Open Forum – Tuesday 31 March

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you, or you think may interest others.. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts. Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts. Comments from other forums can be repeated here, cut and paste is fine.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.

FIRST TIME COMMENTERS: Due to abuse by a few, first comments under any ID will park in moderation until released (as soon as possible but it can sometimes take a while).

Sometimes comments will go into moderation or spam automatically due to mistyped ID, too many links (>4), or trigger text or other at risk criteria. If they pass muster they will be released as soon as possible (it can sometimes take hours).

Leave a comment

64 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2020

    Reposting. Another small voice of reason:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120666809/do-the-consequences-of-this-lockdown-really-match-the-threat

    What he is too polite to say is that Ferguson’s team of alarmist epidemiologists have a long form of being seriously wrong.

    This will go down in history as the great World Wide Flu Panic. There will be some confusion as to whether to place it before or after the contemporaneous World Wide Climate Change Panic. Historians will find common threads and causes shared between the two. They will find that countries where politicians resisted the popular desire to self-flagelate survived far better while those that didn’t suffered a deep long-lasting depression that wiped out a generation of lives and livelihoods.

    I hope I’m wrong. There is a chance that Ferguson et al will be discredited quickly enough, even by themselves, to avoid the worst.

    Reply
    • Reposting:

      After this is all over it will be difficult to judge what the best approach would have been. Scientists, medical advisers and leaders are having to make huge decisions with many lives potentially at stake, and of course country and world economies.

      From the Stuff article:

      We don’t want to squash a flea with a sledgehammer and bring the house down. I believe that other countries, such as Sweden, are steering a more sensible course through this turbulent time.

      * Simon Thornley is a senior lecturer and epidemiologist at the University of Auckland.

      Cases in Sweden look relatively low, currently at 4,028 but they have already jumped 328 since 1 pm yesterday (NZ time), deaths jumped 36 to 146, and their deaths/1m population of 14 is now higher than most countries apart from Italy, Spain, France, Iran, France, Switzerland, Belgium, UK and the Netherlands. The US is 8. Sweden’s active to serious/critical ratio is on a par with other European countries.

      It may turn out that Sweden got a better balance between health and economy, but it’s too soon to judge on that. An epidemiologist should know that. So should a logical thinker.

      Even Trump now thinks that radical action was required, having extended a 15 social isolation plan by a month.

      Trump said he’d seen early estimates that 2.2 million people could have died if the government had done nothing in a worst-case scenario, so “if we can hold that down to 100,000” or less, it would be a “good job.” Had the country simply ridden the virus “like a cowboy” and driven “that sucker right through,” the president insisted, disaster would have unfolded.

      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-briefing-death-rate-social-distancing

      Trump is now saying/hoping/guessing that deaths in the US may peak about Easter, a big change from his ‘aspiration’ last week of business as usual by then.

      Charts here show alarming looking charts for the US: https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-USA/0100B5K8423/index.html

      The cumulative chart fro Sweden looks much like elsewhere: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102203/cumulative-coronavirus-cases-in-sweden/

      Reply
    • Griff.

       /  31st March 2020

      So let’s look at a couple of examples where more comprehensive testing has been completed. The Diamond Princess ship is one of the few examples of a closed population who were all tested for the disease. Seven deaths occurred in 700 test-positive patients, giving us a case-fatality rate of 1 per cent.

      yip lets look at the Diamond Princes but use up to date numbers.
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ scoll down and you will find the listing for the ship.
      710 cases 10 dead and 99 still unresolved 15 of which are listed as critical.
      We already know that about half of those listed as critical die.
      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/28/coronavirus-intensive-care-uk-patients-50-per-cent-survival-rate
      So we can project at least 17 dead from the diamond princess once all cases are resolved.
      That gives 710:17 about 2.3% death rate much more than your experts claim.
      If he can not even get basics facts right what is his opinion worth?
      As this is a matter of life and death. Fuck all.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2020

        The paper he cites makes some allowances for later deaths and raises the upper bound to 1%. Offsetting that is that some 3000 of the passengers and crew did not test positive despite exposure so the detected infected ratio is very low.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  31st March 2020

          You can not use the Diamond Princes to estimate infection rates else where.
          The first case was discovered on feb 1 They locked down the ship all passengers were confined to their cabins from feb5.
          Infections continued to rise long after the lock down.
          I also worry that little has been done to track crew members once they were repatriated to the home country’s.

