Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: No Bills

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  • Russell Brown,

    Whoops. Forgot to turn on discussion. Feel free to hammer away now ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Glad I'm not the only one who noticed the comment about Copeland's proxy. No, you can't have your vote. Not yours.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    National's constant U-turning (on the issue of new rules for press coverage in the house, on the Foreshore and Seabed) and Key's inability to take a policy position on anything is starting to cause that most fatal of political consequences - being taken as a joke.

    As for the Therapeutics Products and Medicines Bill, if it did anything at least removed any lingering doubt as to whether or not Christine Rankin is, to put it mildly, an eccentric crank.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Roger,

    Kedgley, at least, genuinely opposed the bill on its content.

    What the! This is the woman who wants stringent labelling, testing and certification of food, but is happy to have any old rubbish in "complementary" potions. Yesterday she was hammering away on non-approved ingredients in baby formula, when in her world you could just call it a medicine and it would be OK.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    National's constant U-turning (on the issue of new rules for press coverage in the house, on the Foreshore and Seabed) and Key's inability to take a policy position on anything is starting to cause that most fatal of political consequences - being taken as a joke.

    Key certainly has his strengths, but I think we're starting to see how he might operate in government. He basically implied that Gerry Brownlee was an idiot when he u-turned on the press coverage rules. I'm sure that didn't go down too well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Anorak,

    So looking forward to the SJD gig on Thursday!
    One of the most exciting and original groups (I know, led by Sean, but still a band, if you will) around, I reckon.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Jenkins,

    So, via hysteria on the one hand (and yes I do think that's a fair description of some of Kedgley's rhetoric) and naked political calculation on the other, New Zealanders will suffer.

    That's not entirely fair... the Bill failed because it had at least the appearance of being overly restrictive, and it raised a lot of opposition.

    Surely the fault for any negative consequences rests more with those who drafted it ineffectively - rather than with the opposition parties who did what they're supposed to - i.e. oppose questionable legislation?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Surely the fault for any negative consequences rests more with those who drafted it ineffectively - rather than with the opposition parties who did what they're supposed to - i.e. oppose questionable legislation?

    No, I don't resile from the hysteria word at all. She was completely over the top - repeatedly describing it as "sinister" and claiming it would "undermine our health freedom, our democracy and our sovereignty", and so on. The gibbering xenophobia (and the ironic embrace of the special-interest-dominated FDA system) were really something to behold.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    grrrr

    It is with disgust that I see what the Green Party has done to this Bill.

    Any thought that the Greens were anything other than money grubbing selfish <insert derogatory term of your choice here> has to be banished now.

    Of course they oppose a Bill that would require their own businesses to actually prove safety before putting their products on the shelves. Never mind even proving efficacy for the wild claims on most of those products bottles.

    This from a political entity that pontificated on the importance of public safety and environmental safety at all costs during the GE debate. Where is the precautionary principle now? Why isn't it reasonable to demand that natural products targeted for human consumption be proven safe to STANDARDS?

    Hypocritical politicians - yes that's redundant I know.

    The Green party disgusts me.

    Which is a pity because I believe we need a political party that will protect the environment in parliament. I just do not believe the current Green party is honest enough to be that party.

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This from a political entity that pontificated on the importance of public safety and environmental safety at all costs during the GE debate. Where is the precautionary principle now?

    Quite so. The Greens' stand on GMOs was that they had to be "proven safe". But when it comes to something in their backyard, the onus of proof has been neatly reversed.

    Has anyone heard a broadcast journalist put that contradiction to Sue Kedgley?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Kedgely was hysterical and ill-informed on this topic, I agree.
    And let's not forget this is the woman who wanted to ban DHMO, dihydrogen monoxide. She's a well-meaning fool.

    Ryall was just nasty, but that's no surprise.

    And Copeland, well, the sooner he's gone, the better the place will be.

    This Bill did appear to be too heavy-handed, but I'm not sure if it would have been in practice. Labour mishandled it, but I have no respect for Ryall, Copeland and Kedgely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Well, now that National has its victory, it might agree in a few months to a compromise...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Tony Ryall and Sue Kedgley

    Now there's a duo whose four hands on the health portfolio would make you think.

    Is it just me or does the Green's current goal seem to be to take down this Government in a sort of death by 1000 cuts approach?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    National's constant U-turning (on the issue of new rules for press coverage in the house, on the Foreshore and Seabed) and Key's inability to take a policy position on anything is starting to cause that most fatal of political consequences - being taken as a joke.

    Tom: I find it rather ironic that when Clark does a 'U-turn', or rolls over/sidelines her front bench to 'front foot' a politically sensitive issue, it's a sign of strength; when Key does he's a flake, at best, or a two-faced arsehole with some secret agenda.

    Well, sorry for sounding like scratched CD, but I thought this was exactly what MMP was meant to achieve - end to the 'elected dictatorship' duopoloy of National & Labour doing whatever the hell they wanted with no real checks and balances?

