Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Some Lines for Labour

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  • Stephen Judd,

    I believe that if John Key ripped off his latex human mask to reveal the slavering raptor head underneath and ate a baby on live television, most people would chuckle and go “gosh, that cheeky bastard really knows how to eat a baby, eh?” and then carry on as normal. Attacking his character directly is a lost cause. Since his behaviour in the House is a combination of arrogance and ineptitude, this is especially galling to Labour MPs, who are very frustrated that the public doesn’t see Key the way they see him every day. But they’re going to have to accept that they’d do better to take the battle on other fronts.

    I reckon it’d be better to embrace the narrative of Key as a nice bloke who’s made it and embodies the dream, agree with it, and then tweak it by pointing out that he chose the bunch of incompetent drongoes who made the mess we’re in. At the moment unhappy people are still in the mode of “if only the Tsar knew.” Well, he does know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Key is quite keen on a KFC Double down, so you never know...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold, in reply to BlairMacca,

    Still waiting for Mr Goff to say `Me too!'

    Since Jan 2007 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    with 3.142% Kiwisaver contributions

    sharing the pi more fairly :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • poffa,

    I can't see how pruning a billion $ budget will impact on a $28 billion overspeand. Isn't money that is invested in kiwi saver, available for investment? which is what the government needs at the moment.I'm begining to wonder if there is not a M.Minderbinder working in treasury.

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I believe that if John Key ripped off his latex human mask to reveal the slavering raptor head underneath and ate a baby on live television, most people would chuckle and go “gosh, that cheeky bastard really knows how to eat a baby, eh?” and then carry on as normal.

    I want this to have a wider audience.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to izogi,

    Are you sure this isn’t more a widely held perception of what they’re saying rather than what they’re actually saying?.

    hey, don't shot the messenger man... god knows if i have to apply a calendula and dandelion compress i'll never heal.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Since his behaviour in the House is a combination of arrogance and ineptitude, this is especially galling to Labour MPs, who are very frustrated that the public doesn’t see Key the way they see him every day.

    If Labour MPs really think that, then I’ve got to say Freud’s theory of projection is a theory no longer…

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

  • Sacha,

    Danyl strikes with another Dear John letter from Brash.

    It is with a heavy heart that I withdraw my membership, not only of the National Party, as I explained in my previous letter, but also from the National Party Social Bowling Club of which I have been a proud member for twenty-three years.

    I do not take this decision lightly and I have made it after observing, with mounting alarm, your lack of commitment to the activity of bowling.

    When I had the privilege to serve as President of the Social Bowling Club and you were my treasurer, I railed against the inefficiency of the sport as I saw it. Despite repeated attempts to destroy the little pins at the end of the lane with our heavy balls, there was never any reduction in the total amount of pins. We spent many hours knocking them down but the next time the Club met there they all were again, standing upright just as before, presumably placed there by some malign, unseen state agency.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I can, and it's at the root of why Labour are failing.
    They're a pro-capitalist party. Sure, they want a nicer kinder capitalism, with 3.142% Kiwisaver contributions, Working for Families and Rob Fyfe/Don Elder "responsible" to a silent state shareholder. But they're basically just a few degrees left of National, just as ACT are a few degrees right.

    Labour should be paying close attention to the slaughter of the Liberal Party in Canada's recent general election, and the significant breakthrough of the New Democratic Party.

    While MMP means it is unlikely to be repeated on the same scale here as it was in Canada, Labour's failure to competently articulate a real alternative will end up with a lot more people than just Che looking where else to place their 'x' on the ballot paper. Competent MPs like Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe will suffer from this just as much as the incompetents like Goff.

    The current government is presenting so many open goals for Labour to score into, that the leadership's inability to put the ball into the back of the net is rivalling useless English football teams in a World Cup match.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Andrew E,

    Labour’s failure to competently articulate a real alternative will end up with a lot more people than just Che looking where else to place their ‘x’ on the ballot paper.

    yup. and piss-taking aside, Green is the most viable alternative.

    once they ditch The Kedge they could be very respectable.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to izogi,

    I’m probably missing things but I just did a quick Google of the Greens’ website, and there are very few mentions of the word Naturopathy.

    Not naturopathy specifically, but this is official policy:

    6. Complementary Health Care

    At least one in four New Zealanders uses complementary therapies, and Aotearoa/New Zealand has an extensive network of complementary healthcare practitioners. The Green Party wants to see better integration of complementary health providers in primary and secondary care, to improve safety and meet the health needs of New Zealanders. The Green Party will:

    1) Establish a Complementary Health Care Unit within the Ministry of Health to facilitate the integration of selected complementary health practices and therapies into the public health system.
    2) Provide District Health Boards with resources to integrate complementary health therapies and practitioners into PHO and hospital care, to provide multidisciplinary health services.
    3) Encourage complementary health practitioners to form strong self-regulation to standardise peer review and training, and encourage statutory regulation of complementary health practitioners through the Health Professionals Competence Assurance Act where relevant.
    4) Implement the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health (MACCAH).
    5) Expand funding for the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) database to further develop researcher and practitioner understanding of the role and safety of complementary therapies in the treatment of illness.
    6) Facilitate access to a wide range of safe and effective dietary supplements.
    7) Ensure Aotearoa/New Zealand retains regulatory control of the dietary supplements industry and does not proceed with government plans for restrictive trans-Tasman regulation of dietary supplements.

