The Juggler: National’s Future Has A Name – Dr Shane Reti.

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COMETH THE HOUR, cometh the man. There will be many in the National Party offering up a silent prayer of thanks that there is at least one rational human-being left in the National Party caucus. His name? Dr Shane Reti.

First on RNZ’s Morning Report and then, again, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Reti delivered performances that were calm, measured and generous. For the first time in a long time, New Zealanders were provided with evidence that a spokesperson for the National Party knew what he was talking about. More importantly, one sensed a strong moral core. That combination of high intelligence, broad experience and the all-important ability to put oneself in the shoes of others, is what’s been so conspicuous by its absence in the recent run of National leaders.

Yes, there were flashes of it in Bill English. Remember his 2011 statement that the building of new prisons represented “a moral and fiscal failure”. It reminded us that there was a thoughtful and ethically rigorous side to English that, sadly, he kept hidden from both his colleagues and the wider public. For those with the wit to read it, English’s reticence was a sign. Better to remain silent and be thought a moral pigmy, than to say something thought-provoking and shame the rest of your caucus!

Clearly, Reti has decided that, to have any kind of future, the National Party must abandon the notion that it is under no obligation to prove its fitness to govern. Even if, in the minds of the leaders of both major parties, all the major issues of economics and social policy have been settled, the need to demonstrate wisdom, empathy and steadfastness will always be critical to political success.

Exactly when such qualities ceased to be regarded as important is unclear. Perhaps it was when Dean Parker’s famous line from his stage adaptation of Nicky Hager’s The Hollow Men: “The most important thing in politics is sincerity: when you can fake that, you can fake anything”; began to sound more like political science than satire.

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Forty-five years ago, the second-wave feminist and poet, Adrienne Rich, wrote bitterly about the male-dominated world of politics:

“We assume that men are without honour. We read their statements trying to crack the code. The scandal of their politics. Not that men in high places lie, only that they do so with such indifference, so endlessly, still expecting to be believed. We are accustomed to the contempt inherent in the political life.”

It is part of the triumph– and tragedy – of the second feminist wave, that we now know that there are women, too, without honour. That they can lie as well as any man.

Clearly, Reti has looked to the women in charge of Labour and National for inspiration, and drawn what he needed from the most obvious source. Which political leader does this quote from Reti’s parliamentary speech of Tuesday, 18 August, remind you of:

“Sometimes, in situations like this, with huge complexity and many balls in the air, one of them gets dropped. When that happens, this Opposition will help pick up that ball and put it back in its correct place. There will be a time to understand how the ball was dropped, but first we will help put it back, and then we’ll figure out how not to drop it again.”

Judith Collins or Jacinda Ardern?

In the atmosphere of fear and tension which the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to generate, New Zealanders are looking for precisely the sort of principled interventions which Reti is offering. They want to feel that their Government is being held to account – but not denigrated or undermined. In this regard, Collins has repeatedly proved herself incapable of striking the right note. Reti’s ability to ask the hard questions, while radiating warmth and generosity, is simply beyond her.

There are still a few National MPs with the wit to grasp the long-term political significance of Collins’s and Reti’s sharply contrasting performances. Other caucus members will be recalling with considerable chagrin exactly why they were once so determined to prevent the Member for Papakura from ever coming within a bull’s roar of the National Party leadership. In this respect they will have been helped enormously by Collins’s decision to refer to Reti as “Doctor Shane”. Such patronising language might be expected from Donald Trump, but not from the leader of a major New Zealand political party!

It is to be hoped that, in addition to wisdom, empathy and steadfastness, Reti has also been blessed with plenty of courage. Intentionally, or unintentionally, he has not only shown up his leader, but also a fair swag of his colleagues. In Julius Caesar’s famous words – supposedly uttered as his legions crossed the forbidden Rubicon river – “The die is cast.” It is victory, now, or defeat. No other options are available.

Has Reti got the grit? That is what we are about to discover. He certainly has the ambition. But, he’s got something else, too. It is difficult to name, but you know it when you see it. It’s evident in Reti’s decision to return regularly to his Whangarei medical practice: his way of keeping himself grounded in the realities of his constituents’ lives. It has also equipped him to see the current crisis in the right way: not as a chance to “crush” National’s opponents; but as an opportunity to demonstrate the social solidarity out of which genuine patriotism is fashioned.

