manafort and Gates used to launder their millions was even paid $70,000 last year and this year by the Republican National Committee, for "political strategy services".

There is much more commentary and reporting abroad than the examples I've noted, of course, and you should feel free to share and discuss it in the comments below.

But in a separate but possibly not-unrelated development, The Guardian reports that UKIP insiders went to the UK Electoral Comission last year with their concerns about “unusual arrangements” the party was entering into with Steve Bannon's Breitbart – arrangements that arguably put UKIP over its spending limit in the Brexit referendum campaign. The report came the day after Diane Cadwalldr laid out in the Observer the implications of Julian Assange's admission that Wikileaks was approached by Cambridge Analytica, the data-mining firm that fuelled the Trump campaign, in search of a supposed trove of Hilary Clinton emails.

It's not unreasonable to suppose that the whole thing will come crashing down in the next year or two. This seems an unprecedented time in politics.


Communications breakdown

About 5am yesterday, I got out of bed to fetch a drink of water from the tap and noticed that there was not much water to be had. "Bugger," I thought, watching a thin stream trickle into the glass, then drank it and went back to bed, expecting that by the time we got up for breakfast the water would be right off. It was.

Point Chevalier might be hot in the real estate market, but its infrastructure is, in places, well past best-before date. Electricity goes out for various reasons several times a year. It was a huge relief to be able to farewell the old paper-insulated copper network when fibre came to our street last year. (We lost internet for nearly two weeks once when a Watercare digger broke a pipe, flooded Chorus's duct and got the paper all wet.) A fix for the water network is taking a little longer.

The ageing main that runs up the east side of Moa Road started breaching maybe five years ago, and every time it does, it's basically the same: water bursts through the grass verge and floods, a couple of Watercare trucks eventually arive, the "Oasis" trailer dispenses big bottles of water to anyone who asks – and no one knows what the hell is going on.

Watercare Services has no social media presence, even on weekdays, so there's no one to ask on the internet. The contact page on the Watercare website says "In an emergency, check our updates page," which invariably has no updates. There's a free text service, which my partner tried. It came back with this hilarious message:

Thank you for your text. We will respond to your fault enquiry within an hour between the hours of 8am - 5pm Monday to Friday. Please call us 09 442 2222 if it's outside these hours.

Yes, it really does say they'll respond within an hour – just as soon as everyone's back in the office tomorrow. And while the date stamp on the reply is 8.55am, it did not actally arrive until after 1pm. We're still waiting for an actual reply.

To be fair, there is a phone number there on the page, and an operator did answer – but even she had to go away and ask for an answer to my question as to when we might be enjoying the benefits of running water. She said 1.30pm, but when I poppped around the corner at 1.30, Watercare's latest hole was still a hole.

I engaged one of the chaps on site and he said he thought they weren't too far off. I asked him when Watercare might just cut to the chase and replace the whole, crumbling pipe down the east side of Moa Road, he said he thought we might have a fix before too long: "But you didn't hear that from me."

To be fair, we don't hear that from anyone. When I first started complaining on Twitter about Watercare's inability to communicate a couple of years ago, they actually sent a chap around to see me personally and show me some maps. When I pointed out to him that this wasn't a very efficient way to communicate with the public, he agreed.

He explained that although the Moa Road main was breaching regularly, it had not met Watercare's benchmark formula for replacement. But a short part of the main was in the work schedule for the following year. This short stretch was indeed replaced, and the laws of physics being what they are, the pipe soon started breaching further up the road.

Another local resident, Jonathan Mayo, has a similar story. He was put in touch with a Watercare engineer after complaining to Peter Haynes, the chair of the Albert Eden local board. The engineer told him on October 19 that there would be a new main in the first half of next year – but on the west side.

In the 10 days since the email there have been two breaches on Moa Road and one around the corner in Walmer. Jonathan has filed a LGOIMA request to find out how many times in the past five years repair crews have been dispatched to our neighbourhood.

