Comrade Trotter should be angry – we don’t appreciate true enormity of the pandemic so let’s grow up over Tova’s ‘Clark-Blomfield’ Soap Opera 


Comrade Trotter has every right to be angry.

As an older New Zealander, he is in the target market for Covid if it gets lose here.

Make no mistake, our underfunded, debt ridden health system couldn’t cope with a pandemic, look at their terrifying incompetence when it came to the measles epidemic last year!

We have to keep the virus out at the border with strict quarantine protocols, but let’s not go throwing the Minister out with the bathwater.

Tova O’Brien’s school of gotcha journalism managed to turn Clark’s obvious anger at the lack of oversight into some great betrayal of a puppy eyed public servant. The story gained immediate traction with the Wellington Twitteratti who are all mostly employed in the public sector and see Blomfield as a sex symbol.

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As far as I’m concerned, David Clark can take a dump on Blomfield’s chest and all I would care about is community transmission, because that is ultimately what matters here.

Hysterical anger at border failures is only legitimate IF they result in community spread, and what are the stats on this?

Right, so beyond the Tova’s gotchas, National’s fake homelessness lies and everyones trigger rages, NZ is still one of the best Covid outcomes to date.

The true enormity of this plague is still not appreciated by many. We have an enormous road back in front of us, but let’s reserve the anger for when there is an actual realised threat.

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  1. ‘Unfit to govern.’

    Yes, that sums up National. In fact, through decades of mismanagement going back to Muldoon’s time, National have demonstrated themselves to be unfit to govern the nation.

    What they have been exceptionally good at has been looting and polluting the commons and transferring wealth (both real wealth and phantom wealth -in the form of computer digits) into the portfolios and bank accounts of sociopaths and into the coffers of the National Party, where that wealth could be utilised to generate propaganda based on Orwellian lies and keep the illusion of competence going.

    • Afewknowthetruth
      > What [National] have been exceptionally good at has been looting and polluting the commons and transferring wealth (both real wealth and phantom wealth -in the form of computer digits) into the portfolios and bank accounts of sociopath

      Although Muldoon certainly had his flaws, I think the burden of proof is on you to show that his government transferred assets and wealth from the public to his mates. As I remember, it was the 1984 Rogernomics Labour government that began this corporate raider style of government, although subsequent National governments certainly helped normalize it. Lest we forget.

      Some erudite chap one said something about an institution being the lengthened shadow of one person. Muldoon’s ghost still haunts the nation in the form of NZ First. If you want to understand the style and philosophy of Muldoon, look no further than Winston Peters and Shane Jones.

      • I wrote fairly recently on TDB about the disastrous Think Big schemes that Muldoon and Birch pushed through via fast-tracking when fully-justified opposition to them got too vocal, too well organised and likely to succeed.

        The Motunui gas to alcohol and thence to motor fuel was excperimental, and done at the behest of Mobil, whio didn’t want to risk their money but were prepared to go ahead if the Muldoon government provided enough incentives and kickbacks.

        Apart from being grossly inefficient chemically -around 50% loss in energy- the plant was horrifically expensive and, in combination with the other inappropriate Think Big projects contributed enormously to the currency crisis that led to the fall of the Muldoon government.

        In addition to all that, some of the best agricultural land in NZ was sacrificed to the outlandish scheme, in spite of fierce opposition -as I said, steamrollered over by the government. The plant was shut down by the subsequent Labour government because it was uneconomic. None of the ‘thousands of jobs’ and ‘downstream manufacturing’ that were ‘promised’ by the proponents of those crazy schemes

        Apart from all that, the schemes wasted vast quantities of resource and raised NZs CO2 emissions profile.

        The corruption and lies were so prolific it was difficult to determine who was getting rich from it all but hoteliers and restauranteurs certainly did, as did the local banks and international money-lenders, whilst everyone else suffered, as did the local and global environments.

  2. It was what it was, a cyncial attempt to leverage Bloomfield’s popularity against Clark’s unpopularity.

    It was sort of inevitable with Clark alongside Bloomfield, that they would make the move they made.

    MSM promoting and amplifying National’s attack lines for commercial reasons – we have a financially struggling media acting like tabloids. Vance, Mau and Johnson in weekend Stuff a sad bookend of that infected groupthink effort.

    None capable of thinking for themselves and seeing through the fog of incompetent journalism on display.

