Saturday, May 30, 2020

Frank Newman: Straight Talk: It's getting ridiculous

Things are now getting ridiculous. It's time for She-Who-Shall-Be-Obeyed to look beyond her own stage performance and remove all COVID-19 restrictions that apply to internal work and travel.

There is only one case in New Zealand! One case.

Many people are being more sensible than the Prime Minister and behaving as though no restrictions exist. Unfortunately there are still quite a lot of dimwits who need politicians to do their thinking for them. These are the people that scream "social distancing" when a shopping trolley passes within spittle distance. And then there are the businesses that must behave according to the governments definition of "responsible" because if they don't they will get dobbed in by the busy-bodies and end up with Mr Plod knocking on their door.  

Breaking Views Update: Week of 24.05.20

Saturday May 30, 2020

Review Of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan To Restart

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ngāi Tahu in consultation with the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board have agreed to start a new review of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Management Plan.

The process for reviewing both the Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Westland Tai Poutini plans was paused while DOC and Ngāi Tahu worked through the wider implications of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Ngāi Tai ki Tamaki case.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Point of Order: Poll finds a growing public appreciation of NZ’s primary exports

NZ’s primary exports held up well in April, again proving the country’s farming industries are sustaining the economy despite many sectors being stricken by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Almost coincidentally, a UMR probe of public opinion about farming revealed a sharp swing in perception. Instead of the negativity that had been undermining morale – particularly in the dairy industry, triggered by anti-farming lobby groups which conjured up the slogan “dirty dairying” to turn urban opinion against the industry – the UMR polling showed attitudes have tilted deeper into positive territory.

Karl du Fresne: Redefining racism in 21st-century New Zealand

Trevor Richards, once famous as the driving force behind Halt All Racist Tours (HART), recently wrote an essay in which he reflected on the history of New Zealand race relations. 

He recalled growing up in a country where history was viewed entirely through a Pakeha lens and the notion of racism was hardly acknowledged.

I grew up in the same era and recognised the country he described. We learned little about Maori history or culture at school and the Maori world only occasionally overlapped with that of white New Zealand. Racism was something I associated with America’s Deep South.

NZCPR Weekly: Democracy Under Threat

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we investigate how the Government’s race-based Treaty partnership agenda is fracturing society and undermining democracy, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Coote explains why an independent inquiry is needed into tribal roadblocks and those who condoned them, and our poll asks whether you support a race-based health system.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Green Recovery Deal In Doubt As EU Divisions Deepen

Advantage Germany: No Climate Strings Attached In Lufthansa’s Bailout

In this newsletter:

1) European Commission's Green Recovery Plan In Doubt As EU Splits Deepen
Deutsche Welle, 27 May 2020

2) Competitive Advantage Germany: No Climate Strings Attached In Lufthansa’s Bailout
Bloomberg, 26 May 2020

Clive Bibby: The race to the bottom

As the hysteria that has occupied many media outlets during the lockdown subsides and people who still have a job go back to work, it is worthwhile taking time to get our heads around the various proposals for recovery (if any) that are on offer.

In this country at least, it would appear we will have a choice between two dramatically different plans and our votes at the general election will determine which one gets the green light.

Having said that, it is probably a gross misrepresentation to call the Government's proposals anything approaching a credible "plan" - more like a desperate phone call to The Reserve Bank and Treasury instructing them to "borrow and hope", while placing all our faith in the abilities of Mother Teresa to guide us to the promised land.

Karl du Fresne: Muller could take a lesson from BoJo

A bit of free media advice to Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye (and I’d happily offer the same advice to Labour politicians): don’t allow yourself to be manipulated into playing the media’s game. 

There are journalists in the parliamentary press gallery (and I’m sorry, but the name Tova O’Brien springs to mind again) whose modus operandi is to probe constantly for any sign of weakness, conflict or contradiction, and to pounce triumphantly when they uncover anything that looks remotely capable of being blown into a scandal. They then sanctimoniously editorialise about it to an audience that often can’t see what the fuss is about and probably couldn’t care less.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Matt Ridley: The growing evidence on vitamin D and Covid

The argument that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to more severe cases of Covid is gaining ground. It is now reaching the point where it is surprising that we are not hearing from leading medical officials and politicians that people should consider taking supplements to ensure they have sufficient vitamin D.

This is not the same as arguing that vitamin D is a magic bullet that will cure the disease. Vitamins are not medication, the taking of which will have positive effects on everybody. They are top-ups: things that hurt you when you don’t have enough of them in your system but do no extra good when you have enough. Indeed, with many vitamins, including D, taking too much can be toxic.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Frank Newman: Straight Talk - Muller and Kaye

Muller and Kaye. That was the choice. It was the wrong choice in my view. 

That's not to say Muller does not have positives, and I have to say his "maiden" speech as National's leader hit the right notes and his personality showed signs of life, which is encouraging. That speech promised a strategy that targeted Labour's weaknesses. It's not rocket science but something National has not done well of late. 

Muller acknowledged Labour's strengths (Ardern and Robertson primarily) which portrayed a sense of realism and it avoided picking an argument with those who think Arden in particular has done a good job during the crisis, which is most people. The strategy will instead focus on the many weak-links in the Labour line-up and focus on their track record of promising big and delivering little.

Yoram Lass: ‘Nothing can justify this destruction of people’s lives’

Dr Yoram Lass, the former director of Israel’s Health Ministry, is interviewed by Fraser Myers from spiked on the hysteria around Covid-19. 