Now, okay, maybe we just have to wait. But the fact that this fairly important information seems to be shared exclusively in private conversations between Watercare engineers and those of us who complain sufficiently loudly is farcical.

And yet, according to Bernard Orsman in the Herald, Watercare is a champ at communications precisely because it spends so little money communicating:

Salary costs rose by 104.5 per cent at Panuku Development Auckland, which was formed in September 2015 from the merger of Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Council Property Ltd.

By comparison, salary costs at one of the biggest CCOs, Watercare, rose by a modest 8.5 per cent over four years. Watercare has a small FTE team of 8.5 communications staff.

Simon Wilson addresses the Herald story at The Spinoff this morning, in a column that opens thus:

The water went off in parts of Auckland yesterday. But Watercare didn’t post anything about it on its website and it put out no information on social media because, incredibly, it doesn’t do social media. Watercare made almost no effort to tell its customers what was going on.

Yes, that was us. 

Wilson makes a point that always needs making: "communications" ≠ "spin doctors". It covers community consulation, council websites, mailers and the kind of information you'd expect to have if you and hundreds of others happened to lose running water.

He continues, in a section headed 'Watercare: The secrecy is scary':

Watercare, the council-controlled organisation that runs our water and sewage systems, has a comms budget of only $1.5 million, according to the review. But that’s not a good thing. Watercare has very few comms staff and it does little to engage. Internally at council, it doesn’t even bother to attend the regular meetings of council communications units, whose purpose is to help them all work together.

It’s not just problems like the water stoppage in Pt Chev this weekend. Remember the water crisis in March this year, when heavy rain silted up the Ardmore dam and the whole city was in danger of having to boil water? Watercare ignored offers of help from the council’s other comms units and engaged external PR consultants to help out. That led to lack of public information, inconsistencies in what we were told and other problems, all of which Todd Niall at RNZ covered here.

Yes, even during a citywide water quality crisis, Watercare, a council-controlled organisation, went out of its way to  avoid conventional public communications. It did install an electronic sign up at the Meola Road roundabout to tell us all to save water.  Wilson thinks this odd culture might be a legacy of Watercare's former CEO Mark Ford, who "famously kept as low a profile as he could manage, for himself and for the places he worked."

I'm often quite puzzled by what does and doesn't constitute a local story. Perhaps because it wasn't a public transport initiative, the multi-million-dollar bungle with the "dead" lane on the St Lukes interchange never seems to have registered as a headline. Treating the communications spending of the council and its various entities solely as something to be limited as far as possible doesn't make a lot of sense either.

I'm aware that budgets are limited and that there is a formula for prioritisting works, and, again, that maybe we do just have to wait. But it seems frankly absurd that both short and long-term information on something so basic as the security of our water supply should be so difficult to come by.

I guess that this post might earn me a personal communication from the Maintenance Planning and Development Engineer, as it did Joanthan. But I don't want that. I want all the relevant information compiled and published on a website where all the affected residents can read it. And when the east-side main breaches again, as it surely will, I'd like to be able to go to a Watercare social media account, or the Watercare website, and find relevant and timely information on the fault and when it's likely to be remedied. How hard could that be?


Friday Music: Springs Eternal

One of the interesting – and challenging – things about urban music festivals is the way they interpret their environments. Promoters have to consider not only where people goes, but where sound goes. And then they have to get the whole lot signed off by council.

It doesn't always work out: witness the infamous back-to-back stage at the first Auckland Laneway in Britomart Square. And when promoters do work out a site and get all the necessary consents, they tend to like to stay there as long as possible. Laneway, for example, will be hoping to make Albert Park home for years to come.

Sometimes, festival sites get tired or out of step with what the audience wants – as Mt Smart Stadium did for the Big Day Out. When promoter Campbell Smith took the BDO to Western Springs park for its last hurrah in 2014, the new environent changed the whole feel of the festival. The evolution continued with its successor, Auckland City Limits in 2016, where the extra space available meant the event could cater for a group of punters long left out – kids.

