Stuff – no paywall but pay for premium?

Stuff report on their own plans to try and make some money out of online content – Stuff looks at premium membership.

Fairfax Media’s news website may not be considering a paywall, but options to offer a premium membership service to New Zealand online readers are “really quite exciting”, says Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood.

I’m really excited to know what the difference is between a paywall and paying for “a premium membership service”.

NBR and the Listener already run models that involve partial public access with more being available to paying subscribers.

A major problem with this approach is that their best content is the least accessible. Most people choose not to pay, they simply look elsewhere, so ‘premium’ journalism gets a greatly reduced audience.

And worse – their best stories get picked up by other media who get much wider coverage offering it for free. The New Zealand news market is very small.

But maybe they aren’t talking about paying for news.

New Zealand chief executive Simon Tong was looking at a membership model and monetising the audience in different ways.

“That’s something Simon and his team are working up,” said Hywood.

“You can provide a whole range of services to members. It’s really up to your imagination and your ability to produce product.”

And that product has to compete with the wide variety of free products available online.

The only subscription service I pay for is Consumer, and I’m about to stop that as I get little from them that I can’t get elsewhere (their pay content offers too little value).

Perhaps Stuff can move to magazine/entertainment.celebrity type pay content, that’s where most interest and least thought about value seems to be. MacMedia sort of stuff.

Pegida not so popular in Newcastle

Pegida seems to be battle for popularity in England, with a march in Newcastle being outnumbered by opposition.

Newcastle Pegida marchers vastly outnumbered by counter-protests

Northumbria police said 375 people were on the Pegida rally while 2,000 joined the Newcastle Unites protest in the city centre.

The rally was supposedly organised by Pegida, or “patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the west”, which claims that Germany is being overrun by Muslims and has held marches, mostly in Dresden.

Men holding National Front banners could be seen among the Pegida supporters.

Decency versus prejudice and intolerance.

I believe in Islam even less than I believe in Christianity but peaceful religious following should be equal rights.

Islam has had some connection with Britain for centuries,

Muslim scholarship, especially early Islamic philosophy and Islamic science, was well-known through Latin translation among the learned in England by 1386, when Geoffrey Chaucer was writing. In the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, there is among the pilgrims wending their way to Canterbury, a ‘Doctour of Phisyk’ whose learning included Rhazes (Al-Razi), Avicenna (Ibn Sina,Arabic ابن سينا) and Averroes (Ibn Rushd, Arabic ابن رشد).

And Muslim immigration has been significant since the 1700s.

The first group of Muslims to migrate in significant numbers, in the 18th century, were lascars (sailors) recruited from the Indian subcontinent (largely from the Bengal region) to work for the British East India Company, most of whom settled down and took local wives.

Wouldn’t it be better if less effort went into division and abuse and more effort went into different peoples living and working together peacefully?

Pot and Pain, Part 2.

This follows on from Pot and Pain Part 1, where we discussed the efficacy of Cannabis for Neuropathic pain, and also the undesirable effects of Opiates versus Cannabis


In Part 2 I will cover

  • Synergestic effect with Opiates.
  • Hyperalgesia.
  • Anti Inflammatory effects.

The first nugget of knowledge is about synergy. Cannabis, when combined with Opiates such as Morphine, has a synergestic effect on Chronic pain, meaning the relief is greater than the sum of its parts, 2 + 2 = 6 on the relief scale if you will.  It does this without increasing the amount of Opiate soaked up by the body, meaning it isn’t increasing the risk of death. This means more of what Chronic Pain patients are after, relief…  The positive side effect is, that patients can get the same level of relief with less Opiate, reducing the chance of accidental overdose and death.  This effect has been linked to a huge reduction in deaths from accidental overdose in the states, as users switch from Opiates to Cannabis as the preferred pain relief, in this scenario, Cannabis really does save lives….

The second  thing to touch on is the side effect of long term use of Opiates, Hyperalgesia. This is the perverse side effect and polar opposite of what Opiates are supposed to do, basically if you take pain killers long enough, the do the opposite and exacerbate the pain. The only opiate that is not prone to causing Hyperalgesia is Methadone, a Class B Drug that many GPs refuse to prescribe due to misinformed perceptions. Methadone would actually be the preferred Opiate for chronic pain, as the tolerance build up is months or years, and Hyperalgesia is virtually eliminated as a risk, It also has a long duration of effect, allowing the patient to sleep through the night, rather than wake at 3am to pop more pills as the others have worn off, counter to that, its long half life makes it dangerous and easier to overdose on, and the public perception of it being only used for addicts has a significant effect on its use in NZ.