There are, of course, minuses as well as plusses. One National insider warns that Reti has yet to reach the prime-ministerial standard of being able to make important decisions on the basis of highly imperfect information. That’s an important criticism – but not an insurmountable one. Anyone who can master the imperfections of general practice, can master the imperfections of politics. Indeed, one could argue that an MP who has grasped the need to draw the strength he needs from the people he represents has already mastered them.

The important thing now is that Dr Reti keeps all his balls in the air. For what else is politics, if not a juggling act?

 

 

40 COMMENTS

  1. Yeh he may be the best a of a bad bunch, but I still think he’s full of it. Not to mention that as a Northland MP and Dr himself is that the Northland DHB is in dire straits the amount of miss diagnoses and poor care that occurs! I have some experience with this as my best friend was told for over a year and a half that he had haemorrhoids that then turned out to be rectal cancer the incidences of this type of miss/under diagnose is so common in Northland it’s ridiculous, and this is happening right under his nose.

    • Agreed lykkyl. Having had the unfortunate experience of having a medical consultation from this man I would NOT recommend his professional abilities at all.

  2. He hasn’t had very big shoes to fill.

    Jonathan Coleman is widely regarded as our worst ever Minister of Health. The Nurses organisation gave up trying to reason with him. They couldn’t strike as that would have impacted even worse on their patients while arrogant National just displayed their usual indifference. No wonder strike action went straight on the table the moment National were gone.

    Michael Woodhouse is a despicable individual who most wouldn’t trust to buy a litre of milk yet he was National’s health spokesman. Appropriate to describe that as sick.

    Now along comes Reti. I spoke with several people up North about him before he became the Nat health spokesman. All were scathing of him. Nek minute.

    If he’s National’s future, what a sad reflection that is on all the others. He’s an ok MP but nothing more. We are so used to 2/10 from National Party MP’s that the moment one gets 5/10 he’s commended and spoken of as the future of National. How low is that bar set?

    • +100.
      If it walks like a Nat, talks like a Nat, and looks like a Nat, it’s a Nat.

      We had the philosophy of this corrupt political organisation fully exposed by events this year.
      No amount of spin and bluster can hide the culture of lying, backstabbing, cronyism and scaremongering. Not to mention the even heavier and very serious allegations of bribe taking and fraudulent activity (remember JLR anyone?).

      If he really was a “good guy”, he would have turned his back on this collection of low-lifes some time ago.
      Sorry, but he’s simply yet another Nat trougher. And quite frankly, anyone looks good compared to their sociopath leader at the moment.

    • Surely Dr Clark best fills the position of worst Health Minister of the last 10 years. The only one who had to be sacked.

    • I think Bill English was by far the worst. Things that were done when he was minister of health were stupid and damaging.

  3. Informative and interesting, as usual, Chris.

    ‘It is part of the triumph– and tragedy – of the second feminist wave, that we now know that there are women, too, without honour. That they can lie as well as any man.’

    Actually, there is a lot of evidence that women make better liars than men. Whereas males use physical prowess to dominate, being physically smaller, women use verbal skills and tears to dominate.

    And since politics is primarily about lying convincingly, women have a natural advantage.

    That is not to say that there are not exceptionally good male liars on the political scene. Tony B Liar was one of the best,,,until his lies go so outrageous -“Weapons of mass destruction ready to be launched at 45 minutes notice”, Yellow cake from Africa” etc.; John Howard, “The refugees have been throwing babies into the shark-infected waters”; and of course our own John Key’s “Better brighter future, Rock star economy,” blah, blah blah.

    So now we have the professional liars plastering the landscape with: ‘Strong team, More Jobs, Better economy’ bullshit. Meaningless -actually Orwellian- slogans, presumably created by advertising executives or public relations experts -another bunch of professional liars.

    Doe anyone believe the crap any longer?

    ‘It is to be hoped that, in addition to wisdom, empathy and steadfastness, Reti has also been blessed with plenty of courage.’

    We all know (well those of us capable of critical thinking), that the things most missing from politics are wisdom, empathy and courage. Indeed, we can say unequivocally that politics in NZ is characterised by lack of wisdom, lack of empathy and lack of courage.

    Hence, NONE of the issues that needed to be urgently addressed long ago even get a mention, let alone policy statements.

    It is because of the assiduous avoidance by politicians over many decades of ALL critical issues that we are now in terminal meltdown on all fronts -literally as far as ‘climate change’ is concerned, and metaphorically as far finances, the economy, biodiversity, and society etc. are concerned.

    Pick your topic (any will do) and note that the current state is worse than a year ago, much worse than a decades, and is being made worse at an ever-increasing pace by the political-financial-economic system.