    3 and is sound policy; 4, 5, 6 and 7 may or may not be, it's hard to tell without going and looking up what eg. the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health actually says; 1 and 2 are IMHO terrible ideas, and form one of the few beefs I have with the party of which I am a member. On the other hand, I haven't seen any Green press release actually mentioning this bit of the policy, well, ever.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Even if the Greens were to rigorously purge the policy of anything that hadn’t been signed off for evidence-basedness by a committee of five PhDs and a Nobel laureate, we’d still be told that they were a bunch of tree huggers who believe in homeopathy.

    This is the party that argued that "natural" remedies didn't need to be safety tested or have any kind of labeling, because like nature is so friendly and beautiful how could it be dangerous to eat random plants but the GE foods need to have fluoro warning labels and alarms bells just in case someone accidentally ate them?

    Sorry but yes they do need to inject evidence based policy into their manifesto before I will vote for them.

    Which is a pity because much of what they stand for is stuff I strongly support.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to poffa,

    what's good for Milo Minderbinder
    is good for the country, right?

    it's like ex-Captain, Major Major has taken over....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7876 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    6) Facilitate access to a wide range of safe and effective dietary supplements

    Oh dear. So much of that is just snake oil.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Andrew E,

    Oh dear. So much of that is just snake oil.

    That's my fear - so much of the policy hangs on the definitions of words like "restrictive", "safe" and "effective".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James Butler,

    That's my fear - so much of the policy hangs on the definitions of words like "restrictive", "safe" and "effective".

    If those definitions are made by scientifically significant evidence then great.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    @Bart: Have you even read the policy ? Or even the part quoted by James ?

    Sections 3 and 5 specifically deal with safety issues.

    Can you point to any Green MP who said complementary therapies should be totally unregulated ?

    What Sue Kedgely did actual say was,in an oral question to the Minister of Health was:

    Will the Government revisit its decision to use the proposed trans-Tasman therapeutic products agency to regulate dietary supplements and complementary medicines following the Health Committee’s recommendation that strengthening domestic regulation is the most appropriate method of governing complementary health-care products in New Zealand; if not, why not?

    Domestic regulation != laissez faire.

    Whilst I understand your disageement with the Greens around GE, I would appreciate you actually reading the policy rather than misrepresenting it.

    ETA link to oral question.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to James Butler,

    At least one in four New Zealanders uses complementary therapies, and Aotearoa/New Zealand has an extensive network of complementary healthcare practitioners.

    Also, while I'm at it, the Greens know that "Everyone does it" is a poor argument when Steven Joyce uses it to justify excessive spending on roads; it's still a poor argument when used to support funding ineffective, unproven healthcare products.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    James you are conflating personal health choices with governmental addiction to large scale roading projects. Surely you can see a problem with that comparison ?

    Also, nothing in the policy precludes efficacy-based decisioning in terms of which products/therapies to include.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Meanwhile, Don Brash's open letter to John key might be the most socially divisive rant I've ever seen from a New Zealand political leader. Winston Peters included.

    It's bizarre.

    It neatly wedges Key but.

    Sorry, back to herbal medicines as others wish.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    James you are conflating personal health choices with governmental addiction to large scale roading projects. Surely you can see a problem with that comparison ?

    Mikaere, I see where you are coming from, but points 1 and 2 about incorporating complementary therapies into the public health system. This is more problematic than “personal health choices” for two reasons: firstly that it would most likely result in public subsidies for these practitioners and therapies, and second that legislation bears some responsibility to incentivise effective over ineffective choices, especially when public money is at stake. Which segues nicely into your second point…

    Also, nothing in the policy precludes efficacy-based decisioning in terms of which products/therapies to include.

    Do you know what happens to “alternative” or “complementary” therapies that are proven to be efficacious? They get appropriated by conventional medicine. And this is a good thing, because whatever reservations one might (and should!) have about the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, they are still the best mechanism we have for determining what are safe and effective therapies.

    Also, I like your new word “decisioning” :-)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Specifically referring to regulation of dietary supplements.

    I would much rather have compounds that are sold to the public purporting to improve health be regulated by someone. At the moment the only regulatory standard available to us is the one developed by the Australians. It is all very well to suggest (rightly or wrongly) that local regulation could do a better job but until such time as local regulations are in place I believe it is appropriate to have some regulations in place.

    My understanding of Ms Kedgely's stance is that until such time as we develop our own policy we should leave them unregulated. I am pretty certain I have heard her say that on the news (I may be remembering incorrectly). Or in your words, laissez faire for now until we get around to developing regulations of our own.

    That stance does not seem consistent with a desire to protect the health of New Zealander's.

    And yes I read what James quoted, but not the entire Green party policy. I'm not yet tempted to read it - I will when the public announcements of the Green MPs stop including what I believe is non-science. That said I do very much agree with many of the Green party policies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James Butler,

    +1 James, much more coherent than I.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Bart, if this:

    My understanding of Ms Kedgely's stance is that until such time as we develop our own policy we should leave them unregulated. I am pretty certain I have heard her say that on the news (I may be remembering incorrectly).

    is the best example you can come up with, then arguably this:

    when the public announcements of the Green MPs stop including what I believe is non-science

    has already come to pass.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

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