The Daily Blog Open Mic – Sunday – 2nd August 2020

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. In Nelson Mail today piece on cashless society. And Adrian Orr, Reserve Bank governor sunding like Voice of Reason, (to be treasured!). https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/122283118/is-new-zealand-destined-to-become-a-cashless-society

    There is definitely a trend for public bodies and others to reduce cash handling. New parking meter in Neson, a new bus card.

    Thinking of the implications of a cashless society is vital. It might even lead to thinking about what money is – just promises giving credits. that are backed by the society you live in legally, which is more efficient than having barter. It works well if it circulates widely, and people buy things made locally. The price and the item balance out to reasonable satisfaction. Bring in cheaper goods from a society with a different value setting and if they are cheaper goods, then that throws out the balance.

    It is important for people to have money that enables them to make individual cross-community small dealing. If everything goes through plastic which is an opaque system to the user, not plain and straightforward, private and anonymous, as taking a recognisable note or coin from one’s pocket for payment. No the transaction is done using a card that needs a special strip on it, that leads to a bank account with x amount in it, which must go through a machine using electricity, that feeds into a complex system which then registers the debit and transfers a credit immediately, and reports back and prints a receipt. All requiring external electricity which then becomes an essential service to consumption, and if it fails or the price of electricity is too high, it becomes a blackmail point for the economy. And the whole thing can be done in a trice, with money, bypassing machines.

    Please note how the trend for ‘good, efficient’ managers is to put machines between us and everything we do. Don’t make them essential for our trading dealings. It would be the death of private interactions with money; another token would have to be adopted – perhaps cheese scones, then you would be paid in useful food of a kind that has a certain resilience, isn’t quickly perishable and has good food content! But our present money is easier and satisfactory – don’t take it away. And I suggest that everyone who is a forward, future thinker, carries some notes and 20c and $1 coins ready for use – perhaps to buskers bringing music to our souls, and earnings bread and rent. The economy was already a phantasmagoria of foreigners buying houses and gaping at our wonders, and cows up to their knees in grass? but masticating mud, and now that is diminishing – keep feeding coins into the slot that turns the cogs of the NZ economy!

  2. I was just looking at the background about the closing of Relationships Aotearoa in 2015 and how creditors were left owed $1.7 million to many counsellors who had been contracted to provide services because of the
    expensive. They said they had provided a heart-first service as seemed needed, rather than one aiming at efficiency. Anne Tolley oversaw this demise. I hope this is the end of chopping down on helping services,
    the attitude of some that there will be no weaklings here is like leaving vulnerable people exposed to the elements to see if they are strong enough to survive. When it is considered that government has deliberately introduced systems that cut down the number of jobs because of low-price competition, and then reduced wages as a way of apparently trying to compete with the low-priced imports, then rationally the finger of scorn must be pointed at the government and Treasury whose pay has not equally been reduced.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/87720208/failed-national-counselling-service-relationships-aotearoa-owes-17-million
    Jan.20/17
    The country’s largest counselling service Relationships Aotearoa Incorporated was placed into liquidation in July 2015 due to financial difficulties.
    Pricewaterhouse Coopers New Zealand Wellington managing partner John Fisksaid the liquidation would likely be completed in the next month.
    Their investigation into the failure of Relationships Aotearoa identified that “they had too many offices and too higher overhead, compared to the revenue they could get for servicing clients”…
    “Most of the cash that has been realised will go to Inland Revenue, which is the preferential creditor that hasn’t been paid yet,” Fisk said. Inland Revenue submitted a preferential claim totalling $262,000.

    Note: The problem of running public services in a way that echoes private providers p making them pay tax, GST etc. There is a similar problems for hospitals, having to pay ground rent or some such. There is a desire to be a sort of PPP or p.ss-p…r privatisation.

    (The latest is that NZ Initiative is trying to slide decisions about medicine type onto the public and cut Pharmac out. Because Pharmac has been inflexible about some medications, and caused deaths apparently, they are unpopular at present. The whiteanting NZ Init. want to take the opportunity to get rid, and let the freemarket reign with medicines; let them ride in like highwaymen and buccaneers, only in flash cars, not up on high horses, instead they come in low aiming at the hip pocket!)

    • I wonder whether there’ll be a push to run Corrections in similar fashion – I thought we’d got past all that but maybe not.
      From memory, what used to be ‘Marriage Guidance’ functioned OK till the neo-libs got near the place, “rebranded” and set about their agenda.

  3. Possibly weeks of lockdown and billions spent on bailing out workers and businesses for nothing, it seems we have community transmission of COVID 19, but so far undetected:
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/422510/tests-to-check-for-covid-19-community-transmission-underway
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12352861
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12352798

    Testing call, but so many do not volunteer now:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300070262/coronavirus-chris-hipkins-says-too-many-kiwis-are-reluctant-to-get-covid19-test

    Prepare for the disaster, Melbourne may be closer to us than what most do not wish to believe.