    The cumulative damage inflicted over decades and increasing rate of failure systems are why I believe we will reach the point of catastrophic failure before the end of 2020, with NZ in a somewhat better position than most other nations simply because it was one of the last major land masses to be colonised by ‘the empire’.

    Here is something that matters:

    https://nsidc.org/greenland-today/

    since the melting of the ice on Greenland will raise sea levels by around 7 metres,, inundating hundreds of major cities around the world, including Auckland Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin. Nelson, Tauranga, Whangarei, Wanganui.

    Hamilton will be safe from sea level rise but will have the severe local effects of planetary overheating to deal with.

    Oh, and by the way, there won’t be any petrol or diesel to run internal combustion engines, nor any means to maintain highways, a decade or so from now.

  4. History allows us to keep the tools of political science and theory honest. If you look at the cycle of the theory that previous National Party leaders or any other for that matter, they’re essentially recycling the same old data sets through the same old theories for decades, now Covid19 has disproven most of them, so we must adapt new ones because the old theories didn’t have to deal with any big change. Corona is a big shock to the system and suddenly we have to deal with a big chunk of migrant workers because all the exit scams got shut down, overnight, with everyone’s blessing.

    Now we have to think about long-established conventional wisdom and test theories on new standards rather than testing data on theories, out of which the data had been developed which is just making the theory fit the data. Suddenly we have new data coming along in real-time.

    As the economy adapts to new market behaviour’s so too will political reality modify to the new environment and that produces natural justice. There are many ways to modernize an island nation but now we have new data with which to democratize New Zealand by absorbing migrant 2nd class workers firstly and treaty partner goals 2nd. No one should have to tolerate 2nd class citizens. We’ve had a market economy since 1984 but some of it remains state-run capitalism while retaining nondemocratic functions. Now there are conditions for what constitutes a stable democracy that can be put to the test.

    Is it all about the economy stupid? Do beliefs of citizens matter and what kinds of beliefs and what about the beliefs of elites are some of the things we can look at in new contexts.

  5. Agreed Chris;

    Shane Reti walks with a fine line of soft expression not harsh condemnation as National usually uses, – that is ‘warm on the ears of many listeners now’ and will pickup many votes in the north. The other Shane in the North (Shane Jones) is a caustic arrogant man many now hate so the term attributed to Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts””Softly softly catchie monkey” is fitting this political mould perfectly as using the soft approach will achieve in time the goal wished.

    Shane Reti uses this powerful method very wisely, and a pity more Politicians don’t pick up this soft style, as we would benefit from it during this disturbing tumultuous time.

  6. I may be being rather old fashioned here in identifying Dr Reti’s difficult-to-name quality, as being, goodness.
    He is a fairly rare highly qualified, highly achieved politician, amidst a fairly motley sort of bunch, but also a patently good person.

    Paula Bennett’s office seemingly trying to sully Hurimoana Dennis’s reputation in the media I thought one of the dirtiest bits of contemporary mud slinging in the last hopeless Nat govt, and an absence of goodness. The thing here was that Dennis was not a political opponent, or a politician and thereby a “justifiable” target. He was the kaumatua of a marae doing a good job helping homeless people in totally desperate circumstances and should have been saluted as such; Bennett’s response, as a politician, was not just counter-productive, but I would have thought counter-intuitive to being a successful representative of the people. Reti is elevating the Nats to a new level, but it will take more than one voice crying in the wilderness to achieve a much-needed culture change.

    • ‘in identifying Dr Reti’s difficult-to-name quality, as being, goodness’

      There is a high degree of cognitive dissonance in placing the words National and goodness in close proximity, since everything National stands for -loot and polluting, exploitation of the mases by the few etc. would not normally be regarded as good.

      Put it another way, as another commenter already has: if Reti is a good person, what the hell is he doing being a National MP?

      • Afewknowthetruth. Good point, and I had thought about this, albeit a bit unkindly. This leads back to the sociological reasons as to why certain types of persons are drawn to the Nats; wannabes, and folk from low social or socio- economic backgrounds, can think that aligning themselves with the “rich”, they become more respectable and “posh.”

        Many from disadvantaged backgrounds acquire an empathy which inspires and empowers them to do whatever they can to help others: John A Lee is the most obvious example which springs to my tired mind here, but others have a need to see themselves as better than what they came from, and choose to go with the group which elevates the self, and materialism.

        Reti may not have the social confidence to ally himself with the disadvantaged, or he may hope to effect change within in the National Party, or he may – like just about every Nat crap-out – have been badly advised.