As it does at Splore, the presence of children onsite created a welcome moderating influence on adult behaviour – and the compromise on alcohol licensing which allowed everyone to roam the site with a mid-strength beer worked pretty well.

ACL didn't happen this year because Smith couldn't get a lineup he was happy with – and as this Herald interview indicates, Smith was counting his blessings as he watched torrential rain on what would have been his show day. But it's back next year, on March 3. 

I had a chat with ACL's event manager Etienne "ET" Marais and he confirmed that the mid-strength approach will be a feature again at 2018's event. And that they'll be working hard to improve the capacity of bar and toilet facilities. (Liquid in and out is another challenge for festival managers.)

The site will operate much as it did in 2016, but Etienne says there will be a few surprise features.

One thing that makes life easier for promoters these days is modern PA systems, which are much better at directing sound where it's wanted. The fact that ACL's outer stages can be right on the site boundary but stay within noise limits (which will actually be slightly higher for 2018) is remarkable. "Bleed is barely an issue any more," agreed Etienne.

They're looking for ACL to be an annual fixture at the Springs for years to come. Given this week's Auckland transport announcements, one day you'll be able to arrive right at the gate of the stadium by light rail. This is a very cool thought.

But for now – that 2018 lineup! As had been widely rumoured, Grace Jones will headline alongside Beck and the bill also includes Justice, The Libertines and Thundercat. (In an extra bonus, ACL no longer clashes with Womad.) I am very up for this one.

And because we're here to help at Friday Music, I have a double pass to Auckland City Limits to give away today. Just click the email icon at the bottom of this post, put "ACL" in the subject line and I'll draw a winner on Sunday.


Meanwhile, the summer festival action keeps coming.

As previously noted, if you're in Auckland on New Years Eve, you have access to an excellent local lineup at Wondergarden down at Silo Park and you can still get home for a quite dram and a sleep in your own bed afterwards.

One the same night, Rhythm 'n' Vines has Schoolboy Q, 2ManyDJs and Felix Da Housecat alongside a couple of acts (Baauer, eeww) I'd pay money to avoid. But I get that it's not for me.

Womad's full lineup is out and includes Adrian Sherwood, Kamasi Washington and Thievery Corporation. No word on any sideshows for Mr Sherwood, but Kamasi is playing what will surely be a sellout at the Powerstation on March 16 (tickets went on sale for that this morning).

And if sitting comortably is your thing, the New Zealand Festival in Wellington in March has what looks like its strongest-ever contemporary music lineup, with Grizzly Bear, Perfume Genius, Thundercat and an array of local offerings including Nathan Haines and a Lawrence Araba-Luke Buda-Samuel Flynn Scott special.


If you ever loved Garageland, listen to this:

Galveston is the new project from Garageland's Jeremy Eade and that's Jeremy's first single release in 16 years. (Yes, the name does come from the song Jimmy Webb wrote for Glenn Campbell.)

And if you live thereabouts, be aware that Galveston are playing a free gig tomorrow night at the Grey Lynn RSC, 3 Francis St. Support is Ocean Beach and the doors open at 8pm.


There are two notable DJ shows coming up in Auckland. One is tonight, when Aussie nu disco king Dr Packer plays Impala.

And the other, on December 2 at Galatos, is massive. Andrew Weatherall is playing. Everything I have read and heard about Weatherall's recent shows says this will be an amazing evening. And it's not a big venue, so you'd best be getting a ticket.


If you're interested in how the music business is working, this week's World Independent Network Wintel 2017 World Independent Market Report is a good read. It confirms that overall recording revenue is growing again – and also indicates that independent companies' share of that revenue increased slightly in 2016:

It is entirely down to streaming that the global recorded music market enjoyed its second consecutive year of growth (5.9%) in 2016. Prior to 2015 it had endured 15 years of decline.