          The paper he cites makes some allowances for later deaths and raises the upper bound to 1%

          GIGO.
          The actual death ratio is already 1.41 % and not all cases are resolved as yet.
          Citing a paper that has already been proven garbage by reality is a sign of poor research ability.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2020

            Two different numbers. Their 1% is the extrapolation to the general population after compensating for the ship’s skew to the elderly.

            Reply
    • Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2020

        Sounds like some history between these two. Very catty from Wiles. The article isn’t.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  31st March 2020

          Yet the article is just wrong because it is using incorrect assumptions .
          Even after it has been pointed out clearly where it is incorrect using more up to date data you still back it. You just shift the goal posts and start another line of bullshite ignoring the first point .
          How unusual….not .

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  31st March 2020

            NO The DP study lead author was a Stanford Professor. Who says essentially the same thing .
            Hes got far more credentials than Wiles has in this area, who doesnt even base her claims on data
            Wiles knows little about population or biomedical statistics and most of her studies about infections are in mice !

            Reply
    • Pink David

       /  31st March 2020

      “What he is too polite to say is that Ferguson’s team of alarmist epidemiologists have a long form of being seriously wrong.”

      He is the summary of Ferguson’s efforts in the foot and mouth outbreak back in 2001.

      “The contiguous cull has been exposed for what it was; one of the most bloody, tragic and disgraceful misjudgements ever committed in the name of science,”.
      Anthony Gibson, Regional Director of the NFU.

      A total of 11 million animals were ‘culled’. Many businesses were destroyed and 60 farmers killed themselves. He is using the same ‘computer model’ now as he did for this.

      This is your ‘expert’.

      Here is the paper of the use of computer models for these situations, based on Ferguson’s work;

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258066186_Wrong_but_Useful_Negotiating_Uncertainty_in_Infectious_Disease_Modelling

      “For infectious disease dynamical models to inform policy for containment of infectious diseases the models must be able to predict; however, it is well recognised that such prediction will never be perfect. Nevertheless, the consensus is that although models are uncertain, some may yet inform effective action. This assumes that the quality of a model can be ascertained in order to evaluate sufficiently model uncertainties, and to decide whether or not, or in what ways or under what conditions, the model should be ‘used’. We examined uncertainty in modelling, utilising a range of data: interviews with scientists, policy-makers and advisors, and analysis of policy documents, scientific publications and reports of major inquiries into key livestock epidemics. We show that the discourse of uncertainty in infectious disease models is multi-layered, flexible, contingent, embedded in context and plays a critical role in negotiating model credibility. We argue that usability and stability of a model is an outcome of the negotiation that occurs within the networks and discourses surrounding it. This negotiation employs a range of discursive devices that renders uncertainty in infectious disease modelling a plastic quality that is amenable to ‘interpretive flexibility’. The utility of models in the face of uncertainty is a function of this flexibility, the negotiation this allows, and the contexts in which model outputs are framed and interpreted in the decision making process. We contend that rather than being based predominantly on beliefs about quality, the usefulness and authority of a model may at times be primarily based on its functional status within the broad social and political environment in which it acts.”

      Translation; It’s complete bullshit, but makes for good headlines.