        The National Party has been so devoid of social graces and glorified being yobs, that a Yeti with the rough edges smoothed off may be all that I’m seeing, I don’t know.

  7. Yes Shane Reti also uses the Gilbert & Sullivan’s approach of “My object all sublime we shall achieve in time” (Milkado) is another approach Shane Reti uses, so he is well skilled here by someone.

    We saw this in other notable PM,s past and present, as we always saw in Winston after his comments he would give us all that warm mischievous smile to warm us up.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Object_All_Sublime

  8. A juggling act is one where the light catches and quickly slips off the flying objects. In the fleeting moment of magic one might miss the opposite of a strong moral core.

    On occasion in the House Winston Peters has referred to Dr Reti and challenged him to back up the bullshit he’d been putting out.

    Would a string moral core have allowed the bullshit to be said, and repeated and repeated? Would the difference of a strong moral core have meant some courage and honesty?

  9. Well he (Reti) might want to start with picking his own teams balls before he picks up others. PS. He will need a huge bag for this task as his team are still dropping balls.

  10. Well he (Reti) might want to start with picking his own teams balls before he picks up others. PS. He will need a huge bag for this task as his team are still dropping balls.

  11. Well he (Reti) might want to start with picking up his own teams balls before he picks up others. PS. He will need a huge bag for this task as his team are still dropping balls.

  12. Well he (Reti) might want to start with picking up his own teams balls before he picks up others. PS. He will need a huge bag for this task as his team are still dropping balls.

  13. I listened closely when Dr Reti made his two initial statements that seemed to be of different intent than Mrs Collins approach. But this morning on RNZ he seems to have been pulled back into line, and made the usual whinging, catastrophising, special pleading on how badly the Govt. has handled Covid, and that Dr Bloomfield needs to be dragged before a Select Committee to be grilled properly by the likes of himself.

    Before Covid I would have said “don’t go there” to anyone pumping up Shane Reti. In his Whangarei electorate he is an obsequious chameleon, oozing smarm. He has niggled about 4 lane highways for Northland with ads on the front page of right wing rag the Northern Advocate for years. He runs his own people down and has the Pākehā’s backs in the main. He is a defender of privilege and seems surprised if anyone describes him as Māori. He supported middle class residents of Maunu suburb who raised $60,000 recently for a campaign to stop other citizens having warm dry housing–30 plus new state houses to be built on an ex MOE site.

    Urban myths circulate that he pays for some prescriptions out of his own pocket. But this man is a Nat, with Nat values, and he deserves to do down with the ship like the others. Any basically decent Nats leave the party of Hollowmen sooner rather than later.

    • It may be an urban myth that he pays for some prescriptions out of his own pocket.

      It is not an urban myth that you have paid for his front page Northern Advocate ads on the front page of right for years. You have, the taxpayers have. Do you think the urban myth prescriptions money would match the definite many many thousands money of the newspaper ads?

    • spot on TM. In my personal experience of the man he is an indolent, arrogant, ignorant sexist slime ball.Raised in the Mormon faith he does that whole caring compassionate bourgeois bible club thing. You know the one most of us ain’t in. Cos we’re not Nats.

  14. I must admit that I didn’t think much of him at all until just recently having to engage with him as the shadow Waitangi Treaty Settlement Min.
    He puts questions to ministers in such direct way its hard to not misunderstand them or deflect them. Impressive I thought.

    • Sort of in the really direct way he wouldn’t answer Winston Peters questions to him about the Northland roading crap he kept putting out?

  15. “…National’s Future Has A Name – Dr Shane Reti….”
    Not if Labour, perhaps in coalition with the Green party ( If we must stick with mmp to swamp those who think they have politics sorted under on-going and pointless gibberish while heading out a here with your money) take farmers out of the lunatic asylum the natzo’s have had them imprisoned within these last few generations and generations.
    You dopy cocky’s with the natzo hoardings pegged up in your paddocks?
    You don’t get out much do you? There’s this thing called the ‘internet’, heard of it?
    No. Not herd but ‘heard’ as in upon hearing?
    Are you the farmers we see in the city who still wear your fathers tweed jacket? And your trousers are too short and leave a cheap sock gap over your brown, highly polished Southland primary school teacher shoes ?
    Yea, I know you? And you’re sneaky and secretive as you plot and scheme too. And you’re eyeing up your neighbours farm because you hear they’re in financial trouble. I know you fuckers all too well.
    What you going to do when the natzo’s are dead and bloated amongst the swedes ? Who’ll spin your sweet little deals then?
    No one, would be my guess, and good riddance to you. Now? Burn in Hell. Take one for the Team?