Countries across the world have been in lockdown for months in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The costs of the policy are enormous – in terms of life, liberty and the economy. But is it worth it to save lives? Yoram Lass was once the director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Lass is a staunch critic of the lockdown policy adopted in his native Israel and around the world. He has described our response to Covid-19 as a form of hysteria. spiked caught up with him to find out more.

spiked: You have described the global response to coronavirus as hysteria. Can you explain that?

Yoram Lass: It is the first epidemic in history which is accompanied by another epidemic – the virus of the social networks. These new media have brainwashed entire populations. What you get is fear and anxiety, and an inability to look at real data. And therefore you have all the ingredients for monstrous hysteria.

Dr Steve Elers: News turns fake when facts give way to untruths, hyperbole

On Monday this week Newshub’s Tova O’Brien was quick to announce the results of the Newshub/Reid-Research poll of 1000 people with her statement: “It’s official: Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s most popular Prime Minister in a century and Simon Bridges is hurtling into political oblivion.”

OK, one out of two isn’t bad, but now I’m starting to realise why — according to a recent Stuff report — O’Brien has been copping a lot of abuse on social media.

I’ve already addressed in an earlier column how political journalists’ questioning of the prime minister during the daily briefings were disappointing, so let’s not revisit that.

Instead, let’s focus on this fake news that Ardern is the “most popular Prime Minister in a century”, which was also picked up by other news media in New Zealand and overseas.

Mike Hosking: Just what is the government's plan?

The unions are telling the government they need to move faster on infrastructure. When the unions are telling Labour to hurry up, you know this is not a government of action. And isn't that their real reputation? The government of announcements.

We've got $15 billion for shovel ready projects, and the crickets are chirping.

The Prime Minister's own handpicked advisory board in their final letter before being disbanded for the election are telling her Australia is beating us, and they're doing it better than us.

It is one thing to write cheques having borrowed or printed the money, but that is not delivery, and it's not a plan. Announcing the spending of other peoples money isn't even a skill. So just what is it we are doing? And is any one actually asking?

Dr Sterling Burnett: Shameless Alarmists Spread Climate Change Cancer Horror Story

Over the years I’ve become almost inured to the crazy claims various climate alarmists have made. They have tried to link almost every bad thing that happens in the world to climate change, from psychiatric disorders to violent crime, from the end of winter sports to reduced milk production, from hair loss to the loss of one’s sex drive. And no, in case you are wondering, I’m not making these examples up: you can find the articles yourselves by typing the terms into your favorite search engine.

None of these claims, nor any of the myriad other loony links alarmists have tried to establish between human fossil fuel use and bad outcomes, have any basis in facts or hard data. 

Now, adding insult to injury, an article in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, irresponsibly hyped by CNBC, is falsely claiming “[c]limate change has triggered more frequent weather disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, … lower[ing] cancer survival rate[s] and threaten[ing] prevention.”

GWPF Newsletter: Carmakers Set To Desert Climate-Obsessed Europe

Energy-Intensive Industries Warn Against Green Deal Burden

In this newsletter:

1) Carmakers Set To Desert Climate-Obsessed Europe: France Warns 'Renault Could Disappear'
Daily Express, 22 May 2020
2) EU Commission's 'Green Recovery' Will Only Support 'Clean' Cars 
Deutsche Welle, 20 May 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 17.05.20

Saturday May 23, 2020

Gen Zero critical of council’s relationship with iwi

Generation Zero believes the Otago Regional Council have treated Kai Tahu like a stakeholder rather than a partner.

The national, youth-led climate organisation told ORC councillors during annual plan hearings conducted via video conferencing yesterday that local iwi’s voice had been diminished, among other stakeholders.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dr Steven Phillips: The pandemic winner - will It be Sweden or New Zealand?

The world has never conducted a human-centered natural experiment of a biological threat of this scope before. Three billion people in over 80 countries (including UK, France, and most U.S. states, among many others) are in some form of lockdown with over 185 countries having reported three million-plus Covid-19 cases.

Yet in countries such as Sweden, elementary schools, businesses, and restaurants are open, and in Belarus, the president is seen at hockey games and declares business-as-usual.

To paraphrase Deng Xiaoping’s formulation from the 1980s, we see the spread of “one virus and at least two systems.”

Governments everywhere are facing a stark “jobs vs. deaths” Hobbesian choice.

NZCPR Weekly: Modern Socialism

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we reveal how Budget 2020 signals a Government ‘reset’ – a radical plan to transform New Zealand into a socialist state, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Bryce Wilkinson explains why Government-led economic recoveries don’t work, and our poll asks whether you feel confident about New Zealand’s economic future.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
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Thursday, May 21, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Lockdown Kills California’s Green New Deal

Europe's Green Deal Could Increase CO2 Emissions In The Rest Of The World, New Study Warns

In this newsletter:

1) Lockdown Kills California’s Green New Deal: Gov. Cancels $Billions In Climate Spending
KTLA News, 17 May 2020

2) Davos Green Men: Coronavirus Threatens 'Years Of Progress' On Climate Issues
Associated Press, 19 May 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Frank Newman: Straight Talk - National is its own worst enemy

Labour's cleverly orchestrated campaign to undermine National's leadership is now gaining traction within the National caucus. 

A challenge to the leadership of Simon Bridges will be held on Friday (22 May).  

That campaign went up a notch today when former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger publicly backed Todd Muller to replace Simon Bridges. It was a direct swipe at Judith Collins, the other frontrunner for the top job.