    Will this destroy Jacinda’s election hopes? Are authorities turning the other way and do they want to tell us the blunt truth?

    • Two points – one was the early narrow criteria that prevented some people from being tested who were aware that something was wrong, and were found subsequently to have Covid 19.
      The second is that one of the people tested as positive in Sydney found that NZ had not been notified, and so were not doing the tracing they would have been doing if advised. I hope we are keeping Australia advised as one would expect from us. Getting the Oz people to follow the same protocols and courtesy for us is a bridge too far across the Tasman perhaps?

  4. Less than 7 weeks to go. Judith no where to be seen this weekend. Louise Upston confirms sanctions against the unemployed and solo parents still party policy on The Nation. Farrar talking about anything but National. NZ first rolling out Brexit bad Boys efforts on facebook but targeting The Greens? Unicorns and money falling from the sky sounds pretty good to me. Still no community transmission despite prayers from the right. Nightmare scenario is that God IS a socialist. ‘wake me up when sept ends’ new theme song for the Nats? Judith hoping (if not demanding) mass unemployment. Homeless man still not found. Todd still unwell. TV3 looking for a stick to beat the govt or National with. Just report the facts please. Moral judgement not required.

  5. Moves in the Covid-19 battle plan.

    Melbourne and Victoria are tightening up. But….?
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/422585/covid-19-melbourne-to-go-into-lockdown-with-another-671-cases-announced
    He said that will give police additional powers to be able to enforce the level 4 lockdown.
    Andrews said the stage 4 restrictions being introduced in metropolitan Melbourne will mean people cannot be more than 5km from home for the purpose of shopping and only one person can go shopping once per day.
    Recreational activity will no longer be allowed, except for one hour of exercise no further than 5km from home, <b<in groups of no more than two people, he said.
    The new restrictions also include a night-time curfew in Melbourne between 8pm and 5am.

    (You only need two people for Covid-19 to tango. Can’t Vic et al get this through their heads. I think they need the bubble idea to really get into people’s heads.)

    UK – old people bearing the brunt again.
    Anyone can get it right! People over 60 or who who have medical conditions get it more, and are more likely to die from it if they are in resthomes. But most oldies are not in rest homes and quite fit! Having old people shut away – does that stop community circulation if life is BAU for the rest of the public? They are thinking of setting aside one day a week for the oldies to get out and do their shopping etc. I think it will help, but like the oldies being locked in isolation while the young play, a bit. Did it stop Covid-19 last time they locked the aged up?

    Apr.15/20 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/15/uk-government-coronavirus-science-who-advice
    We scientists said lock down. But UK politicians refused to listen :
    For 11 fateful days in March, the government ignored the best coronavirus advice. It must learn from that mistake. Helen Ward is professor of public health at Imperial College London

    This from The Lancet states the unattractive (to me) answer. In full suppression mode the excess deaths over a certain age were at the least two, but get more mixing and the figure rises to 18,000 and continues up in the no change from normal mode.
    May.12/20 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30854-0/fulltext

    Current news from the UK: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-news-face-masks-beauty-salons-lockdown-update/

    Aug.1/20 Norway –
    The world’s first hybrid cruise ship is in trouble as Covid 19 developed during their last trip.
    Thirty-three crew members of a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway have been diagnosed with Covid-19, with four hospitalised and the rest in isolation.
    The staff, of which there were 160 in total, were tested at the end of a seven-day sailing around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard yesterday, with 177 passengers on board; none of whom reported any symptoms of the virus while onboard and all of whom had disembarked by the time the news broke.

    In what is unfolding as a major test for an industry that is only just getting back on its feet, all guests have been ordered to quarantine and will undergo testing. The Norwegian cruise line has already announced that one passenger has tested positive for coronavirus.
    “There was no reason to suspect Covid-19 when the ship docked in Tromso based on the symptoms the four of the crew had,” said Hurtigruten communications manager Rune Thomas Ege. “Fortunately, we received a quick response to the tests, so that both we and the Tromso municipality were able to implement measures.”
    The vessel, MS Roald Amundsen, which is the world’s first hybrid-powered ship…

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/01/bookings-greece-surge-summer-holidays-jet2-spain/?li_source=LI&li_medium=liftigniter-rhr

  6. I think I’ve posted about the great William Cobbett before. The ultimate radical who in the early 1800s established and recorded Hansards and wrote everything in his newspapers much like you. The strange thing was in the 1790s he was a Tory ‘talker’ in the new USA. Fury and/or energy is everything for the people. Why we’re not so good now. Lack of psychos for us.

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