      Reply
  2. David

     /  31st March 2020

    Looks like the lockdown has been a waste of time given we didnt shut the border or monitor it properly given thats where all the cases were coming from. We are getting increasing numbers of community transmission with no idea where it came from and we are still importing carriers while decimating the economy.
    The lady who died from it, the cluster of 47, the Stuff journalist who has it and was refused testing, the nurse in Queenstown, 8 AirNZ staff.
    Ardern has been too slow then over reacted at the wrong target and still no sign of resourcing up the health system which will come too late as well.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2020

      They are resourcing up the health system. i think it was Jacinda who said something like 4,000 retired GPs, nurses & other medicos have registered as available to assist.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st March 2020

        If they’re over 70, she won’t let them out of the house.

        Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  31st March 2020

    Once again no one from the right has the guts to say Simon Bridges would have done a better job,Please not suggest the two past National PMs who ran away…this is a situation where we need a stayer like PM Jacinda Ardern not bailer outs.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st March 2020

      I don’t care who the PM is, Lurch, if the decisions being made are correct. I don’t think they are, at least not on the justifications being made public. We import the disease freely and destroy our own livelihoods and all our freedoms. That is lunacy.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st March 2020

        Save the economy,fuck the people ,the clarion call of the greedy and the…selfish.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2020

          Fuck the economy to placate our fear – the clarion call of the masses.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  31st March 2020

            Blazer doesn’t see that the economy IS the people, I don’t know where he thinks the money to keep the country going comes from.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  31st March 2020

              that’s so ironic.

              As old as you are you still do not understand where ‘money’ comes from.

              If you do…enlighten me..please.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              You don’t know how old I am. so that’s meaningless.

              I know that it’s not just printed off like Monopoly money. The government will run out if they make the country bankrupt.

              People earn money; they pay tax; the tax pays to keep the country going (schools, roads. hospitals and so on)

              Unemployed people are taxed on the UB, but it’s playing shove ha’penny as the money comes from taxes in the first place.

              We can’t keep borrowing; who’ll lend it to us with no chance of it being repaid ?

              You’re like the person who thinks that they can’t be overdrawn because they still have cheques in their chequebook…like the man who (in real life) wrote a cheque to cover the overdraft.

            • Blazer

               /  31st March 2020

              As I thought N.F.I.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              You’d say that no matter what I said, of course.

              Where do YOU imagine that the money that keeps the country running comes from ?

              There is, of course, income from exports. This is also taxed. People sell things, but if people are unemployed, they haven’t the money to spend.

              Don’t be so naive. You’re like a child who thinks that there’s a money tree in the garden.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  31st March 2020

            You may not realise that humans of all countries have had some sort of currency since time immemorial; tokens that are used to buy things and have a set value. These have often been coins, but objects such as cowrie shells have been used and may still be. The tokens are given an arbitrary value for consistency of purchasing. This system did away with bartering as a means of trade.

            Now do you understand what ‘money’ is and where it comes from ?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              Some people seem to think that it’s possible to increase wealth by printing more money as one does in Monopoly when the bank runs out and players can write on pieces of paper.

              Alas, this does not work in real life.

  4. Zedd

     /  31st March 2020

    I heard that some NZ companies are claiming ‘wage subsidies’ for employees ($580 ?) BUT not all are passing it on to their workers.. selfish capitalism at its worst !

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st March 2020

      Ghastly Z. Inconceivable that they have other bills to pay like tax to fund your way of life.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st March 2020

        says the bitter pensioner who ostensibly has a life most would…envy.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2020

          Classic transference from you, B.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  31st March 2020

            you should be enjoying every day of your life at your age Al.
            You’re a dark cloud in a sunny part of the country .

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              I might disagree with Al on many issues, B – but even at his age he’s a hard worker & a doer. Not a weakthy drone sitting on his arse living the high life or a scrooge McDuck swimming in a money bin.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              Drat.
              *wealthy

            • Blazer

               /  31st March 2020

              @G…well it doesn’t seem much of recipe for happiness!

              Maybe he should change .