    • If only what you wrote were a work of fiction.

      Sadly, it’s true: mindless obedience to, and belief in, the National bullshit machine.

      “Ignorance Is Strength.”

      • Agreed Afewknowthetruth,

        Looks like at the release of Judith Collins “strict Border control strategy today Shans Reti was tamed by Collins claws and now sounds like her in sequence to the release of that stupid unlorkable policy that they released so Shane Reti has just knocked off some of his former Halo to look quite stupid now.

        So we actually responded to National’s stupid plan with our own press release today challenging national about their unworkable policy…

        This is it. enjoy.
        https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2008/S00250/ceac-challenge-national-require-visitorscitizens-test-all-with-serology-antibody-to-gold-standard.htm

        Politics
        CEAC Challenge National Require Visitors/Citizens Test All With Serology Antibody To Gold Standard”
        Thursday, 20 August 2020, 1:42 pm
        Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
        Judith Collins is now promising to increase our border security by not allowing any visitors/citizens into NZ without a negative Covid test, but we are not confident that the single PCR (swab test) is the most accurate test to use for our health and safety, as the PCR test has been with 20% false negative and this fails “the gold standard”.
        CEAC challenges National by requesting they also use the new gold standard requesting a “Serology Antibody Covid 19 To Gold Standard” as it has a 99.8% accuracy. The current PCR (Swab test) is far less accurate. See the Roche company press release when accepted by the FDA. (see below, along with our last press release sent to you on this subject.)
        https://www.roche.com/media/releases/med-cor-2020-05-03.htm
        Roche’s COVID-19 antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization and is available in markets accepting the CE mark
        · The serology test has a specificity greater than 99.8% and sensitivity of 100% (14 Days post-PCR confirmation)
        · The high specificity of the test is crucial to determine reliably if a person has been exposed to the virus and if the patient has developed antibodies
        · Roche will provide high double-digit millions of tests already in May for countries accepting the CE mark and in the U.S. under Emergency Use Authorization, further ramping up capacities thereafter
        · The test is available on Roche’s cobas e analysers which are widely available around the world
        Basel, 03 May 2020 – Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)1 for its new Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. The test is designed to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the patient has developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Roche has already started shipping the new antibody test to leading laboratories globally and will ramp up production capacity to high double-digit millions per month to serve healthcare systems in countries accepting the CE mark2 as well as the U.S.
        “Thanks to the enormous efforts of our dedicated colleagues we are now able to deliver a high-quality antibody test in high quantities, so we can support healthcare systems around the world with an important tool to better manage the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Severin Schwan, CEO Roche Group. ”I am in particular pleased about the high specificity and sensitivity of our test, which is crucial to support health care systems around the world with a reliable tool to better manage the COVID-19 health crisis.”
        powered by Rubicon Project
        “Our best scientists have worked 24/7 over the last few weeks and months to develop a highly reliable antibody test to help fight this pandemic,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. “Roche is committed to helping laboratories deliver fast, accurate, and reliable results to healthcare professionals and their patients.”
        Roche’s SARS-CoV2 antibody test, which has a specificity greater than 99.8% and 100% sensitivity3 (14 Days post-PCR confirmation), can help assess patients’ immune response to the virus. As more is understood about immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the test may help to assess who has built up immunity to the virus.
        CEAC – Response.
        TVNZ Q+A Professor Blakely stated clearly that all who are in contact with our borders, including the Ports must be tested fully for present infections with the PCR (swab test) and if the infection was over two weeks ago, he recommends testing with the serology antibody test for finding any past infections after two weeks.
        Dr Blakely reminded Jack Tame that the PCR (Swab test) was not “perfect” and 20% failed to be accurate, showing false negative results after two weeks out from infection. This was Dr Blakely’s reason for recommending the serology antibody test as well was to have complete accurate results.
        Ministry of Health clearly should be doing this now or we risk the case that we do not have adequate data to understand ‘how and why’ the latest community Covid cluster has emerged this week, so they are concentrating at the cold store site where containers are transported by trucks, CEAC assume all drivers are tested, – If not we must now test all our freight transport drivers and incorporate this with the current ‘swab test’- and “the antibody test (also called a serology test.) which confirm all who develop immunity to Covid 19 for true accurate test results.
        Be cautious Government.
        Government must require that a full Covid 19 testing of all visitors/citizens complete a full negative test assessment of any presence of Covid 19 infections using both the PCR (swab test) and the serology antibody test at least 48hrs before arriving at NZ’s border.
        We must have mass testing of all our community firstly then use a solid controlled ‘tracing of the Covid 19’ to have a ‘robust tracing process’ to fight Covid 19.
        Do this right. – We are all in this together.