The final thing that Cannabis is reported to be effective for, (though I am less familiar with it)  is inflammation, particularly related to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  The latest trend in the USA is the swelling ranks of retirement age people using Cannabis for pain relief,  there is a smaller body of evidence suggesting CBD  the non psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis, directly interferes with disease progression in Arthritis, in addition to providing pain relief.  The most desired side effect by this subset of the MMJ community is the improved sleep, which makes it 1 drug for 3 effects, pain, inflammation/disease progression, and sleep. The explosion in elderly patients is partly because MMJ dispensaries, those that take the medical part seriously at least, have worked on alternative methods of administration, including, skin creams.  Which anecdotally, have No psychoactivity while offering localized pain relief. It is these unique qualities that have made it a go to solution for the elderly, who often have extra side effects from regular medications and need extra monitoring, due to dodgy livers, kidneys and metabolism.

With this information, I hope you the reader are more equipped to know the ins and outs of how cannabis works, (lots of research links!!) why it is safer than conventional Opiate pain killers, and even that it improves the pain relief from Opiates, and that it is available in skin creams that have no psychoactive effects, suitable for arthritic joints.


Benefit dependency high but reducing

A Stuff article Future welfare bill ‘cut by $7.5b focusses on reductions in spending but it includes some sobering statistics on inter-generational welfare dependency.

Among some of the most startling statistics, are figures which show the effect of inter-generational welfare dependence.

New methods of data collection have allowed the ministry to track trends of young beneficiary recipients whose parents have also collected welfare.

The limited history of the data means only welfare recipients up to the age of 25 could be tracked.

Notable statistics:

  • 75% of the liability is attributable to clients that first entered benefits under the age of 20.
  • 74% of all beneficiaries up to the age of 25 had a parent on the benefit while they were a child
  • 35% had a parent on benefit throughout their teenage years
  • 88% of Youth Benefit clients came from families where one or more parent was also on a benefit
  • More than half of those had an “intensive beneficiary” as a parent – one who was on a benefit for more than 80 per cent of the time their child was aged 13-18
  • a client whose parent was intensively in the system during ages 13-18 was then 48% more likely to remain on JS-WR (job seeker – work ready) after a year compared to those clients matched to a non-beneficiary parent. Their exits were also less sustainable; on leaving the system, they were 11% more likely to be back on benefits within two years.

However these figures are dropping, with Jobseekers down by 8% overall since new initiatives were implemented in 2012 (and the economy improved).

Reforms have helped slash the forecast cost of New Zealand’s total welfare bill by $7.5 billion within the past year, a report says.

The estimated liability of the welfare system is now $69b, down from $76.5b in 2013, according to the latest valuation of the future costs faced by the Ministry of Social Development.

Based on New Zealand’s current situation – which includes rates of employment, inflation and trends of decreasing welfare dependence – that is forecast to drop a further $5.3b by 2019, according to independent consultants Taylor Fry.

From the Key Findings:

Welfare Reforms and Future Focus Impacts included in the Valuation

  • Impact from Welfare Reform changes that occurred from July 2013 onwards, including:
    – Simplification of the benefit structure in July 2013
  • Continuing Impact from Welfare Reform changes that occurred from July/August 2012 onwards, including:
    – implementation of the Youth Service in August 2012
    – introduction of Job Streams in July 2012
    – Bill 1 changes to work expectations for sole parents, partners of main beneficiaries, widows, and women alone effective October 2012
    – A new service delivery model, with the level of case management tailored to clients’ likelihood of long-term benefit receipt
  • Continuing impact from Future Focus changes from September 2010 onwards:
    – a new requirement for Unemployment Benefit (UB) recipients to reapply for the benefit and complete a comprehensive work assessment interview every 52 weeks;
    – introduction of part-time work obligations for parents with youngest child 6 or older
    – new budgeting obligations for clients who repeatedly apply for hardship assistance
  • Additional Future Focus changes from May 2011 to:
    – require Sickness Benefit (SB) recipients to attend a reassessment interview with a case manager after 52 weeks
    – require new SB recipients to undergo additional medical assessment after 8 weeks

Stuff reports that about 30% of the reduction is due to Government/Ministry initiatives:

Of the $7.5 billion reduction, $2.2 billion was directly attributed to reforms within the ministry – both legislative and policy changes, as well as operational changes.