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              @ B. He’s a happy chappy. Loves a good stoush.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2020

              Talking to B makes doing the laundry seem attractive.

      • Zedd

         /  31st March 2020

        speak for yourself AW..

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2020

          I usually do, Z. But in this instance a lot of companies have bills to pay but no income and wages are only a part of those costs. Many will just go broke leaving unpaid bills and unpaid staff and those unpaid bills will make still more go broke.

          Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  31st March 2020

    I just read a couple of interesting posts (IMHO):

    1) latest ‘Horizon research poll’ says 54% of kiwis (2000 respondents) would vote ‘YES’ in the upcoming ‘Reeferendum’.. perhaps the FEAR-mongering/Misinfo. is now subsiding ?

    2) Cannabis sales are booming in NYC (& other states/countries, where it is legal) to relieve the boredom of ‘self isolation’.. maybe a reason why the vote in Aotearoa/NZ is swinging to the YES side ?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      Look up the latest Horizon poll; I think it said 60%. 🙂

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  31st March 2020

        Horizon poll is always favourable to the Medicinal cannabis operation that pays for it.
        Its not a random poll as used by the other pollsters that show a clear majority against.
        They are cunning as they boost the numbers participating by raising the prizes from middling amounts to expensive Apple laptops etc, paid for by Heuretics of course.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st March 2020

          I only answer them because of the prizes, not that I have won yet. They give the choice of an expensive phone or the cash. I’d take the cash, of course.

          Reply
    • seer

       /  31st March 2020

      A cloud (of smoke) having a silver lining?

      Reply
  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  31st March 2020

    The idea of the country being in lockdown for 400 days, which has been predicted, is appalling. It’s unaffordable. People won’t be working so won’t be paying taxes, so there’ll be no more coming in.

    The social cost would be unimaginable.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      Two idiots seem to have little idea of how a country’s finances work.

      There’s not an unlimited amount in the bank. When it’s gone, there’s no more where that came from.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st March 2020

        How can anyone not realise than no workers = no income for them and the country ? Do they not know the connection between unemployment and recession ? Where do these fools think that the money will come from ?

        Recession means unemployment means recession….

        Reply
  7. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2020

      Can be watched live, & also on demand afterwards here. Scroll down forctoday’s meeting video.

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/scl/epidemic-response/news-archive/watch-public-meetings-of-the-epidemic-response-committee/

      Wonder if Hansard will also transcibe?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2020

        Highlights, conclusions, decisions?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2020

          Today’s ran for nearly 3 hours by the look of it. I’ve watched & / or listened to about maybe 20 mins of it at random. I’d agree with Fran. They’re doing an excellent job of asking hard & relevant & not being deflected by Clark or Bloomfield. Far, far superior to our pathetic reporters efforts, and in a setting where the bureaucrats can’t just end wuestions where they want to.

          All the questions I’ve heard from Opposition politicians are reasonable (eg you have said GP’s can also decide who needs to be tested – why is my constituent, whose GP has said with your symptoms, you should be tested – been refused a test? And if you are saying that the testing criteria have been updated why are the testing guidelines on the MoH website still dated 14 March – is this the reason there is so much confusion among GPs?)

          Those bits I’ve watched have been all been well-chaired by Bridges. They all are far more respectful to each other & to the point than the crap we’re used to on Parliament TV.

          It’s a very good conference video set up. The current speaker or questioner is green-highlighted in their frame of all members & others participating.

          As to the highlights, conclusions, decisions, I guess we will have to rely on our lamestream media to pick out & report on what they think they are.

          I think RNZ might have started writing up some on their website.