  16. “…National’s Future Has A Name – Dr Shane Reti….”
    Not if Labour, perhaps in coalition with the Green party ( If we must stick with mmp to swamp those who think they have politics sorted under on-going and pointless gibberish while heading out a here with your money) take farmers out of the lunatic asylum the natzo’s have had them imprisoned within these last few generations and generations.
    You dopy cocky’s with the natzo hoardings pegged up in your paddocks?
    You don’t get out much do you? There’s this thing called the ‘internet’, heard of it?
    No. Not herd but ‘heard’ as in upon hearing?
    Are you the farmers we see in the city who still wear your fathers tweed jacket? And your trousers are too short and leave a cheap sock gap over your brown, highly polished Southland primary school teacher shoes ?
    Yea, I know you? And you’re sneaky and secretive as you plot and scheme too. And you’re eyeing up your neighbours farm because you hear they’re in financial trouble. I know you fuckers all too well.
    What you going to do when the natzo’s are dead and bloated amongst the swedes ? Who’ll spin your sweet little deals then?
    No one, would be my guess, and good riddance to you. Now? Burn in Hell. Take one for the Team?
    ( Apols is this appears twice…??

  17. I’ve picked up on preciely the same thing, Chris. There is a responsible maturity; a calmness; a reasonableness about Dr Reti that I picked up on immediately from a RNZ interview last (?) week.

    My immediate thought was that a Reti-Kaye or Kaye-Reti leadership of the National Party would have been politically explosive to the current government.

    Luckily (for Labour and the Greens, but not so much for Aotearoa New Zealand), that combo would never eventuate.

    The question remains now; what will happen when National loses the election in October? (And make no mistake, on their current polling, they WILL lose!) Will Ms Collins hang on as Leader? Even if her colleagues wanted to dump her, who would replace her? Mark Mitchell, the Bland Man?

    It can only be Dr Reti, if the Nats have a molecule of common sense about them.

    The next question is why I’m making suggestions that would inevitably help the Tories? I should do something more constructive while I’m in isolation. The shower walls need cleaning…

    • ‘I should do something more constructive while I’m in isolation. The shower walls need cleaning…’

      I pop in here for a bit of intellectual stimulation during my breaks from work (not paid employment).

      ‘if the Nats have a molecule of common sense about them’

      In the National party, dogma and mantra overrule common sense.

      In the real world, geochemistry trumps dogma and mantra.

    • While you’re dealing with slime ponder the bit from Tiger Mountain:

      “He is a defender of privilege and seems surprised if anyone describes him as Māori. He supported middle class residents of Maunu suburb who raised $60,000 recently for a campaign to stop other citizens having warm dry housing–30 plus new state houses to be built on an ex MOE site.”

      His supporters want to have a world of haves and have nots. They don’t want the have nots to pollute their lovely neighbourhoods though. Those lowlives belong in a ghetto somewhere out of sight. That’s what you have a national MP for, to see that’s how things happen. In that sense Reti has the perfect qualifications to be their leader.

        • When I spend my life trying to create a country of definite haves and have nots and then complain that there are have nots, lower classes who diminish my existence, then parade the streets to make sure they live in their own ghettos and not pollute my neighbourhood, call me toxic.

          If I get called toxic for pointing out that that happens and the MP is on board with the ‘honourable’ set, I don’t mind one bit. If I suggest that those condemning others as the ‘low lives’ and ‘slime’ don’t need a spotlight but a mirror and am called toxic? Good.

    • Nice that Dr. Reti is now Judith’s best friend. But wait..Maybe Cam Slater is still her best friend..or is he past his use by date? Is it a case of “Trust me I’m a doctor”.

  18. ” If it walks like a Nat, talks like a Nat, and looks like a Nat, it’s a Nat ”
    Anyone who wants to join the National party and represent the brand sends the signal that no matter how mature and reasonable they seem they support anti worker business friendly policies and up holding the free market economy that delivers for only the people who donate to the good doctors party of choice.
    If he is the next messiah he will need to change his allegiance and belief that it is profit before people.
    That hopefully is where we will be heading.

  19. Only a person reading fairy tales could believe Reti, being the Nats leader, not race but almost as offensive his look.

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