The rest was down to factors outside the ministry’s control, which included the falling rate of unemployment that accounted for a further $2.2b drop. It was forecast that more people would come off benefits and there would be less people applying for them.

Evicted from ‘her Housing New Zealand home’?

There was what looks like a quite sad story on Stuff yesterday about a young mother with two children whose mother has recently died having difficulty finding somewhere to live in Auckland.

That would be a reasonable story. But there’s aspects of the story that appear to be wrong or misleading.

Housing shortage hits young mum hard

The headline is fair enouigh.

A stoush over state housing tenancy rights has seen a young mother evicted with nowhere to turn.

The Pt England, Auckland resident, who asked not to be named, was given 21 days to leave her Housing New Zealand home of 15 years when her sick mother was moved to a rest home in October. Her mother died on December 5.

The 26-year-old has a 6-month-old baby and a 6-year-old daughter.

Some of that makes it a sad story. But some of it raises questions.

“A stoush over state housing tenancy rights” – but it appears that the 26-year-old didn’t have any state housing tenancy rights. Was she trying to claim rights she didn’t have?

“Her Housing New Zealand home of 15 years” – this women was eleven years old 15 years ago. She is not likely to have been given a state house when she was eleven.

No rent has been paid since October 16 and she was evicted on February 20, her possessions stacked on the lawn because she had nowhere to take them.

No rent paid since October 16.

Housing New Zealand spokeswoman Denise Fink said the tenancy legally ended on October 30.

Her mother moved to a rest home in October. The article doesn’t say it, and implies it’s the daughter’s state house, but it seems obvious this was the mother’s state house and when she moved out the tenancy ended.

The state housing landlord issued an extension while the resident searched for another home but eventually had to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for immediate possession. Eviction was the only remaining option after months of repeatedly visiting and advising the tenant, Fink said.

Now the daughter is referred to as “the resident”. But it seems clear she had been living with her mother in her mother’s house.

So the “stoush over state housing tenancy rights” seems to be a case of the daughter trying to ‘inherit’ her mother’s state house tenancy.

Housing New Zealand gave her three months to find alternative housing, which seems very reasonable. Andn ikt’s very probable that this woman was aware well before the end of October that her mother was moving out and the tenancy would end.

It would be unfair on others on state housing waiting lists for a squatter to queue jump.

And it’s fair to wonder about the circumstances around a woman living with her mother having two children with no sign of a father or fathers.

Has she always lived with her mother? Or has she been away and came back when relationships didn’t work out?

The end circumstance is sad. Housing in Auckland is a crisis situation so that makes things difficult for this young sole parent.

But it’s also sad that people get themselves into circumstances like this and expect the State to hand houses down through the family.

Pray to fix the Middle East?

I saw this on Facebook today in relation to New Zealand deploying troops in Iraq.

It’s all very well to send others. My Dad was in WW2 and said what a waste of a young mans life. Prayer is much more powerful than bullets. We all need to be UNITING as a NATION in PRAYER. Let’s start as individuals and pray ……. the power of one.

There’s no chance of the nation (New Zealand) of uniting in prayer.

And even if we did it’s going to make no difference to the Muslim dominated Middle East.

Prayer can be useful for some people on a personal but I’ doubt collective prayer has stopped many wars let alone sort out a mess like the Middle East.Some of the convoluted grievances pre-date Christ.

Petition against going to Iraq

Andrea Vance is promoting a petition against sending troops to Iraq – Petition against sending NZ troops to Iraq gets support.

More than 9000 people have signed up to a “not in my name” campaign in response to the Government’s decision to send troops to Iraq.

Action Station director Marianne Elliott – a former human rights advisor at the UN Mission to Afghanistan – said the online petition had attracted support in its first 24 hours.

She said the Government has not made a case for sending 143 personnel to train Iraqi forces to battle Islamic State.

“Other options must be considered…the Government must consult Parliament and listen to the voices of New Zealand,” she said.

John Key has been speaking about this and listening (hopefuly) for the last six months.

That’s a sizable number but not huge. Action Station has had close links with Greens so the peition is likely to be well supported from that demographic.

She said international military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have previously failed “at very high cost.”

“If we have learned anything from recent military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan it must surely be, firstly, that we cannot ignore the broader political realities of the region in which we are acting. And, secondly, our military intervention have so far failed to eliminate the threat of terrorism.”