          Reply
    • Duker

       /  31st March 2020

      Eric Crampton from the Business Round table/NZI , hes always going to pumping the tires for Bridges and Seymour

      Reply
  8. lurcher1948

     /  31st March 2020

    There are always stupid entitled righties out there’
    https://t.co/HMqmZY7oJP?amp=1
    stomp on this trash righty by,our Courts, the right call the police Stasi OUR PM Jacinda Ardern a communist the right need to know there time has past

    This is a rightwing site YSB AR15 lovers

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      The police are being asked to act like the Stasi and hunt down people for going for a drive to take their minds off things, or to make people who had no idea that every bus trip needs to be registered with the company (name. phone, email, where the trip’s to) get off the bus and be stranded with no way to get home now that it’s verboten to give anyone a lift.

      The PM is telling the over 70s that they MUST stay home; not should, MUST, and encouraging people like the neighbour of one woman who went to New World, saw her going out and said that she’d slash her tyres if she did it again.

      If people have no family to collect groceries and can’t book a slot for delivery, what the hell are they supposed to do ? Starve ? These people are the least likely to be online. If they are not, they can’t order things anyway. My last order wasn’t a massive one but less than half actually arrived. I am unwilling to waste time trying to find a time slot, as these are booked out a week ahead if half of the items aren’t there, anyway. I have had several goes, but it’s useless.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  31st March 2020

        They should contact their nearest National MP or Bridges or Seymour – so they can call Mike Bush in & get him to answer that question.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st March 2020

          The story about the woman whose neighbour, a nurse, threatened to slash her tyres if she went out again was appalling. The PM was responding to the story of the woman who went to the supermarket during the 70+ priority time and texted about how good it was to be out. Nothing was said about the threats by the neighbour to stop someone doing something that is so far not illegal, and the PM’s response was to act as if the people were committing a crime by going out because they ‘didn’t want to be a burden’; they MUST STOP going out. They’re going to the supermarket because that’s about the only place left to go and they’re going batty cooped up.

          Will the over 70s be put under house arrest next ? It sounded horribly as if they were going to be treated like naughty children & gated if they ventured out. They’ve been indoors for four days longer than the rest of us anyway.

          The reaction to a proposed mass house arrest of the over 70s in England has been interesting.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  31st March 2020

            I have just read about a case of a man of over 70 who lost his wife a month ago and is now alone; the family are, of course, not permitted to visit him. He was caught by the library closing without notice, and doesn’t have a computer.

            Reply
  9. lurcher1948

     /  31st March 2020

    https://youtu.be/qmKrcOB7udA, lets get real, tired of righties

    Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  1st April 2020

    “If there is one thing Kiwis should know above all else during the coronavirus lockdown, it’s that we should stay at home.

    There’s no getting away from it, in press conferences, on television ads – the message is clear.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the phrase 32 times during her live television broadcasts since the lockdown began on March 25.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised for using inclusive language when framing her government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    And it’s how the Government has delivered that message to the country that could be behind Kiwis’ overwhelming acceptance of the strict measures that curtail our freedom, according to one psychology professor.

    Not everyone’s on board – several people have been charged with flouting the rules, while dozens more have given poor excuses to police on why they are out when they shouldn’t be.

    But overall, Kiwis are complying and are only too happy to dob in those who don’t.

    Dr Virginia Braun, psychology professor at the University of Auckland, watched the pandemic unfold while in Spain and the United Kingdom before returning home.

    New Zealand has been incredibly lucky to have leadership which spoke a collective language which in turn invoked collective psychology, she said.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/120696983/coronavirus-why-the-pms-repeated-stay-at-home-message-appears-to-be-working

    Good illustration of comments I made yesterday about how cleverly Jacinda manipulates a compliant young female-dominated msm & appeals to young women generally.

    Reply
    • I think her handling of it has also been appreciated by a lot of middle New Zealand and also many of the elderly who want reassurance with form instructions.

      One thing that has been good here is the relative clarity on what we are required to do, in contrast to Australia who keep changing their rules daily, and also the UK and US. Sure there has been some clarifications and decisions classifying essential businesses and movements in public, but this has been minor compared to other countries.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to lurcher1948 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s