Fulminate with Farrar – blogger files several posts which focus on frightening abuses of Covid-19 powers

We have been increasingly troubled by the abuse of executive power that inevitably stems from democratic governments introducing emergency measures in the name of public safety to protect scared citizens.

Our musings led us to Austria (where a bloke called Adolf Hitler was born) and an observation on Austria’s Parliamentary website on the necessity for the separation of powers:

History has time and again shown that unlimited power in the hands of one person or group in most cases means that others are suppressed or their powers curtailed. The separation of powers in a democracy is to prevent abuse of power and to safeguard freedom for all.   

More to the point of what has happening around the world in recent months, we found this:

As the coronavirus pandemic has spread to all regions of the world, we have begun to see governments respond predictably to the threat by agitating for increased authority. The worst of these, the Hungarian proposal, was easily enacted into law yesterday, setting a terrible precedent for other countries, in the West and around the world. At a time when democracy and rule of law are already weakened, these assertions of power should raise serious concerns, as leaders seek greater power in the short term without pausing to consider possible effects in the long term.

 The article urged: Continue reading “Fulminate with Farrar – blogger files several posts which focus on frightening abuses of Covid-19 powers”

Polls apart – but what are we to make of political surveys when the results are so divergent?

What  to  make of the latest   opinion  polls?   Because they diverge  so far  from  each   other,  experts   say  one   must be  wrong.

Perhaps some of those pollsters who got the mood of the  Australian  electorate so  badly  out of kilter with the actual election  result have been  imported to  carry out   one or  other of  the two samples.    Or, maybe,  because  the polling  done  by  each organisation covered   different   periods, there  was  a  dramatic revision  in the political mood almost  overnight.

Even given the divergence, the pundits were virtually unanimous:  Simon Bridges  is  gone—if not  by  lunchtime,  then some time soon.

That’s, of course, what they said at  the time  of  the  last set  of  polls.

National’s leadership preoccupies these  commentators much more than the actual performance of the  government. Continue reading “Polls apart – but what are we to make of political surveys when the results are so divergent?”

How happy-clappy statisticians figure out if we are privileged

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has not been calibrated to detect all extravagant spending of taxpayers’ money.  But others in the blogosphere can be relied on to pick up at least some of the squandering that happens beyond the monitor’s purview.

For example, Kiwiblog’s doughty David Farrar has alerted his readers to some nonsense at Statistics New Zealand, based on a press release from Nationals Amy Adams.

“Officials at a  technical workshop today spent an hour having participants singing, hand-clapping and playing ‘Check Your Privilege bingo’.

“Yet at the same time New Zealand continues to wait for the 2018 Census results after a shambolic process that resulted in significant data gaps and we’re yet to see anything on the last two years of child poverty statistics.

“According to the Government agency’s bingo card, it seems if you are a ‘native English speaker, Cis, white, thin, have no speech impediment, heterosexual, able-bodied, standard accent, have no criminal record, human, tall, mentally healthy, support a mainstream political party, adult, born in your country of residence, wealthy, employed or just not a red-head’, then you are privileged.
Continue reading “How happy-clappy statisticians figure out if we are privileged”

Ethnicity data to be collected for “balance” in appointments to State sector boards

The strong whiff of meritocracy being further undermined in this country has reached Point of Order in the form of a press statement from Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa.

She says the Cabinet has agreed to collect ethnicity data for candidates appointed to State sector boards and committees.

These data will be used

” … to identify opportunities and challenges in delivering our goal of ensuring Government bodies have a balanced membership reflective of wider New Zealand society.”

In other words, ethnic identity will be a factor in appointing people to State-sector boards and committees and “balanced membership” will be more important than the abilities of appointees. Continue reading “Ethnicity data to be collected for “balance” in appointments to State sector boards”

Find a post for Helen Clark, by all means – but in London rather than Washington

David Farrar last week posted an item on Kiwiblog headed “Jacinda should appoint Helen Ambassador to the US.”

He noted that Helen Clark once ran New Zealand.  She then went on to run the UN Development Programme.

“Now her main activity seems to be picking fights with Eden Park.

“She’s obviously bored and needs a job. To spare us the daily headlines about what Helen has tweeted on any issue, I propose Jacinda gives her a decent job to keep her busy.

“Why not Ambassador to the US? They are huge on hierarchy so nothing works better than a former PM. She gets to be called Prime Minister Clark for her duration there”.

Here at Point of Order, we don’t think Foreign Minister Winston Peters would agree with Farrar on this.  Continue reading “Find a post for Helen Clark, by all means – but in London rather than Washington”

Let’s not just make it an option – let’s give rongoā Māori a cancer trial

Preacher Bill Subritzky, whose “patients” claimed his prayers could heal cancer, brought a team of evangelists to Wellington a few years ago to pray for the sick.

Health authorities warned people to approach their healing claims with “extreme caution”.  But fliers distributed to Wellington households contained testimonies from Subritzky’s followers telling of miraculous recoveries from cancer, kidney failure and arthritis.

“I had kidney failure and was instantly healed after Bill prayed for me,” one says.

Rather than disparage the faith healer, blogger David Farrar proposed Subritzky spend a month at Mary Potter Hospice praying to cure their cancers. Continue reading “Let’s not just make it an option – let’s give rongoā Māori a cancer trial”