Measured in isolation, streaming grew 60.4% in 2016. It now accounts for 59% of all digital revenues, whilst digital as a whole now accounts
for 50% of the total market.

Independent label streaming revenues grew by 80.4% in 2016, reaching $2.1 billion, up from $1.2 billion in 2015. This growth was slightly greater than the 78% by which the entire market grew, so independent label market share of streaming revenues increased by 0.6%, up from 39.4% to 40% over the same period.

Given that it looked for a while that the three majors, who have not been shy about using their leverage in negotiating digital revenue deals, would shut everyone else out, this is significant. It's also important to note that all these figures are based on rights ownership, not who distributes the recordings.

Also worth a look: Digital Music News has a look at who pays what in the streaming world. We already knew that YouTube offers the highest number of streams and the lowest rate per stream – but it's something of a surprise (or an irony) that the best deal for rights owners comes from the revamped Napster.

The chart – there's a big version at the link above –  also includes available information on which services are losing the most money (none of them are actually making money). Indeed, for Google and Apple at least, losing money is part of the business plan. It's a fucking brutal business to be in for that reason.


Julia Deans has a nice new Greg Page-directed video for 'Walking in the Sun' – which also happens to work as a brilliant showcase for Julia's Tanya Carlson wardrobe.


95bFM's Out on the Freak series aims to get the station's brand – and music – out into parts of Auckland where the kids are listening but don't usually have the chance to grab a hold of anything. Here's SWIDT doing 'Stoneyhunga' at a free, all-ages gig outside the Onehunga Community Centre. If I was 15 years old and got to see this I think I'd remember it for the rest of my life:


This forthcoming documentary on the birth of Detroit techo looks like it's going to ruffle some feathers ...



I haven't delivered much in the way of freely downloadable dancing gear of late, but I'm fixing that right now. This Petko edit of the Dennis Edwards classic just dreamy:

Mark Rae keeps on delivering. This "acid hip hop" tune is a banger:

I have no idea what Shanty Town this might be the theme from, but it's some proper disco delight:

And a very nice house tune ...

Again, all these are free downloads, requiring various degrees of mucking about with Hypeddit. Worth it, I reckon.


What we learned yesterday about the cannabis referendum

Given the sheer number of issues canvassed in the twin media conferences that accompanied the signing of the new government's coalition and support agreements, it's understandable that the cannabis referendum and drug law reform in general haven't had a lot of air since. But we did learn a couple of things yesterday.

The first is that the referendum will not be binding. The second is that the question or questions put to the public are yet to be determined.

The relevant passage comes here in the Ardern-Shaw press conference in answer to a question about whether Labour will support the decriminlaisation or legalisation of cannabis if that is the result of the referendum. Ardern fairly leaps on it.

What we've said is that we absolutely believe and agree with the Green Party that it's time to take this to the public. They advocated strongly for that in our negotiation. It wasn't something we campaigned on, it is something the Green Party brought to the table. We agreed that what we're doing now simply isn't working. So we've said yes to having that referendum.

We expect that we'll have a process in the lead-up to formulating the question that allows the public to engage in debate. And we expect also to use that public debate to input into the development of the question itself and potentially into any proposals we'll take to the public for them to vote on. That will be a very public-facing process.

Again, we've left ... ah, these issues generally have always been a conscience vote for our members, but I'm sure they'll be heavily guided by what the view of New Zealanders comes back as.

On a question about making medicinal cannabis available to New Zealanders.

Yes, absolutely. We share a commitment on that that issue.

Ironically, the unequivocal second answer tells us less than the mildly hedged first one.

The confirmation that the referendum will not be binding will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to many advocates, but it's not all bad. What it does do is shift a key element of the policy debate.

The actual wording of the support agreement commits both parties to:

Increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug use is treated as a health issue, and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.

The first half of that sentence is very welcome – and the second is a fairly vague proposition. Does "legalising personal use" mean producing and supplying cannabis would remain illegal, but it would not be an offence to possess it? Or does it mean legalising and regulating the production and supply of cannabis?