    The two real issues are these.

    1. Cabinet made a policy decision that was impossible to put into timely practice
    2. Failure to put into practice for a week (June 9 to June 16) was no more likely to cause community spread than there being no testing before release through out May and the first week of June.

  3. Clark displayed a lack of that which can’t be bought.
    Class. Clark? No Class dahling.
    Anyone feeble enough can give another a dressing down in public. It takes real energy to make a private appointment in ones office, keep that appointment and only then, tell it like it is.
    Dopy clark’s just made an enemy for life while achieving nothing and most of us think he’s a dick for doing so.
    Basically, clark jumped onto a hook that only Bloomfield can now lift him off.
    To change the subject:
    I never knew you could sing and play the guitar @ MB?
    Seriously, it’s worth a look.
    The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Clap Your Hands

    • countryboy – The issue could still have been managed adroitly, publicly, by a socially skilled person, which Clark either is not, or chose not to be. It could even have been a collegiate moment. Just another bully.

      • All he needed to say is “I’m responsible: and we’re all responsible to get this incredibly difficult situation right”.
        He’s got no empathy and can’t think on his feet. Hence the weak link and media target.

        • Yes a media target.
          More honest than politic.
          He did not answer the interviewers questions to close gaps but tried to be accurate they way he saw it.
          Crucified and stabbed.
          The good that he had done laid interred with his bones

  4. On the matter of Covid-19, apart from the well-publicised failure of the Trump administration to prepare for or deal with the pandemic -leading to tens of thousands of deaths and a collapsing economy- there is the worldwide implication for billions of people who have lost employment and are in the process of starving to death.

    ‘The economic damage the coronavirus has wreaked upon the world – for example, destroying the income of labour migrants who regularly send money back home – will only deepen the hunger and deprivation in war-torn countries, and feed feelings of injustice and hopelessness there, Doucet says. “Covid-19 is not just about lives, it’s about livelihoods. When you destroy people’s fragile livelihoods, you also destroy lives.”

    Countries which have already lived through the worst of times could face unthinkable pressures
    With so many people living hand to mouth in these countries, the further economic cost of “staying at home” will be as fatal as the virus itself, even when it is circulating rapidly. “The developing world will face nightmare scenarios. There aren’t enough resources to either test or treat – and because of corruption, the wealthy will get the resources that do exist.”

    Now, in order to combat the immediate effects of Covid-19, most nations that have the ability, are printing money like crazy (because it is crazy) to prop up social-economic-financial arrangements that have no future.

    This knee-jerk response of central banks, which is encouraged by, if not facilitated by governments (including that of NZ, of course) amounts to putting out a fire by pouring gasoline on it.

    Chris Martenson -famous for his superb ‘Crash Course’ presentations- has highlighted the impeding implosion of the system. Not only was he an early voice speaking of the extreme danger coronavirus posed, but has, for many years, been a clarion of sanity in a world gone mad.

    ‘As you may know, I was one of the very first voices publicly reporting on covid-19, issuing an alert that the virus was a significant pandemic event on Jan 23rd, 2020.

    This was long before most media outlets even managed to write their first “It’s just the flu, bro!” article.

    Using the same logic and scientific methodology I was trained in as a PhD, I was able to “predict” things well in advance of nearly every official or mainstream news source.

    I’m using quotation marks around the word “predict” because it’s not really a prediction when you’re just extrapolating trends that are already underway.’….

    Such a determined foe as covid-19 cannot be reasoned with, halted by decree or – much to the puzzlement of the central banks – resolved by printing more thin-air money.

    It simply operates by natural laws and rules. Which, by the way, makes it rather easy to predict.

    Much more difficult to predict, though, is when we humans will truly wake up to our true plight and begin making better decisions. And I’m not just talking about the coronavirus here. I’m talking about the dangerous levels of social inequity that the Federal Reserve is responsible for creating, both pre- and post-covid-19.

    Given the enormous difficulty in getting whole swaths of the managerial and retail classes to grasp such simple and obvious logic as “Everyone should wear a mask!”, it seems thoroughly unrealistic to expect these same folks to thoughtfully tackle the hazards of runaway monetary and fiscal policy.

    But they really need to…

    Real leaders know this history and would both think and act differently in order to avoid the worst risks. But managers? They just keep operating from the same manual, mindlessly repeating the same steps while hoping for a different result…..

    Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, then Ben Bernanke, then Janet Yellen, and now Jay Powell have all operated as mere managers (not leaders) choosing predictably safe plays from the Federal Reserve cookbook. It prescribes a gruel-thin routine of actions the main ingredient of which is printing currency out of thin air.

    Each Fed Chairman has dutifully cooked up unhealthy dishes seasoned with hefty amounts of social corrosion, structural unfairness, elitism, and without even a whiff of historical context.

    With no leadership on display and cheered on by a compliant press unable to formulate a single critical question, the Fed is now too deep into its cookbook to do anything besides see the process out to its inevitable conclusion.

    The Fed has long pretended to be mystified by the rising inequality its policies are obviously causing. Jerome Powell recently and (in)famously declared during Q&A after a speech that the Fed “absolutely does not” contribute to inequality. That bold-faced lie is infuriating to those who realize just how socially and culturally unfair and damaging the Fed’s actions really are.

    When things become too unfair, people stop participating. If laws are too one-sided and rigged, people stop following them. If new hires receive a higher salary for equivalent work, the veteran employees stop working as hard. If students know that their classmates are cheating and getting good grades, they’ll begin to cheat, too.

    It’s just how we’re wired. An aversion to unfairness is in our social DNA….

    I cannot predict when all this breaks down as easily as I can predict that it will break down. A balance must always be maintained between money, which is a claim on things, and the things themselves. Too many claims and we get inflation. Too few and we get deflation.

    The Fed and the other world central banks have always (always!) erred on the side of “too many claims” in this story. When in doubt, they print more currency.

    And that process is now on hyperdrive. The post-covid economy is in a very bad state, and so the money printing at the heart of the “rescue” efforts by the central banks is the biggest ever in history. By a long shot.

    So claims go up and up and up, while the economy shrinks. Leaving us with a LOT more money chasing a LOT less “stuff”.

    This also applies to financial assets, like stocks and bonds. Printing makes the markets go higher in price and makes investors increasingly dependent on more money printing to support these prices. Eventually, like the era we’re in now, the Fed must keep injecting liquidity on a permanent basis or else the markets will immediately crash.

    So, the money printing just keeps happening.

    And as a side benefit, those closest to the Fed get stupendously rich from all that fresh money flooding into the world. These are the same Wall Street firms who hire Fed staffers at the end of their tenure there, thanking them with plush jobs that have little responsibility and huge salary.

    But, out in real America, there are hundreds of millions of us angry monkeys watching the Fed stuff grapes into the already full bellies of the elites. Eventually wide-scale pushback against the Fed’s injustice will erupt. Protests will increase in size and become more violent. The police will realize that they’re protecting the wrong people and switch sides. Then things will get really messy.’

    • > most nations that have the ability, are printing money like crazy (because it is crazy)

      The propaganda phrase “printing money” carefully elides the economic facts revealed in Modern Monetary Theory. You don’t “print money”, you print *cash*. Money is *issued* by governments, and extinguished by taxation. Which means governments can issue as much money as they need to spend to serve the public good, as long as they extinguish enough through progressive taxation to keep the money supply from ballooning and creating inflation. The belief that governments need to bring in ‘income’ through taxation so they can spend it is “handbag economics”, falsely conflating public governments with private persons (individuals, households, businesses etc).

      > to prop up social-economic-financial arrangements that have no future.

      This we agree on. As in most anglophone and European countries, NZ governments have, since the neoliberal coup in 1984, issued money by totally delegating that public power to private trading banks to issue it as debt (usually mortgages). Because that gives governments no way to make sure the amount of money being issued is balanced out by taxation, the money supplies balloons, creating bubbles (eg the housing bubble). This is made worse by political normalization of ongoing tax cuts and fanatical opposition to new taxes, eg CGT, which is needed to help constrain the money supply *and* redirect capital from speculation on existing housing, to financing the real economy (including the building of *new* housing).

      Under this “monetarist” regime, the only power governments have to keep inflation from blowing up, is to keep unemployment artificially high, and keep welfare benefits pitifully low, to keep wages and salaries artificially low. The problem is, this limits the amount of money workers can afford to multiply by sending back through the real economy (ie buying for day to day life needs), but it also means they can’t buy everything they need to live through income, so they take on debt. As Keen, Pettifor, and others have been pointing out since years before the GFC in 2008, private debt has been at catastrophically high levels for decades, suppressing real economic growth. Who benefits from collecting rent on all this debt? Mainly private trading banks.