But another side of the story is included:

Elliott was speaking at panel discussion event at Parliament tonight. Also on the panel was British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair. Sinclair disputed her claim on Twitter, writing: “coalition air strikes stopped ISIL from threatening Baghdad in 2014.”

And another, this one representing Iraq.

Iraqi ambassador Mouayed Saleh, based in Canberra, addressed the Diplosphere panel, gathered in Parliament’s Grand Hall. He welcomed New Zealand’s contribution to the international coalition of 62 countries.

“We are obviously very happy to see New Zealand,” he said. The Government did not need ground forces, but wanted training, intelligence and technology.

Which makes this quite different from the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

There would be opposition to involvement in war (and probably a petition) no matter what the circumstances.

But this canpaign is likely to be too little, too late.

Petition site: NZ Troops Going To War? #NotInMyName

In a recent Colmar Brunton survey, almost half of New Zealanders polled did not support sending Kiwi troops in a non-combat training role to Iraq, and yet today the Prime Minister announced that 100 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) staff would be sent to help Australia train Iraqi soldiers to combat Islamic State fighters.

Many New Zealanders do not believe the case has been made for military intervention. The risks, including the likelihood of ‘scope creep’, and benefits of sending troops have not been debated in Parliament and alternative forms of intervention have not been properly discussed - alternatives like providing humanitarian assistance, using sanctions to cut off the flow of funds to the Islamic State or providing support to Kurdish groups already successfully fighting them.

The bottom line right now is that the New Zealand Government does not have a mandate to send our troops in support of US military action. Public opinion in New Zealand is divided, our parliament has not been consulted, and the Iraqi parliament has not ratified a ‘status of forces’ agreement, which would offer official protection to our forces.

The situation in Iraq is complex and tragic, but the Government must consult Parliament, and listen to the voices of New Zealanders.

Tell John Key that he may be deciding to send troops to Iraq on your behalf, but he is not acting in your name. #NOTINMYNAME

Click here to read our National Director’s take on events.

“Dear Prime Minister John Key,

The decision to send New Zealand troops into Iraq may have been made on behalf of NZ, but it was made without a debate or vote in Parliament, without adequate discussion of the alternatives and without a clear public mandate.

If you choose to send New Zealand troops to Iraq now, in whatever capacity, you send them without my support and not in my name. The situation in Iraq is complex and tragic, but the bottom line right now is that you must consult Parliament, and listen to the voices of New Zealanders.

NB: Some people have reported trouble using our site. We are working on identifying and resolving the problem, but in the meantime, it seems to be only affecting people who have signed a petition with us before. If you find you can’t sign the petition and it just says “Saving” for a long time, simply sign out of your account (at the bottom of the page) and then you’ll be able to add your name. Hopefully we’ll have a permanent fix to this problem soon!

Will you sign?

You’d think she’d look happier

Posted by @_youhadonejob on Twitter: “You’d think she’d look happier”

NearClimaxIt isn’t clear whether this is near Climax NC, Climax MI, Climax VA or Climax GA. That’s what you wanted to know, isn’t it?

As it turns out this one has been doing the rounds for eighteen months

Asians may be more Neanderthal than Europeans

Additional DNA knowledge on how much Neanderthal genes are mixed with human DNA has led to a new theory – that Asians have had a double dose of Neanderthal DNA, possibly at different times.

It’s interesting but is a developing party of evolutionary science and seems to disprove the last theory on the amount of Neanderthal DNA shared by us humans. And another recent study suggests otherwise. Never mind.

The key stages from A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia

  • Scientists estimate that the Neanderthals’ ancestors diverged from ours 600,000 years ago.
  • Neanderthals first appeared in Europe at least 300,000 years ago.
  • The oldest fossils of Neanderthals date back about 200,000 years, while the most recent are an estimated 40,000 years old. Researchers have found Neanderthal bones at sites across Europe and western Asia, from Spain to Siberia.
  • Our own ancestors remained in Africa until about 60,000 years ago, then expanded across the rest of the Old World.
  • About 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of living Europeans and Asians.
  • People who are not of African descent have stretches of genetic material almost identical to Neanderthal DNA, comprising about 2 percent of their entire genomes. These DNA fragments are the evidence that Neanderthals interbred with the early migrants out of Africa, likely in western Asia
  • People in China, Japan and other East Asian countries have about 20 percent more Neanderthal DNA than do Europeans.

The new theory:

But there are still uncertainties.