    Now, I do think Russell is right (and I do hope this is a fair summary, RB) - the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill was far from flawless, but much of the opposition was either way OTT or flat out misleading, with an unhealthy garnish of gratuitous anti-Ocker paranoia thrown in. (And, yes, I do wish the Greens would at least be consistently inconsistent in their application of the hyper-precautionary principle.) It would be nice if everyone got the gloat-and-snipe out of their system in the House today, and got to work coming up with a workable alternative.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    gratuitous anti-Ocker paranoia

    The country that throws a guy in jail on a political whim *after* a court decides to free him? Sorry Craig, no such thing.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    There is a much better solution to the Foreshore and Seabed law:

    - allow Maori to recover their ownership of the foreshore and seabed where appropriate

    - legislate for access to a coastal strip everywhere there isn't a strong safety reason to prevent it. This would apply to iwi, to Ports of Auckland and to Michael Fay equally.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, now that National has its victory, it might agree in a few months to a compromise...

    But that would mean John Key changing his mind!

    The problem is that unless any solution actually adopts the joint regulator proposal, NZ suppliers will have to go through two regulatory processes if they want to sell both here and in Australia.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...Is it just me or does the Green's current goal seem to be to take down this Government in a sort of death by 1000 cuts approach?"

    No, its just the social engineering tail trying to wag the dog and in its arrogance pissing the entire country off.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is it just me or does the Green's current goal seem to be to take down this Government in a sort of death by 1000 cuts approach?

    No, Don - it's not just you. according to NRT, that's exactly the line Chris Trotter floated in his Independent column last week. And I agree with Idiot/Savant's *cough* blunt assessment:

    To call this arrogant is an understatement. To point out the obvious, the primary purpose of the Greens is not to deliver n% of the vote to keep Labour in power, but rather to represent the interests of their supporters. And contrary to Trotter's assertions, that is exactly what they have been doing. This may be inconvenient for Labour, but at the end of the day, that's their problem, not that of the Greens.

    To use a dreadful political cliche, I think there are elements in both National & Labour, as well as most of the commentariat, who haven't quite got their heads around MMP, or the role of 'minor parties' where the Greens and Maori Party in particular are concerned.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The country that throws a guy in jail on a political whim *after* a court decides to free him? Sorry Craig, no such thing.

    Which has precisely what relationship to joint regulation as proposed in the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Tom: I find it rather ironic that when Clark does a 'U-turn', or rolls over/sidelines her front bench to 'front foot' a politically sensitive issue, it's a sign of strength; when Key does he's a flake, at best, or a two-faced arsehole with some secret agenda.

    It's definitely ironic. Key has basically learned from Clark to sit in the middle and read the polls. Which means there is little difference, at least in appearances, between the two main parties, which leaves me scratching my head over why Key/National is so popular. Surely part of it is simply fatigue. Another part is that the opposition are not really in a position to make any mistakes so they can't be hammered for them. Withholding policy is a cunning tactic, for sure. It's something the government simply can't do.

    Time will tell if Key really is a slightly bluer Clark, or a wolf in sheep's clothing, though.

    And having the leadership reading the polls seems to me a sign that MMP is working. It could be even better if the polls simply made the choices themselves, but this is a good compromise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Will @ work,

    Dr Pippa Mackay explained on Morning Report what this means for the approval of all new medicines: longer delays as Medsafe, which had been anticipating the joint trans-Tasman regulator, struggles to keep up, higher costs, and fewer new medicines approved.

    It is the same logic supporting the TB that Jim Anderton shares in his desire to refuse new psychoactives on the market until they are stamped "completely safe for human consumption." I expect there's going to be a big black market in camomile and guarana because of this.

    "It's not just peanut safe, it's not just gluten safe, it's... ideologically safe!"

    This from a political entity that pontificated on the importance of public safety and environmental safety at all costs during the GE debate.

    Indeed, it makes the Greens look like paradoxical peabrains. I fear the GE thing was their bad, barking up the wrong lentil like that.

    Newtown • Since Jul 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's definitely ironic. Key has basically learned from Clark to sit in the middle and read the polls.

    I see Cullen is emphatically claiming that Key and Tim Groser came to Labour looking for a compromise because of their concern about the impact on relations with Australia if the bill tanked -- but Ryall sank it.

    Key says National never supported the bill because it was concerned about its impact on complementary medicines. National: the naturopaths' new friend.

    And having the leadership reading the polls seems to me a sign that MMP is working. It could be even better if the polls simply made the choices themselves, but this is a good compromise.

    Yeah, but if the polls are driven by the news media's compliant reporting of Kedgley and Rankin's conspiracy theories, don't we have a problem here?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Quite so. The Greens' stand on GMOs was that they had to be "proven safe". But when it comes to something in their backyard, the onus of proof has been neatly reversed.

    Kedgely is the main reason I avoided voting green for so long. I guess I count myself as an "urban techno-greenie" rather than a hippie: I want to see high-density cities with quality public transport, ESD buildings and innovative sustainable energy source, rather than rejecting everything that the modern world stands for. It seems that Kedgely appeals more to the suburban middle-class baby-boomers who worry about "nasty chemicals", and I guess it's easier to promote "natural herbal medicines" than to get the soccer mums out of their SUVs.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Key's inability to take a policy position on anything is starting to cause that most fatal of political consequences - being taken as a joke.

    You might be deep into 'nobody I know voted for Nixon' territory here. Key and his party are still wildly popular suggesting that their rather vague approach to policy is still a successful strategy.

    I think what you really mean is that Key and his party are seen as a joke by people who are never ever going to vote for them anyway - probably not something their strategy advisers lose much sleep over.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

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