      Steven Keen’s ‘Debunking Economics’ podcast, and Deidre Kent and Ann Pettifor’s writings, are all good places to learn more about the evidence for all this, as is the MMT primer by L. Randall Wray, which can be read online here:

      • By the way, I personally know Dierdre Kent, and though she is well-meaning, she doesn’t understand the system.

        Money is not extinguished by taxation. It is extinguished by repayment of debt, which is why many debts can never be repaid. Money is constantly devalued by money-printing, which is not a literal term but means the generation of fiat money via keystrokes on keyboards linked to financial systems. Humungous amounts of non-existent money gets ‘vanished’ when share markets or other phony markets decline, because when the indexes rise it in on the back of speculation and non-existent money.

        • Added to that money is sent off shore as dividends / investor profits and money gets buried in infrastructure, manufactured good, food and a long list of items where value falls with age or disappears with consumption or loss of goods, or creates and expense such as when filling landfills or recycling.
          Taxation has never reduced money in circulation as the taxes are spent.
          There is a lot of economist who do not understand the bigger picture.

          .What is reduced by most money spent is environmental capital

          • Absolutely!

            The entire capitalist system (which I pointed out is a misnomer because most of the time is no capital such as gold*, just computer digits generated to create loans) runs on the basis of RAPIDLY REDUCING the natural capital of the planet whilst bat the same time RAPIDLY INCREASING the pollution burden placed on natural systems, to the point they become destabilised or break down completely.

            *Once bankers began issuing more promissory notes than there was gold to redeem them the Earth was ‘fucked’. Everything else is history and the inevitable consequence of Fractional Reserve Banking based on the charging of interest on money conjured into existence!

    • Afktt
      Have people noticed that the virus has appears in tested samples of waste water in Spain dated 12 March 2019, long before reported in China.

      Now the NYT plays this down a little but the date is now corroborated and undergoing peer review then virologist seek to track the genome of the virus to see its origins.
      The detection of the novel coronavirus in the sewage doesn’t mean the virus could spread through water or alter the fact that the virus is spread mainly through droplets.

      Scientists in Italy had found traces of the virus in sewage collected from Milan and Turin in December 2019, Reuters reported. The report said many nations are sampling wastewater to track the virus, as research in the Netherlands, France, Australia and elsewhere has found signs that the virus that causes the epidemic are found in waste water.

      Detecting the origin of the disease is of great scientific importance, and reflects the consciousness of the scientific community in the face of US attacks on China without justification.
      The Spanish research quoted Albert Bosch, president of the Spanish Society of Virology, as saying, “Those infected with COVID-19 could have been diagnosed with flu by mistake in primary care.”
      In March, when asked if some people in the US died of coronavirus rather than influenza last year, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield admitted that some cases were wrongly diagnosed.
      Reports of early cases in several places in Europe add information to the virologist massive job of following up and examining genomes and scientifically structuring a tree of mutation that is most likely to lead back towards the origins of the earliest novel coronavirus detected.
      If the USA were to open up its samples and data from 2019 flu like cases then that would be welcomed by researchers.

  5. I guess if Clark had admitted some responsibility the MSM would have seized on this and demanded his head on a platter.

  6. Sick Of the beat up on Clark. Yes he should have accepted responsibility. But as I have posted elsewhere health has seen the biggest achievement from this govt to date. That must surely be in part due to Clark

    • Anker. Agree 100%. Clark may have been a silly goat for his bike ride etc.but Tova , Woodhouse and co have done their best to turn him into a scapegoat:
      ‘Scapegoat- a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.’
      Expediency is a key word in this definition. Expediency for the media scandal scavengers who must create scandals to keep their jobs.
      Clark was criticized for a bicycle ride but at least he hasn’t a Woodhouse drink driving conviction. OK it was years ago.
      Clark has quietly overseen as you say, ‘the biggest achievement from this govt to date’. and Adern knows that.

      • If Tova had any credibility whatsoever she should go after the Woodhouse story until it’s completion. How could she on one hand, neglect potential corrupt practise by Woodhouse, yet go after Clark like it was some sort of personal vendetta?

  7. Agree with Anker & Rodel move on media next item please. Also after having Coleman as our Health Minister who was bloody useless.


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