If Neanderthals became extinct 40,000 years ago, they may have disappeared before Europeans and Asian populations genetically diverged. How could there have been Neanderthals left to interbreed with Asians a second time?

It is conceivable that the extinction of the Neanderthals happened later in Asia. If that is true, there might yet be more recent Neanderthal fossils waiting to be discovered there.

Or perhaps Asians interbred with some other group of humans that had interbred with Neanderthals and carried much of their DNA. Later, that group disappeared.

Regardless of the finer details this is what they think some of your ancestors may have looked like.

Reconstruction of the head of the Shanidar 1 fossil, a Neanderthal male
who lived c. 70,000 years ago (John Gurche2010).

But that’s just one interesting article and one handsome dude.

Another recent article citing DNA research claims there was no interbreeding with Neanderthals – The Neanderthal murder mystery.

Those scientists may not fancy being related to the this dep;iction of them:


BLiP and the list of Key’s lies

For some time ‘BLiP’ has published a list at The Standard of what he calls lies made by John Key.

I haven’t taken a close look at the list but it’s been pointed out that some of the claimed lies are fairly subjective.

Recently a number of people at The Standard discussed raising enough money to publish the BLiP list in a book, hoping to have a similar impact to Dirty Politics. It evolved into setting up an online list.

For the record it’s worth having an idea of what BLiP’s political leanings are. A couple of comments made yesterday. The first one:

There are so many pluses for Labour in running for Northland I kinda feel compelled to keep my trap shut about things until after the by-election. It seems to me that even if Ritchie McCaw himself were to stand for NZ First and if the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key were to put up a half-boiled turnip, the brassica would still romp home in Northland.

Might as well give Willow-Jean and her local crew another work out in preparation for a more likely opportunity further down the road. No need either to let the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key and NZ First have all the photo-ops carefully managed to detract from the really important things going on.

I have no doubt we will, sooner or later, see Willow-Jean in Parliament where, given the current assortment of blokey-bozos Labour has fronting for it, she will stand out.

Also, I think she can do great things for Northland standing on a platform which, perhaps, focuses on a quite narrow range of issues that really matter to that constituency.

She could, for example, bring attention to the need for our children to live in homes free of violence and contrast that with the sort of culture the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is fostering with its warmongering on behalf the boys down at The Club.

She might also talk about how women need, once again, to demand that their complaints to police are (a) believed and acted on, and, (b) that there is a government in place which will ensure that, rather than deny them justice due to institutional misogyny which results in violent offenders casually strolling out the country or, as ridiculous as it sounds, holding powerful positions in the law and order arena. You know, little things like that

Good luck to her, I say.

It’s fairly obvious he isn’t an impartial observer. (Or maybe BLiP is a she, it’s hard to be sure with pseudonyms it’s hard to be sure about gender, and credubility).

And a second comment:

The permutations possible when considering the depths to which the John Key Dirty Politics Machine will dredge are vast. I wouldn’t put it past the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key’s henchmen to have stitched up a deal with Winston.

The Dirty Politics Machine would then just have to encourage Labour and the Greens to stand aside in order to bring NZ First into the Cult’s coalition without having to spend a cent.

Winston, who’s getting on a bit, could, just about, name his price while the collective cheering from his supporters emanates from rest homes across the country.

And recently a post by BLiP: Labour’s Betrayal Continues begins:

At a time when oversight of New Zealand’s spy agencies is needed more than ever,  Labour’s betrayal of New Zealanders continues unabated.

And concludes:

Rather, Labour appears to have abandoned both its founding principles and, ironically, to have deserted the application of any real “intelligence”. Instead, Labour has joined the Brash “mainstream” to take part in the all-consuming but ultimately futile game of continuously chasing MSM polls by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Its a slippery slope. Studious observers can see already that contempt for New Zealanders and cynicism is dripping from both Labour and the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key in equal measure. To keep up in the perpetual polls, the game of “Beehive Idol” will require more betrayal because it becomes far too risky to attempt anything new or anything which might startle the judges. Come 2017, when that contemptuous and cynical betrayal is even more apparent, why would the “lowest common denominator” Labour is apparently trying to reach bother voting for Andrew Little over John Key when the choice essentially comes down to choosing Pepsi or Coke? Might as well go for what you’re used to or, if it is a choice of either Pepsi or Coke, why bother voting at all? This won’t stop any adherents of the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key from voting, of course. With this in mind, what ever gains Labour makes for putting the boot into the Greens and, yet again, betraying New Zealanders, will be short term.

