Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration,

    I thought this was the really interesting quote

    The politicians all agreed immigration was crucial to a thriving Aotearoa.

    I'd happily triple our refugee quota (or more) because it's the humane thing to do.

    But why is immigration "crucial"? Yes we need some immigration, if for no other reason than to balance emigration. But the idea that it's a good way to create some kind of utopia or improve our economy, that I just don't understand. How about we try and improve the society we have instead of using immigrants to provide some kind of panacea (and yeah I know our GDP increases lately have derived almost entirely from immigration).

    If you view immigration as an economic tool (like all good neo-libs do) then you ultimately end up making value judgements on the quality of the people you let immigrate. Play with the words all you like that path is inherently inhumane.

    I'd be far more comfortable using immigration as a tool to increase diversity than as a tool to increase NZ's wealth. How about a quota system that demanded a certain percentage from every part of the globe?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetic cannabinoids: a primer,

    Worth remembering also that we are all different genetically. Almost every person on the planet will respond differently to these compounds. From differences in the actual receptor being targeted to differences in the way the liver will detoxify the compounds.

    In most cases the differences will be slight and academic but it's also possible that some folks will react very differently to exactly the same compound and dose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to steven crawford,

    Am I wrong ?

    You're neither entirely wrong nor entirely right. Which is true of almost everyone expressing opinions.

    However, the question for me is "Is what we are focusing on going to improve the well-being of New Zealanders?"

    What has made me angry and upset is that rather than addressing the issues Metiria raised, and policies that might improve things, the response has largely been one of attacking the person. Exacerbating that anger has been the overt and covert sexism and racism in the way Ms Turei has been examined.

    That behaviour is to be expected in the social media (sadly) but for the MSM to behave that way is really disappointing.

    And then when she resigns, for the media to proclaim "it wasn't our fault, what did she expect if she bends over of course we'll kick her and stomp on her once she's down" is disgusting. Some people need to check their humanity.

    But yeah, she isn't poor now and she was trying to get votes as well. But that doesn't make what happened since right or good or something for which New Zealanders can be proud.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem,

    It would be nice if one of the media that went after Metiria so enthusiastically had an extended investigative journalism series about how our welfare system is failing the very poor and how the hostile approach of WINZ is doing more harm than good.

    You know - for the public good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to simon g,

    Audrey Young's throwaway line in the Herald says it all, really:

    One of my colleagues spent several hours buried in the National Library this week trying to track down her flatmates from that time.

    While all this was happening, the Panama Papers fallout continued, reported by a few (Matt Nippert), ignored by most. TLDR: Key was wrong, his critics were right, and many millions of dollars were at stake. Sir John could not be reached for comment (because nobody bothered).

    Which is my problem with this as well.

    Our media, including John Campbell and Checkpoint (of whom I expected better), spent a huge effort going after Metiria and framing her "crime" even to the extent of condemning her for not becoming a drug dealer.

    Yet we have a PM who has demonstrated he is completely comfortable with ripping off the taxpayer if it can be squeezed past a lawyer and happy to have the taxpayer continue the salary of an MP who recorded private conversations (possibly between aforesaid PM and a staff member).

    Where are the nightly updates on that investigation? How many checkpoint journalists are digging through Mr Barclay's life history, or heaven forfend, Mr English's tax records?

    Our media need to have a long hard look at themselves and ask themselves just how balanced are they? And are they really serving the best interests of the public with where they have placed their effort?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to izogi,

    but maybe that's just me as someone who really would like the discussion to be about poverty

    Nope me too.

    And as an aside can people stop saying The Green stole Labour constituency by talking about poverty - because up until then Little had been largely silent. Essentially The Greens picked up a ball that Labour was trying very hard to ignore.

    Even now where is Labour's strong policy on social welfare, what exactly is Labour going to specifically do to lift up those who are really struggling. Sure we've heard about housing, which is part of it, and tax fairness, and general stuff that will indirectly help. But frankly right now I want to see some of my tax spent directly and specifically helping the very very poor and the only party willing to suggest that is The Greens.

    So hardly cannibalising anything even if Mr Hickey thinks it's a cool headline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Metiria is shining the public spotlight on this ugly corner of our society

    The problem as always is a lazy, under-resourced, inexperienced media.

    It was always much easier to chase after the "Meteria story" than to dive into the morass of our welfare system and drag the problems into the light.

    Even now places that promised better journalism (The Newsroom) are far happier talking about the politicians and politics than actually looking hard at the issues Ms Turei raised and the policies that created them.

    You can proclaim all you like that "it was always going to be about her" but that is just accepting the Garners and Gowers as normal and right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to Neil,

    And the mystery box challenge is goose.

    And the mystery box challenge is LIVE goose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The new establishment, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    This government has proven rather more cynically sophisticated than that.

    National is unashamedly ideology driven. They simply don't accept any evidence that is contrary to their position in the belief that because their ideology is correct any such evidence must be flawed, either the evidence itself is faulty or the ideology hasn't been given enough time to succeed.

    And yes that is a perfect circle.

    To be fair this is a fairly human behaviour and again to be fair they've campaigned on such an approach and hence feel they have a mandate to enact it.

    They've used public input as a method of pacifying the masses without any intention of shifting from their ideology.

    Would The Greens and Labour actually be any different? Well, they say they will be ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The new establishment, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I hope that this heralds a new shift towards embracing all the good work done by credible groups in civil society. About time government stopped thinking they know best.

    With the best will in the world and the best bureaucracy supporting them the government simply cannot have the knowledge needed to make best policy on all issues.

    The smart thing to do is, when groups of people get together and build knowledge and expertise in an area, the government should listen to them.

    Sadly for the last 30 years or so when faced with a lack of knowledge governments have relied on ideology to guide them. It hasn't worked well at all.

    Seeing Labour and The Greens actually deferring to the expertise of the transport nerds who have been figuring out solutions for Auckland is hopeful. We just need similar groups in other fields and a government who is willing to set aside ideology and listen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4338 posts Report Reply

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