I think it's safe to say the words in the coalition agreement will not be those on the referendum. It's not unlikely that the public could be presented with more than one option, perhaps in a two-step process.

What that means is that there is everything to argue for before the question or questions are even drawn up.

That argument has already begun. University of Waikato law professor Alexander Gillespie writes in a Dominion Post column that a refendum is the right way to enact change and harks back to a "New Zealand tradition" of direct democracy around the regulation of alcohol.

He argues that there are three options: the status quo, decriminalisation ("by which the user is kept innocent, but the product, illegal") and legalisation and regulation. In truth, there are many options within those options. Home growing, cannabis clubs like those in Europe (which are an idea worth considering), a state monopoly, some facsimile of alcohol regulation, which shifts part of the burden to local authorities, or a regulatory framework that endeavours to avoid the mistakes made with alcohol.

Gillespie argues that "the exemplar of this approach is the United States, where the citizens of 16 individual states have voted to legalise cannabis for medical and/or recreational uses."

The US is not really a useful exemplar. There are 29 states that that, on the face of it, allow for medical marijuana, but some of those allow only CBD products, while at the other end of the scale, California's medpot regime has been so loose as to virtually amount to legalisation for any use.

Even the eight states that have legalised recreational use represent a variety of approaches. Colorado and Oregon have similar systems, allowing for commercial prodction and sale, but leaving it up to individual counties to decide whether or not to allow dispensaries to operate. Washington State's system is more restrictive and makes it an offence to hold more than an ounce of weed at home or grow your own without a medical licence. Washington DC is generous about home-growing but forbids commerce. Alaska allows dispensaries but imposes a $10,000 fine on anyone carrying more than an ounce – and a $50,000 fine (or five years in jail!) on anyone who strays within 150 metres of a school or recreational centre with even a crumb of pot on their person. Maine, Nevada and California are still working out what their rules will be.

Moreover, these are all state initiatives and we're talking about national law reform. As I've noted before, where we could and should look is Canada, a liberal democracy that has embarked on a cautious, informed legalisation process. Even there, regulations will differ from state to state when legalisation happens in July next year. Central government law sets a minimum age limit of 18, but Ontario is going for 19 – and, in an unpopular move, a state government monopoly on sales. All states are still working through impairment testing for drivers.

The key thing is, there's a process. In July, I met Anne McLellan, the former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister who led the task force that began that process. I think it's a very safe bet she'll be invited back her to share what they've learned. Among the US states, the authorities in Colorado seem the most responsive and thoughtful and I expect we'll hear from them too. This week's comments to Canadian media from the state's Chief Medical Officer are useful.

As regards the medical question: Labour's medical cannabis policy isn't as good as the party thinks it is. It requires that doctors and official not deny medical prescription to anyone who needs it, but it doesn't deal with the prohibitive cost of prescribing imported products, have anything to say about domestic production or countenance home growing. It's even conceivable that Labour could tank Julie Anne Genter's private member's bill at select committee. There are plenty of questions there.

One thing the new goverment could usefully do is give some clearer direction to police about "green fairy" prosecutions. Rose Renton was in court last week facing charges over growing and producing high-CBD cannabis products (a balm and brownies) which are only minimally psychoactive and pose little or no risk to health. That's crazy and cruel. And, when it takes away resources from addressing predatory dealing in much more harmful drugs, actually nonsensical.

It's going to be an interesting three years. Norml president Chris Fowlie wrote a good post for the Daily Blog on the road ahead for cannabis reform advocates and how to frame questions and get results. He won't be alone in thinking about this stuff. The New Zealand Drug Foundation is already taking its model drug law on the road to start the conversation.

It's a conversation we've needed to have for a while. The one demanded by statements about drug use being a health not a criminal issue and by the Prime Minister's words yesterday about how "what we're doing now simply isn't working". Let's be having it.