It might well be in Labour’s best interests to cut the crap now and go into coalition with the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key. It would be the honest thing to do and might even temper some of the back-logged neo-liberal excesses still to be rolled out. At least then New Zealander will know where the boundaries lie and who actually is working to oppose the implementation of the wider neo-liberal ideology. Recent leaders of the Labour Party – Andrew Little, Phil Goff and David Shearer – certainly aren’t.

Meanwhile, the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key’s Spy Czar, Christopher Finlayson, has appointed one of his underlings, Deputy Solicitor-General Una Jagose, as Acting Head of the GCSB. Don’t know much about Una but lets hope her concern for the rights of corporate tax payers is reflected in a similar concern for the rights of all New Zealanders. Seems doubtful, though. Her primary function at Crown Law lately has been mitigating any legal risk the government may put itself at. What a handy skill set to have in her new position. With the ISC and GCSB now firmly in his pocket, John Key can be ensured that whatever legal risk there is in spying on New Zealanders can be completely eliminated from any new legislation his “Five Eyes Club” has planned for us.

Here’s the beginnings of discussion to publish the list. And the following day the discussions continued:

Hi BLiP, if you’re around this one’s for you.

Yesterday we had a discussion about doing some crowd funding, a give a little campaign was suggested, to publish your chronicles of Key’s lies.

The motivation for this and benefits of publishing such a book are outlined in this thread, starting here:

It’s your work we’re talking about so your thoughts are required before we go any further.

I think it could be done and should be done. It’s time there was a public response to the media’s lack of holding Key to account, in a post Dirty Politics NZ. We can’t leave it to opposition parties to do all all the work. As NZer’s, ordinary people, we can also hold a mirror up to the govt.

After some discussion  ropata:rorschach has gone ahead and set it up online.

I have gone ahead and created a wiki site:

BLiP’s list will go here:

It needs a lot more work, feel free to jump in, or write your thoughts in this thread.

The Off Key website:

Welcome to “Off Key”, a record of the famous reality-altering verbal gymnastics of The Right Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

This website is also a “wiki”: a collaborative site that anyone can edit! To join this project, just drop me an email at this address:
robertpnz AT hotmail DOT com


328 lies identified by BLiP

27 lies identified by Reddit users

20 SkyCity porkies identified by BLiP

26 diversions listed by
Idea germinated on The Standard, based on excellent work by BLiP and others, as listed here:

The list of lies begins:
Promises, Promises
1. I  promise to always be honest 
2(a). We’re not proposing to change the Employment Relations Act in a way that weakens unions
2(b). we are  not going to sack public servants, the attrition rate will reduce costs 
3. we are  not going to cut  working for families 
Oddly that links to a National media release that says “NEWS: National to keep Working for Families unchanged” and has no proof of cutting.
Changing Climate Policies
4. I  firmly believe in climate change and always have 
I guess you could claim he can’t have ‘believed in climate change’ when he was at Kindergarten but calling this a lie seems to be based on having different views about climate change and what to do about it. Disagreeing on politics would make everyone a BLiP liar.
5. We seek a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. 50 by 50. We will write the target into law. 
6. National Ltd™ will provide a  consistent incentive for both biofuel and biodiesel by exempting them from excise tax or road user charges 
Using the term “National Ltd™” suggests an associated agenda.
Memory Faults
7. there is  no truth in Nicky Hager’s book “The Hollowmen” 
8. I didn’t know about The Brethren election tactics
9. If they came to us now with that proposal [re  trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods regime], we will sign it 
10. I  can’t remember my position on the 1981 Springbok Tour

It’s dubious calling political statements promises and any doubt or change of position as a lie.

But claiming that someone saying “I can’t remember’ is a lie unless you somehow have proof that they did remember at the time they said something is a bit nonsensical.

What people seem to be unable to understand that something they were very strongly about was not a passion shared by everyone else. And it’s got little relevance to governing the country well into the twenty first century.

Few of the items on BLiPs list are likely to trouble John Key now unless they can be linked to something new.

Trying to discredit a politician by accumulating things they have been recorded saying that may not have complete  factual basis, no room for dispute or absolutely no chance of changing due to changing circumstances seems a bit futile to me.

One of the keys to holding politicians, whether as an opponent, as a journalist or a member of the public is picking your fights.

Nit picking ad infinitum is unlikely to get much attention or change many votes.


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